Saturday, March 31, 2012

cyberpunk lunch

what tahoma and i mostly talked about yesterday was related to a video on a truly free society: for the first ten minutes i thought "this guy is SO right" and then switched off as he began describing how little he understands of human psychology. you cannot remove violence from people. but even if he's totally wrong in that respect, the state and statehood is and isn't everything he says it is and isn't.

1. right now, we make laws that define a "normality" that is completely off the mark for most people. criminality and insanity are defined in opposition to normality, so debate on the topic is limited to irrationality.

2. our education is both cause and feature of the current system. its industrialized nature ensures societal norms, and it is a major factor in the primary drive of our civilization being to work ourselves to death in order to consume things we don't need. i didn't make this up.

3. we have the technology that we need to self-govern, but we're terrified of choice so we put power in the hands of people who are stupid enough to believe that they can do a good job of it. an hierarchical power structure requires bureaucracy, which forms its own unrelated power structures that piggy-back on the others...

4. pharmaceutical and insurance companies interfere with free market forces in the medical industry: medical care should not be as expensive as it is. also, in the near future machines will be able to perform most of the important tasks and that means that costs should be driven down.

5. social security? the stupidest system ever invented. taking from the present working generation to support the previous is inspired in its reinforcement of my second point

6. no risk, no reward. that's an over-simplified expression that neatly covers all that's bad about letting a bunch of arrogant, conniving monkeys decide what risks we should and should't take.

this is not the first time i've said it: i'm an free-market anarchist and i believe that as cruel as our cyberpunk future would be it would also be entirely fair and far more sustainable for the species.

the strongest point is that we, as subjects to our current systems, cannot imagine solutions to all of the problems posed by a transition (we don't solve them now anyway) to a free civilization, but that's because we would need to break out of our cage in order to develop the tools and techniques that a new paradigm would demand.

the transition itself would be traumatizing, destructive and painful. but necessary for our survival. tahoma's question to me: would i personally want people close to me (or myself) to die in order to make that transition a reality?

of course not. but this is far more important than what i want personally.

the race to nowhere

i woke up at 4.30am just to check that my alarm clock was set for the correct 5.30am.
*yawns just thinking about this*
waking up at 5.30am turned out to be a mistake, too - it was too late and the pressure to get ready and equip myself was intense. of course, under pressure and half-asleep is a recipe for disaster: everything went pear-shaped :(

i slurped half a cup of coffee and raced to the starting point, and by the time i arrived i was already exhausted. half-marathon? 6.30am? on 4.5 hours' sleep?

it had never occured to me to wear a helmet, which is mandatory at this sort of event. a bunch of us turned out who'd forgotten / didn't care, and that's been cited as a major cause in what appears to be the city council's decision to cancel inline skating next year :(

those of us sans helmet began in the middle of the pack, crouching to get by the guards. unfortunately, rollerblading awkwardly bent over put me on bad form even when i straightened up and it took me more than half the marathon to realize that i was being completely inefficient: by that time, it was far too late.
it didn't help none that i hadn't thought to pack an energy bar, and my blood pressure dropped during the first stretch. at least it wasn't drastic enough to pass me out of the race, but it made for an exceptionally uncomfortable 21km, in addition to the bad form and the bitter wind being against us for a lot of it.

i was in such bad shape that at some point i hallicinated that one of the guys holding out water was offering yoghurt, and i thought "wow! what a great idea!" before expending excess energy in circling back to be tremendously disappointed. it was only a half a minute later that i realized what utter nonsense i'd imagined.

[i just received my results: my place was pretty close to the middle, with an average of 20kph. i could have done better.]

i had breakfast with pg's parents (her mom came in second place!), and we returned to our neighbourhood together. i was going to shower and go straight back to bed, but tahoma called while i was stretching and i decided that a cup of coffee wasn't impossible.

we had a fun debate in the sun, which i chased with a meander through bicycle-only tel aviv (they just did it for the day, but it was peaceful and comforting) on my way home for a nap. the nap didn't work out, and pg arrived home from her adventure down south so we went out for a great lunch and returned for a proper sleep.

we crashed until dinner time, joining her family for a big dinner. i decided that a movie was in order, and dragged pg along on a mission of spontaneity: we had no idea what was playing. pg got to choose, and she went with mirror, mirror.

what a great film! there were a couple of things i didn't appreciate - but i won't spoil them - and the beginning was a bit awkward, but overall it's entertaining, witty, and aesthetically very pleasing.

we ran into a bunch of mongoose's friends on the walk home, which was a bit awkward. the more i think about it, the more offended i am by him.

...

the long day of nothing (the marathon seems a separate date) was followed by a good night's sleep. i've done a couple of chores, greatly reduced the size of my todo list and i'm now ready for a pre-wall climbing lunch and a bit of work before i go.

youtube ads: you're doing it (half) wrong!

as much as i appreciate the need for advertising, forcing users to watch an ad before seeing the video they're interested in is primitive at best. at the very least give us the option of paying the ads away!

micropayments, pre-paid, flat fee: these are all ubiquitous methods and there's no longer justification for not employing them. if i'm going to be forced to see an advertisement, at least give me the satisfaction that i'm "saving" money. you need money to support youtube? let me give it to you and enjoy the experience without promotional peacockery.

please - these ads ruin the experience.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

hero to zero

i woke up this morning with an overwhelming sense of well-being... i've been like this for a couple of days now, does it mean that i'm somewhat healthy?

thought for the morning: the only problem with cake and wine in the first class is that the next part of the day seems a bit rubbish by comparison :)

i wasn't too long in the office, and for what feels like the first time in ages, something that i'd developed and tested actually ran properly when put into production. scr would have to install my newly created distributed service on multiple machines without me... i wondered how that would go.

i hit early rush hour on my way to campus, and that kinda sucked because i really wanted to read more wired. now that i'm finally back into it. what i couldn't stop staring at instead were the signs on the backs of the seats: "stressed at work? try our tranquilizers!"

because if your work is stressful, the problem is OBVIOUSLY you!

anime afternoon: too much shouting, a weird moment of "hey! he's sleeping!" when i nodded off during appleseed (which is brilliant, btw), bad cookies, racism (the culprit did promise to stop, after realizing that i really was offended by his use of the word "nigger"), and a harsh reminder that the middle east is possessed of a culture of clapping (in delight, along to music, whatever). i've said it before, and i'll say it again, clapping is *only* acceptable when applauding a live performance of some sort.

the anime itself made up for all that, and the breathtaking sunset that i witnessed on my way out felt like a pat on the head from the universe for having gotten through such a long week.

that sensation might have been contributed to by scr calling me up to tell me that something was wrong with an installation: "wtf? oh - everything's working fine. cheers."

i ran into eidetic and the chemist waiting for the bus, and we met up with botchman for dinner: it was fun, but i had plans afterwards that needed cancelling because i suddenly realized that the marathon's tomorrow and i was super-tired.

before catching some z's, i learned that my shakespeare paper has been returned to the secretariat already. dum - dum - DUMMM...

i passed out, disturbed briefly by a call from pg to say goodnight and remind me to rotate my wheels (damn - i'll do that now), and an hour later i got up and prayed that in a reasonable amount of time we'd find the weird bug the boss had described earlier.

thanks to all powers that be, i did find the bugs. and *knocks wood* (i do that a lot lately) everything appears to be functional.

in addition to having to wake up at 5.30 tomorrow morning, israeli clocks move forward an hour tonight so effectively i have to be up in 4.5 hours. good grief.

one burning man

not me, actually - one of my coworkers appears to have an anger management problem and instead of asking for help, he dug himself a hole that eventually got so deep that even though i could help him out, he was too busy raging about it to notice the escape route. i actually had to invest time in calming him down in order to extract the data i needed to solve the problem.

*sigh*

it was a long day packed into few hours, with yet another delicate job to be done under crazy pressure... i've just completed and tested the tough part, and tomorrow when i get in i'll be magically finishing the rest, performing a migration to the cloud, solving another set of unrelated issues that we seem to be having, and be back on campus three hours later.

no problem.

i wonder: am being paid enough to be doing the work of three people? i suppose that as long as i don't let the stress get to me personally, it's not really my problem.

...

aside from consuming a lot of junk food, this evening was fun: the creative writing workshop was entertaining as usual, and watching les 12 travaux d'astérix was probably more helpful than the others because the subtitles were delayed so much :P

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

strange day

backwards!

1. just read a friend's (doctoral student) criticism of my shakespeare paper, and i'm left with a slightly bruised ego and a prayer that i can easily reconcile his criticism with my advisor's...

2. i've just spent the morning in bed, even though i was awake early enough to get up and get stuff done. i did get up, in fact, but then decided that an opportunity to simply do nothing for a while couldn't be missed.

3. i passed out on the couch reading the comic version of othello, pg waking me after a couple of hours of angel interfering with my dreams.

4. leaving work at 11pm after a twelve hour stretch of fire-fighting with a single half an hour break for dinner and no coffee: soul-crushing. but for some reason, i was more wired than tired.

5. ordering a giant americano and then realizing that i didn't particularly want coffee in the first place. wr let me down, we'd arranged to meet on his break and he didn't take one because the big bosses of another company were in the area. i fail to see a logical connection. i used the time to work on my fan fiction short story, doing some exciting fact-finding...

6. french class. early. i was a bit out-of-sorts, but it was alright nonetheless.

---
nutritional info for the day:

broccoli and cancer - and not EVERYTHING needs to be raw (although broccoli does)

no such thing as low fat?? say it ain't so!

egg measurements - i'm with her.

hah! i just read the alt text for http://xkcd.com/1028/. xkcd: always right.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

good. good good.

good morning. good day. good readings (stanza). good half-marathon inline-skating prep. check.

now for waking up stupidly early in the morning to do french homework.

---

coming into campus from the other side gives fresh perspective. i've begun writing a short story which i'm quite excited about. work was fun enough to make up for yesterday, even if i got stuck there half an hour after i needed to leave. dinner was a surprise - it turned out to be happy hour snacks. the readings were almost all great.

Monday, March 26, 2012

eye water

*releases inner bitch* co-conspirator's on the dean's roll?! damn. someone's missing something here.

---

ye gods, early mornings suck. but the french has become kinda-alright. it was the second class, *still* lacan in spite of it not being about him, that was tough... at least i used the opportunity to pound out some thoughts on free will as requested by the woman who interviewed me yesterday:
free will is a paradox. it's not that a person has no choices, but the choices that a person makes are a function of that person's experience (read: culture). the human mind begins in a form that is essentially tabula rasa - not precisely empty, but in terms of what differentiates humans we all begin on a similar baseline position and from there each experience, and each reflection upon that experience (feedback loops), affects our configuration and directs our choices. in that sense we are just like computers: although everyone begins with the same operating system, our installation of applications (skills) and acquisition of data (knowledge) turn each of us into an entirely unique entity.

although our choices have been pre-programmed, as it were, this does not remove one's responsibility for one's actions. it is the use of the term "free will" that forms the illusion that such a thing exists and is inherent to the human experience: but even though there is no free will in the sense in which we use the term, that does not mean that there is no such thing as choice. each choice is made by an entity determining whether

a) for a "morally negative" act, acquiescing to his desire is worth the penalty of being caught doing so

b) for a "morally positive" act, whether the prize desired is worth the effort it demands.

to carry that idea back to notions of society and morality:

if an entity poses a danger of any kind to a society, then society is obliged to defend itself by removal of this threat. whether that defence is to remove the entity, or to forcibly change that entity, is a choice. if that choice is to force change, there is no definitive method of determining success. if we send a criminal to prison, and he claims to have found religion (or some other moral framework) and accepted society's behavioural requirements, we have no machine that can inform us of the verity of these claims. all we can do is allow him back into society, and punish him again if he returns to a life of crime.
that's if we can catch him, of course.

the problem with a legal society is that one is only punished if one is caught, and therefore morality has come to be defined in terms of one's skills vis-a-vis keeping one's bad behaviour hidden from the police. as it is, a criminal is someone who behaves in a way that at some point was defined as socially unacceptable in spite of the fact that what is socially acceptable is entirely dynamic and in constant flux. insanity is defined in a similar manner: someone who is insane is outside of the norm. considering the fact that there is no way to accomodate a definition of "normal", even internally, being insane is therefore the norm and to be a criminal is to be insane, and so society has no clear method of defending itself from itself and there can be no claims to an absolute morality. this does not preclude the need for morality, however.

for reference: william james - the stream of consciousness (1892), terry pratchett - the science of discworld part ii, james hillman - re-visioning psychology, berger and zijderveld - in praise of doubt - those all happen to be things i consider to be important and entertaining reading in any respect :)
aaaaaand back to work.

including lunch with the office doofus; he has this really annoying habit of categorizing everyone based on random observation. for example, today he tried to determine if i'm a vegan because i eat salad. ugh :S

it was a long day, issue followed issue, and it ended with me heading off to the boss to say goodbye and getting stuck in his office for forty five minutes explaining to him that the reason for me making a mistake with the business logic is because i'm not part of the business processes. i think he was immensely disappointed, but he seemed to get what i was saying and tomorrow we'll begin hunting meaningful statistics as opposed to performing heavy guessing.

between dinner and getting a few important bits of work done, scrapper and i had a back-and-forth on two ideas we'd traded on friday: he's turned a poem of mine into a musical moment, and performed a good chunk of a dark cover that struck me by way of random inspiration particle a couple of weeks ago. very cool.

---

i gave $4.1 on captain wossname's behalf: charity water - it's for his birthday! good man, that. better than me, at least.

these are the sounds of "i feel old". have fun.

terence mckenna
take back your mind is sweet, followed by calling a spade a utility for digging in the dirt as opposed to a black inverted heart-shaped figure

Sunday, March 25, 2012

lowered gear

in the cartoon, an israeli politician and an iranian politician stand behind opposing podiums with empty, missile-shaped speech bubbles above their heads; their index fingers raised, their eyes closed and their teeth bared while shouting into their microphones. below them, holes have been cut into the podiums and hands reach out from either side to trade red roses.

i find this image very touching. a less-touching observation was made, though:
the image compares between the leaders of iran that call for erasing the zionist entity from the map of the world and actively support organizations aiming at liberating palestine from this "temporary" regime by deliberate murdering civilians, and the leaders of israel whose only narrative is protecting the existence of the state of israel by destroying iran's nuclear facilities. this comparison is outrageous, false, and is nothing but anti-israeli propaganda.

while i agree that a comparison of the speech bubbles does render this off the mark, that is not the point of the cartoon. the focus of the image has to do with war rhetoric vs the people's wishes, and the final statement "and is nothing but" is not valid. wouldn't it be nice if we could all just get along?

it's a nice idea, and worth nothing more nor nothing less. i've read the comments, and it seems that some people are into it and some aren't. and that doesn't make it any less of a good idea.

do i think it'll make a difference? not really. is the israeli war rhetoric the same as the iranian? not even a little bit.

---
thursday:

the day arrived. i got up early (i'm still sore at having gotten used to the times), and spent two hours on my paper. i arrived at the poetry conference just as it was beginning, and the first couple of hours were mostly very interesting. the head of our department gave the opening speech, as usual, and i have to say that i was blown away by its poetic nature - the conference title was "poetry in unexpected places", and to hear it in a description of a clinical case was too meta to go unrepeated:
a young woman in an institute for psychotic adults repeatedly takes slices of bread out of her bag, carefully peels them, bites holes into them; periodically, she goes for walks in the institute in which she occasionally touches the walls and mounts the rims of sidewalks, tracing circuits around an emptiness she makes emerge, an emptiness that is the rudiment of signification that for her is never guaranteed but must always be made, poeien, anew. poetry addressed to no-one, in a language, if it is a language, absolute in its singularity. a language for which there is no dictionary, no treasury of signifiers. and yet creating a hole in the real that makes the dwelling of this subject in this world, on this earth, possible.
- professor shirley sharon-zisser
the first session ended with a discussion with one of my fellow students - she's incredibly sensitive (for better and for worse), and lacking in self-confidence for the simple reason that she, like most students, doesn't understand what the academic institution is all about. what i explained to her was then re-explained to me on another level: on my way from that chat to continue working on my paper, i ran into another fellow student who told me that it is possible to resubmit a paper once it's been returned. amazed, and especially hopeful in light of last week's paper being a disaster, i send last week's paper's professor an email asking her if this was the case:
that's the whole point of a graduate seminar - to prepare you for the academy where revision and resubmission are normal.
well, i'll be.

aside from a side-quest to pick up something for a friend of mine, i spent the following three hours working really hard and finishing my paper. my original plan was to cut it down to size - a "referat" submission is supposed to be 10-15 pages, and a seminar paper 15-25 - and then restore the cut elements for the seminar submission due in a month and a half's time.

hah! shortening a paper. that's *never* possible. so i emailed it to the lecturer, printed it out, handed it in to the secretary, and walked outside:
the perfect moment
i step outside
it's quiet, with a light breeze to round of the edges of the suns rays
and my heart quivers
bursting with uncontainable excitement
nervousness
after releasing my son into the wild
sending him off, in the hope that he is ready to do me proud
yes, i know, it's a crappy poem, but that moment was as sweet as all that. i hadn't realized just how much that paper meant to me; it's the first step towards doing my duty to shakespeare, the most innocent and mind-bogglingly intense poet / playwright ever. now that it's all written down and formalized, i've gotten in touch with airplane in the hope that we can turn this into a graphic novel... i already have some wicked ideas ;)

---
after a cup of coffee with the friend i'd run the errand for, who made an interested point about most of us being incapable of stopping and reflecting, we went to the anime screening. romeo x juliet: too soon. too soon. it's absolutely wonderful, the mix-and-match shakespearean stories and stories-within-stories, and that being just the first episode, is inspired. and the dragonsteeds? no problem, even if i think that's a terrible name for them. but william shakespeare himself, portrayed as a sex-starved paedo, is offensive precisely because i have just demonstrated that he most certainly wasn't.
speaking of offensive: the boondocks wins first prize. it's horrible, and i will be watching more of it. finally, the japanese x-men is highly reminiscent of akira. which is weird. and not uncool.

i was exhausted, and the guys were a bit too loud for me, but it was still a fun screening.

---
one of the guys (a doctorate student) gave me a lot of helpful advice, and as i waited for the bus i checked my email and received the first comment on my paper from my advisor: on the one hand, he's enthusiastic about reading my paper. on the other, there are a couple of points that are going to upset him and i KNOW my tone was arrogant. i need help with that, unfortunately, i don't actually know how to take that down a notch.

pg and i went to maker's for dinner, and after that i wasn't feeling so good. i went to bed early and hoped it wasn't food poisoning.

---
friday:

8.30: wake-up

noon: on blades to an awkward picnic birthday party
- i was the only bringer of beers, nobody brought a bottle opener
- most of the time was spent in a circle making introductions
- some of the time was spent with a frisbee. i was the only one who could manage it.

2.30pm: bailing for a sandwich and coffee, with no time to return home
- the sandwich was vegan, and oddly so
- the barista mistakenly gave me regular milk
-- i didn't notice
-- she felt terrible
-- we're both lucky my lactose intolerance isn't serious
-- i had to explain to her that she deserved her tip, in particular because she'd warned me

4pm: a lot of us arrived for the rollerblading
- only to discover that we were supposed to be there at 4.45pm
- we'd all have planned our days differently
- i practised some jumping, and i think that was productive

4.45 - 7pm: a good roll.
- good exercise
- pg's mum and i convinced her to join us, and all in all it was a pleasant afternoon.

*time slows* a shower, dinner, coffee, the rest of astérix et la surprise de césar (i can't believe i remember it so well from the comics!), and scrapper visiting for three hours of music, words and ideas.

hmm: etymology of the word remember, as in to put together the pieces of the bodies? (from the myth, can't recall the speaker's name)

---
today:

what kind of day was today? it was a perfect day. it began with a two-hour interview for a british woman doing her doctorate research on the conflicting morality of political views, which is a topic i'm almost always happy to wax lyrical on. if i can get a hold of the transcription i'll be making it available online. from the coffee shop, i stepped out into a beautiful spring day, and it wasn't hard to convince pg to join me for breakfast at our new local hangout, clementine.

i ate far too much, it was all delicious, and read jazz poetry (it's an assigned work for one of my courses) with jazz playing in the background (coincidence?), and i was halfway through my coffee when i began feeling sleepy. i paid, shuffled home, and passed out on a chair in the lounge in the sunlight, woken sometime later by pg telling me to go to bed. what followed was the deepest, most peaceful nap that i recall having for the last while, and i guess on some level i'm still in that moment, hanging on, as it were.

...

pg and i went to pick up our numbers for the rollerblading / half-marathon on friday, i bought running shoes because they look cool and were reasonable priced at %50 off (and i've been looking, it wasn't *really* impulse shopping), and then we stopped at le guffre for a perfect waffle and tea, great music in the background and a warm, european atmosphere: it was more pleasant and romantic than any of our experiences in austria. go figure :P

home, salad, futurama; a chat with my mum, and now it's time to either get productive or crash. tough call, if tomorrow's 6.30am wake-up is to be believed :P

---
oh, america. defeating science? that's just sad. it looks even sadder after reading about new firehoses.

piracy economics: rob reid on numbers mythology

elon musk is my hero. speaking of heroes, he almost looks like he's going to cry when discussing neil armstrong.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

again?! how??

how the heck is it past midnight already??? i recall waking up stupidly early for four *hours* of lacanian theory, which was painful in spite of it being a beautiful morning and having been jumpstarted by marilyn manson - slutgarden.

---

i haven't discussed the latest security situation. we're all on edge because of the iranians in particular (see the last part if you're in a hurry), and in addition the palestinians are bombing our southern cities again. let's not even talk about the french murders... things are tense and unpleasant, and as usual we are not top dog, no matter what palestinian propaganda assures you.

as i stepped out of the building to pay a quick visit to the library, sirens throughout tel aviv began blaring. considering the fact that we're on alert due to our strained situation, and that i was not aware that a warning had been issued, i was certain that horrible things were going to happen soon. but nobody else ran screaming into the supposedly safe zones, so i carried on towards the library, hoping that it would count for some protection.

as i approached the corner of the building i heard booming noises off to the south, and a quiet panic set in. then the booming became distinctly paced, and i realized that it was the sound guys setting up for the weekly performance on the grass. then i wondered if perhaps the sirens had been a part of the sound check too...

but no, those were real. "but there were warnings all over!" i was told later - but i don't know a single person who'd heard or seen them. wtf?!

...

it's not that i don't think the whole iran / israel "we love you" campaign isn't a brilliant idea - i really do respect it and think its intentions are wonderful, however familiar they may seem. unfortunately, it holds absolutely no meaning because neither of our countries has a meaningful democratic process. even if we could get every israeli on facebook on board, nothing would happen.

---

i picked up a salad on the way to the office, having a little trouble with the cashier who wasn't concentrating and put a bunch of other stuff on my credit card. i arrived at work when everyone was out for lunch, and walked in to discover that my station had been pulled apart. it's one thing to have to hunt for a chair - a regular occurance - but it's another thing entirely to lose one's desk. i ate lunch, then took my leave: i think i offended the guy i share a room with because i told him i wasn't interested in wasting time setting everything up again.

once home, i crashed for the better part of an hour and woke up only slightly less buggered than i'd been. i had lunch with pg and watched the final episode of the second season of community, which was awesome, and then spent the next couple of hours writing formal process documentation.

then it was time to get cracking on my paper that's due tomorrow. i am very, very lucky - it turns out i was right, and that the indexing was the hard part. the rest of the paper, while wordy, is flowing now that i have the key set up and i'm fairly confident that i'm going to be turning in a good paper tomorrow.

first world /rich people's problems: having to decide which parts of the paper to cut for tomorrow's hand-in, that will be restored for the paper due in a month and a half and carrying a heck of a lot more weight.

eyesight blurred, perhaps it's better to rest now and work early. what's happening to me?! :'(

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

the late list

waking up: just as tired as when i went to bed

dusty prepositions: the dust was in the air all day, in my throat, even

sans coffee: i had an appointment in the early afternoon with the oral hygienist and didn't pack a toothbrush; i broke down around 11am and had an apple, though. it did make the french class tougher; i still learned a lot.

purging: i ran into a fellow student, and we hoped that the gravity of our quick chat would lead to catharsis and not just bum us out for the day

super-productive: work was great. i Got Shit Done. and was pleased.

dentist's office: i arrived early, the previous guy hadn't arrived, so i didn't have to wait for the tooth scraping to commence. it felt like... a great scratch for an itch i didn't know i had.

a moment's pause

proust: sounds like some interesting reading. i was dazed and bombed and should've walked in with a larger cup of coffee.

referat wrongs: so apparently i've been overdoing the sonnets paper. or not, because i have plans for it - but i probably shouldn't have been this stressed.

yeats reading: yeats is cool, but the aged french teenagers sitting in front of me most definitely weren't. playing with their iphone and whispering incessantly; this wasn't school, why the hell were they there if they weren't interested?!

sour-faced: me on my way home having left after the evening turned hebrew.
bed: but not rest. caffeine, perhaps? i got up for dinner and community when pg returned.

i began working on my paper by not working on my paper (see below), and then had a revelation!
there was this moment, a few minutes ago, where everything that i've been bothered about vis-a-vis my paper for thursday just became abundantly clear. and with that realization came another one: my paper has magically doubled in length and i didn't even notice. maybe just wishing for something enough IS enough.

i know the identity of the dark mistress, and i'm pleased about it.

---

a quick look at serj tankian's poetry

bill hicks' cut scene: not his best, but not bad. the homosexuality bit was weird - i can't figure out what he's suggesting only because the audience reaction is so off. (for the whole letterman apology, which is actually quite impressive, click here). hicks' reaction is interesting too.

on a completely different note: this is a great article on gaming of the 90s.

Monday, March 19, 2012

early morning redeath

it's late, and i'm exhausted again - and i've lots to do on my paper. i've also got a bunch of other things that need doing...

i lost an hour and a half of my life this morning to co-conspirator and another half an hour to wordsworth, who took over our class and repeatedly said nothing intelligent or interesting while doing so in the most patronizing of tones.

ugh.

it was another beautiful day, and after i got home i took pg to lunch. the food was delicious but contained far too much dairy for my poor system; i wouldn't have ordered the kiesch if i'd suspected. i suppose the new israeli version of top deck that i had for dessert didn't contribute for the better, either.

i napped for a while, then finally got around to a piece of work that i have not been looking forward to. it took a while to figure out what i was supposed to be looking at, then a while longer to get the test data sorted out, and *just* as i got a handle on everything i received a mail informing me that i needed to produce a report that nobody's asked me for yet: in this case, they were doing it by hand. i created a function that would have worked like a shot if not for all three applications i was using crashing randomly, but once they were done having their moments i could sign off and join pg in taking the dog from her parents for a walk.

we got to discussing our apartments and our plans for my tenant, and the debate was long and involved. her parents were home by the time we returned, so we included them in the conversation and i'm really pleased we did - at least three of us now agree wholeheartedly about the way to proceed, and pg more or less as well so we're all good :)

one of the tasks i've got to do right now involves filling in another form for the insurance company that's supposed to have released my severance pay three months ago - it's taken them a month to get back to me since our last interaction and of *course* they called when i was in class :S

*sigh*

i can see myself crashing early again; i've got another early morning to look forward to... and my eyesight's all fuzzy already...

Sunday, March 18, 2012

half of half-and-half

early morning: i now have a delightfully competent french teacher! so the initial total french freakout was worth it. she just talked and the rest of us looked silly. the rest of the lesson was an absolute pleasure.

i spent the lacan lesson yawning, and it ended on a discussion of frustration and privation and i could totally feel that.

it was a beautiful day today. pg and i bussed home, stopping at the pharmacy where i had the idea that they'd save a heck of a lot of time if they'd have one pharmacist available for consultation to deal with all the people who wait forever in silence only to have to ask their questions when they get to the counter, which holds up everyone else. we then continued on to the lawyer's office.

last week we consulted with a lawyer who sits in plush offices and gives really good advice. this week we consulted with a lawyer who sits in less comfy offices, gives really good advice and gives it at less than half the price.

well, shit. pg signed the first check and in a week i'll take the rest of it, and we'll be covered.

we stopped for lunch breakfast at benedict's, and we both enjoyed the meal thoroughly. we both ate too much, even. afterwards, when i had to be heading to work, we together discovered just how tough finding the tel aviv - herzeliya line can be when outside of our neighbourhood...

we ran into a friend of mine who's sick, and i immediately got paranoid. once on the bus i started feeling awful, almost certain that it was related :(
on the bus, i began to worry that my hearing's overly-sensitive - although it could just be that the two people i asked to turn down the volume in spite of their using headphones, even the one four rows away, might well have been listening too loud.

weird moment: my phone told me that it was raining, and i looked up and saw nothing but sunshine. eh???

work was fun but tough, and definitely constructive. my boss and i sat arguing over algorithms for a while, and after all taxing my brain i returned home to put together some premeditated poetry for the reading i thought was going to be tomorrow night but will only be next week.

dinner and a half a movie: astérix et la surprise de césar reminds me how beautiful the original artwork is - what an incredible translation! unfortunately, we're having trouble with the subtitles :S

now it's late, and i can't decide if i have it in me to work on my paper or if i need to crash first and wake up early. i sense the latter happening :$

icewind psychobabble

another mopey day, spent mostly in front of my pc with sore legs and an entirely impatient and unmotivated brain. i got remarkably little done.

in the afternoon, i took a walk to the beach to meet with urchin. it was a visually beautiful day, only the wind was strong and icy and i wasn't dressed for it. the day turned miserable and shivery pretty quickly. i hope it doesn't make me sick.

urchin and i had a long talk about terrible things (although there were some silver linings), one of the most awful bits being that she told me what happened when she went to see a psychiatrist about it.

---

psychiatrists are dangerous. they apparently know next to nothing about psychology, and their methodology is essentially "prescribe drugs, if they don't work prescribe different drugs. repeat if necessary". particularly horrifying is the combination of drugs that urchin was prescribed and what they tell us of the psychiatrist's attitude towards traumatic experience: when life deals you lemons*, sleep lots and put on a happy face.

* in this case, really fucks you up with a curveball

shit, i could prescribe sleeping tablets and anti-depressants to anyone too.

---

i got back home so cold that my hands weren't functioning properly, and as soon as they were warm again i dressed properly and headed off to an evening of fluxx and munchkin. it was fun, didn't run too late, and i was completely exhausted by the time i got home. that, coupled with the academic strike finally being over and pg and i having early classes three days a week now, was a good excuse to go to bed early.

---

after days of existing with my pants around my ankles (metaphorically, of course), i have decided it's time to pull them up and head back into the breach.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

for science!

it appears that it's more likely that the neutrinos apparent speed was due to a testing issue.

in completely unrelated news, this take on america pulling funding from unesco is quite poignant. you only need to watch the main segment, you can skip the first half guilt-free.

on a similar note, though: alec baldwin makes a good case. i don't like peta, but that doesn't make this point less correct. zoos too are terrible, by the way, even though they're definitely not bad as circuses.

---

we watched synecdoche, new york last night, and suffered in spite of my appreciation for the mise en abyme. i have come to the conclusion that i absolute loathe philip seymour hoffman and the movies he plays in. this, red dragon and happiness completely destroy the impression made by his choices of working with the big lebowski, punch-drunk love and boogie nights (although i hated his characters in those movies, they're still awesome movies).

early night, early morning, and i should be getting cracking with something now :P

Friday, March 16, 2012

closure

the afternoon was full of awkward moments, applying for jobs online, contemplating how much of an asshole "the boss" is*, and then, finally, having it all out with pg.

* and how glad i am, in retrospect, that they don't want me anymore. the rejection hurts, but what's really been bothering me is how terribly employers handle their companies. i almost want to hit fast-forward on my life just to get to the point where i'm running my own, because *damn* it kills me to think how pre-post-industrialized western society still is.

the big issue with pg is how she'll be if we move a long way away together. the big issue for me is that she's not prepared to think about it until she's on her way. i know that no change is necessarily ultimate or permanent, but i do believe that forethought is forearmed. and i like having strong forearms.

---

brené brown: listening to shame: good talk.

eeyore

i'm miserable. and mopey. and grumpy, frustrated, and everything feels dark and oppressive. it's so bad that it was rainy and gloomy when i went out to run a couple of errands, and when the sun suddenly came out and everything was perfect... i didn't care.

i met up with nystire who joined me on my mission; something that he said to me towards goodbyes upset me, and joined the rest of the causes in leading down a mental road to despair.

-- removed: a rant on humanity that really isn't fair --

i haven't wallowed in a long, long time. maybe i just need the catharsis.

errand

wednesday night i went to bed with a blinding headache - perhaps it was the cupcakes, perhaps it was the end of a world that i'd been slapped with. i woke up early yesterday morning and swung into the final push. what i ended up handing in was a huge improvement over what i'd gone to bed with, but still fell short of the required length and academic propriety. still, i handed it in and all i can do is hope for the best.

my boss called in the middle of the morning, and my heart jumped up into my throat. not only because i hadn't so much as picked up the phone since sunday, but also because i was horrified that there'd be some emergency that needed handling.

i cannot express how much of a pleasure it is to work for someone who can appreciate academic pressure and makes allowances for it - he just wished me luck and told me he'd like to meet in the evening.

after submitting my paper, and a telephone argument with pg about unloading the dishwasher*, it was time for two hours of anime and then i went to work for a half an hour status report and priority shifting. the interesting news is that they want to apply for a patent on the system i've built. i wondered, on my way home, about the fact that my name probably won't be attached to it even though its design really was a team effort. it's a good thing i don't care much for patents; i think they're irrelevant, they stifle the industry and i'd rather not get involved. also, this one probably isn't viable anyway.

* i'd unloaded unwashed dishes by mistake.

washing dishes: i can handle that. what i don't get is the damned dishwasher. ignoring the fact that i don't know what all the buttons and knobs are for, i just don't have what it takes to determine whether what's inside is dirty or clean. i'm also incapable of cleaning the dishes "just enough, but not too much" to be placed in the dishwater. if i'm already washing the damned things, then why aren't i doing it properly and ignoring the machine???

after getting home and resuming the dishwasher argument, the penalty for which was no dinner, we settled down with alcohol and asterix the gaul, then crashed early.

i've now breakfasted, and decided that it's time to get some friday stuff done before buckling down to work on a) the next paper and b) work. it's been a long, crazy two weeks and i'm going to try to be more focused for this one coming up.

---

just because "the majority of drugs tested in animals never make it to humans at all" doesn't mean that this exercise-free gluttony enabler won't. i wouldn't mind if it did.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

almost nosebleed o'clock

today: exhausted. early four hour lacan notwithstanding, i came home early to try and make progress on my papers. the earlier bombshell didn't help. the talk with my mother and the mission to urchin's photography exhibit did, a little. acquiring tickets to the doof festival would have been a sweeter experience if an icy wind hadn't come up as i left the apartment, but hot soup in front of the tail end of asterix in britain righted that.

i don't know how much i've accomplished, only that i think i'm going to hand in the paper tomorrow in spite of it being sub-par. notice the singular: paper. reprieve! one of the papers is only due next week. still tough, but less so.

my head's splitting, my vision's swimming, and i don't feel so good. maybe it's the cupcakes.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

running on empty

i just had the floor fall out from under me. after a week of excitement, thrills, distractions, expenses, long debates and general wonder, the offer that seemed too good to be true has turned out to be so.

after a couple of days of research, some on the part of my family, some online, some through friends, i called the boss up a few minutes ago to make my offer. not only did he not appreciate it, he refused to make a counter offer and *click* that's the end of the story.

---

i will carry on looking for work there, and i'll try to pick up what little pieces of my papers i can salvage to hand in tomorrow. i've learned a lot during this past week, and i've invested a lot of time and money in learning it. i hope he responds positively to my email, and if he doesn't, then i hope i'll find something equally as interesting.

but oh, man - this is a serious bummer.

behind closed doors

i finally got another page done, crashed, then proceeded in the morning. the problem is that i'm so damned excited about all the things that need sorting out for the new job that i keep finding myself doing other things... :/

---

after a long morning in front of the pc, i met up with pg and we went to see the advocate. holy crap, a prenuptial agreement costs a *lot* of money. but apparently it should be enough to convince the authorities that we're really an item.

it's gotten to the point where the only thing that's missing is a ring and a ceremony, both of which are purely symbolic anyway. i kinda feel like we just got married behind the world's back.

---

i had just enough time for a disorientatingly short nap at home before walking to the dentist for another filling. i told the dentist it didn't feel right before i left, and he tried to assure me that it was just the anaesthetic - but it wasn't, and closing my mouth has been uncomfortable since :(

exhausted, i crashed on the couch when i got home and was woken up in time to gobble down dinner, tweak something on the department website, strap on my blades and grab a cup of coffee for the way. the route tonight was mostly great, but aside from the good exercise* tonight's run was more about the social. we did a lot of talking and discussing and arguing, and it was all enjoyable.

* my back! i feel like i'm getting old. it could have been all the jumping, though

i felt a bit faint when we got back upstairs, but plenty of water and a packet of chocolate took care of that. now that i've gotten this out of the way, it's time to wipe out a can of tuna, shower, and crash.

Monday, March 12, 2012

hokey pokey

[this post totally delayed because weird things happened to my internet connection, it's dated about four hours later than it should have been]
wow! i totally left out the biggest deal of yesterday: pg and i finally made it to the bank (it took me about half an hour to drag the poor girl out of bed that early in the morning) and transformed my bank account into a shared one. it might not have been a big step, but it most certainly felt like one.

...

fast forward to a short while ago, when i called up the boss to ask what he thought of my 2am email. it turns out he's suitably happy, so the ball is about to get rolling.

!!!

i finished the reading for this morning's class just before leaving home, and the class itself was a lot of fun and without a doubt the most argumentative that i can recall. the semester's off to a great start!

i went to work, had my priorities shuffled around again, fought with php and javascript for a couple of hours (did me no good at all), then came back home to focus on my studies.

*brain buzzing* now to get busy with that *brain buzzing*

[just prior to finally posting]

distraction - more college applications, more money outflowing, but including delicious dinner and most of asterix in britain in french.

*brain buzzing* now to get busy with that *brain buzzing*

bottom lines

i was broken this morning. and yet, somehow, a class on lacan wasn't only "not bad" but actually pretty darn interesting. weird.

a meeting to organize an event i might well not be here for was kinda boring, but the five minutes i spent afterwards with the head of the department was awesome - i have been informed, in no uncertain terms, that even if i'm forced to cut my semester short i will be able to write my papers and will be welcome to continue working on my thesis next year remotely. the only issue is four credits that i have left to take and whose taking will be at the discretion of whatever institution will have me.

cool ^_^

i had lunch with pg's brother, and then shambled off to work. why shambled? because i wasn't just tired today. today was HOT. a HUMID. it was too uncomfortably hot even for a spring day, and it's not spring yet. silly me, i left home with a sweater and my ski jacket. merely carrying them was unpleasant.

i worked until i was too tired to continue, and it took about an hour for me to get home during which i played hero academy on my iphone while reading on it between turns.

pg and i went to the pharmacy to buy supplements - egads, but they're expensive - but at least i now know what to call myself.

after a decent dinner i crashed on the couch for an hour or two - judging by the dreams i had, i *really* had a lot to process. the nap was followed by a severe, painful, and lengthy coughing fit (followed by some of my dinner, but you probably didn't want to know that), and that was followed by a hell of a long time going through an unpleasant university application process for pg for the next academic year.

*sigh*
it was mostly so that we could say that we've done it.

it's now 2.30am, i have yet to do a stitch of work on my papers, and i have to be up in six hours. this is not a good week for the papers to be due.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

what am i doing?

the weekend in summary:

the weather was perfect. the desert was beautiful. the driving was long time-wise, but short and interesting experience-wise. the festival's "system" was well thought out, everything was controlled and the vast majority of the people there were great.

for me, festivals are first and foremost about the music - not this one. my usual trick is to sleep during the night and wake up for the morning set, because i'm a day person. on friday morning, at 7am, the music was turned off. that was upsetting. there was little music played during the day, and only some of it was good (although what was good was REALLY good).

i hadn't brought anything to read because i didn't think i'd get a chance. what that means is that i was forced to spend my friday doing absolutely nothing; pg and i just hung around, talked, ate every now and again... it was perfect. i may not have wanted it, but it was probably the most relaxing day i've had in - i don't know, even the one or two great weekends i've had during the past year haven't been so utterly disconnected, and i really needed that.

the music that started last night's party was nice, but not very bouncy, and i went to bed early already disappointed by my suspicion that there wouldn't be a morning set. i slept beautifully (i'd done a lot of that since thursday, at least), and i lay in my sleeping bag listening to deep, groovy beats for an hour or two convinced that if i got up to dance the music would end.

eventually, i had to get up to pee. i milled around to the dance floor, and for the most part didn't get off it until we left, and that was long before the music stopped. this morning, especially after yesterday, was just awesome. everything was just right, there was no space for worries or responsibilities.

my only complaint, really, is about the sound system. it was too damned loud, and without earplugs we would have done our hearing a serious disservice. that's totally unnecessary, and rather sad.

bottom line: a wonderful weekend away with my girlfriend and her brother that happened to include a fantastic party.

after getting home and showering, we went to pg's sister's to record a conversation for her studies. my canadian aunt called me up when we got there to do some planning ^_^

we came home afterwards to eat dinner before i sat down at the pc. my mother called me when we got here to do some other planning :) [hers involves something tougher to deal with than mine, so this conversation only rates a :)]

i've been studying technology related to tuesday's interview, and now that i've gone past bedtime i need to skim through a few pages of one of lacan's seminars before class tomorrow... hooray.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

happy wednesdays

rushing off to the desert for three days, so a list:

* important emails 1: follow-up to the meeting
* four hours of freud and lacan, 6.30am early every wednesday?
* methodical, long work day (finally found and solved the issue)
* terry pratchett - dark side of the sun on the bus and hive - tricky game!
* i ran into an old air force team-mate getting off the bus; it was awkward
* important emails 2: all sorts of updates needed to be sent.
* community and dinner, the dinner was better than the episodes
* slow waltzing the dog: she just didn't need to go, apparently
* packing: quick and simple
* scrapper surprise: i didn't realize he didn't realize i was serious about moving

---

today:

* dead sleep instead of working on my papers
* pg stress - parking / packing / party pressure. and of *course* the bank isn't open.

i haven't had a holiday, so here it comes. three days of being totally irresponsible. and we're off!

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

backlash: monster of mucous

at least i slept alright... but since i've been up, it's been hacking and coughing and sore throat etc.

lung butter isn't good for breakfast.

*a-HEM*

life hacking

today... was a really good day. thank you, weather, for being appropriate :)

work wasn't amazing, but halfway through i got a call from sorter - the investor, with few reservations, was impressed and is interested. hooray!

then i went to the interview that i've been getting all excited about. in short - it was comfortable, the man is incredibly likeable, and as long as pg and i demonstrate that we've done our homework - he wants me. for a minimum three year contract. in a field i love. in a city i love. if words could express how exciting this is, your screen would be shaking and little fireworks would be going off behind it.

today... was a really good day.

i went past sorter's for a quick debriefing and a whiskey, getting a bit lost because he'd told me his street number was in the forties and the buildings on the road i was on somehow skipped numbers 33 through 53. that's just weird.

i ran into pg on the way home, we ate dinner, i talked with my mom for half an hour about how incredibly things can change (she had good news too), and then we were off for the purim rollerblade.

it was slower than usual because *obviously* we have to show off our costumes to as many people as possible; at least this year there were great outfits. pg and i veered off for frozen yoghurt on the way home, and now it's time for bed because wednesday's are back to being stupidly early days again.

*shakes head*
wow. this is really, really awesome.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

sunshine, children playing and construction

i finally called quits (with parting advice) around 5.30am. i was up at 9.15, springing out of bed and desperately trying to shake the exhausted sleep fog from my brain because the guy i've been waiting for to call me finally did.

i went back to bed, but i was too excited to really fall asleep again. also, my body decided that it was a good time for respiratory problems so i probably interfered with pg's sleep as well :(

...

after pg left for university, i dragged myself out of bed. the first email of the day was from sorter - to express his delight. i checked out our alpha, and it DOES look good. co-worker has finally got a handle on things, and we're ready to show it off. this is actually quite exciting! even though we just proved that we can manage just fine without investment, too. it would be nice to be able to pay salaries, though :)

it's a beautiful day, and i have a potentially life-changing job interview in about five hours. i'm going to calmly get dressed, take the dog for a walk, then go to work. my brain is buzzing with possibilities.

hacking it

almost 4.30am, after a long but productive and generally pretty good day. co-worker and i are busy putting final touches on sorter's project's alpha, he's presenting to a potential investor tomorrow and it's looking good ^_^

---

great news - monday's class is a fun and friendly one!

once i got to work, i started on a very serious exercise: adding an animated graphic to the status messages and preventing the user from clicking multiple times when a large request has been sent. it fascinates me how little effort is required to *really* impress my users, when the stuff that's hugely complex is usually met with "ah. okay. there was something else we wanted help with..." :P

after the rush of success from that first mission, i met with sorter and co-worker to go over the project together and see where we stand. we had a lot to discuss and i was well pleased to find that everyone was on the same page.

the rest of the day was successful, if draining. what i had to do wasn't very complicated, but it was on particularly sensitive data and that meant double and triple checking everything, including the results of the automated checking :/

i had very little time at home, just enough to drop my bags and say hi to pg before rushing off to... a game of munchkin. haven't played that in a while - and it was actually a lot of fun. i attribute it to a number of things, first and foremost the mixture of decks and second to a horrible first moment in which i excitedly placed a card without reading its flavour text, but using its name. i needed a moment of silence, in which i shouted and flailed my fists at the uncaring sky. that was enough to make me care, and the guys were playing it up solidly and the entertaining far outweighed the frustrating.

weird hebrew: the expression for "expiry date" or "expired" is almost identical to "a pug attacks". now that we've thought of it, we'll never hear it the same again :P

i shouldn't have eaten all those cookies.

i walked home attached to my phone, and it amazes me no end that i didn't step in anything. after dinner and a bit of futurama, i sat down at the pc to get productive. hah! i spent an hour quibbling to get a page up to make the system administration easier... it felt ironic, even if it wasn't... and after that i finally got going with sorter's. the biggest delay is from co-worker's side. i wanna go to bed already.

on a different note: only three or four coughing fits today. only one of them in a really uncomfortable place (in class). i want my clear lungs back!

Monday, March 05, 2012

crippling exhaustion

two magic words.

possibly influenced by the lack of oxygen due to a stuffy nose, and the coughing's gotten bad. and my neck's out. all this followed by dreams about datasomething, not mining, but combining. or something else. i can't quite recall.

urgh.

worn out

it may have rained, and it may have poured, but at 6.30am this old man was up and about and most certainly not snoring.

the grind had resumed, or so i thought. i left a bit later than i should have (as usual), and arrived in class five minutes before it was due to not start. yep, the strike affects my first class. no matter, i had stuff to do: i found a computer in the faculty labs and did more prep for the interview that i'm hoping to have soon.

i was early for the second class, but then caught an update on facebook informing us that that class was cancelled too.

jeez :/

---

the annoying kid from the anime sessions came to sit with me; it was alright until we got into a religious debate, and then at some point i realized he was partially trying to make his case and partially just manipulating words. when i caught him out, he played it off with brilliant statements like "i don't really care about this stuff" and then followed those with things like "i think you should teach evolution and religion side-by-side, but i'm not really convinced about evolution."

eventually i realized there was no point to the debate and found myself quite agitated at his "strategy" - so much so that i was really uncomfortable, excused myself and walked out of the building. right into the heaviest rain of the day. when i took shelter in the next building, i asked myself if fleeing that talk was worth the cold drenching. i decided that it was.

---

at least it didn't rain on my way to work. i walked in to another emergency, this one my fault (i did something last week and tested it wrong, the resulting code did exactly the opposite of what we wanted), and then sat in for a long day of fiddling, tuning and oh-my-god-i'm-a-dba-again. *sigh*

i left the office just in time to miss the bus and have to wait more than half an hour for the next one, so i used that time productively by burning through my comics feed.

dinner was pleasant, the second episode of hellsing was pleasant, pg and i had a silly moment that got unpleasantly serious and took a while to chill out from, and since then i've been working on sorter's project - my co-worker has gotten the basics right, at least, and i have to admit that for such a simple, bug-riddled site it does the job and that alone feels right.

my cough's gotten worse. my paper's haven't gotten any longer.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

other people's misery

we just watched surrogates - great premise, well made.

achievements unlocked today:
1. i understand uart (that really isn't complicated)
2. i almost won two games of hero academy (but then i lost them)
3. after much deliberation, and almost writing an email to the professor, i decided that i'm going to do what she suggested. i don't think i understood what she was saying until about half an hour ago :P

just watched an incredible video on cosplay - they had me before 4.09. but then my heart skipped a beat.

dammit! it's closing on the end of the last day of "vacation"! it's not fair!

soreneck

not just "am sick" - been sick. the whole week, which would explain why i've been too tired to do anything. and i haven't gotten much rest, either - this morning i couldn't sleep because my back's still giving me grief.

the first thing i had to do today was pick a topic for my second paper learn more about sensors fix the css for sorter's project find the form that i need to take to the ministry of defense to prove that i'm covered for dental on the tooth that got bashed. i didn't find it.

after not finding it, pg and i stopped for lunch. then i checked my email and discovered that i've finally received my earnings from november - WIN! so i don't need to borrow cash from pg, and the cash that'll come in at the end of the month will do so without any more need for interference. hooray!

and i *think* my tenant got the hint that i expect the rent again. i have to note, it's annoying to have to remind him each month, but otherwise he's a great tenant and i like him as a person so i guess i'll keep dealing with it.

---

the preview to the last day, a movie coming out next year giving us a glimpse of what could happen if iran got the bomb. for someone living here, this is really, really creepy.

8 qualities of remarkable employees made me feel good about myself.

waving chickens

i went to bed at 4am, not satisfied but having gone to such lengths that i couldn't think anymore. i should get overtime for this, but aside from these hours being my "advantage" (usually, at least) the automatic assumption is that if there's a problem with the system at ungodly hours, it's my fault.

i woke up early-ish, and the first thing i did was check to see what had failed during the night.

nothing.

not a line. *knocks on wood, again*

this shit is making me superstitious. and i suspect that my code wasn't actually to blame for whatever was going on.

---

i've spent the day slowly slogging through the sonnets, with a couple of breaks here and there but none that could totally take my mind off the idea that on sunday we're back to school and i've tons to do for the sonnets paper and i haven't even picked a clear topic for the zombie one. i don't feel like i've had a vacation at all - last year we went to austria, and i caught up on all the wired magazines that had been collecting throughout the semester. this year? still piling up.

quandary: do i make full use of this last weekend to relax? or do i carry on grinding?

---

i made liver again tonight - it didn't come out as well as the first times, and pg and i both got aggravated over my kitchen incompetence :/

perhaps that was the universe's way of countering a moment that we'd had earlier in the day - we shared one that made me feel so glad to be alive just for that specific instant, and so lucky to be with her. she really is the sweetest thing, and it comes out in the most innocent of gestures. love - ridiculous, unexpressable, universal.

Friday, March 02, 2012

a comedy of earplugs

a comedy of errors, translated into hebrew and playing at the camerie theatre: brilliant acting, exquisite use of set and props, and most of the translations were inspired, even though the localization to ars (chav) was horrible. egeon's "chorus" was entirely unnecessary.

overall impression: meh. but not bad, all things considered.

dinner at cafeneto was pleasant - i haven't been there in the longest time - and was followed by fast shopping (we've barely been out of the house during the last few stormy days). i then went to an ex-teammate's birthday party at hemingway's - that's the second time i've been there, and *boy* am i glad that i remembered to take earplugs with me. i don't know how everyone else could stand the noise level, and the music's not even interesting.

i stayed long enough for a quick drink, then came home expecting to advance with my paper. only the system that was being troublesome all day hasn't settled down. something's wrong, i don't have a clue what it is, and i'm tired of this shit.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

roughing it

two things drove me to distraction today:

1. getting a phone call from the boss, informing me that i urgently had to deal with a problem that was caused by one of the developers integrating with my system without reading the api i'd provided and without performing basic testing.

that's very, very annoying.

2. later on, i received another phone call telling me that the system was experiencing strange issues. my head was stuck deep in sonnets, and it took a while to figure out that the patch i'd made for the previous issue wasn't safe.

*facepalm*

---

i'm up to four pages of my first paper, and although i've done the "tough stuff" already i can't transcribe things without verifying them... this is seriously slow going.

now taking a break: a comedy of errors in hebrew. i'm hoping it'll be as entertaining as a midsummer night's dream.

unproductive

it was really tough to drag myself out of bed this morning... as i did, my phone rang. in retrospect, i probably shouldn't have called myself an "idiot" when explaining to my boss that i'd shut my computer down before going to bed, forgetting that one of our services has to be run locally until i get into the office...

the problem with writing academic papers is that number of words are not the issue - but quality of words is. i'm still on the same two pages because i keep reviewing and rewriting them :P

on the lighter side of the day, i received an envelope from my previous employer with my final payslip - including compensation. i checked my bank account, and lo! i have more cash than i expected to at this point in the month. *breathes easier*

all the sons and daughters - part ii

[... continued]

an afternoon at work in the office - .net and javascript lie!!! they don't delete cookies like they say they do. why can't i hide third party cookies from other third parties?!

veganisms: the long argument.
it was a beautiful morning, and pg and i went to our new local so that i could have another eblt. totally awesome.
late sleeping, again no inclination to get out of bed.

i spent the night / morning in fitful sleep, restlessly dreaming euphorically about solving the issue of the dark mistress' identity using meta-reflexive readings. it was a bit nuts.

---
sunday:

ric and i walked and talked, then sat and talked, until rather late.
i didn't forget my umbrella! the long bus ride home seemed short because we talked the whole way.

the wedding was sweet: great place, the ceremony was simple and tasteful, the food was almost all good*, and while they didn't have whiskey they did have rum. the music was a bit bland, though, so i didn't really dance. at least it wasn't bad. it was nice to see the family, weird to see so many south africans. ric and i agreed that it would have been a lot less fun if we'd arrived alone.

* we missed the hors d'oeuvres, and the steak was tough.

the ride to the wedding was longer than we'd expected, but fortunately the event hall was right across from the stop so we arrived on time. the ride was mostly awkwardly quiet.
the veganism argument began online, just before i disconnected from the internet (until the next day). i won't lie, i found that stressful.
work was pleasant.
it was a late, rainy morning.

---
saturday:

i didn't get much studying done. i suffered pizza dreams after grabbing a slice from ric's :/

i had a nap, then ric arrived. he's far too south-african polite, and it would take until after the wedding for him to chill out a little.

nystire visited and we had lunch at goocha and frozen yoghurt at tamara's. i was hesitant to tell pg about it because that's a description of our idea of a pretty good date. she was jealous. i owe her :P

---
success and ethics

american warehouse conditions

all the sons and daughters - part i

[post divided retroactively]

it's been a long week, and it's almost over. on sunday, the second semester begins. i'm precisely two pages closer to the twenty or thirty that i am required to submit in the next two weeks. a stuffy nose and the odd cough tell me that i'm coming down with something, and i severely hope that i'm wrong. *cough*

the week. backwards. and in a bit of a rush:

---
wednesday:

dorian gray is a beautiful destruction of all that is good in the book. the changes were entirely unnecessary and all to the detriment of the story. great atmosphere, though. the actual story would have been handled wonderfully.

witnessing fighting on the other side of the road with a mouth full of shuwarma in the rain.

another fun creative writing workshop. i got all sorts of criticism on this is no time for an orgy, but it was appreciated. i'm intrigued that everyone thinks this is stuff i care about. i guess if i had time to write fiction i'd be taking those efforts instead.

paper time! i got a whole two pages done. to be fair, the introduction is probably the trickiest bit as i've already done all the hard work. i hope.

getting work out of the way: and the task list keeps on growing. at least i billed before the month was technically out - if things go as planned, i'll be back in black by the end of the month :)

early night, late morning. it was a blustery day - stormy and windy enough to make me incredibly glad that i didn't have to go to the office. i did have to take the dog for a walk, though, and i really didn't want to get out of bed. i tried to study some more after breakfast, but distraction set in.

---
tuesday:

hannah and her sisters is sweet. a lot of the characters' stupidity is painful to watch, though.
another evening of "i just wanna do nothing".

the vampire game was very, very cool. especially a private scene wherein my character was chained up in a room. my fairly weak, nerdy tremere. who just so happened to be able to conjure a spike and blood-boost his strength enough to free himself, grab the chains, put a corpse in his place and wait behind the door for his captor to enter the room. the sense of success was broken slightly by scrapper forcing me to role-play a really tough decision following that. getting into fictitious characters' heads is tough!

the no-can-do dentist delay: they called in the morning to ask if i could reschedule for a half an hour later, and i said no. i arrived ten minutes early (after an hour of travel), and was informed that i was the first on the list. fifteen minutes later i realized that somebody was being seen to and it wasn't me. "oh! we're terribly sorry, she must have snuck in!"
and you didn't think to check her name? thanks a bunch. could-have-dones included eating or drinking since breakfast, more work, and an earlier gaming session.

i got some tricky, pedantically demanding work done. i am well impressed by chrome's sign-in and sync functionality. speaking of which, there're new privacy issues with google. and i don't care. not because i don't think that privacy is important - i do - but so far the company has used my private info to make my personal experience better. i'll begin bitching when i think they're selling me out.

i began the day being forced to eat my hat on the health aspects of veganism. i'm not going to stop eating meat entirely, but i am going to shift my consumption to a lower gear and take pills instead.

---
monday:

due to the weather forecast we went rollerblading a day early. it was a solid blade, even though we've been lazy for the longest time, and we finished it with delicious vaniglia ice-cream. i sat too long on the internets instead of going to bed directly :/

it was a really, really cold evening.
after dinner, panty and stocking turned out to be a great enough disappointment that i deleted the rest of the season without prejudice. and the first episodes were so promising!
went to pg's parents to say goodbye and pick up the dog, they'll be gone for a couple of weeks.
on the way home i visited the library, they'd sent me an email informing me that the book i'd requested had arrived. i get the feeling i'm the only person writing on shakespeare: did i scare everyone else off? while reading the intro i was reminded of a hint in one of the early sonnets that partially explains the dark mistress' identity ^_^

[continued...]