Friday, August 31, 2012

no more exercise bike

ye gods, it's been a week too long to get it together and post to my blog. so i've been saving scraps and will now attempt to cover it all in one go. i'll probably get horribly distracted on the way, so the most important thing to note is that pg and i have finally revealed to our families that we're engaged. pg informed me in the wee hours of august 6th, and for various reasons it took us a long time to gather everyone in her family in one place so that we could break the news. my poor, long-suffering mother knew for weeks and had to make an effort not to tell anyone... thanks, mommy!

---
sunday:

why does the dog have to poop before we get to the municipality baggie station? she usually goes after we reach it, and all i had on me was a holey packet. what a wonderful start to the week! but it's not entirely her fault: the baggie station was empty anyway, so it wouldn't have made much difference :P

the first respondent arrived to take our exercise bike away, and was so enthusiastic when he saw it that i became certain that we should have taken cash for it. oh, well... you win some, you lose some :/

after securing lectures during the previous week by a bunch of friendly professionals and experts who required no incentive to participate in the film festival other than the reward of participating, my conversation with the editor of israel's most popular periodical left a bad taste in my mouth. he was adamant that no self-respecting authority would agree to give a lecture on any topic to anyone without appropriate compensation, and he's talking serious dosh. why are some people assholes?

the first workday of the week went smoothly, and i guess it was nice to hear that the boss wants me to stay on and hopes that i reconsider my position while i'm away. at least i have a safety net in case i don't get sorted in canadia...

i got home just in time to hit the climbing wall with pg. it was good, overall, but i was completely hopeless when it came to the overhang. towards the end i asked one of the guides and he explained the basic technique. also, he explained that it's all about visualizing the success before achieving it. it's kinda hard to believe in oneself when one's hanging off two grips after a difficult climb and one's arms and fingers are all feeling uselessly rubbery...

appleseed is kinda like final fantasy, only more excessively melodramatic. we really enjoyed watching it, though.

---
monday:

i met up with tahoma for an early breakfast on rothschild; we talked shop, mostly, and when he left for work i finished my coffee while working on my script before dropping off a screener in the postbox of one of the aforementioned lecturers.

it was a good morning. the slow shady walk home on a sunny day was completely rent asunder with an urgent call from the boss - everything was down, flashing red, and nobody had a clue what to do. i got home to discover that everything was fine and dandy - but between a git hiccup and scr and i not collaborating correctly we'd managed to mistakenly hook up the monitoring system to the development environment :$

i spent the next couple of hours emailing and doing chores, then caught the bus to work, continuing on my script. it's exciting to be making progress :)

lesson of the day: MUST - NOT - FORGET - GOLDEN - RULE: if i've already given notice, i shouldn't get upset if someone i've been working with is shooting himself in the foot with a lack of professionalism. even if it's with my project, it's no longer my problem.
why do i care so much?! :S

i finished the workday with a surprisingly quick database update (i'm used to twiddling my thumbs), and got home early to do some pre-evening shopping and exhausted arranging before pg's family arrived. the announcement of our engagement was met with calm pleasure, and we ate, talked and drank late into the night. and then pg and i went to her brother's place to talk and drink some more, after which i was *really* exhausted.

his reaction to the news was my favourite, though: "so? you guys signed a pre-nup ages ago - it's all the same!"
indeed. but for some reason, my family has responded with amusing slogans like "glad you're making an honest woman out of her" - i believe that sort of expression is a bit outdated. also, pg isn't sure she's ready for an actual wedding, as opposed to a quiet court signing, which means that we might find ourselves disappointing a fair number of people who are expecting a huge family reunion and festivities :P

no matter.

---
tuesday:

i got up for an early mission, and walking beneath the canopy of trees through the sweet, albeit short silence of no engines humming nor idiots hooting for an entire block filled me with joyous elation.

i enjoyed a long breakfast, and staved off the terror of cold-calling family by distracting myself with anything at hand.

tuesday was read comics in public day.
hopefully, some people will discover that comics are a full form of literature and are not confined to superheroes. although there are some pretty cool superheroes. comics are awesome. and more fun than novels.
i read sláine: books of invasions (volume 1), just another comic i bought years ago and haven't had time to sink my teeth into. i'm really glad i did! it's gorgeous. it's focused on the end of the story i summarized in my epic sestina of the horned god. it's "cool" factor is through the damned roof.

i sat with the other "readers" only for a short while before returning for a couple of hours of staring blankly at various database scripts, then returned for a bit more before meeting up with botchman for a chat.

half and hour of ear heat from the boss (really, i think i need a hands-free just so that i don't literally fry my brain*) before getting home for more congratulatory calls and then dinner with a few episodes of tiger and bunny. it's a great show :)

* cellphone radiation is not dangerous and doesn't cause cancer. but the damned thing does get hot enough to do other damage.

i was much too tired to go rollerblading. simply wasted.

---
wednesday:

i got up early again to have breakfast with the kid, who's just finished his engineering degree and is back in town. it made for a pleasant morning, which stopped being pleasant when i visited the secretariat to sort out some department website issues. it must have taken about an hour, which was a drain, and in addition i learned that the department cannot make allowances for me to study remotely and so i need to put my studies on hold.

i guess i'll be applying to mcgill when i get there in a couple of weeks - maybe they'll be ready to accept a last-minute boarding and i can figure out what to do about working from there.

---
i went straight to work and spent it in anguish. 90% of the work is attitude, and mine is oh-gods-i-need-to-get-out-of-here. you know, it's irritating when a software developer refuses to use a wiki to keep documentation up to date and to make it easy to access. it's absolutely stupifying, however, when a software developer demonstrates the inability to understand how a wiki works. scr and i wasted almost twenty minutes, but the moron refuses to accept the basic notions that make wikis great, like linking and editing.

jesus.

---
pg dragged me along to a needlefelting workshop. i made a sort-of smurf. it's a technique that demands a lot of patience. full disclosure: i don't have that much patience.

also, one of the women there (i was the first "boy needlefelter" the teacher'd ever had) was super-competitive. it's a gorram needlefelting workshop - we're *all* beginners. you don't need to keep apologizing for not being amazing :/

i had my first contact with "sabich" (egg and eggplant - i only realized there was egg in it when i started eating) on the way to drinks for tahoma's birthday, and it wasn't bad at all. the bar we went to was pretty groovy, with funky music and an eclectically cool and artistic vibe. the evening was pleasant - only i was a bit embarrassed because we were there to celebrate tahoma's birthday and one of the girls blabbed about pg and i becoming engaged; i didn't really want to steal his thunder.

pg's brother had invited me to surf the next morning, so as soon as we got home i went to bed. just as i was closing my eyes my mother called to offer us my grandmother's ring, which i'm surprisingly sentimental about and exceedingly grateful for!

---
thursday:

it was a terrible night, with sore feet and plain restlessness, and then suddenly it was almost time to get up and i'd finally passed into a brilliantly deep sleep with epic dreaming. when my alarm went off it roused me from slumber, but not from my dreams. getting ready and out of the house was tough.

the waves were as big as promised. here are my observations of the morning:

1. tel aviv doesn't have nearly enough beach for the number of surfers otherwise unemployed on a thursday morning. it was practically impossible to get anywhere where the waves were breaking without getting into a fight with someone, so we stayed on the outside where... nothing happened.

2. as pg's brother quipped: the water was so dirty that spitting became an act of cleaning. and you spit a lot when you taste that water, i assure you.

3. closer to the beach, there are rocks. lots and lots of sharp ones, with very little sand in between. i managed to do some serious damage to my feet and legs.

4. duck-diving is a lot harder with real waves. at one point i didn't even have enough energy left to try, and i bumbled through the rocks until i got to shore and walked around to try again :(

so i eventually left the water feeling a bit nauseous and with a chafed belly and properly sliced feet, but overall it was still an excellent way to start the day. i then paid the doctor a visit, to verify that my bloodwork was all good*, and then sat at a coffee shop for a perfect tofu salad and iced-coffee while responding to the flood of congratulatory emails.

* my cholesterol and vitamin d are both really low. this is not surprising. when the doctor told me to forget pills and just make sure i'm really getting some sun, i declined to cite research that suggests that this is not enough because i wasn't in the mood for an argument. i'd already bought pills, and i've only just now realized that the 200% RDA that each pill contains is based on the numbers before the revision. which means that according to dr gregor's estimate i should be taking about five a day...
so maybe i'll stick to two a day. and try to get out more.

the workday was one of the sparingly few in recent memory that ended on a good note, with the solid completion of the last of the projects. now all that's left is a bit of qa and knowledge transference, and then i'll have a week or two left to deal exclusively with job hunting, comic scripting, festival organization, saying farewell to everyone and packing up and tidying as much of my belongings as possible.

i was planning on scripting on the bus, but my time got hijacked by a fellow poet; there was internal tension throughout the conversation even though i was enjoying it - i've heard of writer's block, but what i'm experiencing is more like writer's crack...

i scarfed down a quick dinner and took a slow meander to the climbing wall to meet with scrapper. three times, i attempted the overhang. three times. on the first occasion my foot slipped, which was as much a tragedy psychologically as was my attempt to swing back to the wall afterwards. but i fared better in my other two attempts: i may not have managed to pull myself over completely, but i came pretty darn close! i'm super-satisfied with my progress, hopefully next time i'll make it to the top :)

we made some tough choices, and we both left with sore arms, hands and fingers when they shut down for the night. we talked over pasta on the avenue and while walking around dizengoff (egads! i haven't been out on the street on a thursday night in forever, so many interesting people! and some that i know, too :) ) and over coffee; it was late by the time i finally got home and realized just how badly i needed a shower.

i was going to crash, but i came across an email from robot entertainment that said that they'd decided to merge my accounts. alright! hero academy on steam FTW!

well, it's mostly alright, and they're currently re-adding my dissolved team packs and will hopefully synchronize my achievements. either way, i've been celebrating for the past few hours by getting my ass handed to me by someone with a nickname that's desperately in need of a vowel or two.

---
friday:

the day began with too much shopping; if i hadn't been listening to tool and a perfect circle in the queue the wait might have driven me demented. aside from the heaviness of the load - if i'd tried to do the same shopping last night i wouldn't have managed - i was bummed out because the frozen goods were mostly defrosted by the time i got home :/

i've spent today resting peacefully, posting this, playing a bit of hero academy, and not really getting into mails or the other stuff that needed doing. i guess that can wait for tomorrow. for now, more resting and gaming. it's been a long week, although most of it was good, and i think i deserve a short break.

apropos time: i can't wait until we leave for canada! but i want a few more hours in each day, and days in each week to get everything done and squared away first...

*sigh*

life really is what happens while you're making plans.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

a good squint

i wasn't kidding - i channelled this morning's inner disquiet into starting and completing a tricky little project today (after spending too much time on something else which reminded me why web development sucks). i'm pleased with the results and tomorrow will be ready to make the biggest and most important change: couple that with a good-news mail that suggests that another of my final projects has been rendered redundant, and i'll be outta there soon :)

i *did* spend too much time in front of the screen, though; my vision was all blurry by the time i finally got up to go for a walk with pg.

i walked with her halfway, then ran for a bit expecting to catch up with her later - but she was too fast for me. afterwards we took the dog for a walk to ze sushi, where we both ate too much (and i drank too much saki) before slowly meandering back.

---

thought for the day: bibi netanyahu, if i'm guessing correctly, is a genius. all the leftists are demanding "social justice" (a euphemism for socialism) and history tells us that that system doesn't work so well with democracy. so it may well be that he's bringing us around to a dictatorship in order to establish a socialist regime, in which case he'll have both the left and the right in his pocket - which even democratically would allow him a dictatorship...

---

RIP neil armstrong. i don't dig his attitude towards elon musk's projects, but the man is the first to take and experience the most important step in human history. for that he is eternal.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

early up saturday

nystire just sent me the six stages of debugging. too bloody right.

i've decided to try something new this morning: to channel the stress into productivity. so far it's started alright, what with taking the dog for a walk and loading the dishwasher. now to sink my teeth into work and get it done. i'm way past sick of it.

i read yesterday a reminder that attitude is all important when it comes to work, whatever you're doing. that's right. unfortunately, my attitude of late has been stuck on "i'd rather not".

Friday, August 24, 2012

hours gone

we just watched renaissance man, which may be sweet but falls short of decent plot writing even by 90s standards. and i watched a movie for the film festival as well, but i'm not at liberty to talk about it...

aside from that, i've done absolutely nothing of value today. i feel bad, because there's stuff i had to do, but it's too late now. i guess i'll just go to bed and hopefully pick up the slack in the morning.

tough nuts

it's been a long day, and i only got up a couple of hours ago. i responded to the first offer to take pg's squeaky exercise bike, and discovered i'd have to take it apart. this was going well until i hit the nuts, which pg and her mom had tightened to the point where the only way they were turning was into ungrippable washers. i hurriedly missioned to her mom's place to get her brother's keys and to her brother's place to get a (kind-of) monkey wrench, but that only wore down the edges faster.

so i started sending out messages to all the 46 interested people to see who has a pickup, and almost immediately confirmed a positive. putting the machine back together was a bit frustrating (okay, it was very frustrating), but we managed and i tested it and *phew* it's all good.

now i don't have the energy for anything else. pg was irritated not only because i woke her up but because i got stressed with the nuts and with putting it back together (i almost lost a fingertip, and have a couple of blood blisters as reminders), and i guess i'll join her in going back to sleep and trying to start the day again.

---
five minutes on economic growth and resources: what a great little video!

i didn't forget you, oh jerusalem

it's now a half past midnight, and after a week of craziness the system is now finally stabilized. i hope. the problem with intermittent issues and crappy tools is that they make debugging almost impossible. tonight we were fortunate to have the systems crumble again *and* i'd asked my boss to turn on my computer at work, and by using that station remotely i was able to run my code in debug mode and get to the core of the problem: another procedure that's been running just fine for months now.

in other words, this week the universe conspired against me. was it provoked? possibly. i blame surfing and watching a movie in the daytime :)

now that that's sorted out, i'm relaxed enough to try watching the movie that failed earlier... the combination of ubuntu not letting me watch it on the big screen even though it works fine on the small one and the boss sending me message after message when i was specifically trying to ignore him didn't do much for my nerves. and when i stress, i feel it. and now i believe i've earned a little respite.

---
i don't know how we managed to get out of bed so early this morning, myself in particular as i was deep into some more epic dreaming. we scrambled to get ready and stepped out into the last ten minutes of cool morning before the heat struck. we were pleasantly surprised to find the bus station almost deserted at that hour, and the bus to jerusalem was so quick that i only scripted a handful of panels. thanks, google, for caching ovid for me :)

jerusalem was burning, the sun searing and not much shade around. especially not near the western wall. we arrived about twenty minutes early, enough time to stuff cash into an envelope and write a nice blessing, and then we hid in the shade while my cousin and her family gathered for the ceremony.

i almost got away with not participating (i got the honor of carrying the torah scroll, which always makes me nervous), and although standing in the sun for an hour of prayers isn't my idea of a great way to spend a morning it was nice seeing them (i feel like i discharged a duty) and the barmitvah has really learned his stuff; he didn't just learn a few sentences here and there like most of us do, but has actually learned the entire weekly portion. in my opinion that's pretty hardcore for a thirteen year old.

pg was less than happy, though. she doesn't dig the separation of the men and women and after all the effort to go with me she decided to stay back during the "do".

*sigh*
fine. no more religious family duties for her. i get it.

we didn't stick around for too long afterwards, just enough to chat a bit and then painfully force ourselves through the intense heat and exhaustion to grab the bus back to the central station, where we stopped for coffee before returning to tel aviv. the ride back was a pleasure because we passed out for most of it, but alighting into even more intense and humid heat at the end of it was not welcome.

i crashed on the couch with the airconditioner on for an hour or two before getting some film festival organizing done, then went with pg to walk the dog and eat dinner at jeremiah. it was pleasant, but the portions were too big (and we finished them, because we're pigs) and the walk back was slow going.

...

i have a plan. it involves a shower, and then choosing between a movie and bed. i've got this.

---
it may not be a complete solution to global warming, but converting carbon dioxide into fuel is very, very exciting nonetheless. hooray for science!!!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

watery sex

i'm always annoyed with israeli tardiness, even if i've become a little guilty of it myself. but my tardiness is usually confined to a couple of minutes, five, maybe ten at a stretch. but comixer made an impression two weeks ago with an hour and a half, and this morning at 10am he agreed to 11am, and at 10.50 he sent a message to say he'd be fifteen minutes late, and that fifteen proceeded to double.

that's a stressor for me. even if we're meeting for something enjoyable. the other stressor was the malfunctioning climate control in the mall and the overall lack of internet connectivity from any of its many coffee shops; eventually i gave up and went to streets, where i found a plug point and an empty table next to two friends from the creative writing workshop.

comixer arrived, and after i convinced him to focus on comics (as opposed to answering student emails) i discovered that he was sketching unrelated stuff... oh, well. it's a start, i guess. at least he was available for artistic input, and by that i mean that through his responses i figured out how to phrase my requirements understandably.

and i gotta say, i am excited by the scene i'm scripting right now. it functions as a background to the main story, and it's so damn crazy that only ovid could have mentioned it merely in passing - it pushes the comic across a sexually explicit boundary, but i believe that i can do sexy without doing pornographic. i can't believe i'm having so much fun with this ^_^

after an hour or two, i caught the bus to the office. it was the bus driver who recognizes me, and he's also one of those suffering from a severe case of klapvoet: the inability to apply gradual pressure to either accelerator or brake. in addition to being smacked sharply in the face while opening my netbook, i got motion sickness even before resuming working on my script and i eventually hopped off quite nauseous :(

work: for the first time in days, everything was fine throughout our systems. i'd given up on them before going to bed, and that means that we have a mystery on our hands. software development is not supposed to be mysterious. microsoft: i blame you.

on another note, i spent two and a half hours messing around with perl to write a script that would save us more time on a task that will hopefully remove the necessity for one of my closing projects, only to complete it and discover that the required rewrites were far more complicated than i originally expected and turning all of that effort into a total waste. or, almost total - i kind of enjoyed playing with perl and i guess i'll be paid for it :P

i got home in time to eat dinner and join pg for a walk. walking with zombies, run! really isn't as invigorating; unless that word also covers the sensation of wanting to run because walking is inappropriate when you're hearing about... oh, never mind. no need to post spoilers of that sort here ;)

on a friend's recommendation pg and i watched a boy and his dog when we got back. it's AWESOME! and its serving as a basis for the fallout series is completely transparent. i thoroughly loved it. holy crap, 70's! you had amazing movies!

now it's time to get to bed, we're off super-early (even earlier than ugh o'clock!) to go to my cousin's kid's barmitzvah at the western wall. oh, yippee. jerusalem + august heat + smart clothing = :S

---
i totally didn't mention my grades - i have two of them back, an almost-perfect one for my shakespearean paper (the last minute reversal) and my humour analysis was close on its heels - score! now back to fretting about the other two...

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

30 flashed by

i wasn't home for very long, just enough to be frustrated by the work and shovel down some food before strapping on my blades and heading out. the 30km route was amazing, very chatty and i did the long stretch at full sprint so it counts as actual exercise.

and now i'm back to grinding. this sucks. windows azure sucks. visual studio sucks. especially when the stuff that isn't working is stuff that's been working until now. that's not on.

---
links that have been waiting patiently:

bicycles (and rollerblades) ARE the future... and the invisible helmet is just amazing.

maser! room temperature! freakin' cool, watching sci-fi become sci-fact.

and speaking of sci-fact, space microthrusters might well solve our space junk issue. and do other interesting things :)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

heat hate

the long hebrew mails and cold calling was tough after five hours of sleep, but i think i did alright. then i made the mistake of the day by going outside.

it was baking hot and there's very little shady respite to go around. something about the desert people having too much pride to make a real effort to protect themselves. i used the opportunity to get my bloodwork back (i *think* it's all okay, but i might check with the doctor anyway) and take out travel insurance, then grabbed an absolutely delicious, crispy and fresh falafel before catching the bus to the office.

i worked hard, i worked long, and i managed to construct a fairly comprehensive testing script for the work i completed at stupid o'clock this morning. after being thorough we deployed it, and it was almost looking good until the boss just called to inform me that it's running great but not doing what it's supposed to.

that's very depressing. at least my escape plan is starting to move ahead.

still half-asleep - the bad half

ugh. i just woke up, no thanks to my alarm which took a break and abandoned its post. first moment of the day: the boss calling, and i'm not ready to face that yet.

i had The Talk with him yesterday, and he was disappointed. either something in my tone told him there was no room for negotiation, or he's done this before. whichever.

pg and i hit the climbing wall in the evening, and for both of us it was tougher than usual from the get-go with my arms giving out even before my first approach to the overhang. buggrit. at least we made the most of the evening anyway.

after dinner, i chatted with my mum and then sat down for a few hours of solid work, finishing something i'd told the boss i thought would take a day or two, then went to bed so as to have enough energy to make some important phone calls... about now... so i guess that didn't quite work :P

---

ah, and i feel i should mention here that those three days in the water last week seem to have made a serious difference to my upper back. more because i realized just how perpetually relaxed i leave it and how far i am from keeping it straight. now i'm walking around like a wrestler and at least *feeling* like i'm getting stronger.

Monday, August 20, 2012

pay the who?

i'm shouting at my boss over non-problems, and i don't know who started it.

i tried to snooze my alarm this morning and then my boss called, panicked, because all our systems were down. i cannot express how glad i am that we've finally separated the central system that goes down from the external endpoints.

three or four hours of headache, occassional nagging reminders from the boss that it's urgent, and eventually rediscovering that azure is simply a bitch sometimes and doesn't play well. i'm sick of this. i've just been forced to perform one of many of a long list of TODO rewrites under the gun because we never designed the system properly and never get a chance to clean up before more functionality is demanded. it's stupid and counter-productive.

also, i was supposed to be working on the festival organization before going to work. that's not really happening now. this all sucks.

---
the farewell last night was alright - there was a minimum of vegan food, and at least some of the conversation was interesting (when we got to gaming). i was exhausted by the time i said goodbye, and fortunately the bussing was quick and comfortable.

after getting a little work done, pg and i watched 21 jump street - it's amusing, at least - and then crashed. it was such a nice day!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

strange day

it's 7pm, and i'm sitting in the park in herzeliya waiting for a surprise (for me) farewell for a guy i used to serve with. it didn't take me very long to get here, and it's quite peaceful and pretty.

the ride here afforded me some more time to work on ideas for a book i went to bed fantasizing about; or at least i fantasized about an element of it, then woke up this morning to the realization that i have a relevant, interesting backdrop for a sci-fi book that could really work. it's very exciting!

i was mostly useless yesterday, except for some work that i realized needed doing urgently. the treat for finishing that was heading off with pg to finally see the dark knight rises:
1. a bit too heavy on the americana
2. bane's voice was redone, so we didn't have too much of an issue with understanding him (i'm still glad there were subtitles, though)
3. i really, really enjoyed it

i began today with a meeting, stopped for a veggie burger at wolfnights because the music was fantastic (80s hits), and then hit the cinemateque for a screening of ruby sparks - what a great film! and how weird to sit in a theatre in the middle of the day with two other people, ignoring urgent work calls and thinking of how fortunate i am that i can have this little break after all the crazy stuff i've been up to and before the life-changing storm that's about to hit.

it's almost like i'm on summer vacation ^_^

Saturday, August 18, 2012

motivation on a friday

i woke up early yesterday to test the lock of my apartment, buy wine as a dinner gift and pick up the dog. i think i crashed pretty soon after returning home, and i got up again sometime around 4pm.

what a bummer that in all that time i hadn't checked email! i'd been invited to a private screening of paranorman at the cinemateque, which started about ten minutes before i'd turned on my pc :(

oh, well, i guess the world made up for it by hinting at there being waves - pg's brother and friend and i took our boards back to the beach for some actively meditative waiting in the water and then some frisbee with pg just after the incredible sunset.

we weren't sure that our host would remember my dietary requirements so i ate a modest pre-dinner meal after showering. she had remembered, even if only at the last minute, and my precaution made it slightly tougher for me than everyone else to cope with the mounds of food that accompanied the generous flow of alcohol and conversation.

the three of us who'd been surfing were all in sync - that glorious point of physical exhaustion where if you sit back in your chair you're far too comfortable to make the effort to sit forward again :)

after a great day and a lovely evening, i bailed on the pub afterwards and hit the hay, dreaming long dreams and getting up now to contemplate whether being productive today is on the cards.

Friday, August 17, 2012

good sport

i wasn't feeling too good when i got home, and there was almost some hesitation but i figured that i'd at least get to the water before making the call.

i'm REALLY glad i did! not only did i almost catch a wave (i'm sure that sounds as pathetic as it is), but my neck was fine and i actually managed to seat myself on my board for most of the time we were out there. that's two days in a row that i've met my targets ^_^

that put me in a great mood for work, one which would take almost five hours to crumble in the face of bad azure behaviour.

the important bit is that i had that talk with scr, i outlined my terms for the bosses and he totally agrees with me. he claims he views the things that bother us as his job - that's a pretty good attitude right there. personally, i can't stand working with people who ride their companies with no hands, and whose parts are less than well-made.

the chat with my boss is due monday. the wet paint on my big picture is seeping into my reality.

...

as soon as the system stabilized i was off like a shot to catch the bus home, eat properly and go for a zombies, run! walk with pg. i did a shopping run after showering and we settled in to watch crimes and misdemeanors - great film! now i'm tired and ready for bed.

this surfing thing is awesome. aside from a traumatized abdomen (i don't know if it's bruising or pulling) i'm feeling absolutely grand. it's by far the best excuse to get in the sea :)

Thursday, August 16, 2012

blood out

oh, poor me. sitting here in a really sweet little coffee shop, staring at the world outside through the glass and unable to read my book because between the soft, beautiful music playing in the background and thoughts of quitting my job and upgrading my life i just can't concentrate.

i'm bubbling with a contentment and excitement that i haven't felt in the longest time. i pray the feeling lasts.

...

dragging myself out of an epic dream so early in the morning was difficult, but the clinic was empty so i didn't have to wait to squeeze out some blood* before heading back to town for breakfast.

* it hurt, strangely. not the insertion but the needle actually being in my vein; it really hurt coming out :(

the testing was because i've turned vegan, the irony that i picked a non-vegan place for breakfast whose healthiest option is an omelette. oh, well. once in a while won't kill me :)

and now, in spite of an iffy neck, i'm going to hit the water again. good morning.

still high

today... was wonderful! i woke up early, got some stuff done, then returned to bed. getting up the second time was tougher, as can be expected, but it was a beautiful morning and i met with urchin outside a quiet coffee shop where we found a shady spot in the cool breeze. her mom joined us at some stage, and then grabbed the bill and left, and in general the talk was pleasant and my croissant and iced coffee were well placed.

i then walked to the bus to get to work, each step through the gorgeous day making me less and less enthusiastic about ruining it on a job that by now i care little for. pg's brother called me up to ask if i wanted to go surfing later - i said that i'd love to, but i wasn't certain how things would pan out :/

---
i got into work thinking about the fact that it was the fifteenth of the month and that that put them behind on my salary by a month and fifteen days. and that out of the eight months that i've worked for them, i've only been paid four times because of their "complications" and "it'll never happen again" "mistakes".

i decided that i'm ready to quit, but i want to inform scr before i slap the bosses. by now i know precisely what i'm going to propose, too: i'll finish my current projects, and be very happy to consult at twice my present rate. if they mismanage badly enough to need my assistance, it'll at least be worth my while.

i'm very glad the payment finally made it through today.

hooray.

---
i left after a couple of hours so that i could go surfing. that's right - it's been almost a decade of being embarrassed every time i look at my beautiful board, and it was finally time to do something about it. pg's brother, his friend and i dressed down*, walked down to the beach, and hit the waves.

and it was magnificent. the waves kinda sucked, and i didn't manage to catch a single one, but i achieved my personal goal with flying colours and paddled out strong. i even kinda got the hang of sitting on the board, only i now fully understand my physiotherapist's comment about my upper back muscles being weak... after a short while i was forced to return to lying on my board with my neck bent backwards, and i'm actually impressed that it took so long for that to make me nauseous that i had plenty of time to paddle around and try for waves before i had to head back to shore for the superb sunset.

i cannot express how good the whole ordeal made me feel. makes me feel. i'm still feeling *awesome*.

* boardies, a second-skin and a board. no phone, no keys, and no id or money feels very naked!

---
after i began my twelve-hour bloodwork fast, on my way to meet my tenant, i had an incident that leaves me unsure of whether or not to take action. some guy had stopped his pickup in the middle of a very narrow street, door open and engine running and himself nowhere to be found. after waiting a while and watching a motorcyclist manage somehow to squirm past, i stepped up to the license plate to take a photo. just then the driver arrived. "what do you want?"

i told him it doesn't make sense to stop like that. then i carried on walking.

he got into his car, drove about 30m ahead of me, stopped in the same manner and took out his phone to photograph me back. i asked him why, if *i* had done anything illegal that interferes with other members of the public, and he mumbled something unclear as he walked on. i stopped, because i realized that if he *did* do something with my picture i should be able to recognize him (not every vehicle is registered to its owner). i took a video of the scene while waiting for him to return. in the meanwhile another car had become stuck behind him - i'd say patiently, but i'm sure that's only because he could see i was filming.

i captured the driver's face, turned around and carried on.

third time's the charm? again he stopped about twenty metres ahead of me, this time coming straight to me for a chat.

fortunately, he's apparently not violent as the chat only consisted of words - that's already something really positive in this country... he told me he's collecting scrap, that he doesn't really have a camera on his phone and that he just wanted to get me riled. okay. i explained to him that i really don't want to interfere with his livelihood, and if he would only stop on the corners and not in the middle of the streets (it's possible, i promise), the assholes that he's blocking won't hoot and drive everyone in the neighbourhood crazy in the middle of the night. i thought he'd understand, but he didn't want to understand. we both concluded the chat with "good evening"s, i wished him luck and continued on my way fully aware that everything could have ended tragically.

so... i have a video of a few seconds, in which one can see his license plate, where he's parked, that somebody's stuck behind him waiting (silently, it's amazing to see that in any event), and his face when he eventually arrives back at the vehicle. the whole story angers me because it's completely unnecessary to block the road, and it demonstrates a complete lack of consideration both for the other drivers and the people who live in the area, and i don't know if i should do something or just let it slide.

---
it's early, but i gotta sleep. early wake up for bloodwork, food, and another go in the water before heading to work. i won't hit the waves if i'm not feeling up to it, of course, but i really want to!

---
fascinating answer on quora: does bouncing your leg improve cognition?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

where did sonnets go?

i just realized why i like shakespeare's sonnets so much: what he did then is the same as what trent reznor and maynard james keenan do now. brutally honest musical insight into the gritty side of personal human experience.

---
i just got home from a pleasant evening with tahoma (i talk too much), after a few hours at work (finally put my last project into production) for which i had a really hard time waking up (which means there's a ton of stuff i didn't get done).

i'm ready for a pre-roll nap.

...


ZOMG shadowrun online is gonna happen!!!

superstition?

if you believe that leaving your car windows open for a few minutes isn't enough, and that you have to run the engine to run the aircon as well because the stale air is "unhealthy", maybe i'll be the first to let you know that the fumes coming out of your exhaust are unhealthy and that leaving your engine running burns expensive fuel, and perhaps the first to explain that driving a car in this country (especially in tel aviv) is unhealthy and that you should consider quitting and trying public transport instead.

people with less cash to burn seem to manage just fine.

mind melt

oh, man - the apple / amazon hack is scary as hell (o_O)

shadowrun online! - 21 hours to go, and almost enough cash! please, world: make it happen!

we just watched the season 2 finale of the walking dead. i'm gobsmacked. completely not like the first season finale, and totally hardcore.

---
the day started off with a lot of job applications, and at work i finally got over the stupid* to publish my second web role. it works like a bomb! very pleasing. also pleasing was figuring out a shortcut around another big problem: it's dirty, but at least i could cut it tidily enough that it can be un-patched later :D

* visual studio does bizarre things sometimes, like removing references you've added and quietly exchanging connection data between parameters.

i returned home later than i expected, just in time to go out to the wall. we were both kinda tired - i yawned a lot - but in spite of that my first attempt at the 90º section was almost a success! i'm exceedingly pleased, and determined to make it work. to make that even better, my first attempt at the reverse incline was successful, even if i only almost made the second attempt. the rest of the evening i've been barely capable of holding my iphone, let alone keeping myself in the air :P

after showering we went down to the street for some great pasta, and we were almost ready to call it a night... now that we've seen that final episode, though, it might take some toning down first.

or i could, to use the term i used to describe to my mother the experience of reading ayn rand - atlas shrugged, wallow for a bit before turning in.

---
for all of my non-israeli compadres: over the past years the palestinian authority has continued to indoctrinate its youth to hate israelis on grounds ranging from the believable to the absurd, and it's not possible to become "partners for peace" with that in the background. it's the equivalent of cold-war americans and russians "just wanting to get along".

not a lot of very smart people can look past institutionalized hatred and fear, and most people are really, really not very smart. and the rest of the world is NOT aware of what's going on in this primitive little backwater we call home. so it totally upsets me when i read a post from moshe ya'alon explaining that they've been monitoring palestinian authority broadcasts for the past three years in particular, and the kind of stuff they're feeding their children is not child abuse, but life abuse.

they're being brought up to live in an alternate reality where they really are desperate fighters oppressed by evil israelis; the truth is, their oppressors are primarily their cousins in the arab nations who've continued to keep them down and fighting so that they'll keep israel on its toes and the palestinians off of their own land.

it's all about love and brotherhood, really.

Monday, August 13, 2012

not so bad!

i went to work anyway, and it was one of those days where some things worked and i got that little thrill of satisfaction. that was followed by a content-planning meeting for the sci-fi film festival in october, which was not only entertaining of itself but i actually felt like i contributed. the organizers are a great bunch!

1. this morning i secured our tickets to canada - and then sent off an elegant little email to my boss and scr to inform them that i'll be taking two months leave. scr asked if my intention was to make him jealous. i hadn't been thinking of him, but i replied in the affirmative anyway :P

i sent off an email to confirm with my aunt that the dates are good for them too, and they are. groovy!

2. the issues with converting websites to web roles in azure are entirely due to microsoft's lack of documentation. at least once the conversion is complete it runs well - but the first site i converted wasn't wcf, and wcf is much trickier :/

3. once, when i told the asshole in the office that his exaggerated wasting of water was bothering me, he replied that if it bothers me i should just ignore it. that made me even angrier. today, he needed help with something embarrassingly simple (he's not only a tool, but a useless one too), and he got upset when i refused to sit down. the exact words were "it bothers me when you stand".

the perfect response only dawned on me when i returned to my office. *DOH*

4. the meeting was fun and challenging, and although the coffee sucked the beer was alright. it was a long meeting, though, and towards the end the air-conditioner was too much for me and i sat there shivering.

getting outside into the warm night was such a relief!

the bus home was even colder than the meeting room :(

5. i spoke with my mom for a long time: i think we're all good. and i feel, on the whole, a far sight better than i have in weeks.

6. i've discharged some of my duties, including getting a virtual pat on the shoulder from my advisor and sending off the processed details to the festival organizer. a part of the latter was playing eterna. i can see how that can be addictive!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

better, not great

i did nothing yesterday, except for a lot of soul-searching followed by a long walk with pg in which we discussed some of my issues. i think the latter was more helpful.

i still don't want to go to work today.

in the evening, comixer (mongoose's friend) swung by to discuss the comics project, which was followed by a decent thunderstone session and a brilliant few games of fluxx.

at 3am pg and i went to bed early.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

groping

perhaps it *is* about current stress. i most certainly do have a perspective problem, because everything's great and i can't keep my head out of / get my head into the tough stuff. every time i turn on the pc with intent my head aches.

i'm sure that a longer weekend to process all this stuff wouldn't hurt.

paying the piper?

it suddenly occurred to me that if i'm on my way to developing a stress-related ulcer, it's possible that the current stress is not the cause, rather the past month of paper anxiety and sleepless nights (and days).

one holiday, coming up.

dreamsync

i dreamed of battletech nazis: it was glorious until i woke up and found myself stressing again. i then got bashed by pg who'd been dreaming of zombies and thought i was one of them.

*sigh*

good morning, world.

toning down

i posted, then i told pg how i was feeling. she told me to drink something and chill.

sound advice.

the drinking bit i could handle, but the chill? i decided to purchase hero academy on steam, because it just came out. it's awesome! but is it worth the $4 for the team fortress characters?

maybe.

i can't tell because although both my iphone's game center account and my steam account are linked to my primary email address, they exist in parallel universes. so i've now made a purchase that i can't enjoy. this sucks. what sucks even more is robot entertainment's support forum. and steam's is unhelpful too.

buggrit :/

return to the dark

i've been exhausted all evening, if not most of the day. i spent most of the day trying to figure out and fill out forms - i didn't get far at all :(

in the evening we went out to the beach with pg's parents and brother; it's the first time this summer that the two of us have been in the water. the water was warm - bath warm - but the experience was immensely pleasurable. after the sun went down we had dinner on the beach, which would have been delightful had i thought to bring a change of shorts: my boardies didn't dry well and itched me demented.

we walked home slowly, showered, and i decided that i needed to get to bed early, but upon putting my kindle down i began to stress. stress, like back when i left the army and my life was in complete shambles.

i think i know what this is about. i think it's about having a plate so full that my appetite's been scared away. i have things that *have* to be sorted out, like taxes and insurance and work, and things that I *want* to sort out, like my comic script and my thesis proposal, and things i *need* to sort out like sorter's project and... and two enormous life changes, one of which requires tedious hard work and a level of bureaucratic proficiency that i'm not certain i'm really capable of.

of course, when faced with really difficult tasks what one most desires is to do anything else. human psychology is fantastic. i hope i don't develop an ulcer.

Friday, August 10, 2012

needs a vacation

10am was too early to get up. i went straight to work for a slow day. a short part of it was spent fighting with boss because he wanted to unnecessarily complicate a real-time process that it's taken a lot of work to separate from the rest of the system. that made me uncomfortable. an hour was wasted after that trying to figure out something that's apparently incredibly simple in azure, but - as usual - entirely undocumented. the remainder of the day was spent trying to do half a job. sometimes, that's harder than doing a full one.

is it good news or bad news that i've finally figured out how my payments are supposed to work, that the company hasn't paid me for two months and not one and that they've promised that they've sent me the money already? i will feel absolutely no remorse if given the opportunity to abandon them.

i returned home exhausted, rested for a while and then went with pg to the climbing wall. it was packed, and just as we were hesitating we discovered that there was another huge group of kids on its way. so we took a walk instead.

a long walk. filled with miscommunications. there's nothing like ruining a great evening with mutual stress... for nothing.

i had a bit of a headache, and instead of *doing* something i watched the third transformers movie with pg. i'm surprised that i didn't hate it like i did the first time. the acting's still bad and there're a number of horrific plot devices, but it was cool overall.

i went to bed early, writing my previous post using the blogger app (it's actually an effort to write in lowercase on an iphone, but capitals make me uncomfortable).

i woke up this morning with a really sore lower back. i've decided that perhaps running's not for me because i'm not willing to risk spinal injuries and damaged knees. pg suggested that i join her for walks, and between that and rollerblading i should be fine; what freaked me out was the thought of becoming like mmf, who's lower-back problems prevent him from being able to snowboard. HELL no.

it looks like i've got tickets for canada next month, and it's past time to make my time there count. over and out.

stances

i know, because i've read tons in a lot of conflicting directions, that there's no single way to go that'll make us all happy. there's no utopia, only individual notions of what ideals are and constant pulling and struggling on all sides that keeps us at all stable.

stable is when lots of us are perpetually on the edge of disaster, because that means that lots of us are getting by with bigger dreams than our realities afford.

i think lots of conflicting thoughts about ideals.

i think i'm a pure capitalist, but i see how the system doesn't seem to work unregulated even though excessive regulation is usually the problem.

i see how we don't have functional democracies and how they would screw us up if we had them, and how totalitarian governments have their advantages even though i'd never want to live under one.

i see how the education we idealize is the opposite of the education we get in our institutions. i see how our inherent fear of change brings us to choose lifestyles that we don't want. i see how all of the sage truisms we've learned are forced to the back of our minds when faced with other people's fears, like establishing status in a world of crumbling notions of society and finding work in job markets that are doomed to become irrelevant.

i see that we've already crossed the threshold into an environmental revolt, but i also see that we've crossed a threshold of our evolution in which global consciousness really has become a thing and people overall are doing well enough to be able to sit back and bitch about first-world problems while trying to solve third-world ones.

i believe that a healthy society is one that encourages risky behaviour.

perhaps history really needs to be in constant revolution because almost all of our plans suck in the long term and because every dog must have his day. it pains me that so many people must fight the world we've made in order to do wonderful things, but i'm confident that without that struggle there'd be little incentive to be great.

i see that fundamentalism is a destructive, negative force that seeks to return us to the pre-postmodern innocence that we now call primitive; but i totally get why all these "fundies" want out from what the rest of see as an awesome future.

i lie to myself when i think that i'm tolerant of others' beliefs; the truth is that i'm only tolerant of their beliefs if they don't interfere with mine. and i know full well that mine interfere with theirs.

at least, i tell myself, i'm equally intolerant of the devoutly religious and of atheists.

we can't all get along. the question of satisfaction becomes one of the kind of lifestyle each one of us desires, and whether it's worth spending the short time we have on this planet fighting for it. and whether we really want it at all, at the end of the day, because the pursuit is usually better than the achievement. i suppose it's all in how good a story one can generate.

our children will treat our hells as their homes, and vice versa. if they're going to be happy, does it matter whether they're free or educated, live above ground or off-planet, idealize peace, or continue to evolve their reality? 'cause that's just what *some of us* want.

personally? i'd like everybody's options to be kept open.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

speeding up

sunday night turned out to be really special. for the first time in weeks i actually managed to go to bed early and sleep deeply.

---
monday:

i woke up "early" and went straight to work. i took nothing but my kindle, and am now, and for the next while at least, reading entirely for pleasure - crazy!

i returned home to shower, dress up and drive to the wedding. i used waze, and waze used my battery - it's impressive, though. i was doing really well for the first twenty minutes of the drive, but whether the car seat was wrong for me or whether my serious back issues since sunday were causing havoc, the rest of the trip had me feeling a bit off and a few times i considered pulling over and letting pg drive...

we arrived more or less on time. the first stop is always the box for sliding in envelopes containing cheques, and i pulled out the cheque to fill it in only to discover that i'd ripped out the example and not a real one. completely bloody useless :$

in a strange turn of events, there wasn't much food before the ceremony. there was, however, plenty of cheap alcohol. the wedding itself was fun, there was less awkwardness than usual, and the main meal had a vegetarian option, at least. not only did i pointedly not make a fuss about the starter - nystire was very considerately pointing out my dietary choices to the nervous-looking waitress when i stopped him - but i enjoyed my plate because
a) from a health point of view, it's a celebration and there's no problem with letting the tastebuds dance once in a while and
b) from an ethical / environmental / principle point of view, the animal was killed and while i won't buy meat, i also don't like the idea of letting it go to waste.

just saying.

---
tuesday:

pg and i woke up super-early to find a decent parking. it was at that point that i registered just how much alcohol i'd consumed the night before. it was a lot. i felt it.

i had no trouble getting back to sleep, though. i slept late, rolled into the office late, and had moderate success at work: there were no bosses around and that seemed to make things work better. the irony is that they've taken to having their big meetings off-site so that they're not constantly distracted :P

i'd planned on going to see hatachtonim ("underpants") perform, but pg wasn't up to leaving the apartment. so instead i had an important talk with my mum before scarfing down some food and going rollerblading.

the route seemed easy and short - i suspect it has something to do with the amount of socializing i was doing :P

i was barely productive after i got home, so i went to bed early.

---
wednesday:

i left for the meeting slightly later than planned, arriving five minutes later than the time we'd agreed on and about twenty minutes before the other guy :P

the intense heat at such a stupid hour of the day was worrying.

we discussed my participation in the icon festival for a very short time, compared to the hour and a half state of the nation, the world and the realities of science fiction and fantasy that are slowly being incorporated in our collective reality.

there's some cool stuff waiting in the wings for us. also, it seems like i've just made a friend with some seriously good connections here and abroad.

i grabbed a falafel and finished it just as the bus to work arrived (good timing!), and work was... look, a part of the reason work was cool is because i'm feeling much calmer. a huge part of that is that i'm caring less, and therefore stressing less. another part of that is that today i finally got an opportunity to sort out one of the projects, and i can now perform proper QA from my local machine.

imagine that for the past six months i've been working on this project and have not been able to do that.

i left when i felt like it, and got home in time to say goodbye to pg as she went for a walk, from which i took inspiration and followed soon after for a run. i ran quite well; the only problem was that i encountered a lot of zombies in the park - and by zombies, i mean penguins. and by penguins, i mean ultra-orthodox blocking the paths with their multitude of perambulators and recklessly zig-zagging children.

pg and i watched an episode of romeo x juliet while we ate, and i was going to get tons of things done but her brother came over and we just returned now from an evening drinking, talking and smoking a nargila on the roof. it was really nice.

---
alone on the wall is an incredible video about alex honnold; the man is a mind-blowing climber. the feat in the video is only topped by the ascent of alex honnold. alex honnold is a man constructed almost entirely of win.

---
i'm irritated by steam for two reasons: the first is that they made me choose a complicated password, and their instructions for resetting are totally unhelpful. the second is that hero academy introduced team fortress characters today, and hero academy was supposed to become available on the pc through steam simultaneously. when i went in to purchase / unlock it (i feel i should be able to just download it if i've already paid for the game on my iphone), i was told it would only be coming out tomorrow... and now i looked again and it says the 16th august. that's not cool.

Monday, August 06, 2012

still sore

but feeling much, much better. i dragged myself to campus, put the finishing touches on my papers (i was too broken to bother to re-read them, so that means i added page numbers and ensured that the titles weren't totally stupid), and handed them in.

it's like my headache just vanished. i smiled deeply inside when another MA student looked at my pile of papers in awe as she commented on how much effort just her one paper cost her.

the best news of the day was when i checked my emails when i got to work, and the department head had already sent me an enthusiastically positive response on the paper that i totally flipped at 4am saturday morning and finished saturday night. i didn't hear anything about the other paper, and so i'm not asking. you win some, you lose some.

...

work was alright. i actually got some stuff done, and left when i just didn't feel like it anymore. i suppose i shouldn't go too crazy until i see my paycheck arrive :P

i napped, and then took pg to see snow white and the huntsman. aside from a single, specific, entirely and offensively inappropriate line near the beginning - seriously?? the lord's prayer in a children's fable??!! - i absolutely loved the film. it's wonderful, and charlize theron makes a million-times-better queen than julia roberts.

right, i have a bunch of things to do and i'm going to bed instead. because.

law and duty

i kind of supported "occupy wall street", at least partially. just like our protests, some of the aims are correct, some not. fine.

but OWS just posted on their facebook wall an image of a palestinian holding a rock, saying "when injustice becomes law... resistance becomes a duty". and if that's the kind of crap that these idiots are not only falling for, but incorporating into their campaign, then i am vehemently against them.

it frightens me that this is the only picture that the rest of the world is seeing. israel - our continued silence does more damage than any foreign policy or military mistakes ever will.

Sunday, August 05, 2012

the important stuff

just before going to bed last night I had this weird sensation as if all the muscles in my upper back were on the verge of spasming. so i was extra cautious with my neck position all night.

i didn't have to worry about damaging something in my sleep, because i couldn't sleep. i developed a painful headache early on; perhaps that's why i couldn't sleep, but i don't think so.

instead of sleep, i spent the seven hours trying to solve the software industry's problems in my head. i think i might be onto something.

i somehow dragged myself, mentally and physically drained, out of bed, then stretched. a simple stretch forward, relaxing my back - suddenly it really began to hurt. as in, pass-out kind of hurt.

i stopped a moment, then decided i was ready to load the dishwasher and have breakfast. the combination of not feeling great and of doing something that takes as much if not more effort than simply washing the dishes has put me in a super-pissy mood.

broken barriers

my mind has officially been ground to bits by shakespeare's reality distortion machine. i'm not sure if i really just completed my paper, or if it's just an hallucination and i'm actually trapped in the bard's head: i'm an imagination of his imagination of myself in him. i think.

*small voice* help me.

Saturday, August 04, 2012

glory before grind

it was the point at which i realized that i was taking a break from my paper by playing a game on the computer after a long afternoon glued to the screen that i decided to up and run.

i'm a bit disappointed, because while i completed the mission (zombies run!) from that moment on (just about my midway point) my data flatlines. i feel cheated, i know i did more than 11km but that's not what my profile says :/

on the other hand, the glorious, cool breeze made the bright, summer's day bearable and even pleasant; a lot can be forgiven for these moments of relief. i'm very glad i left in time to catch a wonderful sunset.

...

regarding my 4am tweet about shakespeare: of the five poems he wrote, at least two of them are commentaries on the sonnets. no wonder they don't make much sense out of context... and even when you understand this, his language seems so ambiguous that it takes a few re-reads to realize what it is that he's actually written.

sheesh. at least it looks like i've finally *gotten* a lover's complaint. i really don't understand what anybody sees in the poem otherwise. or, i understand why nobody likes it and why some people deny it's shakespeare's :P

distractive behaviour

*WHINE WARNING*

i need to vent a moment. it's been almost two months since our holiday to switzerland, but to be fair that was a combination of working holiday (my seminar paper) and family obligation (i wore a suit) more than it was a vacation - not that i didn't enjoy it. i definitely enjoyed it.

but it's been much longer than two months, it's been almost four months since pg and i took a break. and that didn't go so well.

which frames my complaint with an entire academic year, the other end of which was a summer spent working too hard on stuff i absolutely hated and for far too little compensation. in short: i'm mentally exhausted.

and that doesn't mean i don't want to do anything. there's tons of stuff i want to do. but i don't want to do anything i have to do. i wanna write my comic script, i wanna play games, i wanna watch movies until my brain melts, i wanna go to crappy parties (i haven't partied at all since the festival) and drink too much (okay, maybe not drink too much), i want to haunt the city at night and the beach during the day...

... and right now, i have a paper that needs writing* and in the back of my mind i know that the second i complete it i'm going to have a ton of work to wade through, under pressure, because that's what pays the bills and i - perspective time - haven't really been at work for almost three weeks.

* at least it's going well

my brain and my body need an outlet. so i understand why i keep looking at everything but my paper, but i need to focus. and that's hard.

not just american

i just saw american: the bill hicks story - i thought i'd take a break and let my mind wonder. ha. i'm familiar with almost all of his material, and the documentary blew me away with its perspective on where it all came from.

y'all need ta see this.

Friday, August 03, 2012

retwitting

so it turns out retweets don't make it into the blogger gadget (on the right). in trying to fix that, i think i just broke it properly. *sigh*

it took me hours to fall asleep after posting - i vaguely recall pg saying goodbye before she left for the weekend, and i woke up about five hours ago. i'm having tremendous difficulty concentrating, but i've managed to churn through half my paper in spite of that and it has suddenly dawned on me that i won't have nearly enough space for an analysis of a lover's complaint, let alone tying in the phoenix and the turtle.

this theoretical book of mine just gets longer and longer. and more and more awesome.

...

perhaps it's time to go shopping for fruit; as it is i've been seeking every opportunity possible to get up and move. headsets like this and this sound good, but i need a solution for word processing and programming - i wouldn't mind wearing funny-looking glasses if i'm at my desk.

i turned off the airconditioner a while back, thinking that i could get by with just a fan. i was wrong :(

---
the problems with israeli PR: trying to do the right thing is not enough. in this media-run age, you have to make a noise about it to. we have a lot to learn from the palestinians; shit, we don't even have to make anything up.

not good

i made progress - and then some of it got dicey and now i'm doubting my work a little.

then i got tired, so i played some on the rain-slick precipice. i'm not sure it had the desired effect: i'm still tired, but not yet sleepy.

ugh.

the beat's going on

it totally is.

it took a few hours, out of bed and back to bed, before i was feeling alright again. i made a bit of progress on my paper, no thanks to some distractions, and eventually went out for a run (i had to do something physical, i'm certain that this much time seated is messing up my body).

there's nothing quite like a zombie chase starting just as you enter the trees on a dark, deserted section of the path - and being captured in spite of your desperately increased pace... also, i'm beginning to form an emotional attachment to the characters. zombies run! is not a perfect game by any means, but they've put a lot of effort into making the story come alive.
listening to distorted harmony and deathmøle was surprisingly good for my pace.

i passed a couple of elderly women on the way just as their dog, roaming free, stopped to "gift" the sports field next to the bicycle track. it's one thing dealing with arsim who behave like assholes, but when it's people who really should know better it really drives home some perspective :(

pg and i watched a painful episode of the walking dead while eating, and then i got back to work. i do have a lot on my plate, but it's actually become interesting and entertaining so it doesn't matter. i've decided that when i get worn out in an hour or two, i'm going to play games until i'm ready to pass out instead of trying to get to sleep.

i'm sure it's just jet lag.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

early to insomnia

not even the melatonin tablet helped, i just couldn't get to sleep this morning until late. and because that's not enough, after a couple of hours i woke up with a belly-ache.

it's a beautiful morning, and i feel terrible for it :(

funny, funny. ha, ha.

i'm currently a little high on shakespeare - after i (more or less) finished my paper on humour, i took a break to watch cool it, an amazing documentary on what we should really be focusing on in order to combat climate change, then grabbed a cup of coffee with nystire before going to the final workshop meeting for the summer.

1. humour: i am now convinced that the benign-violation theory is only partially correct, and that what it describes is not humour but rather the specific case in which humour is combined with the violation that requires the resolution that humour provides. either i'm awesome for discovering that humour is a puzzle with mythological properties, or i'm an idiot. i'll find out soon, i guess. the paper's crap, but it's good enough to hand in and rewrite if necessary; that's just like all my papers at the moment.

2. the creative writing workshop: we acted out the completed script that one of the girls wrote, and it's a solid two-hour stage production at least. i think it could use a bit more polish, but the experience was quite enjoyable - i played two characters, one that i liked and one that i really didn't, and had fun with both.

3. i was going to pick up dinner on the way home, but i had no cash for the dudes who don't take credit cards... so i walked to the atm - but the cash machine was out of order. i walked back to etnachta, and by that stage was soaked in sweat. it's not nice to walk into a respectable establishment with giant obvious patches all over :(

4. after eating, i didn't know where to begin with my final paper. and then i realized that the phoenix and the turtle is a summary of the sonnets, and from there began analysing a lover's complaint. finally! it's a tight fit with my thesis and has just been incorporated. so now that i have something interesting to say, i guess i'm just gonna say it.

all i have to do is complete this by the weekend.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

the ugly

i'm under huge pressure with my papers.

yesterday, i was woken by an exceptionally uncomfortable phone call from my boss demanding a timetable in spite of my objections to predicting the unpredictable and my unwillingness to invest more than the barest minimum of hours next week because i need a break after this insanity.

then i got grinding. overall, it was a rewarding effort and until 4am - that's with solid stops to visit the doctor and for the weekly rollerblading route - i managed to churn out most of the paper and pretty much all that's left to do is to expand it by peppering it with a few more elephant jokes.

the cool thing is that after three days of research i've pretty much uncovered a new theory of humour. i think.

the reason i stopped at 4am was a headache that rendered me incapable of focusing - it might be related to the fact that my nose is blocked. i went to bed, and spent the next three hours suffering horribly, unable to sleep and tortured by the fan, then my feet, then imaginary insects...

eventually i decided that if i was still awake by 7am i'd get up and try again; i'm guessing i eventually nodded off around that time.

...

now i have to get in tune and into gear, finish this thing and start figuring out what my last paper is going to be about
- four days to hand in? no worries?