Tuesday, April 30, 2013

a monday list

let's go backwards:

1. watching beats, rhymes & life: the travels of a tribe called quest, i'm halfway through. not as much fun as something from nothing: the art of rap but interesting nonetheless.

2. i ran out of cucumber and tomatoes, so my salad was imbalanced and way too spicy / onion-y. i had to cover it with garlic naan and ice-cream: poor me :P

3. boxing was killer. the guy i worked with had tons of advice which will take loads of practice to get right, but the most interesting bit was "you're really strong, you don't need to prove anything. focus on speed and technique and the power will happen by itself". mental flip.

i'm better with a skipping rope than i remembered, but that doesn't mean i don't suck.

4. walmart at crazy o'clock. hooray. the really cool bit was leaving, shopping and returning within half an hour because i used my blades - the following words were repeating themselves over and over in my mind the whole trip: "blades with separating boots? best - invention - ever!!!". it really is!

5. a long day but with some decent achievements. it's weird hearing "you're the boss!" and knowing that it's true; it's weird being in such a central position and having everyone consult me all the time.

6. two of our interns have arrived, and both seem sharper than the previous batch. their first day of training went well and i'm very pleased. the company offered to buy them lunch on their first day but our regular indian restaurant was closed so i went scouting for an alternative. a few blocks further, but good quality and with a better selection!

and that was the day.

Monday, April 29, 2013

weekend end

i met up with nocence and we spent a few hours discussing the comics, producing the comics and a whole bunch of other things. it was a glorious late afternoon when i left, and i had enough time to go shopping and return under another brilliant sunset; on the way there i almost signed up for a different cable service, but then realized that i don't really need fantastic speeds at this point and it would be a waste of time and money.

i parked myself in front of my wall to watch something from nothing, which is freakin' brilliant, and then watched the rest of good hair and an episode of futurama to close off my weekend.

i'm done. i'm tired. i'm ready for bed. i feel like i could sleep for a week.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

there's a to-do list in there somewhere

how fast can i do this? i don't really have energy for posting lately, which i guess is a good thing.

---
thursday:

getting up earlier than my alarm and no snoozing afterwards - what gives?

a horrifying moment on a conference call with the cto, trying to explain to him that what he's instructing us to do is totally wrong without actually saying it that way. it's like standing in the engine of a train with a drunk driver and trying to convince him that playing chicken isn't a good idea.

why is it that the person in front of me in the line at the bank always has one more thing they need to ask? or doesn't want to understand when they're told that what they want is impossible?

the supermarket? does pushing your shit into someone else's payment really happen?? what an annoying old woman.

it was a beautiful day, so standing in the sun for a few minutes while waiting for someone was a pleasure.

we interviewed a developer who seems really promising; he's worked with megaman previously. this kinda bolsters the conspiracy theory i proposed to aota that megaman is actually a mole, attempting to take over our company from within. he's now informed me that he has an entire team from the same company that he'd like to hire as a unit, and that they're known for being anti-social so not to worry about them not integrating.

...

in the morning i told everyone that i needed to be left alone to focus on some high priority tasks, and could only be bothered if something was blocking them. that was around 11am, and they only let me get around to my tasks around 3pm. in any event, i worked through at a good pace, though, and i left the office quite satisfied.

training was solid, and i went to bed early.

---
friday:

again with the early up and no snoozing?

friday's strip search was disappointing; i guess not every episode can be awesome...

friday was really relaxed. i spent it in management mode, and i'm definitely finding my groove.

at lunch i told a couple of the guys the story of the psychotic american; they were totally shocked. perhaps i should write that story down sometime.

aota, megaman and i were on time for a conference call with our panamanian clients; they eventually contacted us an hour late. excusing myself on grounds that i was the organizer of the company happy hour and i don't speak spanish, i collected everyone else in the office and we went off for *three* happy hours. we left when the stage was taken by a couple who were speaking in french; something about sexuality, but i could only understand about half of each sentence. i wasn't the only one, so we exited on mass.

i was a little tipsy.

i spent some time trying to install the android version of wired magazine (for which i have a paid subscription) on my bluestacks emulator; android sucks, people. i gave up.

i was introduced to an html 5 port of dune 2. holy crap!

i played a bit more of on the rain-slick precipice of darkness, then passed out watching the dictator. meh.

---
saturday:

i got up early and read the rest of dar, which is really good. i was worried that i'd somehow managed to offend the cleaning lady, but she eventually got back to me and she'll be coming in this week. she doesn't really need to, but i see it as a relationship-building exercise; afterwards it'll be once every two weeks.

the lachine experience (in a nutshell):
it's not that tough getting there. arriving there is an experience, it's very much the sticks. i have some great photos of just how sticky it is. the main reason for eating lunch at dagwood's was to use their toilet and drink coffee before rollerblading; i'd already decided i was blading home from the shop. the shop experience was pretty good - i had a couple of good options and i actually had to sit a while just considering how i use my skates most of the time. i tried on the hypno sts, clipped the boots in and out a few times, rolled around the store a bit, read a review, and made the call.

first test: returning from lachine to montreal. the roads aren't great, the sun was beating down, i had a large backpack and i got lost (thanks, google maps!), but for my first 10km in half a year i think that went really well! they're decent blades, the ankle support is sufficient, and the best part was getting to the place st henri station and taking the metro home without any hassle or having to lug heavy blades around. and to get home from the my station, it's so easy to clip back in that it was worth doing so for the minute ride to my door.

win!

after a shower and lunch, i enjoyed the ultimate afternoon nap. i don't remember when last i passed out in a sunbeam, and it was grand.

my uncle was on form last night - i was talking to yin and yang when he shouted at me to shut up because nobody was interested in what i was talking about. he then shouted at them when they said that they were interested, and there went the great mood established by the rest of the day. supper was a mixture of amusement and aggravation.

he misidentified my irritation with him as my being tired - i mean, it seems like i'm tired all the time, but the blank look i was giving him whenever he said anything uninteresting or outright offensive (which is most of what comes out of his mouth) wasn't that.

google tells me "digs" are "living quarters", and that's how i used the word last night. yin and my uncle were shocked because they've never heard the word and thought i'd said "dick". hilarity might have ensued if the context hadn't been "you can check out my digs" and things got awkward.

i watched prometheus last night, and the only horror i experienced was caused by how bad the writing was. the plot was holey and the characters were entirely unbelievable: apparently humans become so stupid by the year 2090 that the best and brightest that we send off to discover our origins are complete morons. the scientists don't understand science, for one thing. what?!

i watched a good section of a documentary on hair, then went to bed. i slept well until this morning, when my sleep was disturbed by my current health issues and they've been driving me crazy since. i can't tell if my meds are working or making things worse.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

missing shakespeare's birthday

well, it was will's birthday on tuesday. i didn't totally miss it because ryan north sent out a reminder; i guess i didn't totally not celebrate either as nocence sent me an enthusiastic update that included another potential illustrator. we'll be meeting shortly, i hope.

---
the weather has been fantastic! perhaps i did exaggerate a little by leaving home wearing nothing over my shirt. i was still tired, i had too many priorities and distractions and the first of all of them was a decidedly brainless task that would take me most of the day to complete. and then i finished the day with a really bad stuff-up: i asked newk'd to do something that made him feel important, and then realized that i didn't have the authority to give him the assignment. that was a serious bummer.

mma: i made the group uneven so i joined a girl and the guy who thought i was welsh. turns out he's a software developer who'd rather be doing graphic design. hah! and it also turns out that having a girl catch you with a triangle choke isn't sexy at all.
the sexy kickboxing girl from the advanced class? there were *three* of them. all at least as tall as me, bigger than me in a muscular way and very good looking. i need to get myself into that class :P

and back to reality: i started the kickboxing class on a full tank of gas, and by gas i mean literal gas and by tank i mean belly. it was a very uncomfortable class indeed.

it turns out i'm not the only vegan in the class, and the two of us argued about allan savory: i thought i have a good idea and he doesn't. that's a disappointing read...

i was broken after training and i went to bed really late because i was searching for a clinic i could go to. and i went out to the bank to draw cash, once again discovering that it's nearly the end of the month (in banking terms) and i might have trouble drawing enough for the rent...

---
wednesday:

an hour earlier is an hour tougher to wake up. i got most of the pre-clean tidy done, and walked out into an awesomely warm and shiny breezy day to be outside. montreal's finest was on display, which almost made up for such silly hours that would have been better spent in bed.

anyhow, i'd picked a good clinic and i only had to wait an hour or two to see a doctor! who was pleasant and pleasantly efficient. i walked out of there in five minutes with a prescription and an eased mind.

i was intrigued by the number of religious jews in the area around the clinic, and horrified to see one couple doing the israeli thing of pulling into a bus stop and sitting while a bus was trying to pick people up.
*sigh*

i mentioned david farland - nightingale recently: i'm more than halfway through, and it's great fun! even if it does go a little over-the-top sometimes, i have a thing about timing and some of the events are just a teensy bit too convenient. but it's mostly a very cool halfway point between a regular high school story and harry potter, only with actual references to harry potter.

i visited the pharmacy on my way home, ate lunch while watching an episode of how i met your mother, and went to the office to be absolutely exhausted while rolling my eyes over last-minute testing and many menial chores that simply refuse to take care of themselves. two coffees weren't enough. the spruce beer was atrocious and the aftertaste lasted longer than could be considered fair play.

i arrived home around 8pm, too late to even consider going to boxing, and parked myself in front of the wall (telly?) to finally catch up with how i met your mother.

i did think to send the cleaning lady a message to thank her, but then forgot on my way to the couch and felt bad for making her send me a message first. it was really nice to walk into a clean, fresh-smelling apartment! i was worried she'd expect to come in once a week, which would be expensive and unnecessary, but i think it's cool to keep it twice a month and she seems okay with the idea. that's a relief.

right - it's almost midnight, and neither lying on the couch nor posting is the same as sleeping :$

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

breaking points

i woke up from some crazy dreams this morning, which i vaguely remember as involving altercations and an american policeman pulling three of us over after one of the guys picked up a giant bag of marijuana that was lying on the sidewalk.

it was stupidly difficult to get out of bed this morning, but i somehow managed to sort myself out and iron my shirt before getting out of here. after lunch (where i had coffee) i was still exhausted, and i required yet another cup in order to function. after work i went with aota and her daughter to the supermarket (i was giving directions, and i figured i could use a couple of things). they took forever and i only needed a few items, so by the time we left i was completely broken. i crashed as soon as i got home and woke up around 11pm - i'm very glad that my uncle sent me off with enough leftovers last night to afford me the luxury of not having to prepare anything.

work-wise i feel like i've got too much on my plate again: here i thought my new responsibility definition would be reducing the number of things i'd have to focus on :P

one of the interns celebrated his birthday today, so we all went out for lunch and i bought him a small chocolate. one of the developers who came with wasn't happy with his meal, so he packed it up to take to his wife and pretty much sat and watched us eat. as we waited in line to pay i thought about the fact that he'd had a birthday about a month ago and we did absolutely nothing to mark it... not cool... but i guess we were in a different place then.

Monday, April 22, 2013

speaking in tongues

the excitement of the weekend: "the younger girl" from last weekend who invited us to her meetup? so it turns out she's not younger. on closer inspection i'd put her around five years my elder. it was halfway through our meeting today that i discovered that she's fifteen years my elder. well, i wasn't attracted to her anyway, but i guess that's a positive thing if we're going to have a professional relationship: she's an artist.
and she's totally excited about my comics! we spent four hours today discussing them, going over the material i've put together so far, and planning the next week. i really, really, really hope this goes the way we think it's going to!

...

the dark news: just as we were finishing up, yang called me and informed me that godmother's best friend's son has passed away. the kid was 22 and although it wasn't a surprise (cancer), what a nightmare :(

---
i don't know how quickly i can do this, but i want this post complete before i go to bed even if i am starting it at half past midnight and it's covering two days.

---
saturday:

i watched the first couple of episodes of firefly (third time) and put myself to bed early; i'm not sure at what point my overactive imagination turned off and i slept, but suddenly it was morning and i was up and ready to do stuff.

i discovered that a cousin of mine has become engaged - it was only on checking out his facebook page that i realized that he's out of the closet as well. i guess i know why it hadn't been discussed in the family! i felt like such a gossip when i informed my mother.

the good news from her was hearing that she's finally in a good place with her new job :)

the not so good news is that my uncle's cancer is spreading. at least he's accepted his condition, but it's still a bummer and it can't be easy to have gone through so much of it. i hope he's at least comfortable.

i left to get a haircut and passed a flute player on my way down to the metro: he was awesome, but i walked past him so as not to miss my train. i regretted not stopping to drop him a dollar or two, and that regret was compounded with every minute that i stood waiting. i hoped to find him there later but by the time i returned he was gone; only memories of his haunting melodies mixed with the concrete echoes and the wind from the tunnels remained.

my haircut experience was pleasant and the guy did a decent job - it's been three years since someone experienced cut my hair and about a decade since i paid for a haircut: it's *weird* looking tidy.

i passed by walmart to pick up a skipping rope and i found a box of clif bars at a reasonable price! i'm so pleased :)

i headed off to the library for the meetup; it was two hours of debating the nature of reality with me defining reality in scientific terms in order to defend the spiritualists from the so-called "skeptic". why do i say "so-called"? because he's into scientism, and he's skeptical about every ideology except his own.

*sigh*

the weather has been weird and everyone at the library was commenting on it - the weirdest was yet to come! i walked to the metro in the post-rain warmth, and it actually began to snow. wtf?!?

godmother's cleaning lady came by to check out the apartment, pick up keys and let me know what she'd need, and she'll be starting on wednesday. that's quite a load off my mind!

i crashed while watching puss in boots in quebecois, and dragged myself off the couch to retrieve my laundry and go shopping. i read for a bit before passing out, then woke up at 3am to eat something and read that new zealand has become the 13th country to legalize same-sex marriage - good on them!

---
today:

it was a slow and sunny morning, i headed off to the port and hopped from sunbeam to sunbeam in the 0° weather until i found the rollerblade shop. they informed me that they're no longer selling, and directed me to a place in lachine which is apparently the only decent option.

*sigh*

next weekend, i guess.

i entered chinatown for a disappointing meal, and walked past what i was sure was an anti-israel demonstration (white burkas with red headbands?) and into what appeared to be a protest related to global warming. related?

i had dinner with yang and my uncle, who was of a caring and friendly disposition tonight. yang dropped me off at home and i introduced him to firefly (my fourth time, and now i'm noticing nuances i'd missed previously), and hey! it's bedtime now.

---
this article on flatulence is an example of epic journalism. must read!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

mental yoga

i just ran home in the rain from boxing: this tougher, faster, stronger me? i like him. friday night boxing FTW! and now a partially planned escape into inner space for the night (part ii, i guess you could call it), and tomorrow's a busy day.

---
i got my medical insurance details today! so i can go and see a doctor as soon as i figure out where and when to go.

today saw me in manager mode - now that we're agile, i actually feel like we're doing things right. there is a plan, and i'm on top of it. the director kept congratulating me on doing an excellent job - before he left i stopped him to remind him that i was simply doing what he'd instructed me to. the difference between half-assed agile and agile is palpable.

right - time to get into dinner and navel-gazing.

Friday, April 19, 2013

imbalance?

okay, this how i met your mother addiction is outta control. i blame netflix. it's so easy to just press "x" and start the next episode! also, season 7 is really, really well written.

at least i got a couple of comic panels done before settling down on the couch with the ice-cream. the images are absolutely shameful compared to what i'm imagining, but hopefully they're enough to inspire a real illustrator to do some cool shit.

---
i decided to join in with a book bomb benefit the other day, and now that i've breezed through five pleasurable chapters i can heartily suggest reading "nightingale". it's fascinating how captivating fantasy in a non-fantasy setting can be! kinda like harry potter, but very different.

---
i was quite embarrassed to arrive at work without my belt. really?! and to think i'd thought of putting it on as i put my shirt on, i don't know how i managed to get distracted so easily. i thought i'd go to the clothing shop at lunchtime and acquire a new one (intending to leave it at the office for just such cases), but they don't sell men's belts. so i went out in the rain for nothing :(

also, my hair's gone crazy - to the point where i received negative comments about it. i'd have buzzed it myself, but i can't clean it up well and it would be silly to cut my own hair only to go and spend $20 (!!!) just for finishing.

---
i completed an important task this morning, bringing us into full agile mode. i guess this is the first time i've ever worked with a reasonable methodology! the director sat down to discuss our svn practices, and after a lot of confusion i eventually got where he was going and now i have to figure out how to align our svn structure and practices accordingly. it's not easy letting go of a paradigm, but it's possible that this will be a variation as opposed to an incompatible procedure.

the rest of the day was taken with meetings and teaching aota how to use gigantt. it's excellent software, even if some of the finer points are a little confusing at first. she was not in the mood to learn something new, but our relationship has become such that we can fight in good humour; this morning the cto judged a contest between the two of us as to who is the bigger drama queen :P [she won]

it's nice when things at the office are relaxed. heck, even the interns are producing!

---
i had dinner with godmother and yang, it was nice but i wasn't feeling great. tired, really. and kinda out of sorts, even though everything's fine.

speaking of tired, it's now half-past midnight and i should be thinking of getting to bed...

Thursday, April 18, 2013

msi blasted

holy shit: mindless self indulgence in real life put on one hell of a show! and lyn-z?? jesus, that woman is sexy.
i haven't had that much fun at a concert since nine inch nails*, my hearing's buggered and i just want more…

* a very different scale of concert, but still

---
i woke up feeling like i was in the intro sequence to final fantasy viii; it was specifically the way the light was streaming in through the curtains and some intangible change in my perception.

i spent too long adding strip search artists' comics to my reader. like i didn't have enough to get through :P

on my way out of the apartment the universe dropped me a line to say "do your own damn shirts" - using the laundry service isn't as safe as doing my ironing myself, apparently :/

i got out of the metro into a sunny six-degree morning, and all i could think of was "perfect beach weather"! the day was ridiculously beautiful, becoming a warm sunny afternoon that made me smile when i left.

huh! until recently i was in a manager trois, i'm amused that there's now a word for that :P

after a relaxed day of administrative tasks, i walked out early to get changed and meet up with yang to go to the concert.

...

when yang said goodbye and got off the train i realized that i'd been shouting unnecessarily; why is it that i only remember earplugs as these kinds of events begin?

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

brotherhood of steel

this morning someone sent me a message asking how i'm doing, and i was half asleep as i responded: "overall? happy". and i guess it's true! i'm enjoying my work a lot more, now that i'm taking it a little less seriously, and i'm *really* enjoying being back in training, and i'm slowly discovering things around here and finding my feet.

life here is very different when i'm not constantly worried about the well-being of someone else who's unhappy.

---
waking late this morning was just an indication of how well i was sleeping. i timed everything badly, and ended up running in the rain to the dry cleaner having forgotten my receipt; i didn't have enough time to come back and return with it, so i had to put it off until evening. i left work later than i'd planned to and ended up running in the rain to get there just as they were closing their doors... but they were kind enough to let me in.

work:
a reversion to some annoying it failures, but an introduction to the requirements of my new responsibilities. full agile (as opposed to the watered-down version we'd implemented before) is a new paradigm, not difficult to get but it does force me to rethink some of our tools and practices a little.

---
one of the developers invited me out for lunch, and newk'd and i joined him. turns out there's this great place two blocks from the office with a really cool vibe, great food, decent coffee, beers (not that we drank during the day, but it's nice to know they serve them) and a stage that looks about right for anything.

the clincher? when the wrap i ordered arrived and didn't look (or taste) like the tofu and carrot that i'd ordered, i carried my plate over to the counter to ask what was in it.
"oh, don't worry sir, it's definitely vegan!"
he didn't need to continue to describe the ingredients, we were all good. and it tasted really good. on the way out we noticed chocolates on display, and i inquired as to whether they contained dairy.
"oh, no - and we make them here!"

okay, so i shelled out $4.50 for a bar of chocolate. it was delicious! then i consulted the exchange rates to note that i'd just demolished a bar of chocolate that cost me NIS 16. and in rand? FORTY RAND! holy crap.

then i wondered about how much i've been spending on albums from itunes: something like R90 each. damn, but south african currency has gone to shit.

while we were chatting and eating i mentioned an idea i had years ago (and pitched to my mother and pg in the hope that they'd like it enough to want to get involved), and i was pleasantly surprised to hear how well they thought of it and to be presented with a link to a group of people in montreal who might be interested in taking it further.

---
on the way to picking up my laundry in the evening, i walked out into the perfect post-rain sunset. everything was perfect, the smell of rain and the reflections on the pools in the street, the clouds creeping away to let the sun peek out through the branches...

i was going to be late for mma, so i took the opportunity to go shopping instead. i discovered that my fly was wide open on my return from supermarket. :(

---
that first run let me know that i'd taken some ankle damage somewhere, and it flared up a couple of times during the day. "you probably shouldn't go to kickboxing in that state," someone said. hah! the kickboxing was the best part of the day, my foot was better than fine and if i hadn't gone i would have no idea what i'd missed! i'm definitely improving and a few times i *felt* that i was getting things right (the things i learned in boxing, it's the same shit).

i'm in love with my gym. everyone works hard, they're all respectful, and they're all quite friendly. not just polite - one of the guys was ordering gear online, and to save cash he was putting all the orders together. even the coaches were in on it (buying from the gym is ridiculously expensive), and he asked if i wanted in. sure! we agreed to meet up outside the gym, so i returned home to get cash and went back to find a whole group of people hanging around, including some of the trainers. i didn't smoke with them (yeah, i'm pretty sure that wouldn't have ended well), and was amused when a group of large men walked past while i was deliberating over whether to pick up headgear for muay thai and i was told to ask them.

eh?? bear in mind that this was standing on the pavement late at night after the gym had closed.

they were only too happy to give me advice. once we'd sorted things out and i handed him a cash note, he informed me that any change or extra shipping costs would have to be worked out in drinks.

yeah, i definitely dig my gym. thinking back to taekwondo in israel, a fighting gym is very much a brotherhood. and this one is quality.

---
back to the apartment:

there's something magical about a standard light switch turning the internet on and off.

i'm totally sucked in to how i met your mother (season 7). unhealthily so, like, i have a hard time not pressing "continue" at the end of each episode.

i had a quick chat with my mother, and *knocks wood* it looks like we're both doing well. what i find fascinating is that she's been waiting for half a year for a job she really wanted, and as soon as she got another (very cool) job last week they called her back for the first one and told her they'd like her to come in. how does that work?!

---
okay, it's late and i've written too much. and perhaps playing a few minutes of the first penny arcade: on the rain-slick precipice of darkness wasn't wise: it's beautiful.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

the backswing

a couple of weeks ago i mentioned being wow'ed by allan savory's ted talk about reversing desertification.

now, i've waxed lyrical on the topic of political veganism and i've shared my displeasure with the community's methods quite vocally, but here, look, we have a way to achieve their goals while simultaneously continuing to provide for the meat-eaters amongst us:
all we need to do is ban industrial farming techniques, and force the farmers to follow the planned grazing methodology with their combined herds.
this would achieve a number of goals. first and foremost, it would reclaim land that all these farmers would continue to use, so there's a massive incentive for them right there. second, animals out to pasture are already in a much happier and healthier position than they are at present, and we could use this as a springboard to push for greater animal rights. third, as healthy as the vegan lifestyle may be, most people do not want to give up eating meat and, quite frankly, the more of them the better.

say what???

that's right, the meat and dairy industries are pretty much our only hope of resuscitating the planet. so instead of antagonizing them, let's go win-win and play nice: if they succeed with planned grazing, we win, the farmers win, and the animals win.

---
i watched vegucated, and it reinforced my belief that people can be made to care enough to actually get this done. it's just an idea, but we can all share it, and make it ours, and turn it into reality. we can do better, without much sacrifice, and here's a way.

conditioning

boxing totally rocks! our instructor's figured out that i don't know shit, and took me aside to show me the moves. after getting everything the first time i tried i'm pretty certain that by now i've forgotten all the important things - this is going to take a while. but now that i have an idea of how the techniques are supposed to feel, i'm way more interested in the sport! this is some cool shit.

i'm very glad that i went to the toilet before training: when he said "conditioning" i didn't think he meant "find a partner who'll beat the stuffing out of you while you take it with a smile". it was *very* hard to breathe through all that.

---
i arrived at work five minutes late for a meeting that would continue until lunchtime. the new director joined me for lunch, and the conversation we had for dessert totally put me on high alert. i understand what he was trying to do, his proposal was totally fair, but i peered into the future and saw my official title clashing bureaucratically and putting me in a place i really don't want to be. i think i managed to communicate my concerns well enough, and i believe that our compromise was more than just empty words.

basically, he's agreed to prefix "development manager" with the word "temporary", and we'll re-evaluate the situation in six months. what i don't want is to be trapped in a situation where i'm hands-off as far as the code is concerned and the first to get booted out the door if we hire too many developers.

---
i finally finished an it project that was dragging on and on, and i'm really glad it's off the table so that i can focus on more interesting things. the office vibe has continued to be upbeat and i'm really pleased about that! the bubble-wrap thing is totally effective.

---
the boston bombing is shocking and horrible. my mother and i were discussing this on the weekend: the sad thing about the states is that they respond to terror by terrorizing their own people; a complete victory for their enemies who undoubtedly would not be able to do as good a job as they've done themselves.

this is a tragedy, but it's no less of a tragedy than american citizens (and the rest of us, by proxy) giving up freedom and dignity for the illusion of safety. just because you're paranoid, doesn't make you safe. and whoever perpetrated this? they need to be dealt with not swiftly, and not violently, but in a way so evil that it would serve as a deterrent. sorry, guys, that's the reality of dealing with shitty human beings.

Monday, April 15, 2013

not quite radio

a real radio wouldn't do that: i went to sleep listening to french songs on a radio station i found on itunes. you know, the fantasy that my brain would pick words up in my sleep or something. i woke up to michael jackson, though - the next station in the list is an 80s hit show.

not that i didn't enjoy waking up to 80s hits, but i suspect that that shit seriously messed with my dreams. an epic story involving rollerblades and motorcycles, chewing gum, the movies, and being chased by a bad guy who demolished his own house with his bare hands.

how strange to wake up and realize that the sun is shining, in a hot, summery way.

consumption junction

mmmf. netflix and a home theatre setup isn't healthy. i just keep pressing "play" at the end of every episode...

---
the discussion about israel that began yesterday continued today, and got very emotional. at some points i was angry because people who know me, but not well, don't understand where i stand and why i left, and it's important for me that everyone knows that i didn't just give up. i didn't just flee with my tail between my legs, and i'm sad that after everything i went through i was unable to make israel my home. i was successful as an israeli, i have one and a half degrees, an excellent service record and good professional experience / references to show that. also a few good friends and a heck of a lot of interesting stories. but what i didn't have was satisfaction.

every day, no, every time i left my apartment i would be exposed to behaviour that made me suffer. and not just behaviour towards me; i cannot ignore other people and i cannot abide by unnecessary aggression. now, it's one thing to try and fail to change that, but it's another entirely to be told not to try to change it. i cannot help but be offended to my core by "the indifference of good men".

what i most appreciated today was a private message from a friend of a friend that i've never met, who'd seen our mutual friend's comments and read what i had to say: she just wanted to share that she could sympathize. i found that touching.

i know that there are a lot of good people there, and a lot of initiatives to bring about change - but i also know that i'm out of place in that society and while i can manage well there i cannot feel secure or be happy until that change is affected. and, as i've said before, while i hope and pray that i'm wrong i've lost faith and can only envision their society collapsing.

is quebec perfect? is anywhere perfect? no. but even though i'm just beginning my new life here, and i don't even know where i'll be in two years' time, i'm already more at peace than i've been in well over a decade. what was i fighting for all that time? and stressing about? to what end?

---
last night:

warm bodies: amusing, but with disturbing plot holes that weren't actually funny. it's not as well done as shaun of the dead. having said that, it does present an interesting counterpoint to my zombie thesis and has provided much food for thought. so i guess i appreciate it, even if i'm not thrilled by it. also - it was filmed here! i *thought* the locations looked familiar.

so the meetup itself was afterwards, sitting around a couple of tables at a pizza hut. it was super awkward at first. i was feeling self-conscious about not ordering food, but the guy sitting across from me ordered nothing but green tea so i did too, and then i discovered that he's a vegan as well and we had a discussion that made me feel really good - i got him to rethink some of his fanatic beliefs by assailing him with logic. in particular, he's not so sure he's anti-GM foods anymore. and he informed me that dr. greger is going to be in town soon and i'd really like to hear him speak.

so, a lot of the people at the meetup are a little older (or elderly) and a bit broken (like, recently divorced or in the process of separating), but there were a couple of other younger folk (like, younger than me, i guess i'm not in my early twenties anymore :P). the younger girl invited a few of us to a talk next weekend that sounds right up my alley! cool - i hope i don't hate it...

one old man overheard a conversation i was having about humour and stopped as he walked past: "you sound really educated."
i awkwardly responded with something along the lines of "i try," and only later would think of a decent (and appropriately humble) response.
*sigh*
i'm not used to appreciation from strangers.

so ultimately, the evening was very pleasant and a good time was had by all. riiiiiight until that moment when i decided to accept a lift to the metro station instead of taking a two-minute walk. the man offering was really excited to talk to an israeli, and instead of a minute in the car i sat for about half an hour as he ranted and raved, first about israeli politics and then about quebec politics and the injustice of bill 101 and how it's a human rights violation. basically, it was like being trapped in a car with my offensive uncle on a roll, only this was a total stranger. he kinda reminded me of rip torn, if rip torn was driving a car that looked like he was sleeping in it.

after eventually managing to extract myself from the vehicle, i needed to shake off my disgust and frustration and horror and the hopeless reliving of the defining moment in which i accepted his kind offer: it was with crazy-people vocal expressions that i did so. almost-shouting at myself while alone crossing a bridge in the rain, things like "damn!" and rolling my eyes while breathing "why?!"... that sort of thing.

...

and then i returned to my apartment and the why-i-left-israel discussion wasn't over.
*facepalm*
you'd think i'd just leave it until morning, but xkcd 386. and this was about me.

i watched lots of how i met your mother and ate a lot of chocolate, and i felt better when i finally went to bed. actually, that kinda sums up tonight as well.

---
i've been playing penny arcade: gamers vs evil with dystopia, zenstar and schpat, and i actually managed to win a game. i'm super proud!

---
today:

i woke up late and into beautiful weather. i had a very long chat with copywriter that got political and philosophical, after which i rushed off to the gym to watch the open mma mat. well! that wasn't happening, so i just trained for a while instead. i mainly focused on my kicking - it's a long process to recalibrate - and walked out totally satisfied with myself and really glad that i'm living so close to an excellent gym.

after chatting with my mum i settled down to work on my comics, and while i didn't make as much progress quantity-wise as last time i certainly did hit upon something that makes the transformation from figure of speech to poetry much clearer. i've been wondering about doing this as a webcomic, but while i think the slow-release format might be suitable my drawing skills definitely are not. i mean, i can communicate what i'm going for but is that really all i want? i want people to read it and enjoy the fantastic world that ol' shakespeare has created, not just go "ah, very clever! i see what he was going for".

---
"so delicious" mint marble fudge is soy-based ice-cream and it's stupidly delicious! like, omg, it's awesome and satisfying and uncontrollable.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

corruption

damn. it's been a month or two, and i've finally sorted out the piles of papers that had accumulated on my table. that's tantamount to cleaning the apartment. i also got some shopping done, and watched a fun french movie (pièce montée, it surprised me).

i would totally buy the mechwarrior 2 mercenaries soundtrack if it was available on itunes.

---
thursday:

have i mentioned not feeling good? it's very weird, and hard to explain. i've been feeling great the last week, except for in the mornings when i feel terrible for the first hour or so after i leave the apartment. it's not cool at all. as soon as i get my medical insurance card i'm going to go get myself checked out.

---
thursday began with good meetings, and about halfway through the afternoon i came into possession of a large quantity of bubble wrap and an idea of what to do with it. every time an intern would come to me to report something positive, i handed him a square of bubble wrap. it's ridiculous, and even they found it so, but they were charmed nonetheless. and with that, the atmosphere in the office changed. work is supposed to be fun, and it's been miserable for everyone, and it doesn't need to be that way. that single act of silliness opened the gates, and aota, newk'd and i started relaxing and taking everything (and ourselves) less seriously.

the work will get done at the same pace, but we're not going to stress about it.

aota overheard me babysitting the interns, and asked me "how do you not want to kill yourself? with these interns?"

"we do the best we can with the tools we've got". and by "tools", i meant penises.

---
i made an early break for it on thursday to make it to training: i'm definitely getting better with the jiu jitsu. i partnered up with a guy who only speaks french, and it made things, umm, complicated. lots of gestures and repeating unintelligible things.

kickboxing: either training's easier or i'm getting stronger. every time the instructor talks to me i add another item to my list of things to learn, and it's been a very long time since i experienced that positively. about a decade, actually. it's very exciting!

i got home and checked the weekend's snow report: so much for snowboarding, after the snow it was going to rain. i signed up to see warm bodies with a movie meetup group instead. i proceeded to watch the ultimate fighter season finale until late. what a satisfying finish!

---
friday:

i lay in bed browsing my rss feeds until late, then woke up at 5.30. for nothing. i eventually got back to sleep, but then my alarm went off. "inception snoozing": when every time you snooze your alarm you get sucked in deeper and it becomes more difficult to wake up.

i watched friday's episode of strip search: it was positively mystifying! all i could think of was "you can't do that!!!", but then i realized that they've taken the whole genre and turned it on its head. the series is as much about mike and jerry as it is about the contestants. and it's so good!

we had perfect snow in the morning, which would all become slush by the evening. the day was relaxed, i played good music for most of it, and the only thing that sucked was getting caught up in something and not being able to leave on time for training. but then i didn't go anyway, because i got invited to godmother's for dinner.

dinner was really nice, and we all laughed as i took home a bag of canned chick-peas that my uncle had bought in bulk because it was on special.

i spent my night doing laundry and watching community and how i met your mother. and then vegucation, but my response to that deserves a separate post.

i was figuratively, literally and repeatedly shocked by the insane quantities of static from my bedclothes and clothing out the tumble-dryer.

---
after sharing a video about arsim attacking the elderly, a couple of friends shared their thoughts about my leaving israel. aside from impressing myself with my ability to type in hebrew without letters on the keyboard, the discussion brought out some really ugly feelings. i *am* bitter; i feel betrayed and it's a painful feeling. to live in a country where complaining about someone being an asshole can score you a beating, and where normal people tell you not to waste your time trying to make a positive difference, is really hard. but it's even harder when you've given up the best years of your life in your country's service with nothing better than a kick in the teeth (in my case, literally) to show for it.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

uncovered

i realized this evening that i most certainly could not live in london. it's been over a week and a half of grey, overcast misery, and as i left my apartment the clouds began to part, allowing a sense of freshness into the air that was otherwise psychologically stuffy. i walked to the closest tattoo parlour, and my mom called just as i arrived so i stood outside chatting excitedly for about half an hour: my mom has some very good news that i'm extremely pleased to hear!

standing outside gave me a good sense of the vibe of that area - only about five minutes' walk north - very student-funky and fun, possibly related to the cégep school at the end of the road. as we finished the phone call, i realized i'd been standing outside for half an hour with no gloves, no sweater and a bare head: spring! i sprung up the steps and into wizard's.

i waited about five minutes, explained myself badly twice, and when the guy understood me he said "ah! i have a tool for that."
i thought he meant he had a tool to help me get the helix back on, and i said that if i needed a tool to do that i'd rather buy a different one. he wasn't listening. he'd taken my helix, he pulled out something unidentifiable, and then returned my helix. he'd stretched the metal! so now it clips and unclips really easily. too easily, i suspected, but i've tugged on it a bit and it's all good :)

"umm - thank you! what do i owe you for this?"
"nothing, man, you have a good evening!"

boy, did *that* all put a smile on my face. it was with a lightened step that i walked back home to catch a bus to the mall to check out rollerblades. the first guy i spoke to didn't know anything, so he brought over another guy who managed to get what i was looking for and found me some pretty close fits... not close enough, unfortunately. but after twenty minutes trying them on and rolling around, he made me feel secure with my indecision and advised that i check out a competitor. satisfying service, twice in one evening!

i walked out of the mall into a breathtakingly magnificent sunset. i can't even describe it well, and my camera certainly couldn't get a hold of it: looking north, light blues and yellows blending from the east into an orange and violently pink north-west corner of the sky, slashed across by deep purple clouds creating a diagonal from that corner and passing through indigo into grey cloud on the right edge of my vision. when i stood staring while waiting for the light to change i wanted the moment to last forever; when i crossed the road and arrived at the stop the bus arrived with me.

i picked up a starbucks soy latte on the way home, and arrived totally psyched to work on my comics. huzzah! i got through two pages (covering four lines of verse) before realizing that two hours had passed and it was late... i'm *really* excited about what i've done! so i made dinner and ate it watching a great episode of community and then the last half hour of the penultimate episode of the ultimate fighter - team gsp vs team koscheck. great ending!

all that because the weather played nice ;)

---
tuesday:

i woke up around 3am for midnight snacking: humus and carrots. the new training me can get pretty hungry.
the weather's shittiness was felt, and i was not in the mood to be anywhere. let alone arguing with cheshire cat lady because she doesn't understand that we should develop solutions to fit needs and not compromise by using existing solutions that only make our jobs harder :/
the afternoon was a confused mess of multitasking and security issues that made no sense whatsoever.

i left a lot later than i'd intended, and had to literally run to the shops in order to get to training. and i was still half an hour late. then i partnered up with a kid who made a great partner, but whose ass smelled... like ass, and every time he caught my head with his leg i had to hold my breath. ugh.

kickboxing was killer - i didn't give up, but the last five minutes was a blur of dizziness and pain. i do believe it's making a positive difference, though: every step i took today i could properly feel my stomache muscles. which means they exist!

---
today:

i woke up a little earlier than usual and so took the morning slow, beginning with the latest episode of strip search. another great one :)

i still felt bad today, and thought about going to see a doctor. apparently that's practically impossible here in quebec, and my medical coverage (when i receive my card, which should be any day now) isn't valid outside the province. as soon as i get that card, i'm going to go camp out in a clinic until i can find myself a gp.

today was a long day of meetings, but they were all up, interesting and positive. i'm not getting my hopes too high, but they did inspire a little more confidence.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

self-sufficiency

training in front of a mirror: when your body says "fuck you", you can look yourself in the eye to say "no, man, fuck YOU". and finish it.

boxing was even tougher than kickboxing. i'm all shaky now.

---

work today wasn't bad. aota and i had a long chat about demotivation and i got away with implying that our dumbest intern is an idiot while still being cheerily helpful. if he was smarter he might have noticed.

also, the it guy explained why he didn't get a phone call from the station: they confiscate your phone, and only allow you to call numbers you remember. how antiquated! who remembers phone numbers these days??

---

my first holocaust memorial day outside of israel in a long time. the best i could do was write a poem, but i think it needs more work before i upload it.

---

[edit] oh, shit - almost forgot! i've never removed my helix, and i actually had to use pliers. now i can't get the ball back on. good grief!

Monday, April 08, 2013

improvement

some rest, some fallout, a big dinner and some how i met your mother all conspired to make me feel much, much better. i guess it's a good idea to hit the hay early tonight.

ugly brain

both times that i went to the gym today i felt horrible; completely drained and unable to get it together to focus properly on what was being demonstrated or said. kind of like that moment before passing out, only continuous.

when i called it a day (about ten minutes after arriving at the afternoon session) i came back to rest. i've been lying (comfortably) on the couch, alternating between sleep and just lying with my head feeling like it's been flooded with used frying oil and my mind reeling, playing through still images from the past few days in a disquietingly random order.

i don't know how i feel but it's not good.

Sunday, April 07, 2013

obsessive?

this weekend has been dedicated to studying mma, as i signed up for the paradise warrior retreat. i'm very glad that i only signed up as a spectator: i was right, i really am too much of a beginner to get my money's worth. these guys are truly amazing, though, and yesterday i left feeling totally saturated. i can barely remember what i witnessed, but i know it's in here somewhere. i'm going to need to find a training partner!

last night godmother asked me if this is an obsession, and i wasn't sure how to respond to that. if you're going to train, you've got to do it properly (imo). i've thought about it a lot this week, and i've arrived at the conclusion that i don't really want to fight, but i do want to be good enough that my trainers would be disappointed in me for not fighting.

then again, my competition record is 3-1, and maybe it would be nice to update that with some real fighting. i dunno.

---
thursday:

i've had trouble a few times with shoes hurting me, and the last time it happened i began to suspect that it might be the foot and not the shoe. on thursday this was confirmed: something "tweaked" my left big toe and walking became intensely painful :(

thursday was a day of long meetings. i joined the interns and a couple of our real developers (how nice am i?) at our favourite indian restaurant, and was weirded out by the fact that if i didn't start a conversation everyone would just eat in silence. this was verified no less than three times.

i left early to have some time to prepare for training, and i'm glad i did because my stomache failed me before i hit the gym. nerves? i dunno. and then i arrived and i needed to pee from the moment we hit the mats. at least it didn't interfere with the training :P

two issues for the evening: i couldn't remove my helix, no matter how hard i tried, and i simply don't get how to wrap up my hands. after the mma session i discovered that during it my jaw had been damaged, but that would be the least of my problems: in the kickboxing lesson i discovered that my taekwondo kicking is not practical. i've been taught to kick with the lower half of my shins, and aside from it being less effective it also got my legs pretty badly damaged. i'm pleased to report that massaging massive bruises *does* help; i did that for an hour or two in front of the telly when i got home.

kitsch story: i partnered up with a cute girl in our kickboxing class to work on combinations; she was grateful for my input - some of which was telling her to focus on my punches and not on my eyes :P
when she spotted me in the parking lot she smiled and waved enthusiastically, and that combined with the rest of the training experience (and adrenaline) to put me in a fantastic mood :)

---
friday:

my sore jaw kept me in discomfort the whole morning, but our main development server was down and so we had a really slow day. the it guy, who we couldn't get hold of the whole day, called me up yesterday to explain what had happened: he was in the middle of server maintenance on thursday night and went out to get something to eat, was treated to a random police check and arrested on grounds that he had some outstanding fine from 2002. they confiscated his phone and refused to let him make any phone calls, and after a day realized that he'd been telling the truth about being in the clear and let him go.

that's one heck of a story! i wonder if it's true.

aota and i were planning an office happy hour but i had to head to cadillac to pick up a $10 phone for use as an intercom. i'd found it on craigslist, it was cheap and in my head buying it would be a form a recycling. not included in the listed price was rush hour in the metro. that's sweaty, squishy business :(

i met up with aota and newk'd joined us, and in the next couple of hours we polished off a large bottle of ron abuelo while talking non-stop. it was fun!

---
saturday:

the only problem with the evening was ending it. i got home knowing that i needed to drink lots of water and consume protein, and i put on how i met your mother to accompany that. passing out on the couch with the projector running, waking up around 3am, swaying to the bathroom to brush my teeth and then flopping down on the bed to proceed with the most horrible night. my body was sore, i could *feel* the rum in my chest and i just couldn't sleep.

i think i was still drunk when i got out of bed. my day began early, with a cold walk to the dry cleaner followed by a cold shuffle to the gym. i had karnivool's "where's your god?" on repeat in my mind throughout the morning.

chris weidman is awesome. even his warm-up was mind-blowing! i think that watching everyone drilling was more helpful than the drilling itself; i was constantly holding myself back from running in to random people to point out what they were doing wrong. it's *hard* to get your body to do that shit, and the second there're more than two or three steps your brain / body synchronization goes all wonky.

i watched some more the ultimate fighter during the lunch break, then returned to the gym. i was exhausted! after twenty minutes of trying and failing to keep myself focused (as a spectator!), i took a walk to pick up a giant cup of coffee and that got me through the rest of the afternoon. rory macdonald and cung le are both really intimidating, just watching them demonstrate moves is hardcore.

afterwards i went to godmother for dinner; dinner was really nice, but my uncle? he's so offensive, it's really hard not to take his shit personally. he won't allow yang and i to argue about anything, and we argue a lot, and because i know stuff about lots of different things (the man is pre-technology and internet and is totally not academic) he's convinced that i talk shit non-stop. for me, not talking shit ever is a point of pride and his trashing me really gets under my skin.

what brought that out was me telling a horror story from 11th grade:
my favourite teacher, my favourite class, and our relationship had become such that i was pretty much free to run my mouth because she was happy with most of my input. one day she had a cold sore and a couple of students at the front of the class asked about it. i heard something vague about cold sores from where i was sitting at the back, and had recently (within the previous few days) read about cold sores and piped up with what i thought was an amusing quote:
"did you know that genital herpes can be transmitted via oral sex?"
the teacher's face changed colour, and she angrily screamed the following at me:
"you go tell my four year-old son that i got this cold sore by giving his daddy a blowjob!"
well, that was awkward. all of us sat in shocked silence, i felt absolutely terrible and she never spoke to me again.

yang gave me a ride home and we had a rational and interesting conversation outside while he had a cigarette. i sense maturation :)

i watched a few more episodes of the ultimate fighter and then went to bed. i finally slept well!

Thursday, April 04, 2013

stiff muscles... in the head

egads. so brain-busted. i coffee'd up and headed out to shop, made myself dinner and parked myself in front of how i met your mother and then the ultimate fighter: team gsp vs. team koscheck for a couple of episodes. my body's really unhappy with me, and i think it's fair to say that i should've eaten properly and rested after training last night. hopefully going to bed early (having consumed a fair amount of protein) will sort this out.

thumping in the wrong places

i left work with a blinding headache that had been slowly building up as the day progressed. the first item on my agenda was to call the visa company and figure out whether pre-authorized payments would be a good idea. the woman i just spoke to for thirty five minutes talked in circles and contradicted herself, and when i told her she'd confused me she responded with "i have not confused you, you have confused yourself."

really. how very zen.

anyway, she made my headache worse.

---
i was still feeling pumped up and good this morning, but as the hours went by that feeling subsided into general stiffness and exhaustion. aota and our now-ex coo were paid a visit by their rabbi, and i was sent in to put on tefilin. he was very impressed that i knew my shit. he's a nice guy all-round and surprisingly sensible*, but i'm not sure if i'm ready to join his group of young jewish adults just yet...

* i was kinda shocked to hear him sharing opinions that i hold but wouldn't think to say to a rabbi out of respect. i'm well impressed.

the funny thing about the rabbi is that he seems to encourage members of his congregation to drink. aota was a bit drunk after her meeting with him, and i hope she was kidding about taking the opportunity to give the ceo notice :(

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

back on mat

i was so tired - still from the morning, really - that after returning home and finally getting hold of the caretaker (he fixed the problem in about ten minutes) i lay down on the couch and tried to sleep. i tried watching a couple of episodes of the ultimate fighter: team gsp vs. team koscheck (awesome), and i tried just sleeping, but neither of those things helped to recharge my batteries. when i got up to skype with my mom, i needed a cup of coffee just to be coherent.

i don't know what the heck that was all about.

---
i'm really sad for my uncle, who cannot cope with the loss of his wife. everything about his life just flipped in one weekend, and his options are limited to going to a home for the elderly or leaving the country. jesus.

---
it was later than i'd intended when i finally went off to purchase equipment for the training. i was going to go to walmart for thrift's sake, but the metro was out of order and after waiting for five minutes and hearing that the line would resume service in another six minutes, i was sure that i wouldn't make it on time and that the universe was giving me a sign, so i walked to the gym instead and did my shopping there. good thing, too, because i don't think anyone at walmart would have given me as much good advice as the trainer there.

i returned home, geared up, and jogged back in time for ten minutes of warm-up, an mma class and a thai kickboxing class.

mma is a lot more intimate than it looks, which says a lot. scrapper had given me some advice about not making eye contact when you're on the mat, and he was totally right. i wish i hadn't learned the lesson the hard way anyway :P

but the mma isn't what killed me. thai kickboxing? holy shit, that guy drilled us to pieces. i'm was feeling SO good once i could breathe again :D

i was pumped up when i returned home to shower and eat, but the eating didn't really take place because a) i simply didn't have an appetite and b) yang called inviting me to a spontaneous beer. my meal was basically made up of a protein bar, guinness and chips. not bad, come to think of it :P

the dude playing covers at the pub was really, really good.

the weirdest bit of the evening was the static - i suddenly started generating much more than usual - every time i got out of the car it would be an audible and painful zap, and removing my shirt when i got home was all crackly. i decided to use the humidifier, but it hasn't been operated in so long that it simply refused to cooperate. until, like, five minutes ago when i tried resettling it :(

i'm feeling really, really good this morning. stiff, but good. i'm not sure if i'll go to muay thai tonight, 'cause i'm fairly certain that i need to rest a little. i'm excited about finally starting a training routine!

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

third time's charming

the first time i went to wire cash to pg (repaying her for the social security fine) i was told i'd have to come back with a swift code because her branch has two possibles codes. when i returned withe code they told me they couldn't put it through without pg's home address. pg's not staying in her apartment so neither of us knew what address she had registered, and it took until today to check it (passover holidays).

"i'm sorry, sir, but we can't make the transfer without the bank's physical address."
wtf?!? why couldn't they tell me that last time? they failed to find it themselves, and just as i was losing it i googled from my phone.

the internet delay was upsetting.

but it worked, and i found it in one search, and how the hell is this so stupidly complicated in an age of internet banking?? it's 2013, people!!

having said that, i didn't have to go all the way to my branch to handle this. giant bonus, in israel that shit wouldn't fly.

not caretaking

well. yesterday the caretaker told me he'd be here at 10am to sort out a blocked sink. i played fallout until 2 / 2.30am, and was absolutely broken at 10am but i pulled myself out of bed, grabbed coffee and... waited. it's more than two hours later and i've been down twice to discover that "he'll be here soon".

that's really annoying. i have other shit to do, *and* resting. in the meanwhile, i entertained myself with the strip search pax panel: it's so much fun watching with an audience that's it's even fun watching watching with an audience. the panel itself holds some really nice surprises :)

medictation

last night i lit some incense, tuned in to an ambient station and spent the next few hours thinking long and hard about my love life, my current position at work and immigration. i've been avoiding thinking about these things and i believe i've come to terms with everything.

1. pg. i'd been listening to a lot of house music until she left, and went straight to rock for consolation. oddly enough, i've had karnivool songs repeatedly stuck in my head even though i haven't been listening to them as much and even though i haven't really given their lyrics much of a chance. in particular, deadman. today, i really listened to the lyrics a few times and i'm convinced that my subconscious was trying to tell me something.

2. work. we have a problem, and it's a serious bummer. long story short, our micro-managing cto just took a step so far back that he's undone all of my work and put us in a dangerous, inefficient and unrealistic position of being a supporting team for a single developer. but i still believe in our product - imperfect as it may be - and i also feel that i owe some loyalty to the ceo, and that's before taking into account my desire to keep a steady job at least until i have permanent resident status.

3. immigration. this is home. this apartment, this city, this country. that's a big mental switch to make.

---
i slept late, and i guess it was the miserably boring weather outside that made me return to bed with tea and my kindle when i couldn't sleep anymore. i slipped into reading-induced sleep again, after which i finally had it in me to get up and do stuff.

it was seriously windy today. hard-to-walk-into kind of wind. chilly and mean.

first item on the agenda? draw cash to pay the rent. only i'd reached my weekly limit and i couldn't figure out why - it took some detectoring before figuring out that my repayment of the company's pre-panama cash advance had pushed into my rent money. shit. so i returned home, picked up my passport (i can't withdraw from a teller without it) and went back, withdrew the cash, and thanked the helpful information lady again for her earlier assistance. she was in a magnanimous mood, and offered to check that everything in my account was okay - if it hadn't been for her going out of her way, i wouldn't have known that my credit card bills are not paid automatically and i would've incurred a fine.

nice! as in, at least now i know to get in touch with them and sort that shit out.

i paid the rent, went to the gym to ask embarrassing questions about appropriate gear: i'll have to go shopping tomorrow. so much for owning as little as possible. aside from training shorts, i'm going to need shin protectors and gloves. i hear a *ka-ching* on the other end.

i finally restocked my fridge, then went to godmother for dinner. i stopped to pick up flowers on the way, the guy asked me where pg was...

anyway, yang was playing fallout 3, and i think that's what i'm going to do for what remains of the evening.

Monday, April 01, 2013

the sitter

i was hoping to see the open mat at the gym, not thinking of it being easter. at least, unlike next weekend, the equipment was available, so i spent about an hour on the punching bags, stretching, and doing a little bit of weight training. my body let me know, in no uncertain terms, just how out of shape i am. there was wheezing.

the shops were all closed (and my cupboards are bare), so i headed downtown to eat too much (delicious) chinese, then returned to go to the dollar cinema to watch wreck-it ralph and searching for sugarman.

the first movie was really cool, very clever and sweet. the second? my gods, that was emotional. wonderful, and very cathartic. i chose to walk home in the rain with cold fact playing.

---
how weird! i'd added timothy leary - your brain is god to my wish list years ago and totally forgotten about the book's existence! very cool.

also on a bookish note, pg sent me a long list of books she's holding for me, so now (well, within the next couple of months) i'm going to have to sort through it and figure out what to keep and what to sell or donate. this is going to be tough.

---
ooh! almost forgot: i just read an alabaster fang, and i really like it so i have to share.