Winter Holidays in Russia -- An article about the Russian version of the New Year. It's not 100% precise, i remember some things differently, but the second part about the presents is very true!
Scribe, ut possis cum voles dicere: dices cum velle debebis (Pl. Ep. 6.29)
Scribe, ut possis cum voles dicere: dices cum velle debebis (Pl. Ep. 6.29)
Tuesday, December 23, 2003
Buying a digital camera is not easy.
There are too much specs, which soon left me caring mostly for mega-pixels and optical zoom and, to a lesser degree, for the type of batteries and storage. Viewfinder, manual aperture, bla-bla-bla, i don't have the attention, i give up.
There is a good helper site, dpreview, but as i said, there are too much specs to choose from and it's not so clear where do the prices listed there come from. It is definite, however, that the prices in Israel are droven up wildly. Only a complete sucker will buy a camera in a retail store here; online stores and duty-free seem better, but:
- The duty-free is a mystery, as their website is too terse and doesn't seem to be up-to-date and they don't give any "marketing information" (?!) on the phone, so there's no way to know if they have the brands i want.
- Online stores seem to be rather cheap, but they ship after 21 days and i'm flying next Monday.
I will buy a camera eventually...
Monday, December 22, 2003
Moving to the new office cooled me off. It was probably some kind of change anguish. The new place has actual windows, which is a huge step forward.
El'ad went all the way to Eilat to get his passport. After being strung around by the govt. for a week -- will it or will not come in the mail? -- it finally came, so we are flying and it is final.
In the duty-free i'm planning to buy a digital camera -- Canon A80 or maybe G3... I'm accesorising myself -- minidisc, discman, colour cellphone, Ray-Ban, Hohner, Latin Dictionary, good stuffs. In London i'm not planning to buy nothing but beer, beer, beer, beer, beer, beer, beer, beer, whiskey and some very silly souvenir for Avital O. (he specifically asked for something very silly).
When you have it, you suffer,
And when you don't, you suffer,
Her name is Pussy Hell.
(T. Albert 1994)
Friday, December 19, 2003
Hello. I have a new cellphone. It's my fourth since 1997. It is made by a company that i have never heard of before -- Telit; i got it because its ability to store 1500 phone numbers captured my attention. It also has an SMS quick-speller and a color display! Ya mama. I have a strange feeling that for the first time i got a cellphone a little before that model became completely obsolete.
The website says that the company is Italian, but the user's manual says that it's Korean. Whatever's the truth, it felt great when i saw that their download section was written in Italian and could read it. That's how bugs can sometimes make people happy.
Tuesday, December 16, 2003
Monday, December 15, 2003
My lovely government builds a bunker for itself in Jerusalem. Apparently it is very big with miles and miles of tunnels with a center in the Government campus in Givat-Ram. The tunnels were shown on TV -- and if they were just a few inches wider, they could be used for a metropolitan underground. Above the ground a light rail is being built, because a committee found that building an underground would be too expensive. The solution -- build them both! The government of Israel, i love you so much.
I swear i thought about it myself. Here is my theory about the "Baby Mozart"-tape industry: there is no copyright on classical music! It costs nothing to pay a very cheap orchestra to play it, put it on CD, publish a mocked-up "scientific study" that claims that babies that listen to Mozart grow up smarter -- kazoom, the guy's a millionaire. I have an absolutely disgusting feeling that he is Jewish. Why Mozart? -- because he's the most famous classical composer and has the most pronouncable name. Imagine "Baby Musorgsky", "Baby Rimsky-Korsakov", "Baby Rakhmaninov" or "Baby Händel" -- it wouldn't sell. I should check if there other people who think like me.
Sunday, December 14, 2003
Saturday, December 13, 2003
Sorry, i didn't really get it. Probably there are a lot of people who understood it even less than me. It wasn't a complete waste of time, but there was a feeling that i missed something. Or maybe it just sucks and everyone is afraid to admit that it does to seem intelligent. Whatever.
The "Cooking According to Your Blood Type" says that pork is bad for my bloodtype. Which seems to fit with my former hypothesis. However it also says that i shouldn't eat caviar and almost any kind of cheese except goat and mozarella and as if that is not bad enough, then it discourages me and all of my O-blood-type mates to avoid durum wheat from which pasta is made.
No, thank you, this just can't be true.
Thursday, December 11, 2003
What it is: four audio CD's with live concerts, each corresponding to a studio album; one DVD with five clips; and a booklet with a long interview and quite a lot of photos; all in a nicely designed black box. Read more specs here. It has cost me 209.90 NIS (46$) in Musica Neto.
Why do i love it so much: mostly because of CD #2 -- Post live. I even feel a little ashamed to be so unoriginal, because hey -- Post is my favourite Björk studio album too and it was the only tour i experienced myself (twice). And yes -- that's exactly the reason CD #2 also makes the whole box worth the money. Because it IS the best example of playing electronic music in a live setting, whether you call it Rock or not (i certainly do, even though Björk herself might not be so pleased with that.) And i swear it's more than nostalgia.
The brilliance of putting live drums, a sampler and an accordion on the same stage with a pretty minimalistic decoration -- but decoration nevertheless, really ties the concert together. In fact, i was a little disappointed when i read in the booklet that she chose the accordion because of budget issues -- the record company wouldn't let her drag a whole orchestra around the world back then, as she did on later tours, but in any case, the arrangements were mesmerizing, especially Anchor Song. It was new music being created, the wettest dream of any serious musician. It wasn't rock, it wasn't dance, it wasn't retro, and it was NOT some "fusion of it all", as the whole was so much greater than the sum of its parts. And although her concerts became larger and more spectacular on Homogenic and Vespertine tours, they were, ironically, somewhat less groundbreaking.
Which doesn't mean they weren't great. The tamer Homogenic songs (5 Years, All Neon Like, Immature) are more pleasing here than on the album and yet another rendition of Anchor Song, this time with strings, is also welcome. And it hurts to say that as good as it is, CD #4 is probably the weakest in the box as it doesn't add much to the studio album, except a little different performances of Frosti and Hidden Place and the non-album track Generous Palmstrtoke, but it certainly isn't worse than the studio version.
Which brings us to CD #1 -- the MTV Unplugged. While in the battle of the albums Post wins triumphantly over Debut, the live concerts is a much tougher strife. First of all, for the protocol: that Unplugged performance remains one of the greatest proofs that MTV actually mattered once as a cultural phenomenon -- and i swear again that it is not me getting all nostalgic for my teen-age years. Secondly, it was an amazing show. It didn't run around the world for months like the Post show, but it was so complicated (just check out One Day on the DVD1) and, for that matter, so astonishingly well-produced and performed that it is easily one of the most important musical events of the twentieth century. To devise two such performances -- Unplugged and Post -- within two years, proves that God is good and generous.
Why shouldn't the CD format become obsolete: because.
1 Or better, get the complete show on DVD along with another nice MTV live performance.
Tuesday, December 09, 2003
First, here's the email that i sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last Saturday i experienced your wonderful show in Tel-Aviv Cinerama. I expected some "cool" "modern dance", acrobatic show, maybe something "Stomp"-style, but i got so much more!! It was such a complete mind-altering EXPERIENCE, it actually influenced my views about life - definitely for the better. Of all the modern artists who try to be trendy by mixing cultures and looking tribal and pagan you are easily the best and the most original!
As great as the rope parts where, i loved the Fiesta part most of all for the sheer simplicity of it - somehow i got a million times more excited there than on any party or disco ever before. I have never ever saw such wonderful and boundless love and fun developed within moments between total strangers coming from different sides of the world.
A million thank-you's, kisses and hugs to all De La Guarda staff and crew!!!
This cheesy-smartass email tells most of it, basically. I came with my silly oriental cap with hope that it will attract their attention and they'll pick me up in the air. They didn't pick me up, but i did attract their attention in the Fiesta part -- they took it off my head and put it on themselves, we danced, we hugged and kissed and had the best time of our lives. They are experiencing it every day and although i did it only once, i'll remember it for a very long time.
I hope that one day all parties will be at least as good as that Fiesta was.
Thursday, December 04, 2003
Monday, December 01, 2003
I found out today that all my template changes were overwritten. I don't know if it happened because of all those problem reports i sent to them, or because it's the 1st of the month. I'll follow it closely. It's good that i kept a local copy.
Geneva accord - They just won't stop, eh?
It's very sad, the state in which humanity is today. The moment i heard on GLZ news that "a few minutes ago a plane crashed into one of the Twin towers in New York City", i thought: "What day is it today? September 11th ... very soon it will be a memorable date."
Whether the Geneva accord is good or not, there's this issue of memory -- somehow i'm not sure that even the greatest supporters of the Oslo accord can remember the day it was signed. My bet -- as well as the Road Map (come again?), "the first of December" will be forgotten very soon. It's not a coincidence that the Geneva guys tried to organize that ceremony on the 4th of November -- of course, the day Rabin was killed seems more important to remember than the day he shook Arafat's hand. They failed to sign it then, so today they are trying another "easy date" ... Let's see if they succeed. I am putting a reminder for 01-DEC-2004 on my cell phone.
Saturday, November 29, 2003
It came to me in a dream once, inspired by Supergrass' "Late in the Day", then re-inspired by Mike Watt's "Intense Song for Madonna to Sing" and zombo.com.
C Ab7 Keep me, these moments next to you, Fm9 Ab-maj G Drip me, i am never through, C Ab7 How can you be so intense, Fm9 Ab-maj G7 Keep me strumming as we dance
מאת: אמיר אהרוני
דואר אלקטרוני: אמיר_א_א@נטוויז'ן.נט.איל
מוסד/גוף: אני אזרח פרטי
כתובת למשלוח מכתבים: רח' הצבעוני 7, נשר 36831
הנושא: מצדה או מסדה?
כיצד יש לומר את שמו של אחד האתרים ההיסטוריים והתיירותיים החשובים ביותר בארץ-ישראל - מצדה או מסדה? Metzada או Massada? בפרסומים שונים, בעברית ובלועזית, מופיע השם בצורות שונות והדבר מבלבל אנשים רבים, ישראלים ותיירים כאחד. מן הראוי הוא שתהיה מדיניות אחידה בנושא - שהשם יופיע בצורה זהה בכל השלטים, הספרים, הנאומים, וכן - שכל מדריכי התיירים יתורגלו לומר אותו בצורה אחידה. ניתן לסמוך על האקדמיה ללשון להמליץ על הצורה המחייבת, ורק שתהיה ברורה ומוכרת לכל.
לטיפולך בנושא אודה,
Translation: Metzada or Massada?
What is the correct way to say the name of one of the most important historical and touristic locations in Israel -- Metzada or Massada? In various publications, Hebrew and foreign, the name appears in different spellings and confuses many people -- both Israelis and tourists. There should be a consistent policy -- the name should appear in the same spelling upon signs and books and in speeches, and all tourist guides should be trained to pronounce it consistently. You can count on the Hebrew Academy to recommend the compulsory spelling -- one that should be known to everyone.
Thank you for your attention,
It is XHTML 1.1 now, although still not 100% valid, but again -- only blogger code is to blame. Mostly under-the-hood improvements.
- Removed all style attributes into the <style> element.
- Changed #xxxxxx color specs to rgb(x, x, x).
- Removed unnecessary tables, <br>'s and nbsp's.
- Layed the groundwork for transforming <td>'s into <div>'s
- Hidden the mysterious <hr> at the bottom.
- Dump the utility <hr> completely.
- Replace <td>'s with <div>'s and <iframe>'s.
- More CSS cleanup.
- Quit my job.
- Find a way for a better main page display. It's not very good that the whole blog is displayed completely.
- Permanent easy-to-access link to nevIoth and other friends.
- Improve the color of hyperlinks (the hardest part).
You really don't have to read this entry unless you are interested in XML and HTML.
Now i'm strict XHTML 1.0. Not yet 100% valid, but that's only because of the auto-generated blogger advertisement code. I complained to them about it. XML "validification" included:
- Converting all tags to lowercase.
- Closing unclosed tags like <br/>.
- Dropping all <font> tags (thank God, finally).
- Quoting all unquoted attributes' values.
- Converting the deprecated <td height> and <td bgcolor> into style attributes.
- Converting all &'s in dynamic URL's into &'s. Apparently the links still work.
- Also -- the dates are written on a little different background now.
TODO: CSS validification. Currently it is very messy. And also -- XHTML 1.1...
Friday, November 28, 2003
On Wednesday i filed a request to check my resignation options.
On Thursday there was a team evening at Almog's place, which was surprisingly relaxing, considering that Rakhamim was there. Almog's mother is a classical pianist and she begged me to play something on her new 50,000 NIS Kawai. I was terribly shy at first, for i am very far from being a classical pianist, and i see myself as a shitty amateur. I started with "Imagine", which proved as a winner and went on with "Avshalom", and surprised myself with how great it came out. She was so happy. She told that it's her dream to play pop-muzik and not classical. Chicks luv me.
At the end of the evening i decided to give Rakhamim another chance.
Do they speak English in What?
I have a problem.
When i talk to an English-speaking person, and can't hear a word or a sentence he says, i ask him: "What?"
It's terribly impolite. It sounds very "Israeli". In English one should say "Excuse me?" or "I beg your pardon?..", even when talking to friends -- and i say "What?" when talking to people i don't know. Every time i do it, i regret it the moment after, but just can't rid myself of it. I should try to do better when i'm in London Town.
Tuesday, November 25, 2003
I really don't like to write about my job in the blog, but the situation there gets curiouser and curiouser.
I had a very hard talk with Rakhamim1 today, vented a lot of frustration at him, and right in the middle Amir G. comes in, flashes a nasty grin at me, asks Rakhamim something unrelated, and he replies -- as if i'm not even there. I quietly pointed out to Amir G.2 that i never interrupt his personal meetings, to which he replied: "You show too much chutzpah lately, and we should have a talk about that." Oh yeah, definitely, we really should talk about anything, you egocentric anti-communicative jerk of an "IT department manager".
Rakhamim came into my office later and said that he advises that i send Amir G. an apology letter. I guess it is a good idea ... for me to poop on. No chance of that happening, ever.
1 Rakhamim -- my boss.
2 Amir G. -- Rakhamim's boss. Bald.
Monday, November 24, 2003
It might be good that the wheel is in Egged's hands™, but their hands shouldn't touch any telephones. Their service is terrible.
Yesterday morning i forgot my bag in the baggage when i arrived from Jerusalem to T.A. I hated the bag and if it's gone forever i'll be glad, but inside it there were my hardcover Cassel's Latin Dictionary and "Beginner's Lithuanian" by Dambriūnas et al., both brand new and also my university notebook. Let alone the expensive books, i'm particularly sorry about the notebook, which is the best i ever had. So good that other female (!!) students asked for it, to photocopy the lessons they missed. That a female student should be able to even look inside my notebook without having to be hospitalized was unimaginable until recently, so i'll really miss it if it will be lost.
Anyway, Egged's handling of the case was disgusting, their service skills are appalling. I'm not giving up, but it's still a little depressing.
Thursday, November 13, 2003
I'm going to London with El'ad 29-DEC-2003 - 03-JAN-2004. New Year's Day. Ya mama. I didn't celebrate the New Year since i came to Israel in 1991. El'ad is leaving the job the day after we return, so it's a good surprise. 649$ for flight (very good hours!) and 5 nights in 4* Victoria Plaza near Victoria Station. Thank you, American Express.
Saturday, November 08, 2003
Imagine that you enter a beautiful church in Italy. There's a fresco of some night scene (Jacob's dream? Jesus' birth?) On the fresco you see a night sky, some mountains and some clouds. All this is painted church-fresco-style.
That's what i see in my window right now. The best view ever. These clouds are fresco-style. I wish i could take a picture. Amazing.
The weatherpeople say that it is the official beginning of the winter. The first actual rain, not the pilot. It is beautiful.
Friday, November 07, 2003
Told Mira stuff about Israel: about conversion to Judaism, Haredim and Eliezer Ben-Yehuda. Successfully pointed her to the Knesset site with an IP address and taught her about ping and DNS on the way.
Then she introduced me to her friend Omatchi, an Emarati who speaks Italian and we had a little impromptu Italian chat. Lui studia in Università Americana John Cabot a vicino di Via Trastevere, dieci minuti da Vaticano a piedi. C'è anche una fermata di ferrovia. A nice coincidence -- yesterday i started the second part of my Italian course, again with Paola. I'm still better at writing than in talking.
I also learned something important about the Lithuanian language today -- that it is really hard! I ordered Beginner's Lithuanian, which is supposed to be a revised version of the book my professor uses.
Yesterday evening on my way to Jerusalem i read the Latin textbook. It was the first time ever that i enjoyed homework and felt that i really should do it, the first time ever! It was worth it. Oh, the joys of Latin.
My crazy dream comes true -- i study three languages at a time and devote quite a lot of time to it! I might add Aramaic in the 2nd semester.
Tuesday, November 04, 2003
Monday, November 03, 2003
Got myself Cassel's Latin-English English-Latin Dictionary (143NIS). Here's what it has to say about Vaticanus:
The Vatican hill on the West side of the Tiber ... ager vaticanus, the country round the Vatican, notorious for its bad soil, which produces poor wine, Cic.
Tuesday, October 28, 2003
Only about 40% of the people voted. No final results yet. I voted the first thing in the morning. I don't have big problems telling who i vote for in local elections -- for the mayor i voted for the Greens' Avi Binamo and for the council -- Shinui. I considered the Greens, but they didn't have a website and didn't even answer my email, so there -- they lost my vote. I don't know almost anything about the candidates in either list. I really hope Shinui pass the barrier, they should have ran together with the Greens.
As i write this, i realize why 60% of the Israelis find the elections so boring. It's still a shame, though.
The flights were incredibly cheap -- 95NIS (1 person/1 way). Thank you, Arkia.
And the tax-less shopping -- i bought myself a Hohner chromonica and i'm gonna learn it (420NIS), Ray-Ban sunglasses (450NIS, usually it's 900NIS, and strangely i don't hate myself for buying sunglasses...) and also Rockfour's "For Fans Only" and Led Zeppelin IV (it's about time).
Made a quad runner ("tractoron") trip in the desert. Expensive (150NIS) but fun. Now i want a motorbike.
- Eddie's Hideaway -- hidden in an actual Eilati neighbourhood, it is a real hideaway, worth seeking out! The food is mostly French, big selection of big steaks. When there, don't miss the appetizers. Great service.
- Santa-Fe -- Mexican/(Native) American, whatever, very good. Bean soup, wonderful pork osso buco, amazing smoked chicken (a complete one), and Isla De Mujeres -- profiterolles with ice-cream and chocolate sauce.
On the last day we won another free weekend in Caesar. Thank you, God (and sorry about that osso buco).
Monday, October 20, 2003
Bathroom improvement nearly finished. It looks great and i can finally take a good bath. I'd describe how it looks, but i'd have to change my gender first.
Signed up to Lithuanian and Latin for the next year in HUJI. Hope it goes well with all the bureaucracy.
Eilat City, here i come.
Weekend -- two films with Sam Rockwell, mostly memorable as the obnoxious Wild Bill in Green Mile. Both good.
First -- Confessions of a Dangerous Mind. Howard Stern's Private Parts meets Beautiful Mind. I didn't know what it is about, which is good, that's how i love my movies -- surprising.
The second was Matchstick Men whichs was also a good surprise. A little more than an average Hollywood sympathetic con-artist movie. The welcome bonuses include the very charming Alison Lohman, and some great acting by Nicolas Cage, who takes a few hints from Monk. Very much a Hollywood movie though, but good fun.
Tuesday, October 14, 2003
Little improvements -- changed encoding to Unicode, and small template changes. When i checked if they are look correctly at the actual page, there were to ads at the top -- Conversion to Judaism and What is Scientology?
What the hell am i promoting??
Friday, October 10, 2003
It is said that Karl Marx learned Russian to read Pushkin's Eugene Onegin. I think that it is worth learning Russian to read websites like this one. Or its total political opposite -- Rus-Sky. I don't know what it is exactly, but there is something in Russian that makes it particularly well-suited for the purpose of writing insane extremist essays.
Thursday, October 09, 2003
More about my Italian studies -- and language studies in general. In some computer magazine (it was printed on paper!!!) i found a link (which i couldn't click!!! ok, 'nuff) to this site: My Language Exchange. The article said that this site arranges (virtual) meetings between people who are interested to learn each other's languages. Well, i tried the search feature and when it immediately found a few people who are willing to teach me Welsh (!) in exchange for Russian, i was extremely happy. But there was a catch -- to initiate contact, one has to become a "gold member" which costs 12$/year. I couldn't stand the temptation, and i paid!!! Ya mama, i was so excited. I already spoke to a few Italians, and received great compliments, none of them could believe that i studied just two months (i blush). I hope they'll give me a discount for the membership for the next year for the great PR i'm doing for them...
This morning i went to the University, to sign up for the courses next year. I wanted to take Lithuanian and Slavonic, but they changed the hours since the last time i checked, so i can't take them both. Maybe i'll take Latin, or Catalan, or (as i hope) Latin and Lithuanian together.
Tuesday, October 07, 2003
Go to Free Lunch Design . com -- it's a platform and shoot-em-up heaven. And it's completely free. The stuff there makes one think that things like Pentium, Wolfenstein-3D and the year 1993 never existed. Icy Tower is the hit, but check out Hellcarrier.
I've been bad, i haven't written anything here for a long time. So, what happened:
Italian course for beginners at the Italian embassy in Yaffo
The memorable points:
- The teacher, whose name is Paola was very nice.
- There were some obnoxious "ugly Israelis" who left after a few lessons. After that the course became considerably more enjoyable to attend. I don't know how did they get there in the first place.
- The road to Yaffo through all those Southern Tel-Aviv streets -- Allenby, Aliya, Salame -- is very depressing. If i was Bill Gates, i'd start buying all those dumps and slums and rebuilding them.
- Italian is easy and fun to learn, except all those pronouns before the verbs. So confusing.
A wonderful trip to Rome
A little short -- only 4 days, but wonderful. The weather was perfect. The flight was El-Al, so the meals and the movies were incomparably better than the crap on the charters. The Italians are nice people, but why did all those popes have to steal so much obelisks from Egypt??
Although the food there is pretty good, there is good Italian food in Israel too. Anyway, the best meal of the trip was the one we had at Osteria Margutta (Via Margutta, near Piazza del Popolo). The runner up is Pasquino, near Piazza Navona.
One of the high points was Enzimi -- a free rock festival. We popped at it by a total coincidence when came out the metro at Termini. We were hungry, so we sat in a Tavola Calda nearby and heard a complete Thrills show which ended the second we stepped out of it. Nevermind, it was tasty and we discovered the wonderful porcini mushrooms. The next day we went to see Elbow, which was great + i got myself a t-shirt. We even caught them rehearsing earlier that day. Ya mama.
My mama rebuilds the house
Walls painted pink, green and yellow, with Greek paintings on the living room walls. So now the living room is Greek, the parents' room is American with paintings based on Henry Miller's books, and for my room she said she plans to make it "Chinese", but only when i marry Hadar and leave the nest (notice the when, not if).
Now when she said "chinese", she apparently meant feng-shui. She surprised me by just doing it when i wasn't home for a few days. It included taking away the shelves and putting all my cd's in plastic bags, taking away my bed ("What's the difference? Sleep on the floor.") I was shocked. I hate surprises of this kind.
Now that the damage is done (and fixed) i admit that i'm obviously happy with the change. The carpet is gone too, which is a most welcome improvement.
My old bed is temporarily back, until the new one she ordered arrives ("God almighty, i shudder to think/my new bed is a sofa and it's coloured in pink"), but it's on the other side of the room, so the sunrise is right in my eyes and it literally wakes me. I wonder if it's a part of feng-shui too.
Tuesday, August 05, 2003
Of course you can say that Christian Science is just a silly and profoundly american cult, just like Watchtower or the adventists. But try to read this chapter omitting direct references to Jesus (but not God). I'm not saying that this text is true; it doesn't matter if it is true or not; it is presented as a worthy challenge to the atheist science. Where would we be without challenges?
Saturday, June 28, 2003
A song, inspired by mindless strumming and some titles on the bookshelf at Hadar's place. The lyrics are supposed to be happy, but the sound is quite depressing and makes me think of it being performed by Anathema. To be finished.
Em9: 024XXX Em6-9: 034XXX Am9: XX2200 Em9 Em6-9 These are the years of surprises And these are the years that i see These are the years when i open all the windows These are the years of machines Am9 Don't bring me back out of balance
Sunday, June 22, 2003
So, there is a price for giving up my principles afterall.
I went to a shopping spree, i had to use my "sport coupons" somehow, bought a lot of shorts, t-shirts and even an elegant buttoned shirt. Some of them were Speedo branded, and apparently i was entitled to receive free Speedo sunglasses.
Fine, i will go with them. They are not very protecting, but they don't give me a headache and they are free. I give up.
Tuesday, June 10, 2003
Radiohead's new "Hail to the Thief (The Gloaming)" is great great great great great. So fucking great. Rock and roll at its best. The best parts of OKC, Kid A and Amnesiac mixed together. Pianos, keyboards, guitars, drums and Tchocky.
I wonder who are all those nice people with Israeli names that Jonny Greenwood thanks -- Sharona, Tamir, Daniel, Yardena, Yair, Neta, Yotam, Tomer, Edo. Fans on the mailing list? Personal friends? (I heard a rumour that he has some relatives or friends in Israel.) Whatever. At least it's nice to know that not all antiglobalist Indymedia fans hate Israel (afterall, even Israeli Indymedia fans hate Israel ...)
Monday, June 09, 2003
Sunglasses, the most useless invention ever. Useful only for making brand owners rich and making naïve people feel cool and/or protected.
Last Saturday Hadar talked me into buying a pair. Very cool-looking, Prince-branded, purple-tinted. I paid 340 NIS for them. The morning after i wore them and went out to work. In the few minutes that followed i avoided sunlight just like i did without them; the difference was that it gave me a horrible pain behind the ears, just like every other pair of sunglasses i ever tried (i don't care if it disappears after a few days, i didn't pay 340 NIS for pointless pain, even if it's temporary). We talked about it and Hadar said that i should keep the receipt, put the sunglasses back into their case, and return it to the store. She's so great.
The worst thing about this affair was giving up my principles, even though all the way i knew i was right. I should have stopped the shopping spree right there when i saw items sold for 59 NIS next to items of the same style and brand for 259 NIS. The clerk's explanation: "last year". A simple proof that sunglasses is only a matter of fashion -- not eye protection.
The best thing however, and the really important one is that we didn't fight about it. It's really amazing how we go on for almost a year and a half essentially without fighting. I love her.
Wednesday, May 28, 2003
Sunday, May 25, 2003
Watched Matrix: Reloaded (also here). To say the least, it is a worthy sequel. A (very) few scenes are too long, but overall -- the plot is interesting, the action is intense, the humor is kept at a reasonable level and there's a good balance between effects and philosophy. There are a few points in the plot i didn't completely understand, or maybe wasn't supposed to understand, but i don't wanna spoil it to anyone.
In the Rig Veda there isn't much philosophy. It is, however, a beautiful peace of religious poetry. I sat five hours in the university library today, trying to translate 4 verses (1.42.7-10). The only reasonable dictionary (Grassman's) translates to German, so i learnt more German than Sanskrit and eventually translated hardly three verses, but it was still very enjoyable.
Zombocom is, of course, just a website, and now it is not slashdotted anymore. You are welcome to check it out. It is a good patience exercise.
I love Joy Division. I bought Heart and Soul after watching the wonderful "24 Hour Party People" (also here) and hearing "Love Will Tear Us Apart", "Transmission" and "No Love Lost" (the last two i downloaded randomly on KaZaA). Now i'm listening to the great 4-CD set. Till now -- every song is a winner. I have a lot more listening to do, but those 27 pounds were definitely well spent.
Wednesday, May 21, 2003
Linked from Slashdot. I usually don't even bother to click on their humor links, but this one is funny.
It mentions zombo.com. Now -- i remember this word "zombocom" from somewhere, a movie or a cartoon ... i remember some monster or something saying "ZOMBOCOM!!!" with a scary voice. And i can't even look at this site, as it is probably slashdotted.
Sunday, May 18, 2003
Another suicide bombing in Jerusalem.
I'm somewhere between not being afraid of these poor murderous idiots and feeling glad for Hadar, who doesn't have to take a bus to the University.
On a happier note, Amazon.co.uk "dispatched" my order of Joy Division's "Heart and Soul". Those funny brits, why do they have to say "dispatched" instead of "shipped"?
Thursday, May 15, 2003
Wednesday, May 14, 2003
The experience with Eldad "Pink" Eshel was interesting. The bassist was obviously not so interested from the beginning and went home after an hour -- he is more interested in funk (like Jamiroquai) and Pink Floyd, but actual Pink Floyd, not what Eldad calls "Pink Floyd". Eldad -- and i'm not patronizing! -- has a lot to learn himself. He plays keyboards very well and he's incomparably better than me on the guitar, but his communication skills are less than average (which makes me wonder if Scientology could help him...) His songs probably sound very well in his head, but he has very hard time passing it on. His music is not Pink Floyd, it is close to Porcupine Tree at best. When he sang, we (me and the very nice drummer Uri) couldn't hear him, so we told him, so he sang again, and we told him we still couldn't hear him, he said: "But i shouted!" Well, he didn't. But nevermind. I don't want to get down on him, he has very good intentions, i wish him luck and i don't run away from him.
The most important thing about it all is that i finally entered a rehearsal room, payed and played. I really should do it with Amit and Tamir. And i should get back to Eran "Gitara" Shar'abi too.
Yeah, that's some very erratic poetry/songs i tried to write when i was 17, my teenage blues. I found that notebook in 2001, edited it a little and locked it up again. Now i'm publishing it. Maybe i'll forget it for a few years more. Maybe Hadar will make me compose it and make into songs. Maybe it sucks. Pitchfork would most probably hate it, they're picky about lyrics.
Rage the friends until it bores you,
[Stay out of/Never mind] the troubles they cause you
Believe the bet, yeah
She would let,
[I thinks it's nice
She did just that,]
I care not later,
My umbrella's bad,
You are thunders,
I am rains.
(MAY-1997 - JUL-2001)
(There's also Rains 1 ... i wonder how it goes.)
I really don't like mosquitoes. They disturb my sleep. If until now i used to enjoy dreams equally well in Russian, Hebrew and English, i now have to suffer French-speaking nightmares (!!), (no) thanks to these abominable creatures.
A propos French: yesterday, someone tried to download Thurston Moore's "Psychic Hearts" from me, all the files at the same time, which obviously didn't work for him, so, being nice and helpful as i am (ahhhh...) i explained how he should download it. And guess what, he said "i don't understand English. French, maybe?" He didn't know who's he dealing with. So here's what i told him, with accents left out intentionally, preserved for future generations, thanks to babelfish:
je ne sais parler pas francais tres bien, mais j'essayerai:
si vous voulez telecharger toutes les chansons de Thurston Moore, telechargez-alors les un. Si vous les telechargez toutes dans le meme temps, cela ne fonctionnera pas.
si vous entrez dans le mode "a distance aligne" ("remotely queued"), ne rendez pas, attendez quelques minutes et cela fonctionnera a la fin
The bummer is that he disconnected right after that. Oh well.
The wall clock is in the garbage now. The alarm clock still works. That they stopped on the same day is a curiosity.
I'm using the Hebrew phrase "ima shelkha zona" ("your mother is a whore") more and more lately. It's been waiting inside me to come out ever since i heard it used so effectively on the brilliant Chamber Quintet's "Watermelons" sketch (i won't get into details).
Here's an example: Amir Peretz, ima shelkha zona!
It can make a good bumper sticker.
Monday, May 12, 2003
Wednesday, April 23, 2003
Hey, now that's interesting. Just as i'm writing this stuff, trying various html stuff, a phone-call: Eldad, whom i filed as "Eldad Pink" in my cellphone. He called me from an ad that Hadar posted for me on the 'net. Pink, because he said he plays Pink Floyd-like music. We arranged an appointment. Wow, blog, my life is completely on the web. Kinda.
Could it be?
I listened to the whole of R.E.M.'s "Reveal". It wasn't easy. I tried a few times before, but didn't succeed. I haven't decided yet if it simply sucks, or good but hard to get used to. I should keep in mind that "Automatic FTP" wasn't so easy for me to get used to either.
I'll take the raaaaaaaaaaaaain. The really good song here. But Beachball starts off with a pretty disgusting electrobeat. Then it becomes a faux-latin thing, that Yo La Tengo would do so much better. I should try some 80's R.E.M.
The reason i'm listening to it is that i'm home alone. Alone, that is at home with my parents and not with my sweetheart Hadar, with whom i spend almost all my weekends and holidays. On the rare occasions that it happens i am somewhat glad at first for the opportunity to spend some time alone listening to all those CD's i buy, and "scratching my balls", but soon realize how much i miss her. I swear to God (see Gen 2:24) that i'm not getting this touchy-feely because she might read this.