Scribe, ut possis cum voles dicere: dices cum velle debebis (Pl. Ep. 6.29)

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

I Can't Get No Sleep - Orange Music Experience Festival, Haifa Port - 2005 - Day One

It's about time. There were almost no foreign gigs in Israel in the last few years. Scheduling and cancelling, usually for "security reasons" became an all too sad joke (Red Hot Chili Peppers, Ian Brown, TATU etc.) I only remember Jethro Tull and a few minor events.

So finally, a three-day festival with major international acts. And some lesser ones who need promotion - but most of them have character. The selection of artists seems to point at a "vibe", "dance", "funk" direction - Faithless, Róisín Murphy, The Bays, Earth Wind & Fire, Infected Mushroom, with some touches of world music - Boban Marković Orkestar, Emiliana Torrini, Seis Cuerdas and of course rock, mostly Israeli - Blackfield and Fortisakharof.

I arrived with Hadar from Jerusalem, the traffic jam in the entrance took a whole bloody hour, during which we heard the Blackfield gig on the radio and it wasn't too interesting - mostly the songs from Aviv and Steven's album and Porcupine Tree's "Feel So Low" and all of them sounded just like they do on the album. We came in just in time for Róisín Murphy. Her name is pronounced roh-sheen, she's Irish. I'm probably the only Israeli who knows it. And well, quite a few people that studied Linguistics in HUJI took a course in Irish and maybe they know it too. But the radio hosts say roh-zeen and the newspapers transcribe it to Hebrew as רויסין, which is the right transliteration for, well, Róisín, but it's the wrong transcription. Anyway, she's the girl from Moloko, she's stylish, she can sing, she does funny things on stage, and her band is jazzy-funky. There is a problem with songs, however, which sound quite similar to Moloko's, but rather heavy-handed and somewhat less fun; maybe if i give her album a chance they can grow on me. Still, the show was quite enjoyable, but the sound towards the end was terrible - the bass was suddenly turned too high and it made quite a lot of people actually run away from the stage. But except that - great fun.

Faithless ... they were amazing. I didn't have very high expectations, but these guys just blew me away. There was a complete live band with percussion, bass and guitar, Ayala "Sister Bliss" Ben-Tuvim played keyboards and was, well, hot, but it was, of course, Maxi Jazz who stole the show. He started in a suit, later removed it and for the last few songs he went half-nude. He got some energy. He's a professional with character. The simple little phrase "I can't get no sleep" from their greatest hit "Insomnia" made the crowd crazy, quite expectedly; the vibe was more positive and ecstatic than i would imagine.

We had to go home to Jerusalem early - i had an Italian exam today - so we didn't stay until the end of Infected Mushroom with Erez Netz show, but from the few songs i saw, the combination of trance with Netz's virtuoso electric guitar solos was surprisingly good. Metal and trance crowd united there very nicely.

It was tiring and on the way back Hadar drove and i was completely mastool - slept and mumbled crazy crap i can hardly remember now, and i didn't take any drugs or alcohol. So i guess it was another sign that this first day of the festival was really satisfying.

Take Me Baby, part 2.7

OK, as it seems now the landlady is giving the apartment to us. Good.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Not Sorry

I stopped sending out CV's long ago and i'm still getting phonecalls and emails with job offers. It is flattering, but i politely turn them down. I'm happy about this place. Really.

A beginning of a story...

At 07:50am the woman from Iceland street called...

Technical problems

For some reason, text of first entry appears only below the sidebar. It must be a problem related to my host. Sorry about the inconvenience.

Take Me Baby, part 2.6

...And then maybe God tries to save me from the hell that's gonna be at the barriers during the Disengagement weeks. I hope, of course, that there won't be a Disengagement. Or that there will be a Disengagement and that my pessimistic predictions will turn out to be completely wrong and that expelling 8,000 Israelis will bring peace, security and prosperity to 6,000,000 Israelis, and although i'm ashamed to say it, is a fair price if you look at it from a broader point of view. Ah, policemen and soldiers expelling Jews from their homes - that's something the world hasn't seen for like 60 years, the demand must be huge.

Anyway, currently i just want that lovely apartment...

Take Me Baby?

The landlady has doubts about giving us the apartment. Am i supposed to be disappointed? Because i am. I still hope to get it.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Take Me Baby, part 2

Unofficially, we're taking the place in Kfar-Adumim, for a month+ trial period. Hey, i'm finally gonna be a settler, like i always dreamt. Breaking the law, breaking the law, breaking the law, breaking the law...

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Take Me Baby. Take Me Now.

As it seems now, hunting for a new apartment is about to take less time than i would imagine.

We started yesterday. First there was a two-room apartment in Rehavia, one of central Jerusalem's better old quarters - quiet, not too religious, and with a lot character, just like i love it. The tennant that opened the door was surprisingly a student i took a course with in my first year. Quite expectedly, she had Hindi and Sanskrit dictionaries and grammar books all over the place, which gave me a warm feeling of homeliness. The second one was nearby - Gaza Street, a block away from Benjamin Netanyahu's home. The area was fine, but the apartment was not as nice as the first one.

Then we went to Pisgat-Zeev. It was the first time i visited that neighborhood. Apparently it is a pretty new one, quite like Ramot-Yitzhak, where i lived for the last 10 years. The apartment was all too white and clean and all too made-for-rental. So sterile it made us sick.

And then we went to Kfar-Adumim. Unlike Pisgat-Zeev, which the UN considers occupied territory, but Israel considers completely its own (annexed), Kfar-Adumim is a 100% settlement, hitnakhalut. It is a bit further from Jerusalem than Maale-Adumim, which is also a settlement, but being over 35,000 people strong it is widely recognized by most Israelis, even the left-wingers, as a part of Israel, "almost annexed", and essentially a suburb of Jerusalem. And Kfar-Adumim is a suburb of Maale-Adumim, further on the way to Jericho and the Dead Sea. Now i, of course, would happily live there, but i wasn't sure at all about Hadar, who's not as deeply Zionist as myself and who seemed to value proximity of the apartment to her campus more than anything. The ride there seemed a bit long; Hadar was scared a little by the sign directing to Jericho and Ramallah and was dubious even when i told her that the actual cities of Jericho and Ramallah are many kilometers away. When we finally arrived at Kfar-Adumim, we realized - despite the fact it was night already - that the view from that village should be absolutely amazing. Jericho, Jordan Valley, and the northern parts of the Dead Sea and Judea desert are all visible. There was also a horse farm on the way, which made Hadar feel a little better. The home was large, nice and fully equipped; moreover, the landlady was very nice too and if that's not enough she was apparently employed at NDS ("carpool" springed to my mind right away). So many coincidences in one day. When we went away, Hadar was eager to take the place immediately. I was completely surprised by the fact that she decided so quickly in favor of an apartment which is pretty far away from the city and rather deep into the territories. But who am i to object? We're supposed to decide quickly, maybe even today.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

U Can't Touch This

Rhino records, which specializes in reissues, issues a compilation of 90's hits. It's a milestone: the 90's was an important decade in music in general and for me personally and Rhino is a serious company whose re-releases got character. Curiously, there's no Radiohead, Soundgarden or Nirvana, but actually it makes sense; there still are many reasons for me to buy it: there are a lot of one-hit wonders whose albums i wouldn't but anyway, and there are wonderful surprises such as Stereolab's "Cybele's Reverie" and Grant Lee Buffalo's "Mockingbirds", which i feel ashamed for having only as MP3's. And what makes it completely irresistible is the first track - "U Can't Touch This".

All too allegorical...

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Made Me Cry - Amelia Earhart

This is a very well made advertisement. I cried because of the pictures, not just the message. Whoever compiled it is a genius. There's nothing new, just very good editing.

By the middle of it, the pictures of greatness made my eyes wet; but somehow it was a picture of Amelia Earhart towards the end that made me really weep.

Real player clip QuickTime clip

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

There's No End to Ways to Waste Time

Finished Ender's Game in three days, while i should have been doing homework. Books and Internet are my drug.


Coldplay, according to Pitchfork: "Gwyneth Paltrow-humping Radiohead-lite".

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Stā per tuos iures

My Latin professor doesn't want to allow me to take the final test, she says i missed too much lessons and that would set a bad precedent. And theoretically she's even right. For most of the times i missed lessons i had serious reasons (except one time when i just slacked). The thing is, on my previous Latin course i missed more than half the lessons (because of work), was allowed to take the test and got 89. So well, there already is a precedent. And it really is bad. But in fact i was much less bad on her course. Time to stand up for my rights...

Sunday, June 05, 2005


I talked to my flatmate Cheli about France. Don't remeber why. We somehow got to speak about the referendum they had about the European Constitution.

Cheli: "They did a referendum about some constitution and we didn't do a referendum about the Disengagement".

Me: "Well, yeah, but then we're not really a democracy."

Cheli: "It's good that we're not."

I think that she's just about one person left with whom i'd rather not talk about the disengagement. She's totally left, of course. I'm not sure if she knows how right i am. I guess she doesn't read my blog, and i do my best not to express my radical views too clearly to her, although i drop hints sometimes. When i'm home, my orange wristband is not on my wrist; i put it on my desk, but i don't hide it in a drawer. And i think that she saw the orange stripes on my car, but we didn't have a confrontation about that either. I don't want any fights about politics at home.

But i loved the way that her subtle remark about democracy tears to little pieces the lefties' stupid little mask. It just drives me nuts: much more than they are for peace and democracy they are against the settlers. They are against them because they don't like the settlers' religious lifestyle and they totally ignore the fact that most settlers' caring about their land is not rooted in religious fanatism but in their good education, something that the secular schools lost completely. The religious are educated not only to pray, eat kosher and study mathematics well, they are also educated to be caring people. Some people who come from the religious education system may have ponderous arguments against what i'm saying here (Daniel?), but i seriously believe in it. And even Daniel would certainly agree that something's wrong with this country and it has something to do with education; and i bet that most of the impolite, violent, noisy Israelis about which Daniel rants in his blog all the time were not educated in a yeshiva-tichonit (Nev, if you're reading, i beg you to comment).

I wonder why it took me so many years to understand why my father, who loves eating pork and never has second thoughts about driving to work on Yom-Kippur, votes Mafdal.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Seventh Sense?

Often when someone tells me something new and interesting, when i feel curious and excited, my mental feeling of enthusiasm is accompanied by a physical sensation at the top of my head, similar to the one produced by orgasmatron, but totally natural. I wonder if anyone else experiences it. Everyone is welcome to comment on this.

This is Not an Excerpt from a Douglas Adams Book

Hadar's credit card was charged a mysterious 100NIS by Migdal Insurance. She called them and they told her that it's the insurance for the skydiving she bought me as a birthday present, and if she has any more questions, i have to call them, because i am the one who is actually insured. Here's the saga that followed.

Dialing Migdal - 03-9201010...

Automatic response: "Shalom and thank you for calling Migdal. For Claims dial 1. For Simon, Simon and Wiesel (??) dial 2. For Customer Relations dial 3."

Notice that Customer Relations is last. Dialing 3.

Automatic response: "Shalom and thank you for calling 'Migdal at your service', Customer Relations center of Migdal insurance company. Our service representatives will be happy to assist you shortly. Please make sure that you have the policy next to you."

Of course i didn't have the policy.

Automatic response: "For a factory dial 1. For a private customer dial 2. For general information dial 3."

Dialing 2.

Automatic response: "Please dial your identification number including the control digit ending with a *."

Dialing my identification number.

Automatic response: "Please dial you agent number ending with a *. The agent number can be found at a square at the top left corner of the policy."

Right ... Let's try something: Dialing 12345*.

Migdal representative: "Migdal, Shalom, Anat speaking."

Me: "Good morning, how are you. I've done a skydiving a few months ago and payed separately for the insurance only for one skydiving, that day. Now, a few months later i see that i was charged 100NIS, as if that insurance policy is going on."

Anat: "Who is your agent?"

Me: "I have no idea. I signed a paper at the skydiving club."

Anat: "OK, let me check ... It's an agency called Bolotin. Call them at 03-7615555. We are not responsible for what agents do (!!!)."

Dialing 03-7615555...

Automatic response: "Bezeq, Shalom. The number you have dialed has been changed. The new number is 03-9535400."

Dialing 03-9535400...

Automatic response: "Ganar (!!!) insurance agencies, Shalom. If you know the extension number, please dial it now. For insurance agents dial 1. For Accounting dial 2. For Management dial 3. For operator dial 0."

Dialing 1.

Automatic response: "For Yoram Dan dial 433. For Israel Shaked dial 448..."

Dialing 433...

Automatic response: "Shalom! Are you still there?"

Me: "Shalom?!!"

Phone line: Beep-beep-beep-beep... That was weird. Read the last few lines again, carefully.

Dialing 03-9535400 again...

Automatic response: "Ganar insurance agencies, Shalom. If you know the extension number, please dial it now. For insurance agents dial 1..."

Dialing 1.

Automatic response: "For Yoram Dan dial 433. For Israel Shaked dial 448. For Stupid Lazy Liar dial 489. For Dr. Shameless Thief dial 476. Etc."

Dialing 476...

Phone line: BEEP-BEEP! BEEP-BEEP! BEEP-BEEP! BEEP-BEEP! (much louder than earlier).

OK, i got the message. Plan B.

Found the skydiving club phone number. Dialing 04-6391068...

Paradive representative: "Paradive, good morning, how can I help you?"

Me: "Good morning, how are you. In January my girlfriend bought me a surpirse skydiving as a gift and we payed separately for the insurance. Now, a few months later, i see that the insurance company charged me 100NIS, like that insurance policy is going on."

Paradive representative: "OK, so you should call them. We are not responsible for the insurance."

Me: "Well, i called them, they said that they are not responsible for it and told me to call the agent who's responsible..."

Paradive representative (politely but somewhat impatiently): "Great, so call that agent."

Me: "... Yeah, but i can't seem to get an answer at the phone number they gave me."

Paradive representative: "OK, so call the insurance company."

Me: "But i already called them, and they gave a phone number of an agent and i can't get anyone to answer that phone..."

Paradive representative: "Well, then i can't help you."

Me: "But i just wanted to ask if you can give me the name and the number of the agent you work with."

Paradive representative: "It's Migdal."

Me: "Well, that's the insurance company, but do you know who's the agent?"

Paradive representative: "There's an agency called Blutin Ben Dov, you can try calling them."

Me: "Great, and what's their number?"

Paradive representative: "03-7513125"

Me: "OK, thanks."

Dialing 03-7513125...

Blutin representative: "Insurance, Shalom."

Hmmm, very generic.

Me: "Good morning, is this Blutin Ben Dov insurance agency?"

Blutin representative: "Yeah."

Me: "Good morning, how are you. I've done a skydiving a few months ago and payed separately for an insurance for that one skydiving. Now, a few months later ..."

Blutin representative (very quickly): "I'll connect you to Merav, please hold."


Merav (presumably): "Hello."

Me: "Hi, is this Merav?"

Merav: "Yes."

Me: "Good morning, how are you. I've done a skydiving a few months ago and payed separately for an insurance for that one skydiving. Now, a few months later i see that i am still charged as if that insurance policy is going on."

Merav: "Is it a health insurance or a parachute insurance?"

Me: "It was an insurance for that one skydiving."

Merav: "OK, is it a health insurance or a parachute insurance?"

Me: "It was an insurance for that one skydiving."

Merav: "OK, but is it a health insurance or a parachute insurance?"

It's too surrealistic.

Me: "It was an insurance for that one skydiving, you know, in the case that someone happened to me during that one skydiving."

Merav: "Oh, i see. When was it?"

Me: "In January."

Merav: "Well then it's a mistake. They charged you 45NIS, right?"

If she says "..., right?", then i can presume that this "mistake" happens quite a lot.

Me: "No, actually they charged over 100NIS."

Merav: "No, i think they charged you 45NIS."

Me: "Well, they charged me over 100NIS."

Is it a déjà-vu? Thank God, no:

Merav: "OK, give me your id number and i'll make sure Migdal cancels it and refund you. They are responsible for it. I'll call you back when it's cancelled."

The whole thing took twenty minutes! No-one's responsible for nothing! And of course she still didn't call me back (last update - 01-06-2005 13:30).