Monday, January 24, 2005

office robots

Life at work has been challenging lately -- not that much to do with the job itself although there is enough to do but more between balancing it and whats going on out of work.

I'm basically having difficulties concentrating and probably doing my fair share of imbecilic behavior such as this

Oh dear

Thursday, January 20, 2005

i hoard therefore i am

i am a hoarder

i am a broad hoarder - anything from books, papers, birthday cards and plastic bags to t-shirts, laddered tights, telephones, defunct PDAs and car stero systems.

i virtually hoard as well. i save every draft of document i work on and while my e-mail at work is more organized at home my in-box and archived in-boxes are overflowing.

every now and again i do do something about it and i'd say i have most of it under control but equally frequently (or so it seems) i am reminded just why i have developed this tendency....

just in case
aka because you never know when you'll need things.

well that just happened.

spurred on by an otherwise enlightening and practical workshop on internet media given by currently jerusalem-based blogger supreme mobius, i installed haloscan comments on this blog in order to make the whole commenting process a nicer experience for all of us. but just as i was kvelling at how quickly i'd done it, as in every vh1 behind the music documentary... tragedy struck.

it seems i have lost all my comments. all those wonderful ego boosting snippets left by passing readers. those brief annotations that in some warped life accounting method total to say yay you're good!

all gone - alas - alack that it is

for the revenge of the hoarders is nigh! thankfully all my comments are sent to me by e-mail as well. (a function i was beginning to question and even ... deep breath... was thinking of stopping.) so while i will have to deal with the fact that newcomers to my blog may be puzzled if not downright conned to thinking i have no feedback. I will have the proof otherwise.


Wednesday, January 19, 2005

wired for sound

its not only blogging that i'm falling behind with at the moment.

among other crucial tasks on my list has been to burn a disc of mp3s for my new car CD/MP3 player. and tonight i finally did it -- 125 tracks and the disc isnt even 75% full. in the words of a hanna barbara character - zowee!

i love music. i'm more of a fan than a performer but not as fanatical as some, although i do have an elitist tendency to walk into people's houses and go straight for their CD collection to decide if i really like them or not. (i've mellowed over the years -- all i require these days is that a person have a taste in/minor passion for music as opposed to anything too specific)

anyway i have been v excited by my new purchase not only because it was the result of actually following up on an advertized bargain from a local electrics store but because i especially love to drive with music. i think the car is unbeatably the best medium for listening to music with possible exception of the royal albert hall although there you cant just turn up the volume, sing at the top of your lungs and throw all your problems and worries to the wind.

so as the nice man was installing the player in my car a couple of weeks ago i was understandably psyched but when he made the change and handed me the old car radio tape (to add to my collection but we'll talk about my hoarding tendencies at a later date) i suddenly felt a twinge of guilt.

in the midst of my excitement i'd missed the fact that this marked an end of an era. since my walkman has long been of CD variety and not tape and my stereo tape deck hasn'tworked for years this simple car-radio-ectomy essentially meant i no longer owned any mode of listening to any of my 500+ cassette tapes.


ok i admit it cassette tapes are not sexy and that the majority of mine have sat in a box on my balcony for the past year and a half but still i will miss them if no one else does. truth is wedged in time between vinyl and CDs they never really had a chance. (especially considering the shape propaganda of the seventies)

but even if cassettes are the pariah of the music world if you ignore minor details like questionable quality of sound, inability to not get tangled with repeated play and insufficient canvas space to create an artistic masterpiece to match the music you cant help but acknowledge their essential place in history.

i mean they are the missing link that allows us to appreciate today's technology. How much can you really appreciate the ease of CD burning if you've never sat for hours with a pile of tapes and records making a mix-tape to mark a mood, a period in time or maybe just a friendship. tapes that were made extra special by the indiosyncracies supplied by the sound of the needle on the record or the false starts resulting from a misuse of the pause button? who didnt delight the first time they found out about fast dubbing complete with auto turnover on a tape to tape machine? who doesnt stop every now and again during yet another to download or not to download debate and reminisce about similar dilemmas about recording radio one's top 30 every sunday evening?

and if it wasnt for tapes would we ever had the walkman? i remember the first time i listened to a walkman. i really felt like i was in a pop video. admittedly my second year form room would have made a poor setting for any video even in the eighties but i wont forget the sensation. you could never have done that with a record.

Walkin’ about with a head full of music Casette in my pocket and I’m gonna use it-stereo -out on the street you know-woh oh woh...

could cliff ever have written wired for sound if he was still loading up his 33s and 45s?

ok maybe that wouldnt have mattered but even the frustrations of finding a song on a tape especially on a car tape machine (it never seemed to rewind in the right direction) evoke nostaligia for me now.

no wonder i felt emotional as i held the car tape machine. for it isnt just an obsolete piece of machinery. it was thanks to the car-tape machine that i received my most basic yet most influential music education.

driving to primary school with my dad we'd work through four tapes, 5-10 mins every day as my father avoided every traffic light and used every back double possible. 4 simple tapes that have probably long since gone to that great place in the sky for broken tape boxes and sun warped cassettes but whose contents occupy a special place in my heart -- simon and garfunkel greatest hits; the beatles red and blue albums; elo - out of the blue; and a 50s and 60s mix. truly the foundations of my music appreciation today.

yep yep good times....

so i have alot to thank you mr tape machine and your cassette comrades, or to quote cliff again It’s music I’ve found And I’m wired for sound.

Monday, January 17, 2005


see mum, i told you i had plenty of time left.

wow science really opens up bright and new possibilities for the world... mother and child who both wear diapers.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

raining and pouring

my life is really busy at the moment. never rains but it pours (today's weather in jerusalem being a classic example)

anyway i'm working hard and playing hard and not just the former thank g-d. genuinely interesting and fun things to do and new and old people to see, seem to have come out of the woodwork. i think its a seasonal thing much like this country shutting down (or slowing to a halt) from early summer to after the chagim. whatever i'm enjoying it despite (or perhaps because...) of my lack of computer contact/

so thats my excuse for not blogging.

i know that there are many people with interesting lives and blogs but at times when i'm trying to feel better about myself i like to pretend that anyone who can blog that regularly is living their life a bit too virtually.

or to butcher a wise man's is what happens to you when you're busy blogging other people's plans.

Monday, January 10, 2005

double figures

Kamma at olah?

(lit. meaning how much do you cost?, but really cutesy Israeli slang to say how long ago did you immigrate to Israel)


(lit. meaning 10 but in more common and less naff Israeli slang it means excellent!)

yes today is the big 10

  1. 10 years of israeli citizenship (i bought a video, fridge, microwave and 2 years of a masters degree on new immigrant rights. all still working vaguel apart from the masters)
  2. 10 years of being an adult (i spent a total sum of 6 months post college in england so i consider israel to have custody over the vast majority of my adult life)
  3. 10 years of voting in israeli elections (4 national and 2 mayoral i think)
  4. 10 years of living in jerusalem (4 apts in 3 neighborhoods not including ulpan)
  5. 10 years of working in israel (21 jobs that i can remember, 11 appearing on current resume - i've been a freelancer, not totally incompetent)
  6. 10 years of young, free and singledom in the holyland (wont list the number of dates/ significant others but have shared in close to 90 weddings in that period)
  7. 10 years of paying arnona in well todo neighborhoods (so give or take car fines and student reductions jerusalem municipality is approximately 24,000nis better off thanks to me)
  8. 10 years of speaking hebrew and too many times receiving the response - at amerikait? (no i'm british, f%^& off!)
  9. 10 years of continually making wonderful - if predominantly anglo - friends (israel's new and improved answer to family)
  10. 10 years of living my life basically

true, things have changed over ten years

-- when i made aliya the only cutting and pasting i did was in art class and e-mail was what a yorkshire man cried out when the postman came round the corner (actually he'd probably see ee-post-up but nevermind)

-- i came to israel during the hey day of peace, was in england for a wedding when rabin was shot, never made it to jordan, have had at least three work colleagues who've lost children to terror and still vehemently believe that without caring about the character and quality of the people of israel then fighting for the land of israel is a - possibly immoral - lost cause. apart from that as my method for sanity is to keep my head out of the news and into my life, i continue to never miss an opportunity to miss a political analysis opportunity.

there are also things that i haven't been doing for all ten years -- only 5.5 years of comedy, maybe 8 years of beginning to know my mind and i'd say approximately 4 years of serious clothes shopping in israel.

but that's ok because my life is a work in progress and for want of a better cliche israel is my chosen canvas.

that's probably why despite all the big promises of planning ulpan reunions and/or all night partying (could still happen on thursday, watch this space) today's celebrations have ended up being relaxed and low-key. calls to some of my ulpan peers that have also survived a decade in israel, taking elite chocolate (somethingelse that's improved since Jan 10th 1995) into work to share with my department and out to dinner tonight with a nice new friend in a proven jerusalem restaurant that too was around ten years ago.

i'm not being a partypooper, its just today i have a life that i like. that's pretty eser isn't it?

Friday, January 07, 2005

still here

i'm not a news person and i dont think anyone needs my analysis or cries of disbelief about the huge tragedy and devastation of the last two weeks.

however on reflection it would be wrong and a sign that the western world is truly screwed if it was passable for me (that is ok with my readership as well as my conscience) to glide over the tsunami and carry on writing about the irrelevancies of my life.

so i choose not to.

i share harry's and lisa's speechlessness in reading this and any survivor's stories.

i think about those survivors who can't return to their lives let alone put their stories into written word.

i shudder for those children who may now become victims of something far worse than nature's ravages - the evil of human beings.

i take my hat off to australia for giving the most money and making the least fuss.

i'm proud to be part of the global jewish community whose response reflects an ingrained sense of responsibility to humankind.

i resent the fact that every lining has an anti-israel/anti-semitic cloud and applaud any steps by the international community to overcome this paralysing defect.

i realize what a warped species we are when the conspiracy theories start rolling out.

i thank god that even if i read every news article, looked at every photo, cried at every account and contributed to every appeal - my life will go on pretty much as it did before. thats not insensitive, its the truth.