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Wednesday, June 29, 2005


I got paid! For about two days of work, but I got paid. Should get a pay stub or something tomorrow, hopefully. If not, I'll talk to HR about it on Tuesday (since I won't be in the office again until then).
Haloscan commenting and trackback have been added to this blog.

well, I fixed the problem

one way or another. Had to go change to a different template and then reformat that so it looked like what I wanted. And had to re-add Haloscan commenting to get old comments to reappear. But overall I'm happy with it. I like the new layout. For now. I kinda feel like my posts are crammed into the middle, and I'm afraid if I try to post anything too wide, it could cause prblems, but I'm sure there's some way I can fix that. But one thing at a time.

Monday, June 27, 2005


well, my template is acting weird. Posts titles show up where they're supposed to, but the actually body goes down below my archives-bar. I'll try to figure it out.

Saturday, June 25, 2005


So yeah. Had that party for the other summer hires today. Got four other people to show up. Not quite the turnout I wanted, but hey. I'll take what I can get. In any case, I think we all got to know each other better, and I finally got myself into the Mediterranean. Water was kinda rough and my eyes still sting, but it was a good time. Bunch of us are gonna try to get together for lunch on Monday, and hopefully plan some other things to do together for a later date. Next weekend's out for me because I'm going with my parent's to the Red Sea for some snorkeling. And people may have plans for the Fourth. I know the Embassy's got a huge party planned (CLO office helps coordinate that, so I know all about it, and don't really feel like I'll be missing much). But hey, I'm here for more than another month, and so are a few other people.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

so, yeah... coincidences.

Excerpted from IM conversation I had with a friend from high school who now goes to college in MD:

Her: speaking of which, where is your brother?
Me: he's in Fairfax
I could have sworn I saw him in b-more last weekend
didn't he go to georgia tech?
working at General Dynamics on engineering stuff
ya know, he was there, actually
he was wearing a college t-shirt and was with a girl
I was leaving the O's game and drove by him in the parking lot
yeah, they were at the game
well, that brightens my day.

well, this is just great.

Today was not a good day. NOt a bad day, but not a good one.
It was just a lot of little things bunching together. Like somebody complaining about my attitude when I answered the phone at some point the other day. I have no idea what they mean, unless they expect to be treated like royalty. Either they have me confused with someone else or they just have impossibly high standards for everybody except themselves. I didn't take it very seriously, and neither did Pat, but still. It still kinda stings, y'know?
And later, the HR person came to tell me the Foreign Affairs Ministry lost the paperwork that we turned in to them, so I need to fill that out again tomorrow. Again, no biggie, but it's a pain. By the time the paperwork actually goes through, I'll be gone. Stupid bearaucracy. Haste it hate it hate it.
And I spent all day reading through boring and poorly written material, proof-reading. Believe me, it needed it.
And my parents have this party planned for Saturday for the Summer Hires, and I feel like nobody's gonna show up, but maybe I'm just being paranoid and depressed.
Oh, and I think I accidentally ate meat at dinner. My mom bought these things which she thought wetre vegetable-burgers, but I swear they tasted like turkey or something. The texture was very meat-like, too. And I can't tell what's actually in them, because all the words on the package are in Hebrew. And now I feel ill. BUt that could be psychsomatic.
Bah! Just want the day to be over.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005


I begin to be worried. I've been working a good three weeks now (almost), and have turned in my time sheets twice, but have yet to see my checking account grow beyong the $16.50 that was in there when I got to Israel. I should ask somebody about this.

Update 6/23: It apparently takes two weeks for me to actually get the money from the time I turn in my time sheet. And since there was apparently some confusion over this, it'll probably be two weeks from Monday before I see any money at all.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

why my father should listen when I talk about electronics

one thing that's been frustrating my father since he got here is trying to get a local DVD player for the local TV set he bought that's in the computer room. He had a little one that he'd gotten for when he was in Afghanistan, but apparently never used. I say this because he didn't realize until I was here in january that it couldn't play any of the DVDs that we have. So that was no use. We went out today, and he bought another DVD player, but I tried to tell him in the store that it wouldn't play our DVDs either, despite what the sales guy said. As usual, he ignored my advice and bought the thing anyway. I just plugged it in and showed him that, hey! I was rigfht after all! It only plays region 2 DVDs. All ours, which are made in the US, are region 1 DVDs. Why this is the case, or why it all matters is a little beyond me, but once again, I was right about the electronics, but he ignored me and wasted time and money on it. Now he needs to waste more time returning it so he doesn't waste money.
But I'm going to try to be a good son on Father's Day and not rub it in.

8:30am, Sunday morning.

ick. hadn't planned on being up this early today, buit I just couldn't sleep. At least I remembered to turn off my alarm yesterday after it woke me up at 6:15 and completely confused me about what day it was. I'll probably go back to bed later, anyway to my nice dark room. THe windows hace these wonderful shutters on them that keep out the nasty daylight ;) I ;eave them open during the weeek because it's easier for me to wake up naturally to the sun a few minutes earlier than the blaring of my alarm clock. Not that it's ever easy getting up that early. Oh well, it's gotta be done.

Rosie seems to be doing better now. She's still keeping weight off her leg, but she's more or less back to her old, attention-demanding self, which makes me thing the pain is more or less gone. Probably feels good to not have bones rubbing together inside your body, huh?

I've been playing games with people the last few days, and I just haven't played as well as I could. I mean, these are games I'm usually pretty good at, too-- chess, Scrabble, crossword puzzles... computrer solitaire. I think my brain is just exhausted by the end of the week from work and a lack of decent sleep. Hopefully I'll sleep better now that the air conditioning seems to be working again.

Oh, and Friday was the first of a series of lunch meetings with the other summer hires at the embassy. We heard various people pretty much tell us how much they love their jobs and that we should try to be like them. Ick. But it got me out of work for an hour, and my boss baked cookies for us, so I really can't complain. Also gave me the chance to at least see all the summer hires, if not get to know them.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Well now

ok. I've survived a week and a half on the job. THe other summer hires are arriving now, and a bunch of them are riding the shuttle in the afternoon. THis gives me other young people to talk to, even if they do all know each other already. I had forgotten how friendly State Dept brats can be concerning new people.

Rosie's home now. Her surgery was apparently tougher than expected, which isn't really surprising, all things considered. I went to the vet with my mom to see her after I got home from work yesterday. She was kinda doped up, but she was doing well. THe vet showed me her x-rays, and her hips were just mangled. She's in a lot of pain now, but we have drugs for her.

In other news, the Beckman's--old friends of ours who were with us in Inonesia as well as India, and briefly in D.C., as well--have probably landed in Tel Aviv by now. My father went to pick them up at the airport. It'll be good to see them, and catch up on what's going on in Delhi. They're on the way out of there and heading to... well, somewhere else. They'll be here for almost a week, but I won't see them as much as I'd like since I'll be at work all day, anfd they'll be travelling around the country a lot.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Indian food, surgery, poker, and the end of the world

Well, today was a day off, actually as it's a Jewish holiday, so the embvassy was closed, and I stayed home. Went out to a movie w/ my dad this morning. We saw Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, which I'd meant to see in the States, but never did. It was entertaining, and we were the only ones in the theater, so I felt no guilt over laughing as loud as possible.

Had some people over for dinner tonight. They're leaving post this week. Went and got Indian food yesterday and warmed it up for tonight. I swear, I've hadmore Indian food in the last two weeks than I have in the year preceding that. Not that I'm complaining, or course ;)
Then my dad had his poker buddies over. I actually made 45 cents!

This was a bit more than my mother could deal with all in one night, so she went to bed. She is feeling better, though which is good. SHe's been having sinus problems, and they're apparently a lot worse than was initially thought. They've put her on some stuff, and it's helping, but they want to do a CATScan tomorrow, just to get a look.
So that's in addition to Rosie going in tomorrow for the surgery on her other hip. She's going to be a miserable puppy for a while :( The cast will keep her from doing anything, and she isn't supposed to run, or even go for walks, which she loves. It's gonna be tough trying to keep her indoors and inactive, she's so playful. But it's for the best in the end, really, and she'll be much better off later on in life with two semi-unctional hips then with the extremely poor condition they were apparently in before the surgery.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Work, day 2

I actually accomplished some things today. Not the things I wanted to accomplish, but they needed doing, and kept me busy, all the same. Like throwing out old magazines. And organizing files. Or printing out and alphabatizing information on the national parks.
Today was also the end of a pay period. Which seems odd, since it's Tuesday, and it would make sense for a pay period to end on say, a friday... or a Thursday, I guess, since most people around here either don't work Friday, or work a half day, then work Sunday instead. Shabbat and all that. But yeah... so I turned in my timecard by e-mail, because I was told I could, and hopefully I'll get paid for my 16 hours. I'm not entirely sure I will, as I haven't done everything I was supposed to by now, but oh, well. I hope there aren't any problems, cause I'd like to have the money. Not that there's much I care to spend it on.

Monday, June 06, 2005

first day of work (9:15pm)

Well, I got things done today. Not really the things I wanted to get done, but they needed to get done, too. In other words, governmental beauracracy. I need to get these forms signed by a dozen different people before I can actually do my job, which is annoying. One of them is whoever I turn my timecard in to, and I need to do that soon, as we're right at the end of a two week cycle, and they're due on Wednesday. Should ask somebody about that tomorrow.

Had no trouble getting home on the shuttle this afternoon, so I think that's going to work out just fine. Much better than waiting around for my father aftetr I get off at 4:30.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Tel Aviv, 5:30ish

Well, I start my job tomorrow. Sort of. I guess how much of my actual job I get to experience depends on how long it takes to get my security card and everything in the morning. Will probably gop in with my dad, since he'll be taking my mom in to the medical unit. SHe thinks she may have a sinus infection. Which means, among other things, that I'll have to call the shuttle people and tell them not to come get me in the morning. I hate making phone calls. But it will also mean that my father will be there to take me where I need to go, which would be helpful, as I was amazingly confused when I was in that building on Friday, and will be even more so tomorrow at 8am, when I'm still tired and everything.
In any case, wish me luck!

Friday, June 03, 2005

Introductions (1:15pm)

Well, I went in to the embassy this morning with my dad to meet the people I'll be working with and get started on my security clearance stuff. He showed me around, and introduced me to a good half dozen people. I'm overwhelmed, really. I know I'll never be able to keep it all straight, come Monday. I also will have trouble being up early enough to catch the shuttle at 7:00am , as well as figuring out when it will pick me upo to take me home in the afternoon-- the time varies for security reasons.

Well, hopefully I'll get used to the whole schedule, and get my bearings in the embassy eventually.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

My parents' dog is nuerotic

No, really. I mean, she's still young, so maybe its that, but I don't think that's all of it. She refuses to be alone most of the time. Rosie will follow me around the house, which is fine, until she starts whining and barking simply because you've stopped paying attention to her. She's like the screamapillar. "Without constant reinforcement, it will die..." But I guess that's her understandable fear of abandonment.
Oh, and I thing she has nightmares. She sometimes growls and barks in her sleep, and then wakes up and wants attention to make sure she's not alone.
All in all, she's a sweet dog, though :)

Oh, and on an unrelated note, I started reading Dracula.