What I did this year

This blog has been neglected for quite a while now, and I'd be lying if I said I'm planning to come back regularly, but here are a few tidbits for those I don't keep regular contact with.

So, in 2007, I

1. Lost 20 kilograms. Which was easier than I thought it would be. In the process I went from "not *excessively* fat" to "some people would even call this state thin".
2. Made the TAU rector's list. This means I'm one of the top five BA students in the entire faculty. Being the humanities faculty, this will not be very impressive on my IT CV, but will probably be useful if I choose to switch to an academic career.
3. Been abroad twice, which is two time more than I thought at the beginning of the year. A weekend in London back in February and a week in SF and NYC earlier this month. Next year, maybe Japan again.
4. Bought a shiny new 24" iMac (replacing a 1st generation G5 one) and a new MacBook (replacing a G4 12" iBook).
5. Read an entire Murakami novel in the original language. Working on the next.
6. Made a very silly student film with some friends, playing a bit role and doing most of the videotaping and editing. Based on this (which you should read if you want it to make any kind of sense), the film is in badly pronounced Japanese with either English, Hebrew, or no subtitles, and contains many many inside jokes for TAU Japanese students. It was also watched by the Japanese ambassador to Israel, to our total embarrassment.

unexpected bonus

Earlier this week, I got an unexpected bonus from my boss. Part of each group's budget is dedicated for awarding employees for specific tasks they did well, and since I spent the last couple of months working my ass off on ashiny new proof-of-concept project with excellent results, I was given an envelope.

It seems the budget had gotten bigger -- last year, when I received a similar bonus, it was a couple of movie tickets. This time, it's 2000NIS to spend on a vacation weekend of my choice - in Israel or abroad.

So I have a few choices --
1. Be a good son/brother and let my parents or my brother have the vacation.
2. 2000 NIS buys a luxurious weekend in Israel for a couple. it should cover a 5-star hotel and dining in style. Only problem is, I need someone to go with. And finding that someone isn't easy.
3. 2000 NIS covers a flight to Europe, leaving very little for other vacation necessities, so I will need to add some of my own money. I am very weary of travelling to new places alone, so if I go this route I'll probably settle for a city I already know (London, most likely). Hotel+food+entertainment means paying a lot of extra money I wasn't planning on spending for this kind of vacation, but it's very tempting. Also, the only time I can take this vacation is in February, and I hear it's very cold.

Choices, choices.

Back from the dead

So I just renewed my paid LJ account, even though I wrote only about a single post in the last 6 months. That doesn't seem like a good return for the money, so my new year's resolution is to actually use this thing once in a while.

This weekend I split my time between completing the second draft of a Phonology paper due at the end of the semester (in which I try to describe Quechuan compensatory lengthening in terms of optimality theory. Exciting stuff), and researching for a lecture about the history of Manga I'm giving at a comic convention next Thursday. When not doing either of those things, I was with the family for Hannuka stuff, getting fatter in the process.

And speaking of December holidays, my friend A. and his Japanese girlfriend F. got a small christmas tree for their apartment, and F., like a proper Japanese Christmas-fanatic lit it up with colorful lights and carefully placed empty gift boxes under it. I believe this is the first time I've seen an actual Christmas tree outside the TV and movie screen. It's very cool. I want one too.
  • Current Mood
    tired tired

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Neil Gaiman is the guest of honor at ICon this year, so I went to see him speak tonight, and will do so tomorrow night again. I am skipping the reading he's giving on Thursday, though, and the vote is still up on whether I want to spend a couple of hours in line Friday morning to get a book signed.

I've seen Gaiman before at San Diego, but that was an hour he shared with Dave McKean speaking of nothing but MirrorMask. Tonight was much more the real deal - an hour was spent on a short but very funny autobiography, his experience in comics and some excellent tales about his grandfather. It went to Q&A after that, with such crowd-pleasers as "what's your favorite comic?" and "who is your favorite artist you worked with?".

Tomorrow is a longer Q&A session, but moderated by one of the nicest guys in the Israeli SF community. So hopefully we'll get some good stuff.

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Turns out that watching this (warning: this video may make your head explode) and then going to the company's annual new year's party extravaganza and consuming some alcohol leads to weird dreams about an army of creepy red dolls invading the party during the CEO's speech to the tune of French kitsch music.

Weirdest scene from last night's party

Yuki, a Japanese guy with bleached hair who speaks next to no Hebrew but perfect English, talks about how much he likes the Pik Sisters1 and then tries to convice us that we're all fans of Sarit Hadad's2 singing but afraid to admit it.

1 for non-Israelis: think any American pop-starlet then slash talent by half and clone a sister.
2 a popular etchnic pop singer.
  • Current Music
    Gedo Senki - Teruu no Uta