Poison River Station, day 1012

What can I say? I've been doomed. I knew, for a long time, that it was coming, but could not avoid it. And now it is here – a fact, a constant, a statement, a whole new field of dangerous concepts, especially to a delicate and fragile person such as myself.

I have bought a washing machine.

The K is to blame for that, of course, since she's been throwing anything I wear to the basket as soon as it got off me, sometimes even sooner than that. She claims, of course, that it was entirely MY decision to buy the thing. Well, I ask you – what is better? spending an hour or two a week sitting like a beggar on a plastic chair near a laundromat, or buying a machine and trust your girlfriend to deal with it from here on?


A week before buying the machine we stopped all outside washing activities. Alas, when the machine was bought, it turned out that a technician is needed in order to set it up. "It's merely a small setback," I said. Indeed, two days and about 5 kilograms of dirty clothes later said workman arrived, installed everything, explained some concepts (the only fact I can recall is that it's a 1000RPM machine – which is why I selected it in the first place) and left.
The first test of the new machine had to be slightly postponded, however, since it was raining at the time.
It also rained the next day.
The day afterwards was bright and shiny, white clouds in blue skies, birds singing, the whole bit. The machine, alas, refused to work.
"Have you pressed button number 3?" said the technical support person over the phone.
"I have not touched any of the buttons except for 'Operate'," I said. "Can you please send someone over here?"
"You MUST have touched button number 3!" said techsup.
"Not only that I havn't touched it, I can assure you that this particular button was NEVER pressed since the machine arrived here, at which time it was de-pressed."
"Why did you press it, then?"
"Right, right, don't shout, we'll send someone over. Just make sure you don't press button number 3 again, ok?"

By the time the technician arrived, the mountain of laundry in the living room got as big as a small brontozaurus and at least as smelly. It also reminded us very strongly of the singing plant from "A Little Shop of Horrors", though it was somewhat noisier. The laundry basket was also flowing, and leftovers could be found all over the station – in the kitchen, the porch and even in several strategical places inside the studio. The technician arrived, thus, to what looked very much like a war zone. He went to the machine, plugged out something this or other, drained the water which were left inside the machine since last thursday or so, which contained a little piece of foam-plastic, about the size of a medium coin.
"That's it," said the technicial and left.

The K has been doing laundry ever since. The mountain in the living room has dropped in size, though it hasn't vanished yet. The waste basket is still being rehabilitated. Me? I've had some fun renewing the laundry lines, and that's about the last time I ever saw the new machine.

Now she's talking about buying a laundry drier.

Poison River Station, day 1001

And so I find myself, after a long period of writelessness, again with a bit of time on my hands, a time which I've decided to dedicate to writing some of the comings and goings of and around myself.
What shall I write about, then?
I've no idea.

Well, the Pita project suffers from the unmerciful ways of actors, especially when things come to actually set a meeting. This is probably why producers make so much money, usually – nobody'll take the job otherwise. Our scriptwriter, on the other hand, isn't working too fast either. I hope the actors won't find out he didn't complete chapter II yet. We have tried to accelerate his writing rate by inducing a girl upon him, so that she breaks his heart – for broken hearts are known for their property as muse enhancers. Alas, that cheap trick didn't work. However – hope is not lost. We have, after all, all the time in the world.
We also have a new address for our site: http://www.upita.org

Meanwhile the Funkapella is back on the road, with a new singer replacing Yael Krauss (who went to live in the US, for some reason). The new singer is called, not surprisingly, Yael. The group works now on some new material. Some of the old material, by the way, can be found here:

And finally, after months of silence, Klonimus returns. A Klonimus show will take place this very thursday at the New Barbie Club, Tel Aviv. The reunion came as a very big surprise, for I was sure the band was already dead and buried. But no – we're alive and kickin', especially now, that I have my new bass guitar (yet unnamed – shame on me).

Oh, and I bought a refrigirator! A new, grand, white, big, shiny refrigirator!
And it ain't empty, too!

I suspect that to future shows I'll have to be carried up in a wheelbarrow.

Poison River Station, day 704

Had a birthday several days ago. Am quite happy with what I got: a beautiful pocket-watch from Keren (now I've to learn how to read a non-digital watch), some money and a blender from my parents.
This is the first time in my life that I get any present which has even the slightest connection to food whatsoever. Excluding pizzas, of course.
Parents came to visit, brought me the blender and about 1 metric ton of other kitchen utilities, food and unidentified pieces of cloth. They also met Keren. No casualties. Now Keren and I are even – I was forced to entertain HER parents several times in the past two weeks. Ach, revenge, revenge.

After much mess and going about I went down to a certain store, today, with a good friend, and bought myself a blue Warwick Corvette Standard, i.e. – a new bass guitar.
Buying a new instrument is the closest thing to a religious frenzy that an unbeliever can reach, and this case was no exception. After playing the Holy Instrument, checking the Holy Electronics and caressing the Holy Fretboard, I now prepare myself for the reading of the Holy Manual.

Keren and Ruthi, meanwhile, continue working on the clip. Deadline is next sunday. They have just, so I've been told, completed the animated representation of myself.
I'm afraid to watch the result.

Oh, well, I've a New Blue Corvette. I've no care in the whole world.

Um. Well, no, that's not exact. I'd have no care in the whole world had my ear not hurt so. Also my throat. I've spent half the day walking around with an ear full of Garlick&Oil(TM), which is Keren's way of handling undisciplined ears. And lo! Indeed, I smell of garlick and drip oil all over the carpet, and wouldn't've mind it all one bit had my ear stopped hurting consequensly.
Which it didn't.
And throat.

I do hope Keren doesn't find any magic solution for my throat. I want to live.

By a clever evasive action I managed to throw her off the idea of giving me another dose of Garlick&Oil(TM). I can hear again! I'm free! I'm free! I'm… uh uh, she's coming…

Poison River Station, day 702

Again – so much is happening, so little time to write about it…
* The Universe In A Pita album was completed, at last. About 25 CDs were sold at ICon2001, The Fifth Israeli SF&F Convention. One CD was stolen…
* The ICon2001 opening event was hosted by Gidi Gov, to whom I finally managed writing a fitting text, more or less. The society gave Gidi, in gratitude, a copy of The Universe In A Pita album, and I offered him quite generously the role of Morris the Pompous Producer in our Pita Radio Play. Now I'm awaiting his answer…
* Funkapella is still looking for a new singer to replace Yael, who left to live in San Francisco or LA or something of the sort. We also need a place to translate the latest recordings into recognizable computer files, instead of the silly digital cassettes on which they're stored now. I also need to write some new songs for the group, but I'm so busy
* Making the videoclip for "My Uncle Bought Me A Time Machine", with Keren and Ruthi working days and nights. After Keren's computer went down in flame,and my own #2 machine proved to be slightly weak, I found the perfect solution: a friend and I borrowed a very very strong computer from a very very big company. It looks just like a pizza box, though it is much noisier.
* Since the holidays are over, at last, the Pita Production Team is trying to reorganize. In addition to the clip, Hadar is working on the script for the radio play, and I start harrassing the actors again. Gidi Gov might be a jolly good Morris, but I have to consider the (very remote, admittedly) possibility of him refusing the role.
* Got me a very nice pocket-watch as a gift from Keren, for my birthday, which happens to be today. I'm old but I ain't lettin' it get me down!

(Do you wanna buy my Pita album? You DO wanna buy my Pita album! So what if it's in Hebrew? Email me to buy my Pita album. It ain't expensive – I'm sure about it. It's cheaper than a 2nd hand time machine!)

(The Pita Page: http://www.forum2.org/joliet/upita.html , or something of the sort)

Poison River Station, day 666

It has been, I admit, a rather long time since I last wrote here. That doesn't mean that nothing happens in the station – far from it.

* Keren stuffs me with good food. This comes as a total shock to my system, which is used to rather bad food. It's a big effort, but I'm handling it.
* Keren takes me to buy some new garmets. This comes as a total shock to most of my companions and comtemporaries. It's a big effort, but they'll handle it.
* Keren and I buy a new set of dishes and cutlery. This comes as a total shock to Steven, my housecleaner, who proceeds immediately to break a new glass and hide the remains. This last event, however, doesn't shock anyone.
* The Universe In A Pita project continues – the album is in the final mix stages. Idan, the Funkapella drummer, was chosen to do the job with me. We're going to sit here through Yom Kippur and finish it.
* Also in the Pita – a videoclip is being prepared by Keren and her friend Ruti. The former will do the computer work, the latter is a classic animator. Deadline: next week. It seems, therefore, that not only I am going to work during the holiday.
* The Funkapella recorded two songs at the Tomix studio (Fridge and Goldfish Blues). It's the first time I recorded in a studio not my own since 1999 or so. The recordings might have turned out nicely, but we don't know since they're stored on digital cassettes and nobody's able to transfer them to computer files. What the studio people don't know is that I've no intention whatsoever to pay a dime till I got the files stored safely here. That might solve the problem.
* The Distinguished Mme H. (also known, to some of her friends, as Huttie) was ceremoniously nominated as Pita Production Assistant. The Pita Production Team wishes the Mme. all the best in her new job, and also a very quick healing from the Jellyfish burns. Film at eleven.
* Hadar returned from a week at Club Med, Turkey. If by Sunday I don't see any real progress with the Pita script, heads will fly. Or at least be banged slightly.
* The Tenth Dimension is a publication of the Israeli Society for Science Fiction and Fantasy. I have a column there, called "Mad Nir". For the coming issue, a new Mad Nir article had to be written in the record time of six (6!) hours. Then I was asked to write an Editor Note, since the Editor flew away to Budapest just in time for the closing of the issue. I settled for writing a Non-Editor Note.
* I was also asked to write some text for the opening event of the coming Israeli Science Fiction Convention – ICon2001. The event will be hosted by Gidi Gov, who rejected my first draft of the text due to overusage of special effects. My second draft was sent yesterday, though I'm not sure it'll fair better than the first.
* I managed to write two short stories for the contest held by the Society. The second one was quite a surprise to me – it started nudging me at work and didn't let go until it was written, about an hour and several disappointed customers later.

Consider the hour in which I write this. I spent most of the night at the supermarket, and some more of it creating a Pita Presentation Page on the web. Keren spent most of that time (after returning from the supermarket, of course) making food.
I might die soon from some fat cluster somewhere, but at least I'll die a happy man.

Poison River Station, day 624

Music. A Girl. Friends. Beach.
I need nothing more in the whole world.

Just returned from Eilat, having performed there with the Funkapella. Descriptions of happiness are always boring, so I won't. I'm just happy, and have been that way continuously since getting on the bus on the way to Eilat.

Music. A Girl. Friends. Beach.
Life's good.

Poison River Station, day 612

Today saw the last recording session of the Pita Morgana band. Yaron is returning to Boston next week (we'll have one more drums-only recording session before that), and that would be that.
During the last several days I've had almost no sleep, trying to quickly write enough songs so that the Pita album will contain more than 30 minutes of music. Thus, "My Uncle Gave Me a Time Machine" was written and composed somewhere around 3AM last thursday, then recorded some time around 11AM, and the same process followed yesterday with "Dark Side of the Sun" and today with "Zero G Shower". Give me another week and I'll write a double-feature… but there are no other sessions, and I'll have to settle for what's already there. Which is not bad. According to my calculations, we've some seconds past the 30 minutes barrier. I might write a song to be performed with guitar only, just as to make sure that the album is long enough.
The result, however, of all this intensive late-night writing, is that I'm unbelievably tired. I'm a zomby. A robot. The ghost of a sunken fish.

And tonight I'm going down to Eilat, to perform there with Funkapella III. It'll be our first show. We were supposed to fly there but, alas, we'll only fly back. Lack of tickets. Silly production. Nevermind – at least I'm going to have some quality time with a mattress. I promise to use it.

And now, I'll go and spend my time napping at work. As usual.

Poison River Station, day 602

Boy meets girl. Boy does this or other thing with girl. Boy gets abandoned by girl. Boy proceeds to write tons of funny music. Boy does rehearsals all day. Boy meets another girl. Boy is thanking the lord for the air conditioning. Boy dreams of a new refrigirator.

The subject of the fridge is a difficult one. Consider: this fridge had been with me, lived with me, for some three years. It was brought here by my father, and that's about all I know of its origins. I drew lovely fish on it, fish singing jazz standards. I replaced its compressor. I even put some food inside. I really LIKE my fridge.
But then, one day, the freezing unit went down, and the tech people say it cannot be fixed. And so I'm stuck with a dilemma: abandon my friend, or live without ice, meat and all other frozen stuff?
A tough problem, I admit. I don't know what to do. I'll have to think some more of it.

Meanwhile, in the Space Station, the Pita recordings continue. A fourth bootleg recording was uploaded to our underground site – a piece called "Daisy, Daisy". This one was not written by me (I know not who actually wrote the piece) – it's a ripoff of a ripoff. The original tune was sung by many (among them Nat King Cole), and might have been a part of a musical or something of the sort. Then came "2001: Space Odyssey", in which HAL sang this tune just before being shut off for good. Then came our piece.
The take was recorded, as usual, some 10 minutes after learning to play the song for the first time. The reason we messed with this particular piece instead of working on our other songs was my sore throat and the drummer's mental/medical condition at the time – he took some strong medications just before the session, and was rather dreamy the whole time.

A fourth actor joined the Pita Crew, thus increasing our number to five. So far the acting team is:
Inbar – plays Monica the Computer
Adi – unspecified yet, might play Commisioner Yahai
Yonatan – unspecified yet
Itay – the new actor, will play Shlomo the Drummer
Your Humble Servant – a non-actor, will play Danny Burger the Band Leader

Two more actors are to be recruited. We need especially, as I've mentioned previously, a Morris the Menace Manager, `62 or earlier model in a good condition.

Hadar, our scriptwriter, returned at last from his unnecessary trip abroad, and is working his ass off the draft. In order to help him, I recorded the Pita band talking during rehearsal, so that he'll hear how people in bands talk. That little trick worked beautifully, and now he's calling me every round hour to report progress.
I should find some more such tricks if I want the writing of episode II to proceed faster.

Funkapella III is also working very hard – rehearsals yesterday, today and tomorrow, not to mention tuesday and next sunday or so. We're having two shows in Eilat next week, bless us. My octaver went down blazing during one of the recent rehearsals, so I had to buy a new toy. I started going to rehearsals with electric-protection devices. I feel real smart about this.

Well, then. Boy writes, boy spills it all, boy goes, at last, to sleep.

Poison River Station, day 544

1. Never trust the Funkapella gang. I go and get the best possible air conditioner, 2.5 horsepower, auto-adjustment, remote-control, beautiful as a new-born electric bass, and they complain that the room's too COLD! Go figure…
2. Never trust the Pita Morgana gang. I go and get… oh, you know what I mean.
3. Never trust A/D convertors. I got a call from the lab, to which I gave it for fixing. They wanted me to come and get it, but refused to discuss the cost. I came, only to learn that the bloody thing had no malfunction whatsoever. Ghhh!
4. The theory regarding the inverse connection between the number of girls in my life and the amount of music I create just proved to be wrong, i.e.: there's a girl in my life and I just wrote a new song for the Pita Project, called "Black Hole". No, it's NOT what you think it is, perverts!

Poison River Station, day 532


Two of'em, actually. At last!
Of course, the installation, which was supposed to last three hours, ended after about seven and a half, thus putting the bucket on what was, potentially, at least, an honest working day.

The Pita Project: Alas, H. was sent to the US for some reason, thus further delaying the completion of Episode I. The Pita Morgana gang continues with intensive rehearsals, two raw versions recorded so far, one more on its way.

The A/D convertor of the Space Station went down last wednesday. Then the Space Station shuttle went down, during a date. However – t'was a very fine date indeed, so who gives?

Is there an inverse connection between the number of girls in my life and the amount of music I create?

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