All week I have not had time to do anything but work, study German, and work on (and drink at) the flat. I vowed to get stuff done today, and it's turned out to be a productive day full of people and accomplishment.
First of all, I made some phone calls on flat business (talk to ISP about an ADSL modem of our own [we've stolen gaal's modem when he wasn't looking]; talk to the insurance guy; talk (yet again) to the landlord, etc.) -- very responsible. Then I looked up the nearest post office on the Internet, and discovered we have a friendly neighborhood post office within walking distance. Went there to mail two books to two volunteers for Project Ben-Yehuda, for them to type out of. Those two books were kindly lent to the project by cinamon (whom I love).
The post office turned out to be a friendly place indeed, but, alas, also a complete circus as far as service and professionalism are concerned. I was in a hurry because I wanted to pick up that ADSL modem and they (Bezeq) were closing in an hour. I was standing in line when hattie called, and asked something or other. Reception was terrible and I couldn't make out what she was saying. Then my turn came up and I just said "Can't talk now, bye." and hung up. While I was negotiating the incompetent postal worker and addressing the packages, a familiar voice surprised me, on my left. It was hattie, in the flesh! Aye, a wily Madame she is.
Once the Postal Saga was concluded, hattie and I went to The Flat. There we found arnulf and mux2000, who came with stuff from their parents' place. arnulf, in particular, was running about the flat with a spraying can of something in his hand and a wide grin on his face. I think he was hunting Wabbits, or perhaps oiling squeaky doors. Possibly both.
Hemingway, Hattie expressed her disapproval of our wild lifestyle (read: ash in the ashtray and some empty beer bottles). I tried to placate her by offering her some of arnulf's fine Cognac; she declined, but then immediately changed her mind and, with a strange glint in her eye, said she'd love some. As I, perplexed, reached for the bottle, she handed me something wrapped in a lot of paper. Unwrapped, it turned out to be a moose shot-glass! An absolutely delightful, black and transparent shot-glass with moose frolicking around it. Also also wik, Hattie founded the Norwegian section of our library, with Elgen Elgar! It's an illustrated book, telling the (apparently) rollercoaster quest of Elgar the Moose for this other furry creature. We flipped through the pictures, made lewd comments and zany hypotheses, and agreed that I must provide a translation ASAP. I'll try to get a grip of German before seeing how much I can make of the Norwegian text.
Then, after stopping at my parents' to wish them a happy wedding anniversary and to steal a couple of chairs, I met with another BY volunteer, one of the most steadfast and productive ones, to deliver a book for him to type from. I've done this (i.e. meet people I don't know and deliver books to them) several times before, for the project, but I still find the situation awkward and vaguely embarrassing. This time, things were very smooth and pleasant right from the start. The guy turned out to be very nice, and after asking me the usual questions ("uh, so, how did you come to start this project? What do you do for a living? I thought you're a lot older..."), told me he's really into folk singing, and has typed up 2600(!) folk and popular songs in Hebrew over the years (he started collecting and writing down song lyrics at the age of ten, on paper; by now it's all computerized), and he found the project when he was Googling for some phrase, liked it, and decided to help out.
That left me in high spirits, and I drove back to The Flat. Shortly afterwards, shapirac and omerm dropped by, as shapirac took me up on my offer. They, too, surprised me with a flatwarming gift! It is absolutely crucial that arnulf not find out what it is, though. Don't shake your head at me! You should have seen him with that mystery can... Just think what he could-- no, would do with an impressive set of sharp knives, scissors, and other weapons of mass destruction!
Hemingway, I gave 'em the tour, interested omerm in some obscure Turkish beer called Venus (ha!), gave shapirac some excellent books, and we had a most pleasant conversation, ranging from Romans' winter wardrobe to Newtonian mechanics, with medieval knighthood, Israeli history, Gibbon, Stalingrad, and other moose en passant. I really enjoyed that. Embarrassingly, I lost track of time and neglected to get moving to a different appointment, with kritzit, until she had to remind me herself. I had to curtail my lovely guests' visit, and for that I can't apologize enough. But I'll make it up to them soon.
Then had an hors d'oeuvre with kritzit, and an inspiring personal conversation. After that, I dashed right on to my final elk of the day, dinner with ygurvitz. It's been a while since we've had one of those dinner-and-discussion evenings, just the two of us, and we just couldn't keep the conversation from scrambling hither and thither all the time. Both of us had lots to say, and our conversations are so smooth and confident, that we managed to discuss a zillion different things, including one brilliant, fascinating, and important article by Yoav Karni.
And now, to bed.