Monday, May 29, 2006

Unhealthy Obsession

Last night I went home at 10:30pm and I actually couldnt wait to come back to the library. I came back in at 9am, stayed till 5, until I had to go home cause I was too tired - didnt sleep too well the night before. But I tried to take a nap when I got home, couldnt. I was supposed to meet a group at 8 to discuss a question we're all having a problem with, but I decided to go in early - I missed the place I guess. Its 10:30pm now and I would stay longer (got some stuff to do), but if I do it means ill come in late tomorrow - and there'll be nowhere to sit. So its with great reluctance I leave tonight.

Its scary. Its become an unhealthy obsession. The library has extended its opening hours from 10pm (pitifully early) to 2am (still early for some). Im not a 2am person - I leave by 10 usually so I can get a good nights sleep and come back for 8:30am. Others drift in these days at 9pm, stay till 2am, and talk about how hardcore they are. Screw that shit. Hardcore is when you're actually addicted to the library. And no, its not like I enjoy it, its like any addiction, you do it because your body wants to. Ive never worked this hard in my life, its insane, and Im still taking great risks in my preparation - hoping a certain question will come, etc.

I think as this habit goes on, you get to spend more time here, but your productivity decreases. Like, 2 weeks back Id be coming in at 11am and leaving at 5pm. Getting an ok amount done. Last 2 days Im coming in at 8:30am leaving at 10:30pm - but the amount Im getting done per hour or whatever is less. Im tiring, and I think thats why I wouldnt be able to keep this up forever. As for motivation, well it differs from person to person. For me, I kid you not my biggest motivation isnt to get good grades (although thats up there definitely) or to learn or to get into a good uni in future or to make lots of money. No, right now the motivation purely and simply is numbers. Thats it, numbers. So at the end of the day, I can say I spent x amount of time studying. Its lame, but it works better than all the other forms of motivation people talk about. I mean, who cares what my earning potential is in 10 years? It doesnt motivate me here and now. Theres no link. But with the numbers, your motivation is refreshed every night. You dont think about why the numbers are important, you just know they are.

Here's to obsession.

Posted by illogicist at 2:23 PM 2 comments

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Academic Post

Not many of you will be interested, but for one of my classes I had to submit a report, 2500 word approx, on a subject of my choice.

Below I share mine, and two of my friends' ones. Mine is on the IMF and the World Bank, one of my friend's ones is about TRIPS (intellectual property rights), and the third is about the development project and post-development. Might be worth a read...

Mine: http://www.soton.ac.uk/~tac104/politics/imfwbfx.pdf

The Pasha: http://www.soton.ac.uk/~tac104/politics/devpasha.pdf

Sheikh Ali: http://www.soton.ac.uk/~tac104/politics/tripslongting.pdf

Posted by illogicist at 11:43 PM 2 comments

Friday, May 26, 2006

Last Day

Today is the last day of the last week of the last semester of the year (alas, its not my last) ... even though I didnt have any lectures this week (well, one), I still feel a blog post is in order. I would make it one of those nauseatingly nostalgic posts we all love to read, but theres two things stopping me:

1) Im in the library; I barely have time to blog at home because Im barely at home these days
2) I dont feel particularly nostalgic

Yep, this year, as the last, hasn't warranted special mention if my book of good times. Its been... interesting, I suppose. Not fun though, not one of those years where you go, wow, Ill remember this the rest of my life.

I did math today. I havent done math in a year, and today I find out I need to be able to do a certain amount of math if I want to pass one of my exams...so maths it is! And I'm loving it. Theres something about math, I can just turn off and let some curiously hungry part of my brain do all the work. My hand doesnt stop moving for hours as Im just scrawling equations and numbers and diagrams across page. Its almost a waste to think that all that hard work is going to go in the bin as soon as my hand stops moving.

But its fun, maths is. I had forgotten why I enjoyed it so much. I purposely picked my modules so that I'd have to do as little math as possible, but Im glad this modicum of arithmetic has crept in.

Sometimes I wonder how sad I really am...it all comes out in exam times. I mean here I am, blogging about my secret love affair with mathematics. *sigh* Run, dear reader, before I infect you too.

Posted by illogicist at 5:47 AM 3 comments

Monday, May 22, 2006

Countdown to Doomsday

NP - Andy Timmons - All Is Forgiven

I have 7 days.

Today was interesting. I dont know if it was the oranges I ate in the morning or what, but I actually managed to be pretty productive today. I was in the library from 9am till 8pm - save 2 hours of lectures (yes, its the last week of term and we still have lectures), half an hour for lunch, and 1.5 hours at the gym. Thats pretty good by my standards. And it was a weird day too - I felt...different. Confident, happy. So strange. I hate exam periods, they miss with your mind. Im like a pregnant woman or something right now...scary thought.

I have faith in my immune system. My and my ol' buddy have been through some pretty testing times. But through careful training, I have built him up into a formidable ally (careful training = an unhealthy childhood obsession with shawerma - hey if you can digest one of those you can digest pretty much anything). So I was confident enough to do something today I probably shouldnt have done. Yesterday while at the supermarche I bought this microwave fish with cheese thingy - it was cheap. About to reach its eat by date. So I bought it. I didnt cook it that day though, I cooked it today. When I pulled it out of the microwave, it was bubbling - and the cheese looked weird. All patchy and that...like milk gone off. I smelled it, but it smelled fine. I was like OK I shouldnt eat this...but its been a tiring day and I need PROTEIN. But wont it fudge with my stomach?

Its okay dude, your immune system is a beast - nothing can mess with it. Those stomach acids will attack and kill any hostile food substance. So I ate it.

I'll need to wait till tomorrow to see if I was right. But if I'm not back in the next few days...well. Blame the cheese.

Posted by illogicist at 2:19 PM 4 comments

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Post-Winter, Post-Haste.

NP - Sigur Ros - Untitled 3

How fast time flies. Its a saturday night, more of a sunday morning really. I went out tonight, first time I go out on a saturday night in about 6 months, more or less. Probably more. It was a spur of the moment thing - I was at the gym with O after the library closed (close at 5pm on Saturday, for God knows what reason - probably to keep social rejects like me out). Just as we were leaving, he said he couldnt bear to go home to his family tonight, and wanted an escape. He suggested we go watch The Da Vinci Code, even though the reviews were shite. So we said yeah, okay. So we went - me, O, R1 and R2. Basically we just went back to my place, picked up R1, then went immediately to pick up R2, and went.


We didn't reserve tickets. Da Vinci Code - sold out. MI3? God forbid I pay money to see Mr. Scientology, but we were already out - a night out's a night out - and there was no turning back. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately?) MI3 was also sold out. There was one more option...


...THE KING.

A word of advice...dont watch The King.. Just dont. I dont care if it got decent reviews, its the worst trash Ive seen in...well...six months. Long story short - kid comes, meets his father, impregnates his half sister, kills his half brother, kills his half sister. There, I've saved you about 2 hours of your life, with which you can do something useful with.

How sad I've become. The other day I was talking to a friend about their weekend plans, and they're like "library? hah, Im not THAT sad! I dont study on weekends." And I'm just at a loss of works. Im thinking: you dont study on weekends? But...how? What else is there to do? HOW DO YOU PASS THE TIME?? That was a few days ago, and I only realised the absolute, pityful tragedy of that a few hours back (in the movie, ironically enough). But this year I just dont have time. I know people say, hey you're still undergrad, dont work so hard - but you gotta. I gotta. So I do.

Last year at this time I was reading some quality stuff - 100 Years of Solitude, Shadow of the Wind. Good books, amazing books. But for the past few weeks I've been trudging through the inexorably boring The Historian. This book got good reviews, had a pretty interesting plot (in theory), and had a nice cover. I expected it to be something dark and fascinating - when the subject matter is Dracula, it damn well better be. Instead I find this book about *WARNING: SPOILERS:* some girl plodding along, digging up her fathers old letters, the story moving painfully slowly in all directions but the right one. I would say, purely because of the subject matter, that it has the potential to impress yet, but unfortunately I gave up hope about a hundred pages back. Even the plot twists I dont much care for. Theres 2 reasons I havent given up yet:

1) Its about Dracula - something good has GOT to happen soon.
2) I gave up my last book half way too (autobio of MLK).

Im very disappointed, because I was hoping for something literary. This book tries to be literary and doesnt do a very good job of it, instead coming across as trying to be The Da Vinci code, but without the pace or esotericism. Its sad really - I had high hopes for this.

Bedtime - need to be up by 7:30am tomorrow so I can get to the library early...Sunday morning. I live a wonderfully exciting life. Well, at least theres the hope of football - assuming that this dreadful weather we've been having these last few days lets up, and the sun shines once more. I'll keep my fingers crossed.

Posted by illogicist at 4:33 PM 4 comments

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

ARGH

NP - RHCP - Hard to Concentrate

Oh, how true. How hard it is to concentrate. I havent fallen into my study groove yet, and with less than 2 weeks left till my exams start, its just a wee bit worrying. But I can be excused today...tis Champions League Final Day!

Arsenal V Barcelona. North London V Catalonia (or whatever its called). The tension here is electric - even though the final is in Paris. This is the best final in years, everyone knows its going to be something special. Both sets of supporters are out in force...and I cant study!

Im going to the Uni Bar early, to get a good place. Its going to be packed. Problem is, its going to be all Barcelona fans...but I suppose that'll make it all the sweeter when we win :D

Posted by illogicist at 10:16 AM 6 comments

Klimt 1918 - Fever

Today promises to be a crap day. Last night was crap, I couldnt sleep for 3 hours. The only thing that calmed me down enough to sleep was Omar Khairat (music). I dont usually sleep with music, but I had to...and it worked. But I woke up still angry - was supposed to wake up at 6am, woke up at 10, so my plans for the day were basically ruined. So now I have to just do what I can.

Theres only one thing that can save this day: Arsenal winning the Champions League. I dont have too much hope...I know we CAN do it, but it will take luck - Barcelona need to be having an average day. If they play their best, we're screwed. Still, Im predicting 2-1, with Arsenal lifting the trophy at the end of the day.

Posted by illogicist at 2:55 AM 0 comments

Monday, May 15, 2006

MSN Makes You Retarded

O says:
alrite latorz
O says:
leme know when ur gyming
Z says:
yash
Z says:
will do
Z says:
atert



Ho hum.

Posted by illogicist at 5:54 AM 9 comments

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Thoughts for this Morning

NP - Royksopp - Poor Leno

1) Once again,we see power being forcibly pulled from the hands of the people and into the hands of technocrats and big business. Latest example:

http://observer.guardian.co.uk/politics/story/0,,1774399,00.html?gusrc=rss

"In a move which brought immediate criticism from human rights' experts, the Prime Minister wants the government to have the power to override court rulings. The move comes only days after Blair criticised a senior judge for preventing the deportation of nine Afghan refugees who hijacked a plane to Britain. Downing Street said he was determined to find a way around such 'barmy' court rulings."

Barmy indeed.

2) Prince sure is lucky that Michael Jackson exists. Jeez, I could barely watch the video for 'Black Sweat'.

3) They said organising your notes and stuff will make you feel better, because you'll see how much of the study you've already done. All I see is how much much I thought I'd done, but I hadnt. Worry time.

Posted by illogicist at 4:31 AM 0 comments

Friday, May 05, 2006

My Islamic Society

NP - Chagos Project - Danza De Los Perros

A joke. Apart from all the stories which I wont share here, the latest story out of the ISOC here is the elections, due to be held on Monday. Yesterday on my way home, I go to the prayer room, and see a poster on the front door. Its a picture of Uncle Sam, with some type of hat on his head (you know the type, almost like a skullcap), and a caption saying YOUR ISOC NEEDS YOU. This made me laugh, but also made me kinda despair about how sad they've become. Theres so many things wrong with that poster.

Firstly, Uncle Sam? You couldnt find anything better than UNCLE SAM to promote ISOC? Not that I'm anti-American, but Uncle Sam represents a very specific image of America, that of patriotism and the Army. These things arent 'unislamic', but they arent exactly the most appropriate themes to incorporate into this whole affair. Secondly, the absolutely amateurish photoshopping made me want to tear. It was atrociously done, didnt even look realistic. Looked like it was MEANT to be a joke. God, I hope it was. Thirdly, the presence of that skullcap thingy itself. WHY GOD WHY! Is it supposed to be a MUSLIM thing?? I take great offense to that! Nay, its a cultural thing, its a piece of clothing that some people from the Subcontinent, Pakistand and Bangladesh choose to wear. That they incorporate it with Islam, not only is it silly, its plain wrong! Coming from the ISOC - its downright shameful.

As I walked in there was a slip of paper on the noticeboard which was basically asking people to nominate themselves or their friends for positions for next year. Well, I figured, since ISOC seems to have spontaneously developed a sense of humour, why dont I join in the fun? So I put my name down, and for my position, i wrote SATANIC OVERLORD.

I came back today. Curiously, my name had disappeared. Someone had gone through the trouble of printing out a new sign-up sheet and replacing the old one, just to get rid of my name. Im ticked :D Oh, but more interestingly than that, it seems that I wasn't the only one who found the pictures of Uncle Sam someone offensive. Someone else had disagreed with them, for reasons which just made me want to cry about the absolute hopelessness of it all. Someone had gone to everyone one of those Uncle Sam posters, and cut out his face. After all, drawing faces is haram in Islam.

Kill me now.

Posted by illogicist at 3:40 PM 8 comments

Monday, May 01, 2006

Post-Relationship Rhetoric

NP - Nevermore - Enemies of Reality

Sometimes I talk to people about old relationships, and almost invariably they say something like "I never loved him/her to start with. It was just a false emotion." If theyre in a current relationship, then this one is REALLY love - the real deal...until they break up, in which case it was false love again.

I dont know, Im not comfortable with that talk.

If you KNEW it was love at the time, how can it not be love in hindsight? Its not like anythings changed, except your perception of the person. You cant change the past - only in your mind. If you dont love them now, it doesnt mean that you never did. It just means things have changed.

Ok, suppose you accept that you did in fact love them in the past. I dont think it means you need to love them now - theres no rule that says love is forever. I think love is born, and can die. Doesnt have to die, but often does. I guess its to be expected. It doesnt take anything away from that last relationship, but you need to be able to put it behind you...and by that I dont just mean 'getting over them', I mean acknowledging that you had something great, and now you dont, and not letting that affect you. Most people tend to either dwell on what they had, or deny that they ever had something at all. Why not just say, yeah we had something great, but its over, and now I'm moving on?

Posted by illogicist at 2:40 PM 10 comments

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