Tuesday, June 27, 2006

2nd Round: Games 5-8

I dont really want to talk about yesterdays games, and Ill talk about todays briefly. Ghana played really well against Brazil I think, but just didnt know how to finish, it was unfortunate. Brazil didnt look like Brazil much, apart from rare moments, and towards the end. Well, Ghana didnt deserve to win, but 3-0 is a little harsh. France and Spain...great game, France really looked a lot better than before, and Spain looked great too. But I was upset that Henry, my favourite player, had to resort to a dive to secure the 2nd goal. Oh well. Ribery was great though.

Posted by illogicist at 2:02 PM 3 comments

Monday, June 26, 2006

The Week

I Picked up The Week today (june 21st issue), and as usual its filled with delightful insights into Oman's quirkiness. Theres a bunch of things worth mention.

Its always interesting seeing people you know in the Week, or their fathers, brothers, sisters, etc. I was looking at the pictures of the MPS graduation, and was surprised. Did I look young when it was ME? I couldnt have. I know all of those kids, I cant believe theyre graduating. Theyre still babies in my eyes. That guy in the middle still looks like his sister. The boy next to him still looks nothing like his brother. They still look much younger than we did.

It makes me feel old. Maybe I DID look that young, maybe its just when I look in the mirror now, I dont realise how much I've changed. Has uni scarred me so? Has it crafted these lines on my face, the coldness I see in my eyes? *sigh* Being poetic can be fun...

Secondly, the madness of the cinema. The Devil's Rejects? Its not exactly a new movie for it to be on the main screen in Bahja and Ruwi. But thats fine - a few years back we were used to waiting 6 months to get movies. Thats not the point - THE DEVILS REJECTS? I know 'A Woman In Black' has seen this movie, and well you may have enjoyed it AWIB, but you cant disagree with me here - theres little point in showing this movie in the cinemas here. Half of it would be censored. And whats not censored, well, its gruesome. Not only that, its...ugh. See, silly teenage kids would go about saying how cool this movie is, because its 'cool' to be disturbed or disturbing. And okay, I can appreciate it as an indie movie. But I just think its madness to show it on the main screen in the cinemas in OMAN. Remember, this is OMAN. Its just...not cool. Retards.

Posted by illogicist at 2:48 AM 5 comments

Sunday, June 25, 2006

2nd Round: Games 3 and 4

England 1 - 0 Ecuador

Boring game really. Depressing. Being an England fan is the most effective way of giving you blood pressure. No matter who they play, they screw up again and again and again, and are only rescued by some miracle late in the game. Same thing here: a beautiful Beckham spotkick. After that England picked up, but England are something, gotta say. I dont know how they can be so good and bad - at the same time. But they scraped through, again unconvincingly. Im losing hope.

Portugal 1 - 0 Holland

This game. I hated this game. Ive never seen a worse game in my LIFE. 4 red cards, a despicable portugese team, liars, fucking worst game ever. I hate portugal. I hate Christiano Ronaldo, fkcing crybaby. I hate Figo, fkcing diver. I hate Maniche, cause he was right - he WOULD be the difference. I hate that constinha guy cause hes a reckless diver. I hate everything about portugal. That wasnt a game, it was a travesty. As usual the ref is the man of the match. Im very, very, very angry right now. Ive spend the last 20 or 30 minutes non-stop complaining about the game to a couple of friends, and im not calming down, im getting angrier. Now england will have to play them. And knowing England, they will SUCK. They'll do long balls with no tall attacker in the box. They will play with a 10 man defence, but no counter-attack strategy. They will mess up passes. IF they score, it will be some miraculous free-kick, or some mistake of the defence. And portugal will win.

Today was a very bad day for football.

Posted by illogicist at 2:11 PM 3 comments

Saturday, June 24, 2006

2nd Round: Games 1 and 2

"i watch it in macdonalds cuz all cafes full!"

Thats my friend, talking about the Mexico V Argentina game. It seems World Cup Fever has gone ahead, despite ART's best efforts at monopolising it. You will NEVER crush our spirit! :D

Man, the games today. What can I say. One was amazing, one was very, very maddening. Lets start with Sweden V Germany.

Germany 2 - 0 Sweden

Someone from the BBC Sport message board had this to say:

"Germany were the better team - but this abysmal refereeing has to stop. It's ruining the World Cup "

I agree entirely. Sure, Germany played well, but the refereeing was terrible. And its not the first time. The Swede who was sent off deserved none of those cards. It was a frustrating game, and I was tempted to just turn it off when Larsson missed that penalty. I dont get how PROFESSIONALS miss penalties. HOW CAN YOU MISS THE FREAKING GOAL !!! Man, I hated that game.


Argentina 2 - 1 Mexico

This was a classic. Amazing game, as promised. I predicted 2-0 or 3-0 to Argentina, but Mexico came out guns blazing. They surprised us all with that first goal, but all credit to Argentina, they came back guns blazing. It was awesome, but Argentina seemed to run out of steam first, and Mexico looked the stronger team for much of the game. Argentina seemed to run out of creativity, and Riquelme looked tired towards the end. But they still threatened often. The Maxi Rodriguez goal in injury time was UNBELIEVABLE, and Mexico seemed to run out steam and determination after that. A classic.

Posted by illogicist at 2:56 PM 2 comments

Monday, June 19, 2006

An Update

So I've been in Oman for a few days, and its been good. Incredibly I feel thinner (I guess, since Im leading a less active lifestyle, Im eating less), more lethargic (unsurprisingly), and less interested in being online. But I havent gotten completely lethargic: yes I watch 2 or 3 matches of football a day, but I've been keeping myself busy with other stuff as well. All in all haven't had too much free time on my hands, and thats a good thing.

People keep asking me how I find the weather. Hello people, I've lived in this country for 18 years before leaving! :p Just because I've been gone 6 months doesnt mean I've forgotten! I dont think you can ever forget anyway. But to answer that question, I like it. Its humid, not as hot as I remember, but its a nice change. I dont mind being outside - as long as you're ready to sweat, its cool.

Mmm. Haven't seen any of my friends, save one. Not too interested. Might see a couple more in a few days though - u9ool and all. But nah, its not just that, I do want to see them. I dont miss them as such, but theyre fun people I guess. And they've changed from being abroad, as have I. It would be good to see just how much, and for the better or worse. Its funny; maybe its just because I've changed, but those who've been abroad Im interested in seeing, while those who stayed here, well, I'm sort of not bothered with. We've grown distant, they havent tried to keep in contact, and well, I guess that does it. Its better this way. I dont have too much time on my hands right now, and I'd like to spend most of it with family, as I tend to neglect them I guess.

World Cup Fever is hittin' hard. Up until the Czech Ghana game, there were no surprises, but that game (an AWESOME game), followed by the Italy USA game proved that there is still some surprises left. African football is reaching maturity I think. Ghana and the Ivory Coast were an absolute pleasure to watch. While the Ivory Coast were unlucky enough to be put in the group of death, Ghana has proven themselves with that amazing win over the Czech Republic. They outclassed them in every way, pure and simple. They were faster, more creative, better passing, tighter at the back, and more lethal. But Petr Cech, the Czech keeper, was like a demon guarding the gates of hell. He was the only reason that Czech didnt lose by a more embarassing margin of 5 or 6 to zero. Wallahi embarassing, but a lovely match.

Ivory Coast's matches so far were pure pleasure to watch too. They were unfortunate to go down 2-0 in the beginning of the match against Holland, but they fought back well. Van Persie played good for the Dutch, while Robben (star of the last Dutch match) did almost nothing. So it was a good match for the Dutch too.

Personally, I'm supporting England. I wasnt sure who I was supporting after that, but there were a bunch of teams I was loosely supporting to win: Holland, Czech, Argentina mostly. But I wasnt supporting them strongly. But after watching them play, I've been most impressed by Argentina: I think they might be my 2nd team. I dont know why I never chose them to start with: usually I choose teams because of reasons beyond football, and Argentina has been one of my biggest passions of the last 4 or 5 months. Ive read all about their economy, politics, history, culture, etc. They got screwed by so many people over the last 20 or 30 years, and my hearts really gone out to them. They have real fighting spirit, the people of that country, and Latin America in general. But I've never been too big a fan of their football team - I guess because they dont tend to make big waves. But Im going to cheer them on this time.

But if it comes to England VS Argentina...well...I'm going to go for Gerrard and Co. :D Its gotta be done. Sorry my Argentinian brothers, its gotta be done.

Posted by illogicist at 1:22 AM 4 comments

Thursday, June 15, 2006

McDonalds

I found this useful thing which gave all this info about what exactly you get when u eat something from McDonalds. I typed up the calories and fat content on MS Excel, but dont have anywhere to host it, so I took a screenshot. Its...interesting.

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Posted by illogicist at 1:38 PM 5 comments

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Trip Home

LAST DAY THOUGHTS

Im no longer connected to the internet, so Im going to compile this entry piece by piece, according to the times when I wrote it. You'll be reading it because I'll have posted it in its entirely once I'm connected again.

Monday, 2:55pm

Well, this is it. Ive begun my journey out of the city and towards Heathrow Airport, so that I can get my flight heading to Seeb International. Said goodbye to my friends and housemates - friends by SMS (I was more interested in watching the World Cup than spending time with them), housemates when my taxi came (I was more interested in watching Prison Break on my laptop). Right now I'm on the bus to Heathrow.

Can't say Im feeling anything much about leaving. I always feel something when Im travelling, usually a tinge of sadness, as I dont like moving...and packing is the worst of all. But for the past 3 months I couldnt wait to go back to Oman. So I should be feeling happiness, right? But Im not, not really. I wont be staying in Oman for too long, and, unlike the last 2 or so summers, my closest friends will not be in Oman. So it will be relaxing, but uneventful.

Its been an interesting year. I say interesting, and not good, because yes its been interesting, but not it hasnt been quite what I'd call good (wow, what a revelation that was). A lot of stuff happened. Two weeks ago feels like last semester. The beginning of the year...the bunfight...freshers week...feels like an eternity ago. And last year? Last year never happened. Usually time moves fast, but this year - especially the latter half - time's moved excruciatingly slow. I think part of that is due to the fact that I spent four weeks over easter here while everyone was gone home. I spent a lot of it in the library and a lot of it doing nothing. THat felt long.

Another reason its felt long is that its just been so unbelievably busy. One of my friends in the US hates me because he says here in the UK we do so little work. 3 year degree, 4 month summer holiday, 4 week easter, 3 week christmas. Whereas he does a 4 year degree, including summer 1 and summer 2. Maybe people in the US do work harder. I mean, I was looking at some of my friends' module options, and boy, theres a lot of super interesting stuff Id LOVE to do that I dont have the option of doing. So maybe they do work harder. But I think here its just a pressure cooker - you're ALWAYS working, ALWAYS busy. And it wears you out. At the end of the day, you're too tired to do anything (thats if you're actually studious and aiming for a top mark - if not, well.). And they are thinking of introducing 2 year degrees in the UK soon. Too much pressure. Is it a surprise everyone is out drinking their sorrows away? Theres so much pressure, they need to unwind, and getting absolutely pissed is the quick and easy way to do it, at least till the next morning.


Monday, 7:17pm

I cant say this has been the worst airport experience ever, but its probably up there in the top 3. Or top 5. Top 5. If I didnt get chance to watch at least some of the USA V Czech game, or if the USA had scored, then it would probably be top 3 (if the USA had one, it would have been the worst ever).

So they said I could pick up my ticket from the airport. But apparently (as I ought to expect), the Airline Office in Oman hadnt sent the info over. And the paper they gave me to give to them...was for a different passenger! Remarkable. I spent ages just waiting, calling home, waiting, watching the football, waiting. It was hot, so many loud people speaking languages I dont understand, and I was hungry. In the end I got through, sitting here in the departure lounge thingy (not the first class lounge, I wish it was that), typing this up. Its a pretty lounge, very spacious big windows, smells nice. I smell nice. On way through the duty free I sampled Armani Code. I already know what it smells like, but I wanted a little bit on me. I smell nice. Some lady just called me over and asked if I could stand security at her position. Lady, I said, Im a passenger. You're a passenger? Yes. Oh, right. Walks off. So much for hospitality. And speaking of that, I find it funny that the Asian people who work at this particular airline's ticket office are especially nice to white people, but wave off Asians. One woman anyway.

OOh, the air hostesses have just walked into this lounge thingy. Im surprised. Theres at least 2 arab airhostesses. Usually theres none.

Pretty airhostesses.

I'm tired. Mmm, I smell nice.


Monday 11:15pm

Been flying about 2 hours or less. Its ok, comfortable plane. I have four seats for myself, which is awesome. I can stretch out and sleep, if I want to. No good movies though. I just watched this English one called 'The Other Half', about this mad football fan and his American wife. He takes her to Portugal for their honeymoon, but she doesnt know that theres a football tournament going on. Its...cute. Boring, but cute. Dragged a little though - and there was no football! You make a movie about football, you want some football in it. But it made me want to go to Portugal. Portugal seems lovely.

Speaking of football, why cant they show the World Cup games live on the plane? I missed Italy V Ghana, and if it was showing on the plane I could have seen it. Bleh. Maybe next World Cup.

The world is football crazy...and thats how it should be. Women dont get it. A minority of men dont get it. But its simple really - football is The Beautiful Game. It brings people together. It makes people brothers. I remember when I watched the Champions League final, and Arsenal scored after having their goalkeeper sent off against the mighty Barcelona, all the Arsenal fans in the place erupted. It was mad. Random people were hugging each other. It was awesome. Football is awesome.

Oh yeah, flight was delayed about half an hour. That annoyed me. As if all that wasnt enough. No, no good movies on the flight either. But I have a few episodes of Prison Break left, and Ive got a good book called Jarhead, for when my laptop batteries die. And like I mentioned before space to lie down, except for some reason an English kid's come and sat in the fourth seat. Dunno why, the seat next to him where he was sitting before was empty as well. Maybe the TV wasnt working. Oh well. Hes not a kid really, he looks my age. Oh well. Gonna watch some Prison Break - its getting interesting again.

Tuesday 2:15am (5:15am Oman Time)

Flying over some mountain range called the Zagros Mountains, somewhere on the Iran-Iraq border. Its just occured to me that this would be a very, very bad place to crash land.

I have so much leg room.

=================

Got to Oman 7am this morning Oman time. Tiring journey overall, but the flight was surprisingly comfortable. Its good to be back, the weather isnt as bad as I was led to believe, I actually spent half an hour today kicking a football around on the roof. Prob best get to sleep though, ive had about 5 hours sleep in the last 36. Nighty!

Posted by illogicist at 2:18 PM 5 comments

Saturday, June 10, 2006

God Bless...

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God bless pissed-off pensioners!

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God bless junk food!

Posted by illogicist at 12:51 AM 2 comments

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

...the world's still here?

Now Blastin': Tupac - Hit Em Up

I've been in a stupor for the past 4 weeks and I've only just woken up. The world was supposed to end yesterday - but I'm still here. Why? Was I left behind? Did armageddon forget about me? ... thats kinda cool.

The world's still here. Somehow I'm still here too. Those last four weeks were hell, thats exam time for you. Its supposed to get easier...when you get better at the whole study thang, but apparently not. I've never worked harder - even though they said last semester would be harder than this one...news flash: you were wrong, people!

Yesterday was the sixth of the sixth, two oh oh six. Had my last exam yesterday, and boy, what a day to finish. Sun shining, everyone out on the grass chillin out, ice cream truck goin around. People walking out of the pub with ice chilled beer pitchers (Im not a beer person, but its just a sign of the summer in this part of the world - you cant really hate it, not when you've just stepped out of your last exam and know that for the next four months, you have no master).

I stayed up till about 4:30am last night staring at the walls, and it was heaven. 4:30 probably isnt that last for a lot of you, but for me, I sleep at about 1:30am when I have no studies or anything. Exam time, I sleep around 10:30-11:00pm. Which is funny - I got to the point where I liked exam days, because it meant I could sleep in. Yup! Most people have to wake up early for exams. But on non-exam days in the last 4 weeks I would be waking up at 6:55am, to be in the library at 8:30am. Exam day, I can wake up at 7:30 for a 9:30am exam. Thats an extra 35 minutes!

I was very irritable too during exam time. I think I'm okay with stress, and by that I mean that I dont usually freeze up in the face of exams and that. I wont sit in the corner and hold myself, crying. I think because I can be a very angry person, I prefer to to hit them exams back. So yeah, I get the work done. But I let out the stress of the people around me :p Had a lot of problems with my housemates. When you're under stress and someone annoys you, you hate everything about them. You hate their face, you hate their voice, you hate their smell, you hate their food, you hate the mess they leave behind them...you even hate the sound of their footsteps. And if you live with them, it leads to problems. But yeah, we've all finished now, so no problems...for now anyway.

Todays the 7th. Wore my new shirt, my new watch (its like eid! :p), went to town. Awesome day, a day for shades...so I wore my shades :p. On the bus bumped into a Malaysian acquaintance whose name I dont know. Had a chat with him, found out hes getting married this summer. Hes getting married to a girl whos studying medicine here! And I know my ex-flatmate (Malaysian dude from last year) is getting married sometime soon as well. Malaysian people are awesome, they get married young - and the thing is, they look even younger than they are! This guy is 22, he looks about 18. When he said he was getting married, my jaw hit the floor. I was so happy for him, and I dont even know him (all I know is that hes a great guitarist, we jammed once).

Everyone here has gone super patriotic, its kinda cute. This is why the world cup is awesome, it brings people together. Everyone is wearing England shirts, even the Chinese students here, its so cool. The only problems arise when you get drunken hooligans getting violent. But thats the minority. Football really is the beautiful game, and this should be a great World Cup.

Another year's gone by, and what a year its been...no no no. Not this blog post. I'll do this blog post a little while before I go back home for the summer...I'm not really looking forward to it, but hey its gotta be done right?

Posted by illogicist at 6:49 AM 5 comments

Saturday, June 03, 2006

"Hes a Good Person"

NP - Funkadelic - You and Your Folks, Me and My Folks

I was walking to campus this morning, and I started thinking about stuff, and this line popped into my head "yeah, but hes still a good person". And then I got thinking, what makes someone a good person; is it because they do 'good' things? Like donate to charity, help old ladies cross the road...pet dogs, I dunno, whatever good people do. Or is it because they dont do bad things? Mug old women, throw stones at cats, murder, etc.?

Is there a grey area? Can you be a 'not good, not bad' person? Or are you one or the other? If you're not good, you're bad, and vice versa? It got me thinking, cause we just assume most people are 'good people'. But why are most people good people? Well, because most of them arent baaaad people as such. They're good at heart.

Screw that. Just because you're not bad, doesn't make you good. It makes you normal. If you're not bad, and you're not good, you're grey space.

Think about it. Unless you're guided by 'good' or 'bad', everything you do is just subsistance. You do it because you think it'll bring you pleasure from one minute to the next. You have a notion of right and wrong, but it doesnt concern you too much. As long as you dont do wrong, theres no explicit need to do right.

Actually that last paragraph is nonsense. I dont know what Im writing anymore.

*pkhhhhh*

Posted by illogicist at 2:20 PM 4 comments

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