Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Pish pishh pish pishhhhhh

I finished reading The Alchemist today. I saw the writer in an interview on the telly a few days ago and remembered that I promised to print the book for a friend of Sav so that he may practise leaning English with it. I've read the book the book before, over ten years ago. It's one of those books that's supposed to have a significant effect on the reader and his or her perception of life. So, I've spent the idle moments of the day mulling over how my life's gone ever since I read the book and ending up drawing a lot of blank thoughts.

Thinking about it made me feel as though something is missing in me. I remember there was a time when I'd get caught up in life. Life would just happen and it would be rather exciting. Now life's rather monotonous, I guess that could come with the territory of getting older or of having been stuck as a college student for the past ten years. But life doesn't have to be monotonous no matter what one's age. The world around us is marvelous, so why is it I can't get myself marveling at it?

One thing that's pestering me after reading the book, is that I still don't really know what it is I want to be. When I was a little kid, I wanted to be something like an astronaut, an astronomer, or maybe a physicist. In my teens, I was really good at maths and so I wanted to do something with computers. Later on, even though my maths skills seemed to have rotted I wanted to be a mathematician and make money on stocks.

All of the above don't seem feasible to me anymore. I don't even have the mental capacity to handle most of the above either. I don't think I've got the mental capacity for anything worthwhile to be honest. And on the matter of physical capacity it is embarrassingly true that girls do beat me at arm wrestling.

Ahead of me now is the rice plantation. On one hand, I don't see any future in it and regard it as a challenge that I must overcome to establish myself in some sense. On the other hand, it could be where launch my future as a megalomaniac. Maybe, I could do something good for the people there, because I'm so sure that there's nothing for me to gain besides money and a troublesome experience. I leave myself wanting to know what my heart feels. What does my heart want to say to me?

My life as a student is rather restricted. I can't see myself going crazy and getting myself involved in anything other than my studies. As such, there's no sense in getting hyped up about anything. As soon as I graduate, there shouldn't be anything left standing in my way. I've got a tedious to-do list at the plantation. I could spend all my effort getting it done as fast as I can and then engage the world around me.

At this very moment though, I feel there is something that my heart is yearning for me to become, and I'm afraid to listen.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Graduation Ceremony

It is hot over here. Yesterday, my college did the graduation celebration thing. I had a nightmarish time trying to get the right suit for the occasion. The first one I bought was a tuxedo which at the time I didn't quite understand that they're meant to be worn only at night. So I then had to go look for another one, I consulted everyone I knew about what to get. And when I got round to buying what was probably the most expensive suit one could purchase off the rack in Baghdad it turned out there was some flaw with the collar and fortunately they were glad to replace the jacket when Nahida went to them the next day.

Yesterday was more fun than I expected it to be. It was also ferociously hot especially in a suit. The day started off early, I picked up a classmate of mine and decided to delay our arrival to get some Lahma bi Ajeen at the cost of not making it in time to get a shady spot in the parking lot. Unfortunately, the Lahma bi Ajeen place in my neighourhood said they needed another half hour to heat up the oven. We didn't find a single other on the way to college either, but I picked up some bread and some Kiri cheese and made myself a sandwich.

Each department went in dressed up according to some theme. We danced and sang our way through the college amidst the spectating crowd. We had to do our entrance twice because the girls didn't come in the first time around. It was a lot of effort, and it didn't want to stop either. We the guys then had to go to the parking lot and get dressed into our suits for the big picture whilst the girls I think went back into college to get dressed in a classroom.

After all the seniors from all the departments took their photo we headed off to a fancy restaurant to continue the party. It was time to put Nahida's brother's repairs on my car's air conditioning to the test. It failed. It was mid-day, the car had been in the sun all day and couldn't cool itself back down. I3 got caught in slow traffic on the way to the party and then the car began to over heat and the engine began to stall.

The air conditioning there wasn't coping and neither was the restaurant for that matter. We had trouble getting our seats arranged, some people were trying to bring guests with no reservations. After the seating headache was resolved, I and another took off. We both wanted to get some cigarettes and I wanted some booze. I bought a quart of hot whiskey and chugged it whilst my classmate drove up and down the street.

We then returned to the restaurant danced a little bit more and that was pretty much it. Drove home exhausted. My legs still ache from jumping and dancing. I'm cringing at the thought of seeing the video footage because I really don't know how to dance. But I'm glad that I did try.

The only thing I regret, was that I didn't take the time to chat up some girls because I was too caught up with everything. And what really sucks is that we've still got two months of college to go through in unbearable heat and I'm so far behind in most of my subjects. I read a couple of pages this morning and then fell back asleep.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Dusty Day

Today's been awfully dusty. I woke up early this morning hoping to find Farah on-line. But after calling her later this afternoon she explained to me that something went wrong with her wireless router at home.

It's been over a year since I last had contact with her. The last time we chatted together, she told me she was living with her husband in the north of Iraq. A few nights ago, I e-mailed her in spite of not having seen her on-line in all that time and assuming that she now uses a different e-mail address. And to my surprise she answered. She's now living in Egypt with her mother and wants to get a divorce.

She's telling me to come over. Suddenly Egypt doesn't sound so bad at all. Finally, I've got a destination that can guarantee me getting laid with an insatiable hottie. Of course, my dad's been talking about me going off to the farm as soon as I finish my exams, but everyone's going to tell him to give me a break since I'm being acquiescent. Heck, if it means I'm going to get laid, I'll just take the money and run.

To follow up on my last post, I had bunch of tests this week. Two of them got postponed till next week, which was quite fortunate since I hadn't studied properly for them and one of which was especially hard.

In regards to burning Wii discs, I've found the brand that works. I got a small pack of Sony and LG DVD blanks, and the LG ones worked wonderfully. I've managed to get EA's Tiger Woods and Fire Emblem (Radiant Dawn) to work. I've also removed the duplicate channels that show up when putting in a US disc containing a Wii update.

I've got an original copy Big Brain Academy that I've been trying to get to work with Mos' help but when I went to his house to take the ISO off his computer my iPod wouldn't take the 4.7GB ISO file. It turns out you can't copy files bigger than a certain size to an iPod because of its file allocation table.

This week at college I got the impression that some of my classmates are only just beginning to get to know me. I think it would be fair to say that I'm generally a withdrawn person, but I think it could be that some big chunks of the language barrier are falling down. It's also bewildering to think that these people that I see on a daily basis don't really know me and then to think that I define myself through these same people.

Oh yay! The wataniya (national electricity) is here! Must turn off my battery-less laptop before switching.


The electricity has been getting ever since I said it's been getting good. It's coming on maybe two or three hours a day now an hour at a time. I've just turned on one of the window-type air conditioners and oh my gosh! It feels wonderful to feel that cool air blow on my skin.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Another Curfew

The government has to stop laying curfews on the city, it's driving me nuts. Actually, I wouldn't mind as long as it was okay to walk around and I think I'm allowed to but I'm not sure, and it seems everyone says it's best to stay at home.

I've got a test this coming week that I should be studying for, but I haven't got myself started on it yet. Too lazy. Instead, I've been watching an anime called 'Fist of the North Star'. I remember the series use to show on French TV when I was a kid living there and that it was incredibly violent, so violent that I couldn't bear to watch, but it was fine for all the other kids. It was called 'Ken' back there. It is however nice to finally know what the whole story was about.

I've been eating a lot lately. I might be gaining weight too. So far today I've had rice with chickpeas, half a pack of Cheerios straight out of the box, some labne with olive oil and thyme dip, and date syrup and sesame seed puree dip. Date syrup and sesame seed puree dip was so popular back in the days of the sanctions. I don't think it's as common anymore. It goes to show that people's living standards have improved since the days of the sanctions if one factors out the violence.

I've spent the past two nights trying to get some games working on my Wii for the past two nights. I've burned over 12 DVD blanks and I've finally come to the conclusion that there's either something wrong with the Imation DVDs I'm using or the DVD-Writer perhaps. I'll try to find myself some other brands tomorrow.

I screwed up my blog's layout last week. Maybe I should spend some time now fixing it up. It saddens me to think that it no longer will look the same.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Interrupted Posting

[Saturday Night]

The weekend is nearly over. I've spent my weekend playing Mario Charged Strikers Football on the Wii and toiling on my project. Mos came over on Wednesday and then so did Miz on Thursday. Thursday morning, Miz was walking to get picked up to go to college, greeted an Iraqi soldier and walked past his Humvee when an IED went off. Miz felt something hit his back, and as bullets began to fire in the air from the panicked soldiers a woman called him over to an alley. He looked at his shirt and all he found was a hole but no blood and so he continued his day to college. It was at college that he had his friends to check out his back at which they gasped and sent him off to the campus clinic. A pellet or ball-bearing had scorched its way into his back and a doctor just pulled it out and gave Miz a massive bandage. Later on, he asked if the soldier was alright, which I think he said he was and it turned out the IED was made out of a Pepsi can.

So I've finally finished fixing up the first and second chapter of my project. I've spent over 12 hours on it this weekend. I've been filling in gaps left behind by my partner that she didn't to mention. I've been working on the formatting and making sure it was consistent. And the most ridiculous thing I've had to do was get rid of the damn spaces before the commas and making sure there was one afterwards.

[Sunday Morning]

The power went out as I was writing this post last night.

[Sunday Evening]

The power went out whilst I was taking a shower this morning.

My professor over-seeing my project was quite pleased with the work done and has told us to chill and concentrate on our other subjects whilst he goes over it. So that's one reason to cool down.

Yesterday, I began noticing the psychosomatic impact of last week's curfew. The first thing I noticed was an itch from a psoriasis spot on my index finger, and then a little patch of psoriasis on my elbow. Before shaving I also noticed a couple of small bald spots on my beard. And after college today, I went over to Karada with Muni. He had me get a decent haircut. The barber trimmed my sides very short and another small bald patch appeared. The barber's advice was to not think about because otherwise the bald patch would not go away. I've had bald patches in my beard once before, and they did go away. But I'm wondering if I should bother rubbing garlic into them like last time. Nahida thinks I should, and that I should also visit my dermatologist on Wednesday too.

Yeah and the power went out again, and I've turned on the generator. I've got to turn it off now because it's midnight. But I should mention that the electricity has been quite good of late, not so much during the day or evening, but from around one to eight in the morning it's been on throughout. Anyway, it's midnight now and I should get to bed.