Merry NewYear!

oh wait..

whatever..

please have a good 2006 -for EVERYONE!-, i'm genuinely wishing happiness not only on Iraqis, but on everyone in our small earth..

we are one, let us act like it!


On another hand, i will be back soon to rant about this IDIOT!

it just boils my blood!

c ya later!

and a Merry New Year!

;D

Highway to Hell (Slight Return)

“Let them know its Christmas time..”
And they did!

Time: 7:35 am approx.

Situation:
Me, carpooling to college with a friend, in his car (riding shotgun) running on Baghdad’s main highway, going from A’adhamiyah to Jadiryah (where college is) , everything smooth as can be.. we come to an intersection, my friend asked: “leave the highway and turn right into the streets of Karrada, or head on straight to Dora?”
Me, being older, and hence automatically (and incorrectly) deemed wiser, suggested the longer but less-congested Dora Highway extension..
Ok..

Time: 7:40 am approx.

Situation:
IP (Iraqi Police) Check-Point.. Jam.
Heck. I should have told him to turn right..

Time: 7:45 am approx.

Situation: 3rd IP checkpoint, just in front of two M1 Abrams tanks parked on both sides of the road.. Jam is a bit less..
Oh well.. hey, why is he stuck driving behind that bus?
There was a mini-bus in front of us, driving as if he was enjoying the scenery, and my friend was behind him, crawling along while other cars whizzed by..
The bus suddenly picked up speed, “thank God” I said.

Then I saw it. Just a slight movement, a flash then a column of black smoke rise vertically 10 meters out the turret of the tank to the right, less than 50 meters in front of us, “What the?..”
Then the shockwave hit, and with it came the boom and a bigger smoke cloud!
“BAAWWOOMMM!!!”
HOLY CRAP!
They hit it with a car bomb!
The car two down from us was a CAR-BOMB!

Our car rocked, and I felt something hit me square on the chest.. thank heavens that in spite of the cold, we had both our windows open…

I instantly started grabbing for myself, using both hands, trying to verify everything was where it is supposed to be.. all organs and senses intact.. thank God.. ah..
I start yelling to the guy “Move move move!”
He’s already turning the car 180 and backing up the way we came, wrong side and all.. we pass by the Checkpoint, and turn left into the first street we saw.. thankfully, all roads lead to college.

It was the bus that saved us..
If he hadn’t snailed on by… I gotta go pray thanks..
I didn’t even look back, I guess the cars in front of us got it good. And where it hurt too.
Poor souls.

“and may you hate something, and it is good for you”
Blessed be the Lord.

Time: 10:30 am

Situation:
College… sitting in the college center near the cafeteria, there’s familiar noise creeping closer.. its another chopper.. ah.
This one is an Apache, not one of ur usual run-of-the-mill medical-transport blackhawks, noooo, a battle-ready apache, coming in so low, about tree-top level, from the west, going towards the Green Zone..
As it got so close, it let out two bursts of two thermal flares!
Just above the Science Building!
And THEY FALL ON THE BUILDING!
Now I’m no expert, but I’ve seen my share of video games and war-movies (AND illumination flares, before, during and after “Mission Accomplished”) to know that these are thermal flares, and thermal flares are usually deployed when ur being targeted by a heat-seeker! Stinger?

“Haul A$$! See ya later!”
I look at two of my friends who knew what was happening, or gonna happen, but we’re frozen, can’t move!
Sh*T!
If I want to die, I sure as hell wouldn’t like to by a loose rocket! Nooo!
The one that’s getting me HAS to have MY name on it, yes sir!

1 second, we all close our eyes, in anticipation..
5 seconds, We and look around, wondering why college was still standing around us..
10 seconds, nothing happened.
10 seconds later, still nothing happened.
The frig in that flying frig must have had a malfunction, or did it as a bad joke..

Oh well… just another day in Iraq.

By 2 pm, two more bigger booms, and a dozen more choppers (blackhawks this time) whirr on by, I return home, an un-eventful journey this time (thank God) and sit here in front of my monitor, drinking my mug of tea and writing this.. there are a few shots outside, something is going on...ah, frig it all.

Well, so much for my wish of a white Christmas.. White doesn’t have to be snow, it can just be LACK OF BLOOD, or ANY body fluids for that matter..

Life here aint Easy or Free, as the Young Brothers would sing, but still..
It is Life, as opposed to Death.

Gotta go pray.

Happy Holidays!

(oh and, FESTIVUS is REAL??)

-----------------------------------------------------
Listening to:
Gary Jules – Mad World
Black Label Society – The Blessed HellRide
The Prodigy – Narayan



Disclaimer note:
this has nothing to do with my HighwayToHell post of early this year.. -just a cheap trick to get u to visit that stupid post! Ho Ho Ho!-


oh and People, DO NOT WORRY! I AM FINE!
I CAN WALK AND TALK (and perform all other previous functions as well ;P)

Gimme Fuel Gimme Fire Gimme that which I desire:

But, to have fire you must first have fuel..
and to have fuel, you must have money...
and to have money... oh my logic does not run that deep.

Our "wise" government ( الحكومة حكيمة the government is always wise, and dont believe anyone who says otherwise) recently took a very "wise" decision, just when the weather is getting cold, to hike up fuel prices 300%..

Yes boys and girls, not 3%, not 30%, nooooo…THREE HUNDRED FRIGGING PERCENT.
And I mean FUEL, not just gasoline, no, cooking gas, petrol, diesel, tar, feathers,, FUEL.

I wonder where the Oil is going anyway.
More on that later..

Nice going-away present, except that signs show that they might NOT be going away any time soon..

Preliminary Results show that all is the same as last time, and even if Father Christmas himself had come and voted, it would not have made a change (or improve equality between warring factions) in our purple-fingered democracy.

But what do I know?

Newspapers, TV stations, people in power (that’s them, whomever them may be), pawns (that’s us), everyone, talking bout them two things..

Back to the fuel-crisis:
I think the people “upstairs” are handling this situation the wrong way..
Now, if I was in power, I’d solve all the problems Iraq had in the last three years, I would have traded the whole land of Iraq, with all its OIL, for a nicely-sized EMPTY Island somewhere and moved all Iraqis there, leaving Iraq a barren (yet OIL/CURSE-filled) wasteland. (like its any different now)

People, we are waaaaay beyond thunderdome, and there is no tina turner in sight to make things the least bit interesting.

EVERYTHING had its price go up accordingly,
Food, transportation, dvds, chewing gum.
Even the price of sh*t in Iraq has been raised 200%.
How come?
Food, cooking oil, vegetables, electricity, water and perhaps air, have been hiked up 200-300% in accord with fuel.
when you cook, you use fuel, and after you eat, you’d like perhaps to take a dump.
Henceforth, everytime you take a dump means you are consuming fuel.

Argh.

Meanwhile, talks of forged results, backroom wheeling/dealing, and all assorted forms of buggery, are afoot.

Hope all the guys (AND gals) who waved their purple fingers disapprovingly at me can now shut up and take it like it is..

Quoting Moron99 (somewhat):

"Nya Nya, I told you so!"

This is a quick post, just to let out *some* steam.. I’m too old to rant now.. *cough cough*

Will b back later, have to go “consume some fuel”.

Cheers.
And Then Some!

Smoking the Water Pipe: LIVE FROM THE SCENE AT 3 AM

“Hyaaaah”
“Ugh”
“You shall not gain the upper hand on me yet, Han Xi”
“Hah, your skills are absurd next to my dragon-mantis claw”
“I will avenge my father.. I will………HUH??? Fellow Residents of _______ -where I live-, we just received news that the water supply for your area has been poisoned along with all areas this side of the river.. do not drink your water, there have been reported cases of death… your water pipes are polluted.. I repeat, Fellow Resi….”

Oh crap.

Its election day here, and even the sane ones got a little nutty…
An hour ago to the minute, around 2 in the morning, a group moving door to door with loudspeakers started spreading this alert.. I was watching one of them Kung Fu movies, so I muted the tv, and listened attentively for a few minutes, then decided it was somebody’s twisted idea of a hoax…and went back just in time to see Jet Li kick some serious wired-to-the-ceiling a$$..

Give it ten minutes, ALL hell broke loose, the local mosque started blasting this alert, local boys started rigning door bells at 2:15 am spreading the news, there are some shootings in the distance, and now the phones started..

I give it to you, Iraqis are experts of spreading rumors, and blowing them out of all proportion..
Suddenly, a rumored case of poisoning in a local water-station turned to something that would make the bubonic plague look like hay-fever –although hay fever is a serious thing, I admit-
Some girl called my cousin –her friend- telling her that her cousin heard his neighbor say his sister, which is married to a resident doctor in some hospital, confirm that they are recieveing dead bodies by the truckload..
People ACROSS Baghdad on the OTHER SIDE OF THE CITY, on the OTHER bank, the CLEAN bank, started sending text messages saying that the water there is polluted too..
The minister of health just came on local tv, denying this rumor and saying its just that, rumors and lies and all..
Somebody is smoking serious water-pipe out there..

My uncle, being the paranoid he is, came on running down, walked in on me right in the middle of the final fight of the movie, and while Jet Li was getting seven shades of crap kicked out of him, asking me to shuffle a$$ quick and follow him..

Where?
Aha.. there’s a point and a destination after all.. our house water tanks.. where all the water pipes lead and all our drinking water temporarily resides..
He held in his hand a large white can, with the words “Effervescent Chlorine Tablets” printed on the side.. hmm.

I’m not saying he should not believe stooopid rumors, I’m not saying he should undergo therapy for his paranoia/hypochondria, I’m just saying WHY DID HE HAVE TO DRAG MY HINEY OUT IN THE COLD WITH HIM TO STEADY HIS LIGHT FOR HIM WHILE HE THROWS ONE TINEY PILL DOWN THE TANK AND RUNS BACK?

Couldn’t he do it alone?
Noooo.. he had to drag me all around the house in the cold, dark night, prancing around pipes and plumbing, to locate all 3 tanks (which are not even on the same level, let alone the same side of the house)
Kinda like one of them stealth-games u play on consoles… except that instead of waltzing around armed security guards, u have to tiptoe around ur grandmother’s room so she doesn’t wake up and start raising her own hell.. And in the end, you don’t get the girl, you get diarrhea from running around in the cold wearing only ur pajamas..

Ah. My stomach beckons, to the rest room then..
Or maybe it is true, and I am poisoned?

Only time (and a later post) will tell..
Don’t worry, don’t believe the hype.

I have to disconnect now, and hope to catch some sleep before the first explosions wake me up tomorrow!

(I don’t expect any explosions really, it will be a quiet day.. I’m not voting, I didn’t have time to register prior to that, sorry folks… maybe after four years… also, before I go –and I have to go or I will go right here on myself.. ewww- what is my take on the results? Who will win? Allawi/731 is a good candidate… 555 will scoop up a good percentage, so will the sunni-backed 618… Chalabi’s 569 will get a couple of seats.. and that’s it.. the percentages? How many chairs each will get? That will have to wait till that later post, as I cant hold on much longer..)

Forgive the messy post but I am sleepy and HAVE to hit the head..

Cheers..

Btw: I am not in the Marines, nor the Army, nor any branch of the armed forces, I just like to use the word Head more than Toilet..nice word. I like I like..
and I really have to go.. sorry, its now 3:45 and i cant do this much longer.. byeeeeee

And THEN SOME!

NEWS FLASH: Badr forces take over baghdad:

In what appears to be a totally out-of-the-blue move, notorious militia the Badr forces stormed baghdad early this morning, controlling major nerve points in the Iraqi capital..

their first move was to erect a statue to their leader, Badr, in Fardous square, where a statue of former iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein used to stand..
See picture below and more details on this surprising turn of events:



.

.

.

.

(this, in case you hadnt guessed yet, is a spoof, and Badr, is the arabic name for Bart, of Ernie and Bart! Cheers!)

here's a couple of other stooopid things people did, which i got by email -along with the thingy above-, i didnt make them, i am NOT the source (copyright protection)



















Cheers,

and THEN SOME!

And the winner is……

Elections Elections Elections!
Coming at a town-center near you!


“Dear Iraqi citizens, we vow to eradicate all corruption and sectarian strifes, we promise to give you electricity, water, falafel and ice tea, we promise break all our promises, we vow to falsify all our vows, all whilst making you believe things are gonna be better, just please follow the yellow brick road to the nearest ballot center and vote for us, list number (…insert three digit number here…)”

I have a question:
There’s this actor in Donnie Darko, Jarheads, and Proof (?) who’s name is spelled out as

“Jake Gyllenhall”

Now, how do you spell his last name?
I heard it pronounced both ways on TV, “Jill-en-hall” and “Gill-en-hall” and I want to know which is the correct one!

King of Queens is on now, gotta go!

Kidding! I like the show, but I don’t have enough time left in my net account, about 10 mins..I’ll reply on the comments when I charge..(tomorrow!)
I have two posts’ worth of comments.. wait pls wait?

Thank you!

S*H*I*T*

No abbreviations. No Cute M*A*S*H* hints.....just S-H-I-T.
SPELL IT.
This is how it is.

Elections looming near, nerves starting to fray. I’m staying at home.



Another elections and I am not voting.
I still do NOT believe it will make a difference. I hope the elected government prove me wrong. I hope they show me that we are REALLY in a new era, not just the same old puppeteers with new puppets.



What has become of Iraq in the last few years?
Believe it or not, the BEST time in Iraq since the end of major military ops was just that, right at the end of the military ops. When the lootings toned down, when thugs and killers hid in the shadows, waiting for the next pawn to move.
It just went downhill from there.

Before the car-bombs started rolling, before the t-walls became a fixture of our lives.

Now we play Counter Strike on the streets.

Now children run around shooting each other with plastic guns, taking turns as Terrorists - Wolf\Wile E. Coyote brigade members.

“Kids” my age have turned back to old cartoons.

Foetal position and thumb-sucking not available. Families too busy wailing dead relatives...

Kill the wabbit:

Wouldn’t it be fun if bugs bunny had a TNT belt, a turban, and a long beard, and was able to blow up Mr. Fudd at the recruiting center?

Hmmm.

Why do I even bother to write?

I am not tired.
I can blog 24/7.
But I do not want to talk politics here. Or religion.. (And I’ve left the sex part to others, namely Pentra and the Kid)


If you ask an average Iraqi (no pun intended, Mr. Average) about what he wants to talk about, he’d say:
I want to talk about the new ring tone for my phone (which will be stolen sooner or later), about the new car my father bought me (which will be stolen sooner or later), I want to talk about how good it is to see a smile on a friend’s face (Both will be stolen sooner or later, the smile AND the friend), about what I want to do with my life (which will be… ah, see a pattern here?)

We are disposable people. Not just teens. No hell, ALL OF US ARE DISPOSEABLE AND INTERCHANGEABLE.

10 Iraqis killed, 100 Iraqis killed, 1000 Iraqis killed...
Come on step it up, there are 26 million Iraqis here, at this rate you’ll never catch up! come on all of you, neighbors, outsiders, insiders, brothers, strangers, Sunni, Shia, Salafis, Syrians, Iranians, Jordanians, Saudi, Sudanese, Kurds, Arabs, Coalition forces, independent contractors, what have you.. Come on all of you, what the *&^% are you waiting for?
Let’s all sit on the box of dynamite and wait for the road runner to press the detonator...

Tom and Katie Alert, Jessica Simpson’s first public appearance after the split, Beyonce singing, John Travolta and Nick Cage face/off, Judy Garland and Mina Frigging Suvari.
That’s what’s on our silver box right now.

Sometimes it makes me mad.
But most of the time it keeps me in a daze.. Out of phase with reality.
IT SPEAKS THE TRUTH, AND ONLY THE TRUTH.
NOOOO!
YEAH! THERE’RE PLACES WHERE THERE ARE NO CARBOMBS!

Whoa! How do they manage to sleep? So quiet.
But then again, it has fed us too many lies to count.

Why do we have such a short attention span?

Does anyone remember what’s his name Gallaway? (sic)
Does anyone remember what’s her name the Iraqi kid with terminal cancer?
Does anyone remember the name of the Burmese writer who’s under house arrest?
Does anyone remember anything at all?

Oh but everyone has different priorities.
Martha, Oprah, Leno, Letterman, Prophets of the modern age.

Stupid Ad on the box here claims:

“If you are smart, flaunt it, join 2 million people watching miss universe pageant.”

WHAT?COME AGAIN?
Ohhhhhhhh Duuuuuhh yeahhh now I got it. I think.

Something else,

WE ARE NOT HEROES.
True, Iraq is dangerous, Iraq is wild, and Iraq is a zoo, no hold that, a zoo would be ashamed to call itself Iraq.
IRAQIS ARE NOT SURVIVORS.
THEY ARE CURSED.
Normal people, but cursed to eternal damnation.



Uma Thurman Rules.


Couple of “Ethnic”* jokes:

After Avian Flu pandemic, Iraqi Pres. Talabani decided to change the national seal from an Eagle to a Mule just for precautions.

A US helicopter goes down in a Kurd Cemetery, Kurd TV anchor goes on TV saying: “Till now we have salvaged 5000 bodies and search is still on for the blackbox”

What’s the difference between “Ethnic” and “Racist”?
Every Racist is Ethnic, but not every Ethnic is Racist?
Noooo, they’re both f*cked up.

*(Kurd jokes are like Irish Jokes, note that my maternal uncle’s wife is Kurd, My father’s maternal cousin is Kurd. So I’m not, in any way, neither racist nor ethnically prejudiced)

There, a brand new post for you. Use it well.

I’ll be back later to answer the previous post’s comments. (and emails sent from some of u! u know who u are!)


And THEN SOME!

I'm late, I'm late I'm late I'm late...

Sorry but VERRRRRY BUSY...

will post a REAL post soon.. I AM NOT LAZY I TELL YOU!

no really, I swear i want to post but no time..

I miss you all.





listening to
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Bonnie Pink - "It's Gonna Rain"
Dio - "Stand Up and Shout"
Tohru Iwao - "Guilty GearXX#Reload Intro"

Stolen Post Alert!

I saw this while making the usual round on the blogs..

VERY NICE I LOVE THIS POST!

Stolen from Najma, ok? dont rip me a new one just yet:

in turn taken from another source..
now this might start to sound as exciting as the plot of Batman Forever, but I assure you it ain't, it got more flesh anyway!

;)




by Gina Trapani

Leaving a comment on someone’s weblog is like walking into their living room and joining in on a conversation. As in real life, online there are some people who are a pleasure to converse with, and some who are not.

Good blog commenters add to the discussion and are known as knowledgeable, informative, friendly and engaged. Build your own online social capital and become a great blog commenter by keeping these simple guidelines in mind before you post.

Stay on topic.

Bloggers enable comments on specific blog posts to hear more about the content of the post. Don’t change the subject. There’s nothing more annoying than seeing a comment on a post about Hurricane Katrina that reads, “By the way, do you know anything about turtles?”

Contribute new information to the discussion.

Twelve people saying the same exact thing in one comment thread is useless and irritating. Before you comment, read the entire thread and make sure your comment offers something new to the conversation. If you don’t have the time or patience to read an entire thread, then don’t comment at all. The longer a comment thread the more likely someone has already said what you’re thinking, and the less likely it is to be read by future visitors anyway.

Don’t comment for the sake of commenting.

Commenters who only say “First!” or “Nice site” on an open thread have no business hitting that “Post” button at all. Further, only spammers comment for the sake of adding their name and URL to a web page. Useless comments will gain you the reputation for being a useless commenter.

Know when to comment and when to e-mail.

A weblog comment is a public one-to-many communication within the context of a blog post. An e-mail is a private interaction. A weblog comment that reads, “Oh yeah, that link is cool. By the way, how’s your sister?” doesn’t contribute to the public conversation and belongs in an e-mail message to the author instead.

Remember that nobody likes a know-it-all.

The best kind of comments come from thoughtful, knowledgeable people who add more information about a topic. However, tongue-lashings from condescending smartypants will go over as well on someone’s blog as they would in that someone’s living room. Expect to get shown the door in the form of the delete button. When fact-checking, pointing out a typo or dead link or asserting a dissenting opinion, do it in a respectful, friendly way.

Make the tone of your message clear.

No one can hear the tone of your voice or see your facial expression online. Sarcasm, in-jokes and exaggerations can easily be taken the wrong way in a public forum. Remember that a simple colon and a parentheses can change the meaning of a sentence entirely. Use emoticons or additional information to communicate the spirit of your message.

Own your comment.

Anonymous commenting, while sometimes necessary, can be seen as cowardly. Build your identity and own your words by placing your name and weblog address on your comments wherever possible.

Be succinct.

Longwinded lectures are for college professors, not blog comments. Stay short and to the point. Everyone appreciates brevity.

Cite your sources with links or inline quoting.

To comment on specific bits of a blog post, copy and paste the lines in question and add your response below each section. If you’re referencing information located elsewhere, provide a short summary and a link to your source so others can click through for more information at their discretion.

Be courteous.

Chances are something someone says in a comment or post is going to irk you. Still, personal attacks are unacceptable, useless and can quickly degrade a discussion to a third grade “Yo Mama” flamefest. Resist the urge, and be respectful and objective at all times.

Don’t post when you’re angry, upset, drunk or emotional.

There’s no taking back a published blog comment - once you post, it’s there for everyone to see and for Google to cache. Remember, you’re not going to show your best face in the heat of an emotional moment. If you find yourself angrily typing a message into someone’s blog comment box - STOP. Get up. Take a breath. Walk around. Give it a day. Revisit the thread when your head is clear. This goes doubly for public blog comments as it does for private e-mail messages.

Do not feed or tease the trolls.

No matter how many articles like this get written, there will always be people who surf around the Internet and inject pointless vindictiveness into any available textarea. Don’t let the terrorists win. Do NOT acknowledge these people with refutations, disagreements or even a mention of their screen name.

****


VERY NICE!

will post again later.. promise!
how's King Kong? anyone seen it yet? (tomorrow me thinks.. pirated version comes by next week. ah.)

Hola!


I’m here once more, and I have to admit, sometimes it makes me wonder..
Yours truly here gets bored real easy, so it’s a miracle that one year on, I am here, still keeping my INfrequent blogging schedule as before…

Grieving is over, and yet ANOTHER prof. died in college, this time, assassination.. oh well.. ‘nuff sulking!


What is it the world wants to know about us?
I mean, TWICE in the last three days I received emails bout some magazine abroad wanting to publish details about our daily life.. I mean, ok, granted we are living in one of the world’s most dangerous cities (the Most dangerous is in Papua - New Guinea, right?)
Even so, it does not make us so different from the rest of the earth.. I mean, are victims of Katrina and Rita all that different from the rest of the U.S.? I didn’t think so..

One of the emails even said something bout money being paid for the published material.. hmm.. no time here, will probably forward it to another interested party.. I had a couple of names in mind, Najma, The Kid, Haneen.. does anyone else want to participate?

Last night I was watching TV, something came up on them nazi twins, u’know, the couple of 16-yr old brainwashed girls singing bout white pride and hailing someone who died almost 60 years ago.. Idiots.
Their puppeteer mom came out talking bout how she’d disown them if they ever became “betrayers of the Race”
WHAT RACE?
Lady, does "The Human Race" ring any bells?
Now I don’t know which is the bigger idiot, the one who wrote the doctrine, or the ones following it…
If anyone reading this disagrees with me, please understand that we all live on the same planet, like it or not..

No use trying to change the world..

Anyways, College news:

For people who know me, do I have a tattoo saying “Mule” on my forehead?
EVERYTIME I set foot inside the department, someone calls out for me, asking me to carry this or that around, usually one floor up.. Ah.
Till now, I carried TWO air-conditioners, Six medium-sized desks, 2 large ones, and a LARGE cupboard (all with another guy on the other side) and this is ONLY this year! Last year was more of the same!
I don’t wanna do this anymore!

Yesterday was a funny day, first off, I supervised the Kid and his class in a Lab assignment, the Kid always boasts how he is the FASTEST touch-typing person in college, so I told him I was faster…
Being a young ‘un and all that, it stuck in his mind, he called me out in the MIDDLE of the assignment, asking me to prove it!
Now he IS fast, probably faster than me anyway, but I am too lazy and burned out to prove anything.. so I typed “Hello World”, he said “HAH, is this it?” And started typing away, showing off his speed, I smiled, and asked him to type “misplaced”, he made a mistake with the “d” and that made him even more agitated!
He probably thinks its some kind of special speed proving word that I used to test him, truth is, it was the first word we don’t use everyday that came to my mind! It would have made no difference if I told him “weedle” or “plankton” he would have made that mistake anyway!
Which goes to show, even if you know how to do something perfectly by heart; if you don’t have enough confidence that you are BETTER than all, you WILL make mistakes!

I AM fond of him, mind you, reminds me much of myself when I was his age.. so anxious to spit the world in the eye if it looked at me in the wrong way, always living in a constant challenge, always devising ways to show how I live without rules, think outside the box, and all that crap young rebels believe in anyway!

I had many funny tales to tell, but sadly, They do not translate to Arabic text well, let alone English!

Will be back soon, if anyone still remembers the offer I made up there, gimme a holler, you need to be an Iraqi LIVING in Iraq!

Cheers,
And THEN SOME!


AND GO SEE FINAL FANTASY VII: ADVENT CHILDREN...
THE new Animation Benchmark!

Death by Cologne:

Hello all, just came back after a delightful trip stuck 90mins in ever-so-slow traffic, therefore, my thoughts are not very coherent (nothing strange there)

Anyways, Dr. Sabah died.. Also, when did I return from Jordan? It was more than a month ago, I think..
What? Who? oh.. let me take it one step back:

I have a father (oh, surprised?), and my father, naturally, has friends..
one of them is an elderly professor at the nearby College of Science, Dr. Sabah, a fatherly, kind old man who always told me to "come to me anytime you have any study problems, you are just like my son" and he did help me, MANY times..
my father met him in Suq-Al-Saray (or the Saray Market, the most famous baghdad book market, where you find any kind of books imagined by man, also, highest quality fountain pens, watches, lighters, and other nice stuffs) many years ago, and they met there every friday..

after my parents left to jordan, They kept in touch through me, I'd deliver letters and gifts both ways, and always visited Dr. Sabah, I really liked the old guy..

When I returned from Jordan this time, my father sent with me a bottle of good cologne (Givenchy) and a letter to his friend, with a note to give it to him as soon as i went to college..

me being me, I kept delaying the frigging thing, for a month maybe, each time i went to college, i'd say: "I'll deliver it tomorrow"..
till about a week ago, I asked my Grandmother here to gift-wrap the cologne so it would look nice, and thought I'd deliver it the next day..
one day became two, two turned into four, and before you could say "STOOOPID" a whole week was gone.

Till today, that is:
I finally took the bottle and the letter, wrapper and all, and went to college, I arrived at 8:00, the devil inside spoke again: "Come on, the guy just arrived, give him some time, like till 11, so that he would end his first lecture.."

at about 10:30, I walked over to Sci College, I saw some people hanging a black cloth (our local obituary sign, they write the deceased's name and details on how to attend the funeral on it), I thought to myself, oh hell, another one died, probably shot to death cuz he failed to brake at a police checkpoint, like the last guy who got it..

As I came closer, I got this sort of feeling where you know that what you see must be wrong, there must be some mistake, yet you still walk on like a robot..

The cloth read: "...and may God have mercy on the soul of our father and fine educator, Dr. Sabah Mahmoud Jum'a.. "

WHAT THE HELL?

this cant be right.. I ran over to the guys nailing it to the wall, asked them, they said "yeah, he just died from a heart-attack like an hour ago"

An HOUR ago.
I would have seen him, said hello to him, if I came earlier..

earlier like an hour ago, yesterday, last week, LAST MONTH.

My God.

I know its not my fault, everybody has a time to go, but DAMN IT.. I FEEL SO GUILTY..
what if?
what if I had seen him?
WHY WAS I SUCH A FOOL?
WHEN WILL I LEARN? WHEN MY TIME COMES?

Silent tears shed for Dr. Sabah. They burn.


God have mercy on his soul, he's in a better place now.

I'll attend his funeral, this time, If I wasnt on time in his life, I'll be there in his death.

If you have something to do, people to see, do it NOW. Don't wait.
Life won't wait for you.
Or Death.


Sorry my friends for the terrible post, I'll post a better cheerier one soon I promise..
(Got some funny college stories to tell, but I am currently not in the mood. forgive me)
salam, and Then Some.

Gesundheit!

I HAVE FLU!
Not Avian Flu though, don't get too hopeful!

I just woke up two days ago feeling like a ton of bricks had fallen on me, and with a bad runny nose to go with it..

why do my eyes water when i talk about running noses? strange.. have to investigate that further.

I hate running noses. I mean, flu is bad enough on its own, what with the temperature and aching bones and all, but a runny nose just beats everything else hands-down in the "this sucks" department.. ah.

walking round the house with a kleenex stuffed up my nose, drinking too much hot stuffs, and being lazy as a lemur.. not much difference from my daily routine.
if it wasnt for that nose.. oh well!

ResidentEvil4 finally arrived here! I've been waiting for it almost a year now..
Beautiful game, nice graphics, nice physics, but what's with the "No Zombies" thing? Its still BEAUTIFUL though! I love it!


Sorry I havent replied to some of the comments from last post, Melantrys, Welcome to THEN SOME! Bruno: thank u so much, sir! and thank you again! Khalid: Sensei! there, u happy? :)



on another front, the busy guys at blogger.com introduced a new feature, Comment Moderation..

Useful? that remains to be seen, I mean, ok, it could be used to stop trolls and spammers, and allow many blogs to re-open the comments section again, but at the same time, it could be used as a censorship device, delete anything u dont want, even if its NOT spam or vulgarity..

Prayers to the families of the deceased in the attack on Jordan..
When will violence end?
My guess? When Iraq runs out of petroleum.

but what do I know? Its probably the fever talking here.

Cheers, people, sorry for the strange post, will do a better one in a few days, just let me clear my nose, and THEN SOME!

Fight! Fight!

Hmm.. now, the lovely Emigre once defined me as " he seems largely peaceable", and in reality, I am, really, I am peaceable, but stupid, and this is my story:

Since its the second day of Eid and all (note: my Shi'ite brothers broke fast today, so its their FIRST day, rather than second, which means they'll finish Eid one day after Sunni as usual, and that extends the Eid another day)
ok, so as usual, I packed my stuff and went to my OTHER grandparents house, after the obligatory salams and kisses, I decided to walk round with my younger cousins, newly accepted freshmen..
we walked around for some time, had lunch outside (which got my grandmama furious) and decided that since it was getting dark fast, we should go home..

We sat at a neighbor's house, I was teaching my cousin some tricks with the nunchucks, when suddenly another neighbor arrived, now this guy is taller than me (I'm 5'7", he's around 6'1"), and is active at sports, so he got less fats and more muscles, he's three years younger than me but anyway.. I know the guy, he's a nice kid, an idiot, but nice, so I really dont know what happened next, somehow, my cousins dared HIM to take ME on, I thought they were all kidding, y'know, making fun of me cuz I train and do stuff, and before you can say "FIGHT!" he was on me!

I was totally taken by surprise, he tried to left-hook me to the FACE!, I ducked and backed away but not too fast, I was hit on the forehead.. bam!
Didnt hurt, physically, that is.
so I was like: "I don't want to hurt you, I won't punch or kick you, awright?"
STOOOPID! But he's only a kid, come on!
a kid that almost gave me a knuckle sandwich as a joke.

ok, so no ranged-attacks. that left only close range joint-locks.

When I tried to apply some of the moves I knew, I was shocked to realize that ALL that time I trained against right-handed people, this guy was a southpaw! (a.k.a. Lefty)
what is the percentage of left-handed people? 17% worldwide?
pretty slim.
therefore, for every 100 repetitions of a move I made for Right, I made only 1 for left.

S*it. I am a total idiot who didnt train enough. Idiot. Loser. Pretender. Call me what you will, I deserve it.

I tried to push him away, and actually got him in a chokehold (yay! idiot.) but then he started shouting, so I let him go, thinking he'd learned his lesson.

fool.
another swing comes close, this time I was fast enough.
the guy turned red with anger.
this fight has turned REAL.
(My last fight was almost 8 years ago, and we were only kids on the street)
It felt really bad, my hands were so useless against a lefty, and I had promised him I wouldnt punch or kick him.
I decided on a whim to keep my promise, Now do you know a bigger fool?
I mean, yeah I really could have ended it right there with one kick to the face or groin, but, he's just a kid.
IDIOT, right?

Back to basics. Grappling.

all of this while I'm weaving in and out, dodging punches.. and a lefty sure has a way of screwing your style up if you dont have experience.. (yours truly, IDIOT)

then it happened, He started jabbing with his right, now up to this point the only thing I'm still proud of is my relfex, every time he punched, I blocked with my right, then I saw that left hook coming a mile away, aiming for the side of my face, so I put my Elbow in front of it.
He didnt see it coming, and BAM.
One thing I know from experience: Nothing stands in the way of an Elbow.
its like punching a round metal doorknob, HARD.
He hit it so hard I was pushed back, now if that one had landed, I wouldnt be writing this now, and I am a total idiot.
He had a look of shock and pain on his face, that was when I decided to stop this crap.
I moved inside of him, trying to flip him over, he resisted, so I immediately reversed, placed my left foot behind his right, and flipped him backwards, he landed on his back, arms to the side, I was on him immediately, My left knee pinning his right arm, my left hand pinning his left, and my other knee on his groin, while my right fist was aimed at his face.. I told him: "Ha, u want more? Do I have to punch you now?"
and he said "No man I give up, I was kidding with you come on.." yeah right.

Yeah! I WON!
But I am still an idiot.

I feel really bad, I mean, Yes, I beat him, Yes I pinned him down, but it was prolonged, and I almost got beat to s*it cuz I did not train enough.
Also, I took part in violence.

Now I am not a tree hugger, but please, he's just an idiot kid..

DAMN IT ALL, I SHOULD HAVE BEEN PREPARED.

I had such pride in myself, following teachings of Bushido and all, now, I'm just a brutish oaf.
I could not contain the situation, I let it escalate instead.
I could not apply the things I was taught.
I withheld, and really still don't know if it was justified or not.
I am an idiot, I could have hurt the guy, seriously.
and because of it all, I am NOTHING.

Damn it all.

Sorry I landed all of this on you, but I just wanted to vent out and show how stupid I am at times..

Don't fight, even if you are sure to win. Unless it was a life-threatening situation. (which this surely wasnt)

Gotta go take a shower now... that idiot really was aiming for my face.. and he got so close.. damn.

C ya, people, I will post again soon. I don't know if I had left anything out cuz I didnot read this through, I'm writing this online, if there's any errors or typos or anything not very well explained, please forgive me.

Salam (Peace-- how ironic.)

:) or :( ??

Hey there:

Yesterday was a strange day, full of mixed emotions... let's see:

Oh but before that, I want to apologise for the Word-Verification thing in the comments, it just I was fed up with spam comments.. sorry for the trouble..

Anyway, I finally had a chance to wake up late (12pm) after a week of waking up at 7, that was one helluva relief..
I washed up, refueled the generator (we have a small one, 6KVA approx.) did some other uncharacteristically useful things around the house, then sat down to my PlayStation, I'd just finished God of War, and thought of some racing games for a change, my friend called to tell me that it was his brother's birthday and my presence was required..
With his house being across on the other half of baghdad, and since that I wouldnt return home until after 8 (which is a dangerously late time to wander around in) I phoned another friend who lived near me and who was going there too, and told him we should "travel" there together!

he'd already bought a gift but was looking for someone to share the bill with, so it was win-win on both sides, till now, ok..

we taxied to ANOTHER friend's house (we needed another one to split the gift with) and we finally arrived at the house..

fun and games and guitars, saw friends I hadn't seen for a year and a half.. brought up some really nice memories and laughs, the guy who invited us has sure lost some considerable weight! what's his secret?
the nearby mosque beckoned for the sunset prayer, then dinner came!

as usual, being who we are, we dived in nose first.. they'd made a dinner enough for 12, we were six, and it wasnt enough!

then after gift-giving, salams and stuffs, I noticed one of my friends (the one who called me) was missing, I asked the guys if he was praying or something, some of them smiled, a couple made remarks about how the guy had "turned into a cheerleader" and one poked me and told me to shut up, he'll tell me about it later.. weird.

in any case, after tea, the guy finally showed up, his parents, his brother& us all around, the cake is brought, cola, and the usual birthday things, we eat, and the guy runs off again..
so again I asked: "Where's he going to so soon?"
His parents turn as silent as a grave, his brother looks down, and another poke in the ribs is recieved.

then it hits me.

My friend has Bulimia.

Crap.

Later the guys confirm that, tell me that it happened because he's so lazy, and he figured that instead of diet and exercise, this is an easy way to lose weight.

It is, an easy way to lose weight, and destroy your health in the process.

It started when I was in Jordan, all the others know about it, and have been ripping his head about it to no use, he simply does not believe it will hurt him.


I can't publish names or details cuz I don't have his permission.

Eid is coming soon, either tomorrow or after, still I haven't heard anything.. I think its Thursday.

Mixed feelings.

In any case, Peace to the world, and THEN SOME!

Student vs. Technician:

Life has a particularily nasty habit of running VERY fast while ur not looking...

Almost five years ago, I walked into my first programming lab, green, wet behind the ears, and feeling like college is gonna last forever..
it was BASIC lab, programming 101, where they tell u whats a flowchart, whats an algorithm, not to write the program BEFORE doing the flowchart (which I somehow always did!) and many more things u'd need to get urself started with a more powerful language..
I listened to the lab Techicians, boggling at how smart they are to know all of these tricks and programs by heart (note: there were no programming classes in my highschool, sadly) and thinking to myself how I won't be able to be like them in a million years..

it took me just under five.

next sunday, I supervise BASIC lab for this year's freshmen!

I mean, I supervised a couple of labs in the past few weeks (C++, Matlab) but the guys (and gals) were all 2nd.-3rd. year students..people i've been with for years!

not green, wet behind the ears people who feel that college will last forever..

Time flies. has it been five years since I was 18? just yesterday I applied, got my IQ test and interview, and was accepted as a student..

what will happen five years from now?

I'll b lucky if I knew what will happen five minutes from now. (I guess I'll be preparing the futoor -fast breaking- table, but then again, who knows?)

on another front:

do u know how stupid and guitly one feels when he falls asleep in the MIDDLE of a phone conversation? TWO DAYS IN A ROW? WITH THE SAME PERSON?

Damn.

I mean, ok, I admit all I had slept for the past 72 hours is like 11-12 hours, (wake up at 7am, no afternoon naps, sleep at 4am) but I've managed for a whole lot less in the past..

Ok, i'm an A-class idiot, the one who doesnt know when enough is enough, and calls it a night, nooo! me? i'm the kind of frig who insists of saying the last "bye", the last "goodnight", and keeps saying "I'm not sleepy" while slapping his face to sober up.

oh, and while he's talking to the woman he's going to marry..

Oops, right?

yeah, FUBARed this one real good..

and the thing is, I've done this sort of crap with her before.

you'd think I'd be dumped faster than u'd say "knucklehead":

Amazing thing is, she forgave me!

Its not fair (to her).. She's so nice to me and I sleep on the phone..

how can I make it up?

Mucha, why are you so nice and beautiful?

thank you, THANK YOU, for loving me.
we talk tonight, and this time, I won't sleep! Promise!

7 things... ah.

I think I made one of these thingies before, since I don't have anything interesting to write, (yes bill, I've been to college, but the internet there is worse than here.. ask the Kid, he'll verify! sorry! wait on me some more yet?)

more about college later!

I got tagged by Haneen, and I dont think I'm gonna inflict this on anyone, the willing ones are tagged already..however, I'll add a bonus three items each:

Here's my 7's:

Seven Things I plan to Do: (Un-ordered)
1. Finish my MSc. with flying colors.
2. Apply for an assistantship somewhere abroad.
3. Get a Kyokushinkai Sho-Dan (in english: black-belt).
4. Find a good job.
5. Get married!
6. Learn a couple more programming languages (Delphi, Oracle, .NET)
7. Be a good son, friend, and lover.

Bonus:
8. visit Japan.
9. lose some more weight.
10.Do 90 knuckle pushups (I'm at 60 now)


Seven Things I Can Do:
1. Stay awake for 33+ hours.
2. Do a round-house kick (non-english: Yoshiro Uro-Mawashi Geri Jodan)
3. Cheer people up.
4. Chew a beetle! (did that once as a bet..do NOT try it at home)
5. Sketch, draw, doodle, and very good at that.
6. play guitar.
7. Sleep anytime, anywhere.

Bonus:
8. Do a 180degree ground split.
9. Stay 24 hours without food.
10.Withstand huge amounts of physical pain. (I once broke my left foot toe but didnt mind it, kept walking on it till it healed on its own)


Seven Things I can't do:
1. Politics. (Get too angry)
2. Make friends quickly (I'm an acquired habit)
3. Blog constantly.
4. Sing.
5. Read sheet music.
6. Pick a fight.
7. keep my room tidy.

Bonus:
8. Do a ground roll.
9. Keep things in my mind for too long.
10.read, write, or speak japanese. :'(



Seven things I say most often:
1. Ha? Minoo? Shako? Wen? Shinoo? (= Huh? Who? What's up? Where? What? in the middle of conversations, friends call it my "Reboot")
2. Shaggagi,Abbi,Funnesi (= Cool in Arabic, or so I say)
3. Anywayz, Gotta run.. (to end conversations)
4. Yahya al Iraq al Atheem (Hail the Great Iraq, when I see something bad)
5. Lak Ha! (when seeing someone I know)
6. Grrreaaaat. (when electricity is cut)
7. Come on.

Bonus:
8. La balla! (in disbelief)
9. Inchab! (shut-up!)
10.Ahoo! (when borrrrred)

Like I said, I'm not inflicting this on anyone else.. sorry..

c ya round, salam!

Lockdown:

That is the state of things here.

no movement, everyone locked up in their houses, so silent outside,
oh and the weird thing? phones STILL work.

Since I (and my family) was in jordan during the summer, we missed the whole deal of registering to vote on the constipated constitution, so, too bad. guess that's one less "No" there.

Funny, why did they fight all that time when in the end they bent backwards to please Sunnis and get them to vote?

would it have mattered?

I believe the answer is NO.

and I believe that this constitution is gonna be passed no matter what.

now some of you r gonna say: "Aw this piss-ant terrorist kid knows that even if he and his evil friends voted NO for the democratic constitution, by God it will be passed, with the help of millions of honest hard-working, non-whining non-evil Iraqis"

and I say: "Yeah yeah sure sure if that's ur cup of tea, be my guest.."

This is Iraq, nothing is democratic. if you need to get something passed, just bring enough money along.

simple.

Still at the same time I respect and understand the viewpoints and opinions of those voting "Yes", but I demand the same respect be given me and my opinions..

but what do I know? hell, I'm not even voting!

:)

Cheers, friends!

oh and as a retailation for all the "Eye-Rak"s I'm hearing around, I suggest all of us Iraqis get together and start calling America "Amreca"! (pronounced "Amreeka")

that'll show 'em!

Anger rising..

Anyone notice that hypoglycemia (the decrease in the level of blood sugar) caused by not eating or drinking makes u do strange stuff?

for example: you oh so wanna pick a fight..
like my last comments made on the 'Kid's words he left here!

or indeed, like HIS comments left here!

I dont know.
That feeling you get inside when you disagree with someone, and you want to have the final word, you know.. start off angry and then calm down after the fervor goes away..

I used to be that way, hell, I am STILL that way.
now I do it less, however.

When I want to leave a comment, I think, would I still feel the same after 10 minutes?

and about the veiled depression, I did not ever try to veil it.

when I get depressed, I say it out loud. everyone notices.
see my previous posts, check with my friends!

When I talk, I am not depressed, the only thing I'm doing is NOT bottle it up inside.


Iraq: what is to like? Not the people, Not the land, just the spirit, yeah that's it.

'Kid:

why I hate Iraq?

I've fought with robbers, kidnapped, held with a 9mm inches from my face and threatened by various pains TWICE, I've been robbed, house, money, car, personal belongings, you name it.

still I smile.

ask my friends, they'll confirm each and every word.

I've seen three wars and a revolution. Enough. I am over this HEAP for good.
If you like Iraq, Iraq the land, the people, keep them, they're all yours, I'll even give you a kiss on top of them.

just let me keep Iraq the spirit. the only thing that didnt hurt me here.



so whatever personal dillemas I face now, I've been through worse before. I am always trying to cheer others up!

or so I hope.

so don't come here with your oh so holier-than-thou tougher-than-thou act.

"That which does not kill us, only makes us stronger"

Indeed.

Sorry if I offended you.

Cheers,
and THEN SOME!

Its a long hard road...

Into Hell, as it may be.

Ah. the sweet cyber world again.

Arrived in Baghdad four days ago, I want to leave now.
It was the toughest ride I've had yet.

Y'see, this month is Ramadhan, and us muslim types obviously have to fast, and although a traveller has a legal and holy excuse to break fast, I preferred not to, since that would entail fasting at some other later date, and I am too lazy for that.
Anyway, We left Amman at 1 am local jordanian time, arrived at the jordanian border four hours later after an eventless journey four hours later..
Left the Jordanian borders in under 45 mins, and entered this flea-infested garbage dump that I call home.

At the Iraqi border the guy did not even give us a second look after the driver handed him 1000 ID (70 cents), I took the passports to stamp them, the dude told me to go check the health-office, Cool.
The "Health Office" is in reality a small concrete kiosk where you pay 2000 ID (1.4 $) to get a paper saying that you are free from all venereal, sexually and asexually transmitted diseases! I mean, even if you were oozing pus and slime out of every orifice in your body, if you pay the man, you're as fine as they come.
ok, time for the queue: and this is one helluva queue: in this queue you show the dude your Health-Office pass and then you stand in line waiting to get your passport stamped.
Ok.
then, as usual, with us being Iraqi and all, the guys behind me started jumping queue, then a fight almost broke out, it was settled after "Abu Samra" (a U.S. Soldier, African-American Origin) came inside shouting: "HEY HEEEEY WHATS THIS ALL ABOUT?" at this point everyone turned into the docile lambs we are. ah.

ok, after a couple more bribes here and there we crossed the Iraqi Border Check Point in under 3 hours.

so what does that add up to so far?
4+3+1 hour extra for expenses = 8 hours.
in "Normal" conditions, the road to Baghdad takes about 5 hours.

it took us 13.

THIRTEEN HOURS.

from 9 am till 10 pm.

after an hour on the road, we saw cars coming back our way on OUR side of the road, after a few exchanged hand-signals, we learned some bad news.
American CheckPoint.

Now, a checkpoint is not what you see on tv, where the soldiers diligently search each vehicle for smuggled stuffs, nooooooo.
in reality, the soldiers just sit their vehicles on the road, and stay put. till they get orders otherwise. which never happens before sunfall.

so the driver decided to take a detour thru the desert, in order to save time and fuel...
we entered sand-dune coutnry, now i'm telling ya, I was riding in an Chevy Suburban, and it was barely able to avoid sinking in the sand, I saw a couple more cars, broken down, owners waving, but you never know, maybe they were just another bunch of hijackers.. no risks worth taking there.
after 40 mins of this crap, with sand filling every cavity in my body, we finally hit the tarmac again.

This time to get stuck in an another American CheckPoint just before Fallujah, where obviously some idiot thought it wise to block both sides of the four-lane highway with a couple of Hummers and Bradleys..

Thousands of cars. Thousands. as far as the eye can see.

We sat under the scorching sun, the drivers turned off their Air Conditioning cuz the car couldnt take it anymore, time goes ever so slowly when ur thirsty, hungry, and with a couple of thousand exhausts fuming in your immediate vicinity.

we broke fast in the desert, a few good people from Fallujah brought us Dates and Water, a little portion for each person, we were numbering at least three thousand there. at least. God bless them.

After Sunfall, the U.S. Patrol running the checkpoint hurriedly cleared out for fear or attack, they didnt check less than half of the cars, and even the ones that were (mine included), they sufficed by looking at us, and then waving us on.

I was riding with my uncle's family. Women, Little Kids. My Grandmother..

and the friggin idiots were "searching" for insurgents by looking at our faces.

Frig it.

You kinda have a picture of how I feel, right? a bit incoherent tho, but I'm still incoherent. the weather here is horrible. we returned home to find it covered in 3mm-thick dust from the biblical sandstorm that hit baghdad three months ago.. no running water, and no electricity.

at least the phones work:

but not the cell phones, our life-line to the outside world.
Got another story to tell you bout that, but at a later time.

when I get my s*it sorted out, soon I hope!

Thank you everyone for checking in on me,
Hesho :), Bill, Mucha, Downfall -long time no see!-,Cile, CyberHouri, my new visitor Slo -Welcome to Then Some!-, Khalid -2bad I didnt meet you again, around new year maybe! inshallah!-

and again, Mucha! thank you! No luck fixing my old Iraqna number, I'll buy a new one 2morrow inshallah, and I'll be calling soon! Love you lots!

Now, gotta go, too much stuff to do, one hour to sundown. one hour to water.

God bless you all.

Cheers
and THEN SOME!

I'm leaving.. (At least that's what I think I'll do)

I understand the feeling of all them Military/FBI types in the Television when their superior (who's clearly inferior to them in every way but the official way.. but that's tv for you) tells them: You're on a NEED-TO-KNOW basis.. which strangely excludes everything they actually need to know.

I was told I'll be leaving for Baghdad tonite.
and My family obviously do not think I need to know the time or the means.

crap.
At least they told me to pack my bags and all that..I'm typing this using borrowed time, still too many cds and dvds to cram into my backpack (when they hell did I have time or MONEY to buy them all?)

all in all, I got a wonderful 11th hour addition to my dvds, the whole first season of That 70's Show, the greatest sitcom I've seen yet.. (although I havent seen that many)

so, I'll be posting here when I arrive, just not as frequent, I hope I'll have time and telephone to post..

Oh and Happy Ramadhan too!

Bill, I havent forgotten you, just as soon as I hit college, I'll mail u some of Zai's work!

CyberHouri, I'll tell you the reasons for our assumed names, I promise! next post will be about it! (partially)

If I made other promises that I can't remember, please forgive me, and do remind me!



thank you all for taking time to read, I'll be seeing you all soon.

God willing, that is!

Cheers,
and THEN SOME!


"Hey mama, look at me, I'm on my way to the promised land.."

Now wait a Squirrel-Friggin Minute:

Took a tour round the usual Iraqi blogs I follow, all are ok and smiley on the outside, but u still get that weird heavy feeling in the pit of your stomach.

except Najma! She made a couple of posts in Arabic, which are quite enjoyable to us arabic-reading hordes.. very good.

An especially Konfused and Depressed soul is the 'Kid.. Met him two days ago, will meet him again today God willing... too sad and too blue. is it cuz I beat him in Tekken on the ps2?
I don't think so. implications of a deeper sadness are afoot.

most Iraqis (bloggers, and non-bloggers alike) nowadays have "civil war" imprinted in the backs of their heads.
I'm still betting it won't happen.
But I've been known to make bit mistakes in the past. Crap.

What is it with this wave of sadness? Come on, people. get over it.
What would sadness and tears benefit you? will they change the Frigged-up situation? Smiles and Laughs won't either, they only make YOU feel better about it, and help u tuff it up and take it standing.
If anything should change, it is US.
We (they younger generation) have a shrunken public-duty gland, and severe shortage in moral fiber.
the art of finger-pointing.

when we were in bad shape before the war, we used to blame it on the Sanctions.
when we were in bad shape after the war, we blamed it on the former Regime.
when we were in bad shape before the elections, we blamed it on mr. Paul Bremer.
when we were in bad shape after the elections, we blamed it on mr. Ayad Allawi's government.

the consitution (and another elections) are coming, and guess what? we're still in bad shape.
I bet u a million dollars, a year from now, things will still be in bad shape.
I bet u a billion dollars, 5 years from now, things will still be in bad shape.

but, when I finally graduate and get a job (in under 10 years, Hopefully) things will really start to look up.
All will be well with the world.
And Buffy will conquer her inner demons finally.

I hate Sarah Michelle Geller.

And the invention of the Wheel.

Oh and Luke Skywalker.

Happy Ramadhan to you all, God Bless.

oh and Another thing: Whenever I discuss how things are turning out for us Arab Peoples with another fellow Arab person, I get constantly reminded how we WERE great.
I give u credit, True, we DID great things, why cant we DO great things?

Maybe cuz its due to armchair-critics like me who do nothing exept stuff their face with foods and spit it right back out at society?
it is not easy being me, u know?

Another thing I hate. Oh well, gotta go update my list.

Hmph.

the friggin' post still isnt showing.

here's the link again. crap. maybe this one would push it down the "previous posts" sidebar..

Wha? I'm still here?

End of the month is close, so close, and I'm still here.
Beginning of the new semester is close too.. (not that it would apply to me, I took the last exams of my life last april!) and I'm still here.

why am I still here?
cuz, like thousands of other Iraqis, My parents live here now.
they do, not I.
I'm staying temporarily in my grandparents' house.. and damn it gets lonely there.
and accordingly, I stay here until THEY (grandparents) decide to go back to Iraq.

plannin' of returning here for the new year, I might just might be able to do that..

Winter's comin' too.
You know what I like about winter? Its cold.
oh and the smell of earth just after it rains.

I love it when it rains in the evenings, trees dripping, ground is wet, there is light but you can't see the sun.. heavy dark clouds in the sky..
I remember back in my 1st year of college (freshman year) when my schedule (computer labs and engineering drawing mainly) kept me in college till 6 or even sometimes 7 o'clock.. the atmosphere was incredible.. walking back home, sky's cryin' her guts out, and that sense of accomplishment you have when u know u're the first to complete ur lab assignment..

damn good!

the holy month of Ramadhan is near, I've written about it last year, and since nothing's changed (for the better anyhow) I just don't feel You'd need another whiny post about our friendly neighborhood terrorists.

oh, almost forgot, have I told you that I went and saw Khalid Jarrar recently? yeah, I wanted to meet him a long time ago.. I did correspond with his brother Majid, but that was waaaaay back in 2002 before the war..
Nice guy, treated me to a frappaccino.. I'm plannin on meeting him a second time before I go back.. believe it or not, he is not a jihadi/freak/monster, no, he's just a regular joe like me or you. he's got two arms, two legs, and a big heart that's breaking over what's happening to his home..

A friend of mine (the 'Kid) is coming here today, staying for a few days. He wanted me to return with him, I doubt I can wait that long.. but then again, why not? it all depends on the expenses.

oh, and I got the last (probably) batch of music cds for this trip..
great bunch, great variety, I esp. like Somewhere to Elsewhere by Kansas.. great stuff.

oh and a MILLION thanks, Bill, for the great music, both Yours and Coco's!

here's a list of my last bunch here, if you'd like a complete list of all cds i got this trip tell me pls!

kansas - somewhere to elsewhere
michael angelo - Planet Gemini
whitesnake - Restless heart
kingdom come - Bad Image
cem kocksal - set me free
joe pass - guitar virtuoso (2 cds of 4) -GREAT!-
lynyrd skynyrd - All time greatest hits
dreamtheater - cover of WHOLE album of iron maiden's number of the beast
tesla - mechanical resonance

and hey, those are copies i made from a friend, so yeah, they're pirated and all that, but still great value for money! ;)

i got a few more.. thinking of putting ALL i have on a list and puttin it here somewhere..

oh and 'Houri:

about the aliases thingy, pls wait a bitty? its got to do with our collective-paranoia, but there are a few more reasons! wait pls?

thank you all, cheers, and then some!
(there was a point to this post, but I lost it somewhere..)

bored bored bored.

New post ALERT!: I made a new post, for some reason its not showing, you can find it HERE!

(maybe its not showing on MY end, but then again, better safe than sorry..)

Cheers!


nothing much to do.. before, i had three days of the week reserved for training, karate training.. its more of a thing to keep my mind off things than something to consider facing armed kidnappers with, still, it gives u great health and better confidence.


started out in baghdad last year, enrolled with a two of my best friends in a Kyokushin dojo for the hell of it, and it kinda stuck on me. Since I have a nasty habit of moving to jordan every holiday, i wasnt able to test beyond the orange belt.. only one of my friends did. the other quit after a month.

In any case, my Sempai (Teacher, Mentor, what have you) there left us to go teach in Sweden, and I was left standing with my belt in my hand.

Enter: Jordan. I came here looking for some decent Kyokushin dojos but alas, turns out there's some sorta ban on it here, what with it being full-contact and unsportmanshiplike and all that crap.. oh well, so I decided to start over, this time, Shotokan, just to preserve my skills and health.
Thanks to the toughness of Kyokushin and the excellence of my Sempai back home, I progressed thru it like greased lightning.. Sadly, I would have needed at least two more months before I could get a Dan (Blackbelt) ranking. hm. maybe on new-year. (If I could come.. I hope I can)

ALSO: at the same time, I enrolled in two more classes, Nunchaku and an Aikido/Jujitsu-based form.. Now u see why I was groaning and moaning about my twisted ankle and bones and stuff like that.



(a pic of my worn-out chucks -my second pair, the first was REALLY wornout!- with my watch and mug of tea to verify the claim.. oh and my IR device is there in background -transfer of files between pc and cellphone-)

ah well, my sweet time here is almost over, I bid my dojo friends here farewell, and once more I am a good for nothing lazy-@$$ with nothing to do.

crap.

an afterthought: In Kyokushin, I earned the white belt (it is earned, not given) and I feel I deserve the orange and blue even if I didnt test for them. I would certainly pass them if I took them now.
the belt system goes: white-orange-blue-yellow-green-brown-black and you have to TEST for white.

in Shotokan, I obviously got blue and ready to test for brown..
here the colors are: white-yellow-orange-green-blue-brown-black. and you wear a white belt without testing. too easy.

(The other classes were unrated cuz they're kinda sorta illegal here.. to teach and practice)

oh and btw: this was the thing I ranted about earlier, how my friend went and did it without and all that.. cant find the link now, will do so soon..I just didnt have guts to talk bout it then cuz I felt (and still do btw) that I havent reached a good level.

Martial Arts are a great way of boosting ur health, overcoming confidence issues, and gaining better harmony with all the crap that's going on in the world..
They taught me to respect others and most importantly, myself.

I have a few other things that I do but keep to myself.. no, ur wayyy off the mark there! filthy minded! maybe I'll share them with u in due time.. till that, cheerios, friends, and goodnight!
(morning, rather!)

oh does any1 have "My Sharona" for the Knack? U know? I wanted to "acquire" it but all i found was a cover version.. I want the original one. if anyone has it or knows where to "get" it from, I would be grateful.. u got my email there!

thanks!


Cheers
and THEN SOME!

And another thing:

Its been a good run here, me actually being able to post every couple of days or so.. nice to have electricity and a stable phone line.

but everything, alas, comes to an end.

I didnt think when I came here two months ago that I would stay that long, maybe for two-three weeks and that's that.
the reason being: I HATE IT HERE!

yeah!
now I'm not one of those expatriates that go awww and ahhh whenever our GLORIOUS homeland is mentioned.. hell no. I hate it there more than I do here!

the only thing that makes me like that horrid place is that I still have a hopeless dream that it will return to what it was someday, a place I am proud to live in, a place I am proud to belong to..

oh and my friends are there too.

its boring here, you can visit all the fun places in this city on a bicycle in three days.
dont bother trying to mingle with the population.. once they know ur from Iraq they go Ewww and hold their noses.. I swear I just took a shower.

anyway, point is, soon I have to return there, talking like next week.. sometime in the early 20s of september.

I still have one year of college to go thru, after that, who knows?
went to the AMidEast offices yesterday, told me they had an advising session next monday.. will go there, maybe I have a chance, who knows?

a series of explosions rocked baghdad yesterday. wont talk more about it cuz i'm sick and tired.

one major foul up though is the labeling:

Foreign and even Arab media label the bombings as a retribution from SUNNI terrorist Zarqawi for the destruction of the SUNNI town of Tal a'afar.

WRONG:

first of all, Zarqawi is NOT Sunni, he is "Salafi" or "Wahabi" which is an extreme sect of Islam, neither Sunni nor Shi'i.

Think a fundemental Yosemite Sam.

second: Tal a'afar is NOT a SUNNI town, it has a Shi'a-Turkomani Majority. and a few dozen brainwashed mad bombers in their midst.

Mass Media Fools.

will talk about my return to Eden later.

cheers.

and THEN SOME!

Useless thing:


how to count from one to ten using ONE hand.. hmm.

Bless his soul.

Othman Ali Abdul-Hafedh al-Obaidy.

An ordinary 18-yr old iraqi kid, getting prepped for his final exams.. a kid from a poor family living in a low income suburb of A'adhamiyah.
The ONLY son and bread-provider for his sisters and mother.
Hails from a deeply religious family, not the do-it-urself religion you hear and see these days, no, the kind of religion which states in BOLD UNDERLINES that we are ALL worshippers to the same God, we are one.

an ordinary kid like a million others like him, but with one difference.
He's a HERO.

this Hero is not someone you get on tv, shooting, killing and blowing the bad guys' nuts away and finally rescuing Paris Hilton from the jaws of doom.

He's a MARTYR.

not the kind you smell a mile away, loaded with TNT to the teeth, seeking to "have lunch with our prophet in heaven" by blowing up other human beings.

No.

He gave his life trying to save pilgirms to the Imam Musa al-Kadhum's shrine during the stampede when many were pushed off the bridge, those who could swim to safety, did, but many women and children could not.
he managed to save 7 people out to safety, before finally a combination of fatigue and strong undercurrents got the best of him, while he was trying to save the next person.

Yesterday I saw an interview with his mother on TV.
God bless this woman.
She was smiling, praying for her son, and she said:

"At first, We were devastated, but when the news came, we were honored that Othman gave his life the way he did, to help his brothers and sisters, God bless his soul, and grant him entry into the eternal heavens."

Now that, is Heroism for us.

Who'da thunk that in the age of Jocelyne Wildenstein, we will find something like this?

I hope that by his sacrifice, Othman can save us from sectarian war, make people realize that under all the colors, robes, words, we are one.



this is a poorly planned post, i didnt have time to think it through. forgive me.

God have mercy.

I am late as usual.. I do not have excuses this time. I was just late.

God have mercy on us all. When I was just thinking to write a post about the tragedy in Beslan last year, We had a tragedy ourselves back home, hundreds killed in a stampede on a barricaded bridge, and as a thrid strike, Katrina stormed in.

I've been following the news these last few days... shocking images of death and destruction, families disbanded, buildings destroyed, rampant crime in the absence of law.. eerily similar to what happened back home.

My heart is with everyone hurt by Katrina. Believe me when I say I know what they are going through.

While disaster does not differentiate.. we continue to do so again and again..

Two days after the bridge incident, a debate was sprung back home over what -or who- caused it.

Some people are accusing Sunnis
(Sunni vs. Shia, like them old Spy vs. Spy cartoons but less entertaining)

Some people are accusing U.S. Forces
(naturally -xenophobes, anyone?-)


and Some people are even accusing Shia's themselves..
(Badr Militias vs. Mahdi Army , Abdulaziz el Hakim & Muqtada "Firebrand" Sadr.. they DID have a scuffle coupla days before the incident, the "burn the SCIRI office, kill the Militias" kind..)


Whodunnit?

The incident happened on Al-A'ima Bridge which connects the Sunni district of A'adhamiya (you might have heard of it, lots of boom booms in there) and the Shia district of Kadhimiya, and while our glorious INGs were standing doing nothing (They even fired above the already frightened, rampaging crowds to disperse them) dozens of Sunni men rushed and jumped off the bridge to try to bring some people to safety.. many of them drowned in the process.

Whodunnit?

If you want to find out (or at least believe you found out) there are plenty of bloggers all over the place whom are more than willing to share their priceless political analyses with anyone with half a mind to listen.

but before you go look them up, join me please, let us pray for yesteryear's children and today's men and women.

Talks of civil war back home. God have mercy on us all.

Amen.

Pull me under, I'm NOT afraid.

This post is stolen from The Kid's mind.

Want to know a bit about me?

I wasn’t always the mild-mannered dork my friends know now.
There was a time when I almost lost everything I cared about. Lost my sanity, my friends, my College, my life.

Read on.



Oh when I was but a kid… what were the single most life-shaping experience I had?

Listening to the King.

Not King Cole, Not Larry King, Not even King Kong.

The King of Pop.

Now u gotta hand it to him (and they almost did in his last trial :p) the guy has talent..

Many of them in fact.

My brain, as small and shrivelled it was (like its any different now) could not comprehend the entity that landed upon Iraq in the late 80's- early 90's..

Michael Jackson was my first serious foray into the world of "Foreign" music.. I mean I was introduced to the works of Tchaikovsky, Mozart, Beethoven and co. at the age of 6 or 7 I guess, but I never took them too seriously, thanx to a certain episode of Bugs Bunny cartoons, to me they were either a bunch of fat old guys with strange wigs or skinny boys wearing tights jumping around on their toes.. not interesting at all.

So, the first clash with my parents occurred, about how I think Mozart is a ninny fart, and how Michael Jackson will single-handedly lead us to the promised land.

Thank God I didn’t meet Mike in person at that time, I would have been on TV now.. ;p oh wait.. WHY DIDN'T I MEET HIM AT THAT TIME? >:p

From St. Mike I progressed to all kinds of tarty personas, each in his own time holding the torch to lead me thru the darkness, Spice Girls, Backstreet Boys, Tupac, Notorious B.I.G., EminEm, Boyzone and many other names I cringe to write..

I had a life-changing experience in the 90's which lasted a year and a half, I emerged different, dark, psychopathic.

Kept stealing knives and hiding them, fighting everyone, trying to hurt others and myself, doing stupid dangerous s*it. (although never thinking about suicide cuz maybe I didn’t have the balls)
I was on the edge of sanity.


That naturally shifted me towards other kinds of music, stuff that doesn’t have love and paint the world pink. And I found MetallicA.
A new age began for me:
MetallicA, Megadeth, Pantera, and many others, much later came Nirvana, Alanis Morisette, Garbage, this pattern became steady.. this went on till '00.

Then another cataclysm happened, driving me further into rapid descent.
I was entering my second college year at the time, a bad time for losing your sanity, one might say.
One of the most dangerous things in the world happened to me:
I befriended some guys on a path of self destruction, albeit more successful in it than I ever was.

I lost my faith in the Creator, started thinking seriously about suicide, and got depressed more and more and then some.

Gradually, the darker stuff came, Slayer, Merciful Fate, Septic Flesh, Morbid Angel, Samael.. down down down.. you get the drift.

scratching my arms with pins, needles, knives, painting occult stuff, writing blasphemies, you know, the sort of things I'll regret for the rest of my life.. thank God I didn’t have access to illegal substances, but I managed to pick up a nasty habit, one I'm still trying to get rid of, smoking.

Then along came an Angel, a beautiful Angel with broken wings.

And as I was helping the Angel out, she touched me, and I woke up. Just like that.

I saw the light again. Saw thru all the s*it I was buried in, the foolishness and idiocy of darkness…

I was purged.

Sadly, my "friends" are still where I left them, dancing to death and destruction, calling me a fool cuz "I sold out on the true path and turned into a faggot"..

Thank you, dear friends, I do not need your path, nor ANYONE's path.

From now on I tread my own.





Here are those events in chronological order:

1982: The world is blessed with my arrival
1987: I listen to Swan Lake for the first time
1990: Enter Michael Jackson
1995: The King is dethroned. Boy (and Girl) bands are in town
1996: 2Pac- Puff Daddy- Biggie Smalls
1998: MetallicA MetallicA MetallicA
2000: Despair. Destruction. Pain.
2003: I am cured.

So you see, I'm still a kid with soooo many faults and weaknesses I cant name them all, but this I know:

I am strong enough to face my fears, and send them all packing.

The future? Let's worry about that when it comes.

Till later.

oh and the title links to the song.. right-click, save as.

and THEN SOME!

Its settled:

Ahhhh... Thank you God...

My life is a little ittle bit more clear now..

this just in:

the department heads (in my college back home) came out of session with an APPROVED list of MSc. projects for execution during this coming year, MINE was among them!

Its not a big deal, right?

WRONG!

let me explain:

In Iraq NOTHING is certain, so even when you agree with a professor to supervise your project, and put in writing the name of the project and its details and a plan of operation, it STILL could be cancelled if the esteemed head of the department did not like you, the professor, or your project name. or he simply was in a bad mood from fighting with the missus that morning..

in any case, i was taking my chances walking the tightrope and hoping for the best, when, Voila! the best DID happen!

My project was put on the MSc 2005-2006 project list...

Now I gotta start figuring out excuses to present to my professor when I dont measure up!

:)

oh and its title is "Object Identification and Tracking" ...

Thank you God..

ahhh.


ps. just saw Saint of Fort Washington, touching, very good movie..

Habits in the Promised Land : Part 2

We (Iraqis) are Cannibals. An Iraqi family watching TV:
An Iraqi artist comes up on Tv, the screen gets blurry from all the spit. Same song is performed by a two-bit 2nd rate arab singer, we lick his shoes. Why do we worship anything that is not of our own? What do others have that we dont?

self-esteem and integrity. that's what they have.

we have the bourtukala.

I dare anyone in the ARAB street today to name 5 nobel prize winners in any field, no one knows. (including my esteemed self. I can name only 3..wwwait i think 4? hmm. shallow.)

back to the subject:
what was the subject anyhow? Oh right the cannibal thingy..

we had a saying here that goes like: "Me and my brother against our cousin, me and my cousin against the stranger" xenophobic bunch i know, but now its become: "Me and the stranger drink our chablis, my cousin's serving it, and my brother's walking the poodle..."

Horrible stuff. Just cause someone came from far far away doesnt mean he should have the jobs, the money, the future, while we "natives" sit eating seeds.. but that, my friends, is the case.

Even if you try (like I did) applying in ARAB countries, you quickly find that having an Arab passport is a No-No, that if two people had similar jobs at the SAME firm, and one of them had a new-zealand passport, he automatically gets FIVE TIMES what the "native" get, why? cuz he's FROM NEWZEALAND! HELLO!

crap.

oh and IF you manage to pull a few ropes (all strings are broken from all the pulling) and you land a good enough job, its just a matter of time before you find a bullseye painted on your sweet behind, and every thug in Iraq is either taking pot-shots at you, or running after you trying to ransom a few bucks from your family. and guess what? us local boys are easier to kidnap and conceal. cuz simply no one cares if a couple of them "Eye-Rackies" go missing..

and ANOTHER THING:
and this is driving me insane. frothing at the mouth.

it is NOT "Eye-Rack" it is "Ie-rack" the "i" as in "Industry"..

lets all try it together: I-r-a-k. I-rak. Iraq. Got it? Good. Finally.

Now someone please point this out to EVERYONE? please?

Oh and by the way, just in case someone asks what it means, it does not refer to a rack or eyes or anything like that AT ALL. it means something akin to "The Big Tent on Mesopotamia" or something close enough anyway.

and if anyone wonders what the "Part 2" bit is about, here is the first part!

Cheerios.

too watered down to be a real post, but what the heck.

and Then Some!

Here we go:

Well ladies and gentlemen, its been a year now since I first started out on this Blogger thingy..

I've made good friends, learned many things, and really enjoyed my time here..

HEY! that doesnt mean I want to quit or anything! I'm just warming up!

How did I start on Blogger?
I said that waaaaay back somewhere, and I will say it again:
I WAS JEALOUS!

:)

A good friend of mine started his own blog, so, I made one myself!

Then Some! started out as a copy of his blog, for the same reason (share my dementia with the masses).. it even had the same dotty template and all.. oh well.

as you can see from my earlier posts, my writings have degraded from dementia to mere sorry-for-not-posting-earlier stuff.. I hope this coming year it will be a bit better!

From its early days, I tried to avoid anything to do with religion, politics, and sex .. simply because I believe religion is something between a person and his/her creator, no matter the name you use.. and the politics is a dirty dirty thing which I'm fed up with, and have already seen enough of to last me two lifetimes.. and what about the third?
hmm.. maybe I am too young for that!

in any case, I think I've done a good job of avoiding that trio so far, and I will continue to do so this next year God willing.. (so if ur sticking around hoping I'll mellow down and show some womanflesh here, surf away, NOW!)

aha.

what should my poor visitors expect this upcoming year:

1. More of the same

and thats about it!

:)
this year I'll try to learn something useful to use in decorating my blog, like javascript or some other useful stuff, I'll post some notes on how my thesis (which I THINK will be Object Tracking and Identification) is going, and rant about some thing or other.. Oh, and I will try to dodge the shells and s*it that's no doubt flying back home as we blog here...

Resolutions for the new Blogger year:

1. Post more (and regularily)
2. write better
3. be more active in current BLOGGER events
4. Post my pic without fear of being identified back home.. (maybe a baby pic of me? hmm.. too silly)


I dont know, anyone with a good suggestion?

me? what do I know? I'm just a fool with a mind full of s*it..

Welcome to Then Some! ladies and gentlemen, and Thank You, YOU, ANYONE who ever viewed even a single page of my humble blog.

I thank you again.

and a happy new year!

Hot Topic of the day (night) : Prank Calls

Ahh.. We Arab types never grow up.

What is it with prank calls?

Today I was walking with a couple of friends, trying to look serious and full of cash while in reality we didnt have 10$ between us and the only serious thing we could think of is that we had less than 10$ between us..
right there, just while I was counting coins to buy a coke, my phone rang, now, I see a new number, hmm.. wrong number again?? (keep in mind, my phone is Nokia 6260, extraordinarily loud, if its calm enough, everyone can hear what the OTHER guy is saying!)

I pick it up.

me: "Hello?"

a female voice: "Helloooooo Hayati!" (Hayati = My Life)

me: "Huh??"

her: "How are youuuuu??"
(at this point the girl at the other end sounds like she's busy doing something not eligible for publication)

me: "Huh??" again.

and: "Who the flying squirrel are you? What do you want? Who gave you this number? What are your leanings?" sounding like a police investigator, a rather surprised one..

her: "Ohhhh I am Muna -alias- I want to talk to youuuuuu, youuuu oh AnaRki13 -another alias-"

me: "Who gave you this number?"

her: "You did, last weeeeeek... ohhh.."

me: "IMPOSSIBLE. Now lady if you'll excuse me, I have to go.."

-clarification: Now, I do like women, just not ANY woman!-

her: "wait wait why are you so angry with meeeeee??"

me: "Lady, the cellphone was NOT invented for flirting and useless crap, now please do NOT call me again."

her: "wait wait waiiiii.." beep beep.

at this point I am both surprised and angry. I did NOT give my phone number to anyone, especially not this "Muna".. Oh hell.

I give my coins to the cashier -who's looking at me like he found the last Dodo- and walk out, coke in hand.. the phone rings again.

this time I know the number, a friend I havent seen for a year maybe, a friend of the family, she lives in the UAE, and has a daughter almost my age..

I go: "Heeeeyyyy HELLO THERE!! HOW ARE YOU?? WHEN DID YOU ARRIVE?"

she goes: "Ibn el-kalb sarsari adabsiz you dare hang up on me?"

Ibn el-kalb: son of a dog, a REALLY bad (or good) swear-word down here.

sarsari and adabsiz: from Turkish I think, meaning without any morals whatsoever.

I go: "Huh??" at this point, my friends are grabbing for the phone, they think its the same girl and want to have THEIR shot at her since I obviously blew mine. oh, and I'm hearing giggling in the call background.

she's like: "Yeah you hang up on me? You got something stuck up in there? Why so uptight?"

I apologise for the next 5 minutes, she's laughing but still insulting my esteemed person.

turns out she arrived, got my number from my mom, got all the family together and called me, trying to bait me into talking thru her phone's loudspeaker so MY family could have a few laughs on MY expense.. what she didnt count on was:

1- I am spoken-for now, a fact which few of the family know about. henceforth any thoughts of this kind of stuff is punishable by pain of death. hey easy there Mucha! I know ur reading this! :)

2- Even if I wasn's spoken for, I come from Iraq. EVERYBODY IS SUSPICIOUS OF EVERYBODY. I wouldnt believe anything if I didnt see it in the flesh, and even then, there's room left for doubt.

3- and most important: I AM A DORK. Never knew how to open conversations with girls, even if I accidentally did, it would somehow ALWAYS revert to study, school, computers, and video-games. Dorky Stuff.

Funny thing is, my family (and the lady) see me in a totally different light.. I actually gained a little bit of respect in their eyes..

before I was the dorky smarty never-do-goody child.

now I am the dorky smarty never-do-goody man.

hmm.


Why do people insult you for doing something, then praise you for it twenty minutes later?

Is it true that girls always settle down with the good guys? *Cough* Dorks *Cough*

Why do we want to have fun making fun of other people?

Do I need a shower?


I dont know.

I dont know.

I dont know.

I dont know.


tell me if you do.


oh and by the way, it was the mother not the daughter who called me. she's a good friend and one of the few who can put up with my dorkyness.. To apologise she invited me to dinner..

feed the belly to silence the brain. nice.

Hey Hey!

less than a week: Next Monday I'll be celebrating my 1st year here..

I'll talk about that later, Confused what to change in my blog.. maybe the links.

I'm fidgeting like someone who doesnt know what to wear for a ball..

I'll give it a thought.

oh for all you guitarists and guitar enthusiasts out there, check this Mean Mutha out!

he's good but not as good as Sa'ad! I swear on my soul

will try to write a little speech for the anniv. coming this way..

stay tuned!

quickie post:

just to confirm I'm still in the land of the living..

will write more later.


Got Muddy Waters- Country Blues CD. Killer.

have to go now.. sleeepy.

AcrassicaudA & co.

This was due ages ago, but somehow got lost in the brainways, Bill asked sth about the Iraqi Metal Scene and I promised to comply, well, better late than never!


One of the first and more popular metal bands in Iraq was AcrassicaudA (Latin for Black Scorpion, seems that they liked the scorpions and someone came up with this name from a medical hand-book) this band was comprised (as I can remember, and I tend to forget stuff) of:

Waleed (Vocals)
Tony (Lead Guitars)
Firas (Bass)
Faisal (Guitars)
Marwan (Drums)

this band first came to light in the few years BEFORE the war, friends with nothing more than a crash-course in music instruments (tutored by Saad "Yngwie" Zai, the greatest guitarist in the Middle East, He CAN do that Malmsteen stuff at full speed!) and sheer determination to change the music scene..

they set out on a few gigs, I attended most of them, they were ok for an IRAQI band (cuz there were almost no others at the time) but otherwise HORRIBLE..

made their own songs, in addition to the usual metallica-slayer-dontknowwhoelse covers, oh and since this was BEFORE the war, they did a song called "The Youth of Iraq" praising our (then) Lord God Saddam and how he supports the Youth and all that. (after the war they made a song exactly the OPPOSITE, more to that later..)

In those small gigs you really could c the mettle of Iraqi metal heads (stupid pun intended) where psuedo-freaks and watered-down head banging types (oh and Eminem wannabes as well) could be found hanging round the water-cooler trying to show-off who memorises more lyrics to Slayer and Metallica and others..

as for the quality, Marwan was ok, Faisal was in the shadows, Firas was ok2, Tony SIZZLED, and Waleed was ughh..
Among the songs I was repelled from after their cover graced my ears was Metallica's Nothing Else Matters, a beautiful ballad which thru Waleed's vocals was hung by the toes, b**ch-slapped, butchered, and skull-f***ed afterwards..
The guy's voice was simply not as versatile as he thought it was.. the kind of sound you would get from a drunk chicken trying to fend-off the approaches of a horny horse while a sack of wet cats is being swung around against a wall.
They made an Audio Cd of their work, I dont have it.

during the mess that was (and still is) war, they found themselves jobless, I know Waleed and Firas first worked as interpreters for the US forces, the others I really dont know.
after that was the "Kill the interpreter" campaign in Iraq, after a metal head (His name was Omeed, Dirty Omeed, you really dont need to know why) was shot in the head, upclose and 'execution'al, in a restaurant while he waited for his meal, they quit in a hurry and decided to look elsewhere for funds.

They returned, this time backed by a German Metal Magazine (I dont know which) and a new arsenal of vocal abuse, which was worse (I dont know how) than their debut album.
Also, they came out on "Chat the Planet", a US-Iraqi TV conversation between 19-20somethings which was shown on the MOST POPULAR satellite channel here, MBC2.

and this is where the Fit really hit the Shan.

Waleed belted out carelessly how he "hates that -censored four-letter word- Saddam, and how he knew the big S's mother intimately and stuff like that, and how their new songs are anti-dictatorship pro-democracy, and how he (waleed) is unique and how no one in Iraq understands him and he's one of a kind" and so on and so forth, AND, since the "new" Iraq is still a place where if you dont watch your mouth, you could end up without the family jewels, he recieved threats of the "I'll tell God to UnCreate you" type and had to get out of Dodge real fast.
I think he's in Canada now, ranting & frothing about the US occupation-existence (call it what you will).. He can be found here on blogger, commenting under the name Waleed Rabiea.

in any case, the band was no more, BUT, since Marwan (Drummer) has the rights to the name and songs, I think they're waiting for things to calm down before starting over.

I hope they dont do their old songs again.
their own songs were your usual sub-standard generic attempts for HeavyMetal, but they were MILES better than the cover-versions they did. at least you didnt know it when they screwed up something..

one of the other bands out there is Semi-Death, formerly known as Rise of Shit (I swear I thought it was a joke too, a lampoon on another name, Rise of Death, till I was told personally by their guitarist that it IS shit)
I know two guys, in it (three if you count an ex-vocalist)

Ahmed (Guitars)
Sultan (Bass I think?)
and formerly, Psycho.. argh. Vocals.

Psycho was a "Before" picture in a Joe Weider Body-building advertisement, a skinny 90-pound geek who wanted to fit in real bad.
scary to watch a match-stick with eye glasses trying to head-bang. (Hey I'm not prejudiced or what's that word.. I mean I dont have anything against skinny guys with glasses, I wore glasses since pre-school, but I'm not skinny tho.)
Guess that's why they called him Psycho afterall.

I dont know much about them except that they keep intending to release an album but somehow that never materializes in reality.

all in all, the best guitarist in Iraq (and I repeat, the Middle East) is Saad "Yngwie" Zai, who sits in his cramped music shop teaching guitars to squeaky pimply fakers for 30$ for the whole 3 month course.

The "Yngwie" bit is after the lighting-fast guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen from Sweden.

Oh he also plays in local churches (He's Armenian) on Sunday to provide for himself
Nothing can come close to him, he taught himself Guitar, Bass, Keyboards, Drums and working on Violin now I think. I havent seen him since last september maybe.. Poor Guy.

in any case, I cant remember anything else, If anyone has a question, please do tell!

thank you for your time and cooperation, Elvis has left the building.