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.

Posting 101

Actually, it is.

No I really mean it, this is my 101th post!
whadda u thought it was??

I dont even know how to maintain a regular posting schedule, or find stuff to talk about, let alone teaching others how to post..

In all, this is my 101th, and my 1st anniversary on Blogger is looming near.. I'll try to make sth special out of it. TRY!

oh, and do check out the new mp3 search box down there!

u'll like it! granted!

c ya. gotta go sleep.. :)