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.