Saturday, September 27, 2008

Character Profiles (as Requested!)

After being asked by my Y4J group of friends to resurrect my infamous character profiles - not that the majority of them knew they existed in the first place, but anyhow - I have finally decided to do so, simply because right now, I have absolutely nothing to do. For those who don't know what I'm on about, these are essentially 'snippets' of what I think about various people that there are within a certain group. Back in the days when I was at St. Aloysius, this was seen as a pristine opportunity to either really boost somebody's morale by me telling them what a great person they are, or else the total opposite - me giving a fully-fledged attack on a specific person's character, and subsequently, most of the time, getting a lot of stick for it. Well, without further ado, I shall do the same here... but will, in all fairness, keep it as 'nice' as possible.

Please note that some of the people who I have listed here - principally the first few - are those that I have known for quite a while, but still form part of Y4J.

Mark - Words can't describe how great this guy is. I've now known Mark (Mose) for 3 years and I'm proud to say that he's my best friend, and an irreplaceable one for that matter. He is one of the most patient, genuine and caring people that I have ever had the privilege of knowing and spending my time with, and I often consider him as the brother that I never had. I have never come across a person who has had a bad word to say about Mark and rightly so - while everybody has their faults, it is almost impossible to find faults within him. A great friend not just for me, but for everybody.

Jaccarini - Over the couple of years that we have known each other, Jaccarini and I have become very good friends. Always someone who you can count on, no matter the circumstance, she is the kind of person that you simply can't dislike due to her bubbly and warm personality. She's also of the belief that Liverpool - be it the city, be it the football club - is the best thing that has happened to the world since it's creation. If she could marry the city, she would - that's how much she's in love with it! On a more serious note, I'm very much honoured to have someone like Jaccarini form an important part of my life - as Mark is like the brother I never had, then she is like my sister.

Lanfranco - Having known him for around 2 years now, and always been very good friends with him, it's no surprise that I feel that he is one of my most trusted friends at Y4J. He is one of the people who I feel I can confide myself in, and has a heart of gold as he is willing to help people out whenever possible. He also does like to go with the flow sometimes, but is not afraid to be a leader in certain situations and help point people in the right direction. He does, however, have a tendency of becoming slightly agitated occasionally.

Sam - Once again, Sam is a person who I've known for 2 years but contrary to Lanfy, prior to Y4J, I didn't know him all that well. It's only through this that I've come to realise what a great person he is. When you need a shoulder to cry on or some consoling in one way or another, he's there, conscious of that fact and understanding towards it. He is very much a person who demonstrates excellent leadership qualities throughout and also has a humorous and even daredevilish side to him.

Stephie - Like Sam, Stephie is a person who I've known for quite a while yet hadn't really made friends properly with her till I started coming to Y4J and, in particular, went to Soul Survivor. She's also a person who demonstrates very good leadership qualities - she directed Hairspray at SAC Soiree 2008 - and, in my opinion, is someone who is constantly sensitive to many others' needs.

Analise - Even though many of those born in 1990 have become my friends, it was almost inevitable that (due to Mark) Analise would also be one of them. A caring, loving character with an impressive voice that could potentially shatter your glass windows, Analise may come across as being slightly bossy at first sight, but when you get to know her, you realise what a great person she is. She too is a person who you can thoroughly rely on when something is going wrong, provided she doesn't have any problems herself at the time!

Paul - Y4J's resident goofball is one of those people who can crack you up in an instant with his polar opposite character(s). At one moment in time, Paul can be the most serious individual in the house but then, at the flick of a finger, he can throw people into hysteria. A downside to him though is that he has the tendency to whine quite a bit, as illustrated quite aptly when we were filming our skit for the Talent Show! However, this does not take away anything from the fact that he is a great person with excellent values.

Bettina - Sam's sister, Ms. Goldilocks is the epitome of Jesus shining through her. She never has a bad word to say against anyone, no matter who it is, and is an immensely talented and intelligent individual. She has the tendency to 'act blonde' sometimes(!!) but that's a small price to pay for her caring and loving character. She is a genuine person who ultimately has a heart of gold.

Achie - It's hard to use relatively simple terms to describe this girl. You see, she's a bit like me in the sense that she doesn't know how to not complicate matters in the way that she portrays her (rather theological and sometimes philosophical) ideas. In my opinion, she possesses an intelligence that belies her age, as often illustrated by her argumentation. She's also not afraid to answer back - in particular with me - whenever someone challenges her viewpoints. This often leads to a long and tiring debate and heated discussion. She's a very nice person, but here's a tip - stay out of any debates with her! (For her sake, I really hope she takes part in Mini EU next year.)

Rob - Having known Rob for the best part of 8-10 years now (I honestly forgot when I first met him, but I remember it was at scouts!), and not having spoken to him in such a lengthy time, he and I have been reunited as friends at Y4J. A computing guru and around 4 years more mature than when I last met him, Rob has grown by keeping his head on a solid pair of shoulders via the various experiences he has passed through. He is very passionate about Y4J and, more importantly, praising Jesus.

Ok, I've really had enough of writing. Many apologies if your name wasn't 'listed' here, but I chose to do the first ones that came to mind and, well, I can't keep on writing for eternity! This doesn't mean, in any way, means or form that this is some kind of 'elite group' of people - I think that everyone knows that in one way or another, they are all special, and that they are also my friends.

And now, for the talking point... after I've written about you, what do you think about me!? Leave comments (if you want) in the comments form below.

God Bless You all and Take Care... the blog will return next month!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Is the World at a Standstill?

Not a very long post tonight, folks. I only have 15-20 minutes free time on my hands (as of now) and just need something to do, and this is it.

Well, I've been noticing of late that there really hasn't been anything worth noting on the international scene. Strange beyond belief to be honest, but I feel as if the same old stories have been circulating round and round all the time. The Zimbabwe crisis - and what a crisis it is, with inflation standing at a reported 14 million percent (yes, you're reading correctly!) - has been making headlines since the country had their rather farcical set of elections. The race for the White House in America is slowly gathering momentum but is still in its early stages. The war in Georgia has now stopped completely as Russian troops have been withdrawn from the region. There's just absolutely nothing of substance to speak about in terms of current affairs worldwide, unless you consider the headline Italian consumers stage 'bread strike' (Reuters) to be the biggest thing since the invention of the toaster.

And Malta is just as bad, to be honest. All the political fanfare that surrounded the country in the early stages of the year has obviously died down, and now we are yet again stuck with the same old statements coming out from various Ministers' mouths - "We can't guarantee that such and such an electoral promise will be fulfilled this year or indeed even in 2009". The highlights of the last week have been a murder in Hal-Qormi, where the accused gave himself up to the police at the Law Courts but then pleaded not guilty at his trial; a Proton (not the particle that forms part of an atom) car blowing up and killing a man as he was trapped inside, also at Hal-Qormi; and finally, a motorcycle accident on the road linking Rabat to Zebbug which has left the two motorcyclists involved in a critical condition. Things just couldn't be any brighter... Hell, even Jenny leaving the island could have made front page news this week!

It seems as if everyone, everything and everywhere is in the process of a post-summer hangover. And that truly is the case, I believe, as the rain starts to fall on the Northern Hemisphere of the globe and autumn settles in.

God Bless and Take Care,

Friday, September 12, 2008

Perfect Man (Under Construction)*

*Title shamelessly taken from Mark Galea's polo shirt bought from Soul Survivor

As I look back at a rather hectic beyond belief last week or so (and by golly gosh, how quickly it flew by), I have found some time to sit down, relax, and just write those thoughts that are flowing through my mind at the moment in time. Which, in all honesty, aren't too many and aren't too complex or philosophical either, but just worth writing down over here.

I saw this week as a challenge right from the word 'go'. It's only today that I've really had time to put my feet up and relax totally, and I suppose that it's a deserved rest to say the least. It's been a week full of temptation, a week full of running around from one point of the island to another (literally!), a week full of officiating tennis matches and a week of penning articles and speeches. Yes, it's been a very busy week by anyone's standards, let alone my own - and I can only help but wonder what it's going to be like as soon as I get back into the routine that I like to call University.

As I reflect on what's been going on, I took this opportunity to offer this rather challenging time to God yesterday afternoon. I realised that in the hype of everything, I didn't have time to just stop and stare, and just pray to Him. Now I know that in hindsight, one might say that if I'm making my time for everything else, then I should be able to dedicate at least a fraction of my time to God, but that simply hasn't been the case. Maybe, this week, it's a case of 'better late than never', and that from now on, I'll learn from my mistakes more. Well, I'm human, and judging on human nature, I won't learn a thing until something great affects me in some sort of negative way.

To put it into context, at last Monday's Y4J meeting, Tutzi told us that as soon as we wake up in the morning, we should kneel down besides our beds and just pray for a while. At that moment in time, I made that my challenge for the week - just to dedicate 2-3 minutes out of a grand total of 1,440 daily - to God. Needless to say, possibly due to my reckless nature or my urge to get on with things as soon as I get up in the morning, I failed to do this on Tuesday, Wednesday and till now, today (Friday) as well. I didn't pray as soon as I got up on Thursday, but did dedicate those specified two minutes to God in the afternoon, so while that is a partial failure, it in itself is not entire doom.

Which brings me to my talking point - why did I choose such a title for this blog? Well, I believe that we are all trying to attain the mantle of being a perfect man or perfect woman, irrespective of what we do. We try to be perfect in our own eyes and in the eyes of others and sometimes, this 'vision' does indeed work. For example, generally those who are in a relationship see their better half as the perfect match and perfect person for them (until something goes horribly wrong, that is). Our parents possibly see us as perfect too... albeit with plenty of imperfections. Therefore, this is the reason why this state of perfection is constantly under construction - we know that despite how good we all think we are, we have to work towards becoming truly perfect. Indeed, no matter how hard we work towards this ultimate goal, we - in all probability - will still not be able to achieve it.

I feel that God doesn't expect us to be perfect; far from it, actually. I think that our imperfections are a critical part of us and God acknowledges that, simply because through these imperfections we can grow and mature by means of experience. It is such experiences that lead us closer to Him. Perfect man? Perfect woman? Yes, but constantly under construction, till our demise, without a shadow of a doubt. And on a final note, it is perhaps when we leave this earth that we are, in God's eyes, truly perfect.

God Bless You all!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Sound the Alarm! It's a Mexican crossing the border to the USA

There are times in life where you feel that things are simply slipping away from you. These can come by means of various events - a death, a change in lifestyle, or indeed someone dear leaving your side for good. Of course, in terms of the latter, the internet has facilitated our lives to the extent that we can even see one another via webcam despite being thousands of miles apart. However, one thing for certain is that despite these technological advancements, and efforts to make even more progress in this field, nothing can substitute the feeling of being physically close to another person.

I, like a few others, find myself in the rather precarious position of having dealt with one friend already departing for the abyss that is called British Columbia, Canada and having to deal with another friend who is going to study and live in London (both know who they are, obviously, and certain readers will know that too). While the first was quite a blow, it's the second strike that's going to be the killer; this despite the fact that I value both these friends equally high. It's hard to acknowledge and indeed even accept this fact that somewhat lies on my doorstep and is approaching my room upstairs at an increasingly rapid speed. These two people who I perhaps took a bit for granted have now gone or are going as fast as a Mexican would travel across the border to the USA.

Of course, as I previously said, it's not the end of the world - first and foremost (Gabriel Galea please take note), there's the internet, a fantastic tool which has facilitated all communications greatly. Secondly, while my two friends have gone to study abroad on a permanent basis, it's not like they won't be returning to Malta at some point in time in the future. Provided I'm still alive (I always seem to associate death with myself, I think it's just something stuck in my nature or else I am the new Albert Camus) I will obviously see them when they come back to the rock. So yes, all is not lost - it never has been.

Having said that, and on this note I will conclude this short and sad blog, I'll miss them. Both of them. Greatly. Always.

God bless in your journeys,