Friday, April 30, 2010

The Month of Desperation

Incredibly so, we're already moving into the final stretch. Time has flown by so quickly and third year, in my case, is practically over!

It was around this time last year that I remember blog frequency increasing to the extent that sometimes, people were posting a blog a day so as to alleviate themselves from the boredom that studying emitted. I somewhat see the same thing happening sometime soon - indeed, it always seems to be that when May comes about, and us students' desperation increases day after day, so too do the amount of writings increase.

The horrible thing about this all is that this year especially, I really shouldn't have the time to stay writing away, yet I come back and time after time I stay rambling on about different things. It's like an addiction or something... at least though it's not one that's detrimental to my health! It's something worse than that... it's detrimental to my time!

So onto the month of May we go, that wretched month of desperation, where among the features I seem to expect Lanf's blog/vlog to resurrect, Matt to remain silent in an attempt to read as much information as that brain of his can absorb, Bettina to post more music, Krissie to not blog - as she tries to get out of touch with the world of technology* and Zoe to keep on worrying a bit too much about A Levels!

May. You've just got to love it. For its procrastination and desperation, and for its ability to post some utterly ridiculous things on Facebook (such as the group I created yesterday afternoon against those promoters placed at University, and the Law Restaurant menu this time last year).

God Bless You all!

*Thank God you don't use Windows 7 then (see Facebook group for further details).

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

We. Did. It.

38 years of hurt. 38 years of continental underachievement. They're OVER.

We suffered, we played with 10 men for over an hour, but WE DID IT. WE BEAT BARCELONA and WE'RE GOING TO MADRID!!!

In-bloody-credible... words cannot describe this moment!!

VAI NERAZZURRI!! So proud to be an Inter supporter today... Jose Mourinho, you are a GENIUS!!

God Bless You all,

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Expert Analysis of... Live Commentary

I'm currently watching Bayern Munich vs. Lyon, this evening's feature semi-final from the UEFA Champions League, which also features the most horrendous commentary I have ever experienced. Hereunder I am going to underline the most ridiculous things that the commentator is saying, or has said, over the course of the 90 minutes of play...

(Please note that I switched on the TV after 10 minutes of play)

11 minutes: The commentator, working for Melita Sports, has a Scottish accent. I didn't know Melita had it's own version of Andy Gray - you know, the Scottish chap who commentates on FIFA '10.

13 minutes: He mentions that Hugo Lloris is France's number one goalkeeper. Fair enough.

15 minutes: Corner to Bayern Munich. Ribery (his name pronounced wrongly) whips the ball in and Lloris pushes it over for a corner again. Cue the commentator, "that's why he's France's number one goalkeeper". It was a routine save.

16 minutes: Commentator mentions how Bayern goalkeeper Butt, who has played 10 matches in this competition, has conceded just one goal and has a great defence in front of him. So where did the four goals conceded against Fiorentina and Manchester United go? Towards Mars?

17 minutes: Of course, Lloris needs another mention. He's miraculously conceded... wait for it... NO GOALS in this year's Champions League!! That's why he's France's number one, yet again. Anyway, yes, Lyon's defensive record is the best in the competition, but again... what about the goals conceded against Bordeaux? These went to Venus instead?

19 minutes: Bayern have a header that "hits the post!" Indeed, it was a country mile wide. Nice try.

21 minutes: Ivica Olic, scorer of Bayern's first goal at Old Trafford, is clear on goal. Commentator is saying that it's a definite goal... and the ball is skied over the bar.

24 minutes: Of course, commentating wouldn't be complete without mentioning the 800km journey that Lyon had to endure to get to Munich... by coach. But the commentator believes they're not tired as they had a whole day to adjust to life in Germany! Oh well...

27 minutes: Lyon are walking a tightrope and will have a thin-looking squad for the second leg, he says. Of course, they need loads of bookings for that to happen.

30 minutes: The commentator reminds us that the score is 0-0 and we're watching the game on Melita Sports. Kudos to you.

32 minutes: The commentator likes Robben and Ribery as players. They're "like little ferrets... you can't get rid of them."

33 minutes: Lyon are seven times French champions, so they're no slouches when playing football. No duh, that's why they have some of the better players in the world.

36 minutes: Ribery red card. Commentator is amazed and he doesn't know what it's for. Er, if your studs are up, it is a striaght red. Sorry mate. Obviously, Lisandro is injured, vindicating the referee's decision. Finally, Bayern have something that's gone against them in this competition! By the way, we just got rid of Ribery... we got rid of one of those damned ferrets!

38 minutes: Mr. Brains of the Year decides to give the fact that no team has managed to defend the Champions League in its current format, and that Barcelona are the current champions. Well done for stating the obvious... but wait...

40 minutes: Bayern Munich are now defending champions. The guy must have had something to drink before heading to the booth tonight.

43 minutes: The definition of 'shot on target' is given: "that was going into the back of the net". Butt makes a good save from a fierce Lyon shot that was going into the top left corner of his net.

44 minutes: The first half has just whizzed by. Of course it has, I'm enjoying taking the piss out of this guy's commentary so much that 45 minutes seem like 10 minutes ago. By the way, Ribery, sent off, was also playing for Lyon in this minute.

Half Time: Score is still 0-0. Live from the "Munich Stadium". And of course, live on Melita Sports. I think it's obligatory to mention that this is the channel showing the match around once every ten minutes, even though the ordinary reasonable man should know what TV channel he's watching at a moment in time!

2nd Half: Bayern substitution - Tymoshchuk is on to add some strength in midfield. His name is mispronounced, but you can't fault the commentator here. It's difficult to get right. Anyway, we're back on Melita Sports, just for good measure.

47 minutes: Reveillere's surname is also pronounced wrongly. Now that one is just unforgivable... it's not difficult at all.

49 minutes: "Lyon: they've already knocked out Liverpool... can they do it against Bayern Munich tonight?" Erm... Liverpool were not knocked out by Lyon, but lost out in the group stages of the competition; and what about Real Madrid and Bordeaux (yet again?) And something tells me that Bayern can only be knocked out, as such, in next week's return leg. Definitely not tonight.

52 minutes: He could have practically sworn that Muller was going to score. Commentator argues that the player has tied his shoelaces up wrongly!

53 minutes: Jeremy Toulalan is sent off for Lyon - it's now 10 men vs. 10. The commentator says that Claude Puel, Lyon's manager, will be livid. You got that one right mate - Lyon probably just blew their (remote) chances of winning this match.

55 minutes: Jean II Makoun is only "25/26 from Cameroon". That's the commentator's admission that the age of African players can be debated.

56 minutes: Now we're speaking about tattoos. They're in fashion with the players. You find them on the players' necks, arms, legs, backs... and anything else. Oh please.

60 minutes: The Allianz Arena is now referred to as the "Football Arena Stadium". Does the guy have any idea of what this sport is about?

64 minutes: Bayern Munich are apparently playing the first leg of the "UEFA Cup, Champions League even". Which competition are we seeing now... all together please? Also, Bayern will have a "busy month in May" if they get through to the final of this competition. Oh, Einstein himself couldn't have put it better.

68 minutes: The term "commentator's curse" is coming to the fore, but this commentator doesn't believe that he'll brings this about. For once, he's right - Bayern Munich have just taken the lead from out of nothing! As usual, it's Robben with his trusty left boot. A tremendous strike from around 30 metres out!

71 minutes: As Bayern lead 1-0, "European football on Melita Sports - it doesn't get much better, does it?" Erm, if you hadn't lost the majority of your rights to GO and I wouldn't have to spend around €250 out of my own cash to see Inter and English teams play next year, then maybe I wouldn't dispute this argument.

75 minutes: Bayern are "smelling blood" as they look for the second goal. Wouldn't the term "looking menacing" or "attacking with purpose" be more appropriate?

79 minutes: Referee Roberto Rosetti won't be getting too many Christmas cards from Bayern Munich and Lyon, says Einstein. I say he's right, unless they're red of course. Having said that, do you think these supporters will remember Rosetti's performance in 8 months?

80 minutes: Once again, the commentator reminds us we're on Melita Sports. He also reminds us that both teams are playing with 10 men each... because each one got a player sent off. This for the benefit of those "just joining us". Who on earth would put a match on when it's 80 minutes old?

91 minutes: Incredibly, nothing overly stupid has been said in the last 10 minutes. While the commentator... oh wait! He's outdone himself!! This year's final of the Champions League is to be held in Hamburg (so they've moved it from Madrid today?) and Bayern are looking to become the first team to retain the Champions League!! I really suggest he does a bit of research on Wikipedia before commentating on the return leg next Tuesday. Seriously.

Full Time: It ends Bayern Munich 1-0 Lyon. Thank you for joining us on Melita Sports.

The commentator who has been appallingly poor, by the way, is Bernard Lynch. Ok, so he might be Scottish. But he's crap, that's for sure!

God Bless You all!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

A Blog Straight From the Classroom

Following last night's (shock) panic attack - see Facebook for weird typing pattern details - I now find myself in a classroom enduring the week's most boring lecture. Of course, it's none other than Economics. Wahey.

Typing something in here once every 7-10 minutes is not the ideal way to accumulate information in a blog, but I believe that it's the only thing I can do right now!

The classroom that I'm currently in is rather small and the lecturer is pacing not-so-frantically up and down the middle of the classroom; an empty, barren space. He's speaking about the concept of infant industries, and quite frankly, I don't really care about it. I'm writing down his notes, which are badly projected onto the whiteboard 5 metres away, and trying to concentrate - but I've realised that concentration, here, is nigh on impossible. To be honest, I also don't really care if he realises that I'm typing a blog. Well, obviously he isn't (duh) because as long as I'm typing, it's as if I'm paying attention to his relatively useless blah.

*5 minute break - which will almost certainly turn into 15 as people constantly walk in late from his break. I believe he doesn't have too much control over this class, even though, for the most part, people are remaining silent in his lecture. Only a slight murmur is being heard at the back and the lecturer isn't even paying attention to it*...

And we're back.

I don't see why this subject was made compulsory for us, but in any event, it's there, and it's something that has to be studied and hopefully not failed! It's unfortunate that certain subjects are made compulsory especially when it is common belief that as a future lawyer, unless one is going into banking law, such a knowledge of economics is not needed. Oh well, I guess that's a bit of a downfall with the education system in general - in trying to achieve something, some form of an holistic education must be attained. Another example that springs to mind is the study of Shakespeare while sitting for an English A Level, and, conversely, studying Maltese poetry. It's not like I use these nowadays, or will ever use them, but they're there to instill some form of culture into us as well as just continue to burden our plate with more useless things.

Anyway, lecture over. What a senseless post!

Oh wait, he's giving us 'a bad news'. Didn't apply to us. Ok!

God Bless You all!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Cheesecakes for Sale! Going for Free!

I have just finished the best part of an hour and a half's work at one stretch, which, in normal terms, would be great - especially by my rather hopeless working standards where even the mere sight of my (non-working, dead battery) clock, which looks like a brake disc from a Formula 1 car, would generally distract me.

The only thing is that this last hour and a half has, when you look at it in personal terms, been wasted. This statement, on the facet of things, is rather contradictory especially considering what I have just said in the paragraph above. But I know for a fact that I have not lost my mind and that I still am indeed sane, despite the work constantly piling up at now alarming levels (don't we nonetheless always get through this all in the end?).

The fact of the matter is that for this last hour and a half, I have been organising many series of notes for others to enjoy and study from in the forthcoming exams. To use the Maltese expression, I feel like "qed nbigh turtiera pastizzi". Of course, there is a wee bit of a personal gain here as well as this organisation of notes and insertion of missing lecture notes into their proper places has obviously put me on track to just study everything in an apparent plain-sailing fashion, but I don't think much from that which I read has really entered my head at the moment, which is a tad worrying!

But I don't mind doing this. I'm not saying I enjoy it, but I don't mind it; and I don't mind it simply because I'm a Christian and because I'm being there for other people by doing this. It's not easy for me to give out my notes practically all the time, but who said being a Christian is easy? I do this because even though I try not to believe it, I do know deep down that it is a way of bringing out the Christian in me at the end of the day. I don't grumble when giving out these notes, and I never will - and indeed, this is not a grumble, but just a statement. Being a Christian, I don't expect anything in return for what I'm doing.

At least my life is serving a useful purpose, apart from stirring up debates, now that being a 'taxi driver' no longer really happens any longer.

God Bless You all,

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Some More Poetry

So last night, slightly ironically during a worship session and during a talk, I felt inspired and decided to write a couple of poems... and I thought I'd share them here. 

One World

How we take things...
All things, for granted.

We're here, sitting, living;
While there are others out there
Who struggle to put a roof above their heads.

We can sing hymns of praise freely to You
Without being persecuted.
Yet there are others out there who can't even
Pray to You out of fear of condemnation...
And being bruised, beaten and battered.

It's hypocritical that we live in a world
Overall praised for its liberal values, and freedom;
While there are those out there
Whose such values are not even respected.

Yet, Lord, I know and believe that You -
You, Lord - will call us one day to be part
Of Your world, Your one world.
You will not leave one soul behind,
Not one soul who has prayed, asked for forgiveness,
Or worshipped You,
Will be forgotten by You.
We will all be part of Your Paradise.

Till then, however, we're stuck here,
In this, our one world,
Shrouded in anything but the harmony that You possess.

And we'll continue taking all things for granted.
Yes, we will.


Who Cares?

When you sit there, alone, desolate, hopeless -
The first thing that might come to mind is
Who cares?

You don't want to be a burden to society,
To your friends, to your parents, to everyone.
So yeah, you say and say again
Who cares?

When there's nothing to cling onto
And you believe there's no hope left,
Time and time again, you say
Who cares?

But lest do you know that there is someone
Right out there
Who does indeed care.

He's not a phone call away, nor a flight to
The next country away,
But He's there, right beside you,
Here, there, everywhere, tomorrow and today.

So before you say and ask who cares again,
Take the time to realise
That Jesus cares.

He will pick you up from the bottom of bottoms,
The pits of pits,
And restore you, just because He cares.

His unconditional love for us - Yes,
Jesus cares.

God Bless You all!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Malta: The Nation of Second Class Citizens

It had to take the Pope to come to Malta for us to resemble something like an EU member state.

It just had to take the Pope. Oh, and CHOGM, back in 2005.

The recent roadworks and embellishment to the island that has been going on has been welcomed, I would hope, by the majority of citizens, but nonetheless, at the same time, condemned and criticised. Why? Because this has confirmed that when it comes to having a commodity such as drivable roads, we need a major dignitary to set foot on the island - even if it is just for 36 hours, such as in His Holiness' case - for the situation to improve tenfold.

Simultaneously, the Government has argued that the majority - if not all - of the roadworks were scheduled to take place later on in the year, irrespective of whether the Pope was coming to Malta or not. Whether this is true or not, that's all the Government can indeed do to really save face at the moment. While such upgrades have been welcomed, the underlying tone seems to be as if the country can continue to procrastinate and live in mediocrity (with regards to this sector) until some fine day comes along whereby a certain road is targetted for repairs. In other words, us Maltese, who use these roads daily, are second class citizens.

It's not like local dignitaries have tried to even hide this fact too, with one comment being that "Malta needs to look its best" for occasions such as these. Unfortunately, I know that this is making me sound like some ignorant Labourite (stuck in the Mintoffian and KMB eras) commenting on the Times of Malta's website, but this is nothing other than the truth. Would I, as a driver, be able to drive along Naxxar Road, San Gwann, or the road up to Rabat for that matter, without feeling my car jolting along the way if Benedict XVI was not coming next week, right up until the end of the year? I sincerely doubt this is the case.

Oh well, amid the lack of excitement surrounding the Pope's visit, at least we've managed to garner this one positive thing out of it.

God Bless You all!