Monday, December 12, 2005
wer sind Sie?

Strange, there are still some people lurking around here. I've found a new space quite some time ago so if you're a friend, just email me and I'll give you my new URL. Otherwise, happy holidays :)

Posted at 05:21 am by nafic
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Saturday, May 14, 2005
Now how stupid can she possibly be?

Ahhh thanks for the various tags and comments, it's extremely happifying to hear from y'all, especially when I'm pretty much incarcerated in this revision shell. I promise I will be a better correspondent and keep in touch once I emerge from Finalism. But golly, 8 more days!! Anyway I am here because I have a funny story to share.

So you know how we need to register for Finals with Exam Schools, and it was actually done ages ago (last November, to be precise). I happily registered for mine, sent in the form, got a confirmation slip which I happily pinned up on my board. Just last week, they sent us our individual timetables, and again I opened the envelope, took out the sheet and pinned it on the board, not really checking because I have got my exam schedule off the web about a month ago anyway. Then yesterday during one of those bouts of zoning out between work, I glanced, for the first time, properly at my timetable and discovered I had no exam on Tuesday of 5th, which is wrong because that's when the History of Philosophy paper should be. Puzzled, I took it down and good grief, I discovered I had entered myself for the wrong exam paper! According to my schedule, I would be doing Knowledge and Reality instead of History. Fast forward to end (cutting out frantic run into college office, filling in a form, running back home for a cheque, running back to pay), all's good, I am 30 pounds poorer (and the University of Oxford 30 pounds wealthier), fingers crossed I will write essays about Hume, Berkeley and Kant, and not about whether we can conceive time without change.

Moral of the story: Friday the Thirteen was my lucky day. And of course, that should dig my eyes out if I don't bother to make good use of them... :( But all's good, all's good, I hope you are too.

Posted at 05:46 pm by nafic
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Saturday, April 30, 2005
Je vais retourner... vraiment

Just a quick note to say that I will probably be taking a long hiatus. Recent affairs on the blogosphere have made me a tad more disillusioned about our capacity to speak freely in this domain, but no, I am not cowering away but rather just retreating into my Finalist shell. Nothing interesting happens now, besides the usual 'I did so little work today", "Weather is gorgeous/crap", so go read the more interesting blogs around, but try not to forward things you disagree with to the ST eh.

Not very far away now - I have 22days exactly, and when I tried to write a practice essay on Kant today, I realised with much panic, that I still can't understand Kant. But hey no worries, 22 days! Over in a jiffy, everyone says. I am thoroughly sick of revising, have been hitting new lows ever so frequently and much against my will. And in the midst of this hurly-burly, I wished I could compartmentalise my life better; Kissingerian linkages cannot apply to matters of the heart, they don't create emotional detentes but only deepen the unspoken chasms that stand between.

May Day in a few moments, can already hear the jolly drunks along Cowley. I actually have a view of the Magdalen tower from my window, so I could wake at 6 to watch the choir sing, then fall back into bed immediately, haha. But hey, May Day is fabulous because Magdalen put up a spectacular display of fireworks just now, and so like a child, I gaped in wonder and felt sad when it ended. Damn, they must be so rich!

Tis great to have found people/re-established contact/ hosted a mini reunion on my tagboard, so there are silver linings after all. Well in any case, I'll be back, soon-ish, might have random updates, but no promises. In the meanwhile, I'ld still love to hear from you so swing by my email or tag the board.

take care

Posted at 11:57 pm by nafic
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Monday, April 18, 2005

It is freaking scary to find a sudden spike in the number of daily hits, after I found myself inadvertently linked by people I do not even know. So if you are reading this and you have no idea who I am, I hope you will now understand the heart of this matter. I know full well it is a public space out there, that google does wonders for people with words on their fingertips, but this blog, and I reckon many other ones too, was meant for close friends and presumably friends of friends. Thanks to a comment on noself's blog, I realised how someone could have got from his blog to cz's through mine. We link our friends, and realise in retrospect how dangerous it could be, because the internet holds infinite possibilities for resourcefulness/sleuthing. And now I will watch and scrutinise my words with greater paranoia and fear than ever, lest you decide to compile a dossier of my neurosis and levity (which the rest of my blog with presumably show) and forward it to my sponsors. So think the issue through again after the kneejerk instinct to condemn him. You might be inclined to believe that we are all repressed beings in real life, and therefore take up the anonymity offered by blogging to express our dark, bigoted thoughts, but people can create blogging personae too, totally opposite from what they are in reality. Think about how different people have different conceptions of blogging, think about how you got here. Think deeper please, I implore you.

Posted at 09:22 am by nafic
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Friday, April 15, 2005
too much, I'ld say

So morbid irony exists indeed, because attention isn't expensive as much as it can be very vicious and cruel. If only I could be right about fretting over things 'probably not worth all that trouble', because things have taken a very nasty turn and are troubling me more than ever. Never would I have expected to find a friend caught in the midst of a virtual witch-hunt, possibly by people who are clamouring for free phones that TNP gives away for news scoops. It was utterly disgusting when I followed the forum threads, there's even a fella who is trying to hack into his email account. Clearly, taking the piss too far is not a clever thing to do in the blogosphere, but knowing the person that he is, I am truly saddened and sorry when I heard that strain in his usually chirpy voice. A lesson to each and every one of us with our little soapboxes in this very public domain, I suppose.

But I try to take care
and be gentle to them.
Words and eggs must be handled with care.
Once broken they are impossible
things to repair.

Posted at 09:43 pm by nafic
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How much does attention cost?

Sorry for the protracted silence, I've been meaning to update but revision has been such a drudge that I've procrastinated mighty long. In defense, I did go away for a while (for a short getaway to Barcelona) and had a splendid time breathing Gaudi, modernista, Spanish food and great company. That seems ages ago, but really it wasn't. Otherwise, I have been the most boring person ever on Earth, leading a regimented life of solid revision, peppered with little treats like leisurely walks w the girls and visiting the weekly open market for delish fruits (yes! So Auntie, did you say?) 5 more weeks to go, I don't think I can even talk about revision anymore, because that is sapping my life already. Spent the day fretting about things which are probably not worth all that trouble, found myself falling into one of those wary bouts when I wonder So who exactly reads my words. Joe Nye was right when he said the cost of information has fallen so much that nearly anyone can get a piece of the action. But while it is now harder to buy attention, getting the wrong kind of attention is downright scary, which has the effect of heightening my stubborn struggle to fight for a piece of private space in the vast virtual world.

Posted at 12:14 am by nafic
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Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Yes yes yes, because there isn't a better way to be 'spreading the news', I've got an offer from Columbia so I'll be doing Masters in New York come September, yay!

Ok back to work, eeeps.

Posted at 10:06 pm by nafic
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Sunday, March 20, 2005
Kennan off

So George Kennan of the 'Long Telegram' fame has passed on, and I discovered this a day late. Funny how I've always assumed he is long dead when I come across his name in my Cold War notes. One less realist for the IR sphere... There somehow seems to be a fine thread that runs through our seemingly disparate lives, an whispering narrative of tiny coincidences and minor ironies that reveal themselves most unexpectedly. Rather Murakamian (speaking of which I've been off my Murakami diet for some time already; on the upside I've stopped having disturbing and fantastical dreams, on the downside, these are exchanged for realistic, disturbing ones)

Did I mention my Finals paper on China will be on June 4th? Liu4 si4 is going to be my day of liberation, and as I write my essays on Chinese democracy I shall ruminate about the quiet streets of Beijing exactly 16 years ago. In the meanwhile, I'll attempy to stick to my daily revision regiment with half-success, and keep my fingers crossed for the lovely weather that we've been blessed with of late.

Posted at 12:16 am by nafic
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Friday, March 11, 2005

Hello Spring! (and rain that will come with Spring)
Hello Easter vac, you aren't as exciting as before.
Hello Teddy Hall library, I am now your faithful visitor.
Hello stress, thanks for the sleepless nights and panic attacks.
Hello Legion of Muggers - may I humbly join your ranks?
Hello Finalism, I can't bloody wait for you to be over

On a more serious note, shout-out to Joce: Good luck w your script, it will turn out marvellous and I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you!

Posted at 04:42 pm by nafic
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Wednesday, February 23, 2005
Murakami Moves Me

"I knew what was eating her. We got along well, but what she was after, the image in her mind, was somewhere else, not where I was. She wanted a kind of autonomy of communication. A scene where the hero - whose name was "Communication" - led the masses to a bright bloodless revolution, spotless white flags waving. So that perfection could swallow imperfection and make it whole. To me, love is a pure idea forged in flesh, awkwardly maybe, but it had to connect to somewhere, despite twists and turns of underground cable. An all-too-imperfect thing. Sometimes the lines get crossed. Or you get a wrong number. But that's nobody's fault. It'll always be like that, so long as we exist in this physical form. As a matter of principle."

'Dance Dance Dance'

Haruki Murakami


In other news, the weather has been absolutely barmy!

Posted at 09:39 pm by nafic
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