Wednesday, February 22, 2006

No Real magic

Frustration, disbelief, amusement. That was the progression of reaction as I watched the champion’s league game between Real Madrid and Arsenal. The game was a fantastic display of the dinosaur that is attacking football, and Arsenal played with the sort of panache it’s capable of when unchecked; the sort that has been effectively neutralize by the tenacity of Chelsea and LFC. The Man Utd loss, last Saturday, to LFC marked the end of an era; the era of mindless charging towards opponents’ goals passing for football. Make no mistake, I took some pleasure from watching Man U so effectively thwarted and in disarray in face of an opponent more poised and cerebral; but not as much as would be expected. For as long as the measure of a great champion is the strength of its opponents, the decline of a worthy opponent should be no cause for celebration. But i digress.

Arsenal's deft display was not unexpected, what was however was that Real would be so needlessly hapless. Real was effectively a nine man team, two of their number were freeloading: Ronaldo was impotent, and Zidane was evading phantoms. Let me state for the record, lest i be accused of malice, that both men at their best are sublime,a joy to watch, and i love them both dearly. But i love Real even more so. Ronaldo is clearly dispirited and can no longer give to Real the sort of commitement and drive that any player should bring to a team. The fans have sensed that and have, not too politely, voiced their disapproval. Zidane, for different reasons (read old age) is also emasculated. But having witnessed the treatment meted to those who don't perform to expectation he's anxious, rightfully so, to avoid it. So he does him best imitation of a diligent but overwhelmed midfielder. And, by and large, he pulls it off, save for when he's unmarked but like a one trick pony keeps up the act; then it fails - There's nothing more painful to watch than a great man in decline. Anyway, given both players handicaps, i was appalled that they played the full 90 minutes. The presence of those two in the team made a mockery of the valiant efforts of Beckham, Gravesen, Raul, Robinho, Guti, and Casillas.
If Real is to make it through to the next round, Ramon must dare to leave Z and Ronaldo out of the first 14 at Highbury.

On a positive note, Real's awful display against the 5th ranked team in the Premiership bodes well for today's game against Barcelona!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

We're all alike

Is it human nature to treat all things as if they started with our own experience or discovery of them? When we fall in love, for instance, we cannot concieve that anybody has experience it as exquisitely, and excruciatingly. When we discover new information that moves us profoundly, it feels like the first dawn, doesn't it? Maybe it's just me. But no, it isn't; that's just the point of this post - we think and feel alike. Infact i think that our emotional reactions and perceptions are much the same as they were 5000 years ago. That to me is evidence of the inefficiency of spontaneous human evolution. For instance, men have suffered and survived heartbreak for millenia but every new experience of it feels like it's the first of its kind, one to which there will be no end. But i digress. I came across a really interesting feature entitled what girls think, on this site, and i was amazed at the resonance with my own thoughts. I present part six of the feature, with my commentary, for your reading pleasure.
I fantasised about being with you at least a dozen times before we actually first got naked.

'Dozen times' should read 20

When I'm falling in love with you, I completely lose my appetite.

And mind, and ability to sleep, concentrate ....

I'll never tell you how many men I've slept with. No matter how sincere I appeared when I answered your question, chances are I wasn't. As an unscientific guideline, when a woman says she's slept with four men, the real number is actually closer to 12. Her fib is partly intentional (she doesn't want to appear to be a floozy), but mostly it's sexual amnesia. When a woman wants to pretend an encounter never occurred, she simply erases the man from her official score sheet. Common excuses that lead to such an omission: the actual sex lasted only a few thrusts; she was drunk; or on the rebound.

I might tell depending whether you're of substance or not.
When you go away, even for a day, I sleep in your favorite old T-shirt because it smells like you.

True dat!

Just looking at your hands can turn me on.

Hell Yeah! Soni, please testify!

My best friend knows everything. She knows all of your vitals - from the size of your bank account to the size of your other, er, holdings - and she knows how both compare with those of every other man I've dated. And I've done a hand-comparison measurement so I can divulge size and girth with a high level of accuracy. When my friend smirks knowingly at you, you're not imagining it. She knows. So understand that she knows and deal with it. (It's not going to change.) Ask her about me or discuss our relationship at your peril. She will tell me. Even - in fact, especially - if she promises not to. This is not always a bad thing (like if you happen to be telling her how much your love me). But, in general, remember that she is my confidante first and yours never.

Mos def!

Happy Valentine's day

It grows, the foreboding, the anxiety, the morbid anticipation
Slowly shaping into unsubstantial certitude
As i watch you contest against yourself,
Steel yourself against me, build up a resistance.
As you build a case against inopportune feeling, inconvinient feeling.

I feel you slipping away,
Powerlessly, desperately, i watch you drown out truth,
With blaring, insistent apologia.
Resolutely you reason against what you know to be true.
And i can't reach you,
To say i'll demand for no more than that you stay
That i'll be good.

I grope frantically, i try to find a way,
A way to you, to peace.
What ever is wrong can be fixed, i can fix it.
Now it's frenetic, the fear, the anticipation of the end, the frantic groping,
Am losing you!

If you'd speak to me, hear me;
You'd see that the answers are not whence you run
But you don't, you won't
It's from truth that you run

I run after you,
I can reach you if i try, a little harder, i can, i must
I speak but you do not hear me, will not hear me
The engines roar
They ought to stop, they must!
Powerless, desolate i watch you go.

By Kamahoro Peace
Kamahoro is a 23 year old who hopes to be just like me when she grows up. She thinks she's a budding poet of some talent - Slipping is the first draft of her latest work.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Courteous footfare

The African Nations’ cup may be a useless piece of junk but the tournament is fun to watch nonetheless; even rat races can be fun to watch. I abashedly confess that I didn’t watch the first two rounds of the tournament: it’s always best to wait till those teams which are there only to make up the numbers are eliminated. And when the quarter final games go underway, I was surprised by the fervor I felt! The quarter finals were fantastic, to put it mildly. The draw served mouth watering clashes: Egypt Vs DRC, Ivory Coast Vs Cameroon, Nigeria Vs Tunisia, and Senegal Vs Guinea. Of the teams in the draw, Egypt, Ivory Coast, Tunisia/Nigeria were my favorites: Egypt has been the most compelling team to watch; Ivory Coast has Didier “sex on legs” Drogba for captain. In the match between Nigeria and Tunisia, I started out supporting Tunisia – 12 years as a fan of Nigerian Super eagles have proved that the team is consistently disappointing (Hello Argentina) – but as the game progressed, I switched sides: the Nigerians played better than they have in years. I suspect they were trying to woo me back, but am naïve no more; no longer am I impressed by singular displays – Joy don’t want any more 90 minute men, they can keep the flare, I want trophies (Hello Holland!). But for Tunisia’s dreadful performance, I would have resisted the Nigerian’s charms. As it happened nostalgia coupled with the glimmer of the old hunger to win and the Tunisia’s hapless form was overpowering.
On day one of the quarters, Egypt beat the DRC, 4-1, as had been expected, and Senegal won 4-3 against Guinea in a match which went according to predictions but was more of a contest than could have been anticipated.
Day two’s games were exquisitely suspenseful. At the end of a plodding regular time and extra time, the Nigeria Vs Tunisia was goal-less. The super eagles were the better team through out but went two down during the penalty shoot out; which meant that their goal keeper had to save thrice and all the penalty takers had to score. There were anxious moments during which my gorgeous cousin, Doreen, did a variant of a chicken dance in an unwitting appeal to the gods of fortune, and I bit my nails to the quick; moments of boisterous rapture during which my niece was frightened out of her wits – Ngabire was not harmed, she soon realized that the screams were borne of ecstasy, she’s still getting used to the idea. In the end the Eagles triumphed and the Tunisians were sent packing.

The game between Ivory Coast and Cameroon was fascinating but not just for sporting reasons. It started off most peculiarly, with an exchange of flowers; as would befit an international friendly. The game continued in that vein, courteously, with each team, happy to contain the other, reluctant to spoil the happy mood; until the .. minute when the Ivorians scored. The Cameroonians hit back .. minutes later. After that everybody stuck to the script, and there were no more nasty surprises. For the second match in a row, a match had to be settled via penalties. IC won 12-11 in the shoot out, after Etoo capitulated under the weight of the occasion - All 11 players from both teams, including the goalkeepers, scored in the shootout, and they had to start again - and shot over the bar; Drogba, justified my love, kept cool and slotted in the ball to take his team to the semi Finals; which I cannot write about on account of not having watched the games due to a power outage, a common feature of a country which could be entirely self sufficient and supply half of Kenya’s demand as well. Welcome to Jamrock(congrats to Damian Marley on the grammy wins!) The long and short of it is that Egypt will play Ivory Coast in the Final.