Friday, July 23, 2010

Three Weeks Later

It's been three weeks since my last post, and the World Cup is now over. My absolute confidence about Brazil making the semi-finals has been crushed, and Spain is now the deserving world champions. The heartbreak I suffered after Brazil's loss will not be understood by many, but it was so great that I didn't watch the World Cup with much enthusiasm after that. But I was very happy that Spain won, mainly because Netherlands kicked Brazil out, but also because I think they're a very talented team, perhaps the most talented aside from Germany. And I like the fact that all of the starting 11 during the final match play in the La Liga, a trait similar to the German team, where most members of their squad play in the Bundesliga. I think having domestic players in your country's league is extremely important, not only for national pride but also because having talented local players in your league would mean that it's much easier to find talents for your national squad. This has been proven through the success of Spain and Germany, and explains the failure of the English team, where the EPL is overflowing with foreign players brimming with skill and talent.

I think that South Africa did a fantastic job with this World Cup, an amazing feat considering that they suffered from the cruelty of Apartheid and segregation only 20 years ago. I thoroughly enjoyed the African-ness of the tournament, and felt so proud of Ghana for reaching the quarter-finals, despite their painful exit in (literally) the hands of Uruguay. I'm now looking forward to the 2014 World Cup which will be held in Brazil. I can't imagine the amount of pressure there will be on the national team though, I'm sure not only their own people, but the whole world will be expecting nothing less than a win from them. Hopefully they get a really good coach who will be able to channel that pressure positively, and build a more complete squad that knows how to play like a team. Can't wait :D

College is now well underway, and my third and last semester is going okay so far, although Lit worries me more than the other subjects due to the fact that we have to squeeze in three crucial units, with no chance of re-sitting anything. The thought is quite frightening, but I keep telling myself that thinking and moping about it isn't gonna make anything better. Instead I have to get off my ass and get to work real soon, or I will definitely regret it later. Economics Unit 3 seems kinda dry after the extremely 'global' units 2 and 4, and I think we're all still trying to adjust our brains to Microeconomic theories. I hope to do well, since Econs is the only subject I have this semester which only involves one unit.

Our semester 2 exam results will be out in about three weeks. The success of my UCAS application will depend on this results, and the thought of that is really scary. To think that a few letters and numbers on a computer screen will determine your future. I keep trying to guess what my grades will be, and everytime I do that, I get scared and try to push the thought out of my head. Flying to the UK for my Law degree seems like a faraway dream still, and I think it will always feel like that until the day when I actually get onto that plane. I don't know why, but its so hard for me to have that confidence. People might think I'm a pessimist, but I think I'm just a realist. I've had enough of setting up sky high hopes only to have them crash down onto my head and knock me upside down. Until my results come out, I don't dare to dream too much.

College has made me realize how much I treasure and cherish my high school life, my high school friends. They're the ones I turn to when I'm happy, sad, bored, or when I need someone to hang out with. We're all in different colleges now, and I miss them everyday, though I'm not sure if they miss me too. But that doesn't matter, because somehow I know I'll always be able to call them my friends :)

Been reading Austen's Sense and Sensibility, and I think I love it even more than Pride and Prejudice. It's subtlety somehow showcases the novel's issues perfectly, and as usual, Austen's satirical humour is genius. The manners of the people during Regency England will never cease to amaze me. Since Austen is renowned for writing about the world she knew, I'm sure the people during that time really spoke to each other like that, Austen didn't make it up. The way men addressed women, how they communicated with each other, is just so beautiful to read. The lack of women's rights during the time was compensated by the manner in which they were spoken to, the ways in which their honour was respected. Of course I'm speaking of mannerisms here, as women's honour were violated in many ways in those days, and Austen even portrays examples of it in her novels. But one needs to look at 'respect towards women' in a different light whilst reading Austen. The emancipation of women, while it gave women the rights to receive an education, to work, to vote and all that, has somehow eroded the finer things that women used to receive; kind words, good manners and the feeling that they are well protected by men. Somehow men nowadays feel all that is unnecessary since women are now 'free' and 'liberated'. Hmmm, what a shame, don't you think?

Haha such a long post, as usual. Doubt any of you read all of it! But that's fine, I said everything I felt like saying :)

Take care everyone.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Seleção!

Yupp, its July and I'm DONE with exams! My last paper was Economics 4 last Friday!

But its kind of a bummer that I only have 1 week break before Semester 3 starts next Monday. Yes, while all of my friends have AT LEAST 3 weeks of holidays after their exams, I only have ONE. Welcome to A-Levels, people.

My days have been filled with waking up late, going online, reading something other than Law or Econs, and of course, FOOTBALL. Hehe. I've been cheering on my team, Brazil, as well as Germany and Spain. Though I would actually like to see a Brazil-Argentina final. Its such a pity that Germany and Argentina are facing each other in the quarter-finals, they're both doing so well, especially Germany's brilliant youthful squad led by the cute Phillip Lahm. Argentina however, being South Americans (I seriously think being good at football is in their DNA), are fantastic as well. Messi, despite his lack of goals, has been brilliant and pivotal in Argentina's success so far. The likes of Tevez and Higuain will definitely pose a threat to the Germans too. Its a really tough choice, and it would break my heart to see either of them crash out so early in the competition. Haha, that's what I said when Germany met England in the Round of 16, but I changed my mind after England's dismal display. Germany deserved that win hands-down, despite the linesman's atrocious blunder in disallowing Lampard's goal. Oh yes, have I mentioned how appalling the refereeing is in this World Cup? Not only did they allow goals that shouldn't have been, eg. Tevez's offside goal against Mexico, they also disallowed a few obvious goals, eg. Lampard's goal and USA's goal against Algeria. On top of all that, they've also turned into these card-happy men who's mission in life is to get all the star players sent off. Don't get me started on the red card given to Kaka, I already had a rampage about that on Facebook.

So the quarter-finals start tomorrow. The South Americans are dominating, with Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay in each of the 4 matches. Personally, I think Brazil has the easier part of the draw, as they're up against Netherlands tomorrow, and despite Robben and Sneijder performing well, I don't think their style of play is able to withstand the mighty Brazillians. I admit they didn't look that impressive in their group matches, but anyone who saw their match against Chile has to admit that they're definitely back. That second goal, a combination of passes between Robinho, Kaka and Luis Fabiano was classic. Hopefully they turn on the style against the Netherlands, and most importantly, I hope both teams don't resort to boring defensive football. Can't wait to see Kaka, though he's carrying a yellow card from the Chile match. He really needs to be careful, though he has a point when he asked why the referees seem to have taken an interest in him. Probably they're just jealous of his looks :D

If they win against the Dutch (which they will), they'll be up against either Uruguay or Ghana. See what I mean by their draw being a lot easier? Argentina/Germany will have to take on Spain for the semis (since Paraguay is such a mangkuk), and obviously, its a much higher mountain to climb. Villa is seriously on form right now!

My choice for the final: Brazil vs. Argentina/Brazil vs. Germany. The latter would be a repeat of the 2002 final which Brazil won, and it was the first World Cup that I got really passionate about. I remember worshipping Brazil's legendary centre-back Roberto Carlos. Man, that guy had some skills :D

All the hype sorrounding the World Cup has kinda overshadowed the other major sporting event this summer - Wimbledon. Yep, I'm a tennis fan too, and I freaked out last night when I found out that Federer was knocked out by Thomas Berdych! Federer, the man who has been in the final 7 years in a row, won 6 of them, the King of Wimbledon, crashed out in the quarter-finals! Though Federer wasn't 100% fit, all credits should be given to Berdych. Imagine how it must feel to beat the greatest tennis player of all time on his favourite surface, in the quarter-finals! He must be one hell of a player. Hopefully he plays as well for the semi-final against Djokovic :)

But Federer, if this is indeed the beginning of your decline, you have nothing to be ashamed of. With 16 titles, you have surpassed every other male player in history and you've probably broken every record there is to be broken. You'll be up there among the greats, together with athletes like Michael Schumacher, Tiger Woods and Pele.

The other semi-final will be between my favourite player, Rafael Nadal and crowd favourite, Andy Murray. I want Nadal to win of course, and I always have faith in him, because that guy's mental strength is seriously the best I've ever seen in any athlete. Even if he isn't 100% fit, I still have confidence in him somehow, because of that outstanding mental strength of his. I would've loved to see a Federer-Nadal final, but Berdych spoiled the party, so now I'm hoping for a Nadal-Berdych encounter :)

Wow, this post is truly refreshing. Haha. No emo-ing, complaining, whining, its all about sports! But that doesn't mean I'm okay emotionally, though. The whole cycle is repeating itself again. And I don't know how to break it. Sigh.

The FIFA website didn't allow me to save the picture, so I had to printscreen it =.= Anyway, this is the star trio that I hope will bring the World Cup back to Brazil! And my Kaka in the middle :)


Take care, everyone :)