Arsenal 0 West Ham 2

What the heck Wenger? Arsenal’s season started in defeat as West Ham won their first Premier League game under Slaven Bilic. Keeper Petr Cech misjudged Dimitri Payet’s free-kick to allow Cheikhou Kouyate to nod in the Hammers’ first. And after the break Mauro Zarate finished from 20 yards after being gifted the ball by the Gunners defence. Arsenal, who controlled possession but were worryingly blunt in the final third, came closest when Aaron Ramsey hit the crossbar in the first half. Gunners fans, who left the Emirates Stadium in large numbers before the final whistle, will feel like they have seen all this before, not just in the way their side performed, but also in the familiarity of their starting line-up.

Cech’s arrival from Chelsea has been Wenger’s only summer signing since last term’s third-place finish, and it was an uncharacteristic display from the experienced keeper. The 33-year-old was not only at fault for West Ham’s opener, but was wrong-footed by Zarate’s strike, although he received little help from his defence as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Francis Coquelin combined to give the ball away on the edge of their own area. Olivier Giroud frequently looked isolated up front, which will no doubt increase the hope among Arsenal supporters that a reported deal for Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema can be completed.

On this going, I wonder how long it will take for a new signing or two to come up in discussions. Plus, how much slack will Wenger be given before the “Wenger Out” brigade starts unfurling banners around the stadium? You know me, I strongly believe that Wenger should have left a season or two ago. His time should have been up but he is too stubborn to admit it or act accordingly. It’s painful to watch huge sections of the game with Arsenal in the opponents goal area, players passing back and forth with no end in sight.

Getting Ready For The Trip

“All my bags are packed
I’m ready to go
I’m standin’ here outside your door
I hate to wake you up to say goodbye”

Well my bags aren’t completely packed yet, as you can see. And I’m not standing outside anyone’s door at the moment. Nor will I be waking up anyone to say goodbye. I am giddy about the trip tough.

I have most of my things packed. I have a few shirts and a pair of trousers that are being ironed and maybe some more stuff that I have to put into another bag. I will also be taking this laptop and charger with me. Bought some medicines because my sinusitis is still raging a winning battle with me and I hate to fall ill during my stay in Chennai. I will be taking a 12:20 pm flight and am expected to be there by 13:30 or so. It isn’t a long flight at all and I will have to take a taxi from the airport to my booked room at the company provided service apartments. Shame they can’t come and pick me up as it is a city I haven’t been too (well, once when I was 3 or 4 years old but that doesn’t count).

I haven’t been on a plane since 1988 and that part is exciting. Chennai is a great city to be in and I am looking forward to that as well. But I have this depressing feeling about something else, something I cannot quite post about yet. I hope that it will be ok in a while. Maybe this trip is what I need at the moment. Who knows?

I just hope there aren’t any motherfucking snakes on the plane! Or that we don’t get abducted by aliens! Or taken over by terrorists! Or ….

Interesting Week That Was

It has been an interesting week. Well, I am going to Chennai on an official trip and I will be there for 3 weeks. I am going there to help out our counterparts there who work on a similar process and who have a trainer shortage. So I will take over a new hire training batch from the 10th till the 30th of this month. Just 20 days but it feels so adhoc, so unorganized and so sudden to me. I tried getting out of it but no go and hence I am going. My flight is around noon, Air India, and I will be staying in company arranged hotel accommodations.

This week I have been ill; a nasty cold & cough spiraled into a case of sinusitis and I am not fully healed yet. I hope I don’t fall ill while in Chennai. I just attended an Rn R function for the office and I did win a small award for my contributions and a surprise gift as well, which turned out to be a custom coffee mug. The organizers had stuck a Winner tag on the bottom of one of the chairs and I flipped mine over, didn’t find it, but I also flipped the empty chair in front of me and that turned out to be the one. Most of the day, post lunch, I sat with my best friend at the office, away from everyone else and she and I chatted about random stuff while not discussing about the various events being conducted.

I left at 5pm, just a few minutes after she did and came home. I stopped at the corner store to buy some supplies and toiletries for the trip. Evening has been mostly sitting at my computer and watching Youtube.

Unboxing The USS Reliant

Huge delay in posting this. Up next in my personal collection is the USS Reliant. As seen in the second Star Trek film The Wrath Of Khan, the Reliant is a 23rd Miranda class starship which was taken over by Khan Noonien Singh and his crew and which engaged the USS Enterprise in battle. Khan, his crew and the ship was destroyed as the Genesis device was activated and the result led to the creation of the Genesis planet. The Reliant is a nice design and looks pretty good in this model. Here are some shots I took of the ship after I received it.

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And here is the unboxing video.

Arsenal Transfer : The Rumour That Refuses To Go Away

Karim Benzema to Arsenal is one rumour that refuses to go away. In the end, I hope it doesn’t turn out like fellow Real Madrid player Samir Khedira and Morgan Schnederlin.

The Metro says the French striker will be making his move to London shortly. Italian football journalist Emanuele Giulianelli says Arsenal people are flying to Madrid to finalise a deal for Benzema. It’ll be £35m, cheers. And Benzema will be paid £120,000 per week. Graham Hunter, who knows his Spanish football cebollas, added more details in an interview with Talksport. He says Benzema to Arsenal is eminently possible, but the striker will have to state his desire to leave Madrid.

“Arsenal have the money and Real Madrid need the money – they’re €500m in debt,” Hunter said. “They’re trying to buy David de Gea and won’t go the extra mile to get him off Manchester United because of the cash so they need the money.
“It is a doable deal, but it won’t happen unless Benzema says to Real Madrid, ‘I want to go to Arsenal’.”

I don’t know what to believe because one report with say that Benzema has finally asked for a move to Arsenal and other will say that Wenger played down the speculation of the Gunners going for the French striker. Wait is see is all we, the fans, can say.

The Good Ones Are All Taken

The good ones are always all taken. Unfortunately for someone like me. Whenever I have found and met a woman who I really like and gel with and who has atleast shares some similar interests, things that would be good to share with, enjoy as, do together as a couple, it’s always a little too late. Engaged, married or married with kids. As in married and has a kid, not married to a kid. Married to a kid would be wrong, very wrong. Unless it’s to like me, who is just a big kid at heart!

Why is that I never have any luck? Fuck, it’s so unfair that I think that I will never find that elusive one. That one woman who so wants to be with me and share things with me. All I ask for is one woman, hot or plain, but to be crazy about me, who wants to spend most of her time with me. Wants to watch movies together, sitting in the comfort of our living room or between the sheets of our bedroom. Perfection would be if she likes horror and science fiction as well. Or atleast she isn’t into stuff like Star Trek but is willing to sit by patiently and pay attention as I explain the stuff that is important in Star Trek – and she does it because it’s important to me! That would be awesome.

Instead here I am at 39, most guys I know are either married and have families at my age. My bed is half empty as is my heart. I won’t settle for the arranged route, it’s not something I believe in though I understand it. I need to be friends with her first. The problem is I do make friends but they are already with someone. Loneliness is like a lover who refuses to leave.

Three Wishes

Today is your lucky day. You get three wishes, granted to you by The Daily Post. What are your three wishes and why?

  • My first wish would be good health, long lives without pain, food, water, comfy, shelter for everyone (humans, dogs & cats and all animals & birds) and no one needs to harm anyone. A kind of Utopian existence.
  • I want a nice spaceship with enough space as that of a big house with all luxurious furnishings (a la Star Trek and more) and travel the universe with 2 dogs, 2 cats and the woman of my dreams.
  • I’d give up everything if I could just have the woman of my dreams fall in love with me and want to be with me for the rest of our lives.

Prompt from The Daily Post at WordPress.com

Plastered

Been a little busy these past couple of days. But I managed to get my face plastered with cake on Monday. Let me explain – as my birthday was on a Sunday, this past August 2nd, my current batch of trainees could not celebrate it with me. When they found out that it was my birthday, they planned to buy a cake and organized a quick little getogether. Not only that tricked me into believing, with a little help from a couple of my other colleagues, that it was for something else and I believed it until I saw my name on the cake.

Needless to say, after I was asked to make a speech and cut the cake for sharing it with other people gathered there, my trainees proceeded to decorate my face with the cream and sprinkles of the cake and added a cheery on top for good effect!

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Walking to the washroom to wipe off that gook was a real challenge I tell ya!

It Follows

It Follows is a 2014 American supernatural – horror film written and directed by David Robert Mitchell. The film stars Maika Monroe, Keir Gilchrist, Daniel Zovatto, Jake Weary, Olivia Luccardi & Lili Sepe and deals with a supernatural entity that follows people who have had sex with a curse person.

The movie centers around the character of Jay, a carefree college student in Michigan, who goes on a date with her new love interest Hugh. At the movie theatre Hugh points out to a girl in a yellow outfit but when Jay looks back she cannot see her. Hugh is disturbed by this and asks to leave the theatre saying that he is unwell. On another night, they park in Hugh’s car in a park and have sex. Afterwards Hugh puts Jay unconscious and she wakes up to find herself tied to a chair in an abandoned building. Hugh tells her that through sex he passed on a curse to her; apparently he got it himself after a one night stand in a bar and the curse is that a supernatural being takes on the form of someone Jay knows and only she will be able to see it. The being will follow the cursed one at a walking pace and will kill her if it catches up to her and then pursue the person who passed the curse to her. Hugh implores that Jay sleep with someone else as soon as she can to be rid of the entity. A naked woman approaches them from the nearby woods as they go. Hugh drops Jay off at home.

Jay is helped by her sister Kelly and their friends & neighbours Yara & Paul. The cops are called but they cannot find Hugh at his reported residence. Later at her college Jay is approached by an old woman only she can see and she freaks out. That night while Paul is over at their house, the entity breaks a window in the kitchen and Jay sees a half naked woman approaching her. She runs to her room but Paul & Kelly can’t see the being, now in the form of a tall man with gouged-out eyes, so Jay jumps out of the window and runs to a nearby playground. As the others catch up with her Greg, another neighbour their age, comes to find out what happened and they will him in. The next morning they 5 of them head to the house that Hugh claimed to live in and find it to be abandoned. Using a photo of his, they track him to his school and find out that his real name is Jeff and go to his house. Jeff reiterates that Jay must have sex with someone else to get rid of the curse. They drive to Greg’s lakehouse, where Jay learns to fire a gun. The entity catches up to Jay and attacks her on the shore. She shoots it, momentarily incapacitating it, and escapes in Greg’s car, crashing into a cornfield. She wakes up in the hospital with a broken arm, surrounded by her mother and friends.

In the hospital Greg has sex with Jay and after a few nights he is killed when the entity takes on the form of his mother and kills him. Once again the target, Jay flees and spends the night by the beach. The next morning, she sees three young men on a boat. She undresses and walks into the water. Back home, Paul expresses his feelings about Jay sleeping with Greg and not him; he offers to have sex with her, but she refuses. Later the 4 of them decide to lure the entity to a public indoor pool and electrocute it but instead of entering the pool, the entity picks up the electrical devices and throws them at Jay. Paul attempts to shoot the entity but cannot see it and accidentally wounds Yara. Kelly drapes a blanket over the entity, allowing Paul to shoot it in the head. It falls into the pool. Paul asks Jay if she can see if the entity is dead. Jay approaches the pool, which slowly fills with blood. To be sure Jay has sex with Paul who then goes to find prostitutes in another part of the city. As the movie ends, Jay and Paul hold hands and walk down the sidewalk; someone walks behind them.

The movie seems to be a parable about AIDS and other STDs and perhaps anxieties about sex and intimacy. Although an interesting plotline, I found the movie a bit dull and boring in parts. I give it a 7 outta 10!

Arsenal Win 2015 Community Shield By Beating Chelsea

FA Cup holders Arsenal won the Community Shield for a second season in a row as they beat Premier League champions Chelsea at Wembley. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scored the winner with a powerful drive into the top corner with his weaker left foot. Ramires headed wide unmarked from Loic Remy’s cross as Chelsea failed to hit the target before the break. Eden Hazard skied a chance over the bar before Oscar’s free-kick was parried wide by Arsenal debutant Peter Cech. It was the first time the former Chelsea goalkeeper had been called into action after 68 minutes and soon after he comfortably held on to Kurt Zouma’s header.

Arsenal went close late on through Santi Cazorla and Kieran Gibbs in a match where both sides looked rusty a week ahead of their Premier League opener. Arsenal 1-0 Chelsea: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain fires Gunners to Community Shield win at Wembley and ends Jose Mourinho’s hoodoo over Arsene Wenger on Petr Cech’s debut. Finally, after 14 attempts, Arsene Wenger has sussed this Chelsea side out. Jose Mourinho’s team is good, but they are not that good. The mental block, the psychological edge that Mourinho played upon during the numerous childish exchanges, asides and squabbles down the years has just been stripped away. What better place, what grander stage to do it than Wembley, a week ahead of the opening fixtures in the Barclays Premier League. Arsenal had to work for this, protecting a first-half lead given to them after a belting goal from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain by eventually chugging their way to victory against the champions.

This is not the Thierry Henry vintage of 2004 at Arsenal, the pomp of the Dennis Bergkamp team that won the domestic Double in 1998 and again in 2002. But it is coming together nicely. Chelsea were made to look ordinary and functional, a side that looks as though the improvisation and clever skills of their match-winning players has finally been coached out of them. They looked average. Wembley is Arsenal’s home now, winning successive FA Cup semi-finals, FA Cup finals and now Community Shields. They look the part. This was a triumph for their expansive first-half football, playing fast and loose in the final third of the field with the game full of runs from Theo Walcott and Oxlade-Chamberlain. Ozil, as ever, provided the intelligence to this team.

Happy 39th Birthday To Me

Today I started the final year of my 30s. How did this happen? The pact I have with the Devil and the numerous virgins I sacrificed in his name has not worked I see! Nothing I can do will stop the march into the dreaded….sigh…….40s!

Battling a cold, and it also changing for hot & humid to rainy & cold, I did not feel like going out today. Instead I stayed at home alone till 4pm. I woke up, made coffee, went to the store for a few things, made a large duck’s egg omelette with onions and green peppers and toasted bread for my breakfast. More coffee, some music and Youtube filled up my morning. Evening will be more coffee then dinner, that I am ordering in, with my parents, sister and her kids and I will wash them down with some Bacardi white rum and coke. A quiet day in.

I look at the years gone by, wondering where they went. I think of all the regrets and mistakes that I have made (quite a few actually) and think of all the “if onlys” and the “perhaps” and a few “why didn’t Is”. All the quiet thoughts of a lonely guy who had good intentions but was never quite up to the challenge. Damage is done, I’ve made my bed and I’ll in it.

Happy birthday to me. Whoever you are, wherever you are reading this post from, raise a glass to me please!

Friday & Saturday Update

I am so tired. From late Thursday night I have had this sore throat that developed into a sore throat and a bad cold by Friday morning. It didn’t help that the ac in the company cab ride back home in the early hours of Friday morning was on full blast and it was so cold inside the car. I waited till the others got down before asking the driver to switch it off, which he did. After a 6 hour sleep, I woke up with a runny nose and a sore throat. Friday morning I spent drinking just coffee, black and lots of it, until it was time for a quick lunch and going back to the office.

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Friday I treated the two other members of my team to a pizza dinner. We walked about 15 minutes to the little restaurant and had a nice dinner and then came back to the office. It was fun and the pizzas were delicious. Still suffering from a bad cold, but luckily the throat is fine, from 11 am till 2:30 pm I spent today looking for a book shelf to keep in my bedroom and showcase all my Star Trek ships. I walked and I walked and it was a hot and sunny and sweaty day. I had lots of coffee today, I think 6 cups and little food – though I did have a chicken burger for lunch – and was spent by the time I reached home.

The large steel almirah is now gone from my bedroom, with the shop owners who are nearby coming in buying it from us. My room feels a lot more roomier now and the wall on that side looks bare. I have ordered a 5ft tall, 1 feet wide book shelf with 5 racks so I can display some of the stuff on it. I will have photos of it up once they deliver it to my place on Wednesday.

RIP “Rowdy” Roddy Piper

The Wrestling world loses another legend taken much before his time. Legend and cult-film favorite “Rowdy” Roddy Piper has died after suffering a heart attack at his Hollywood home at the age of 61. He earned the nickname “Rowdy” by displaying his trademark “Scottish” rage, spontaneity and quick wit. Despite being a crowd favorite for his rock star-like persona, he often played a villain. Aside from his ring name, he was also known by the nickname “Hot Rod”.

Born Roderick George Toombs, in Saskatoon (Saskatchewan) Canada, Roddy Piper rose to success as a member of the World Wrestling Federation after working in various lower-tiered pro-wrestling organizations, including the National Wrestling Alliance, throughout the ’70s. After joining the WWF in 1984, Piper started out as a manager for up-and-coming combatants in the squared circle. Toombs’ character, “Rowdy,” was perpetually clad in a T-shirt emblazoned with the words “Hot Rod” and a kilt; he would enter the ring to a bagpipe theme and say he heralded from “Glasgow, Scotland,” despite actually being raised in Winnipeg. Piper headlined several major pay-per-view events; he participated in the main events of WrestleMania I and WrestleMania X – as a special guest referee in the latter. Never a world champion, he nevertheless accumulated 34 championships in various promotions during his career. Piper was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2005 and named No. 1 of the Top 50 villains in wrestling history by WWE.

A formidable opponent in the ring, Piper truly found his calling as a trash-talking shit starter when he began hosting “Piper’s Pit,” a segment where Piper would insult and antagonize other members of the WWF universe. Some of the more infamous segments on his talk show-inspired segment included being manhandled by Andre The Giant after insinuating that the big guy may not be very intelligent and smashing a coconut over “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka’s head. He also starred in several movies including Hell Comes To Frogtown, Body Slam & They Live. He leaves behind his wife Kitty, 4 children and a grandchild.

Roderick “Roddy” George Toombs (April 17, 1954 – July 30, 2015)