Arsenal 2 Hull City 0

Needing to bounce back from the bad loss mid week in the league to Southampton Arsenal began their defence of the FA Cup with a hard-fought win as Hull City failed to gain a measure of revenge for defeat in last year’s final. Per Mertesacker rose above the Hull defence to powerfully head in the opener from Alexis Sanchez’s corner. Arsenal controlled the first half and almost doubled their lead when Hull’s Paul McShane cleared off the line. Hull grew in confidence after half-time but Sanchez’s sharp turn and calm finish inside 18 yards sealed victory. The Chile forward has become Arsenal’s talisman since his £35m summer move from Barcelona and another moment of quality eased any lingering fears of Hull snatching a late draw at the Emirates.

The finishing needs to be more clinical for Arsenal. I do understand that Theo Walcott hasn’t played for a year being out with injury (except for a brief run in as a substitute) isn’t match sharp and would have killed the couple of chances that he missed. And then after scoring the opening goal it looked like Arsenal dropped a gear or two. Things were looking a bit too dull and pedestrian and the pace had dropped as well as the chances for a while, the defense needing to do more work and the midfield unable to string passes and Walcott & Sanchez seemed to tire. In truth, the Tigers rarely looked capable of avenging their dramatic 3-2 defeat at Wembley last May and this third-round tie failed to match the fever and tension of last season’s showpiece.

Positives : Theo is back but needs a few games to bring himself to full mach fitness because at his best he is excellent. Mertesacker had a decent game which is important. David Ospina looked solid and he is fully fit and could play a few games in goal for us. Joel Campbell finally gets a start and although he didn’t finish well, he was running back, tackling and defending all match. However, based on these last few performances I have seen, Arsenal will be lucky to get 4th. 6th is more likely where we will finish at the end of the season. This is why Arsenal are in 6th place. Can’t kill a game that they are dominating and have had so many chances.

Dracula (1979)

One of the numerous but probably one of the best Dracula movies based on the novel Dracula by Bram Stoker, Dracula (1979) was directed by John Badham and starred Frank Langella as the famed count. The film also starred Laurence Olivier as Professor Abraham Van Helsing, Donald Pleasence as Dr. Jack Seward, Kate Nelligan as Lucy Seward, Trevor Eve as Jonathan Harker, Tony Haygarth as Milo Renfield, and Jan Francis as Mina Van Helsing.

Similar to the story in the novel, Dracula arrives in Whitby, England via the ship the Demeter one stormy evening. In the form of a wolf he kills the entire ship’s crew just before the ship crashes on the shore. An ill Mina Van Helsing, who is visiting her friend Lucy Seward and Dr. Jack Seward’s house sees the crash and runs to the shore to find Dracula. The Count is taken to his newly purchased but old & run down Carfax Abbey, which was sold to him via young Johnathon Harker, Lucy’s fiance. Dracula is invited to dinner at Dr. Seward’s house, whose clifftop mansion also serves as the local asylum, where he charms everyone especially Lucy. Later that night while Johnathon and Lucy have a secret rendevouz, Dracula visits Mina in her bedroom and drinks her blood. Early in the morning Lucy finds Mina struggling to breathe and calls her father to the room. Powerless, they watch as Mina dies, only to find wounds on her throat. Lucy blames herself for Mina’s death, as she had left her alone.

Dr. Seward calls for Dr. Abraham Van Helsing, Mina’s father, to come to Whitby and fills him in on the mysterious circumstances of his daughter’s death. After a period of grieving, and a chance meeting with Dracula, Van Helsing suspects the workings of a vampire and does research on it after a nurse in the asylum swears that she saw Mina feeding on a baby. He & Seward visit Mina’s grave and discover that it has been broken from the inside and track her to the local mines. It is there that they encounter the ghastly form of an undead Mina, and it is up to a distraught Van Helsing to destroy what remains of his own daughter. Lucy, meanwhile goes alone to Carfax Abbey for dinner, as Johnathon is away on work and she reveals that she is under the count’s spell and professes her love to him. They share a sensuous night of love making after which Lucy drinks some of Dracula’s blood. However, after Johnathon arrives to find her in a similar sickly state as Mina, the two doctors manage to give Lucy a blood transfusion to slow her descent into vampirism, but she remains under Dracula’s spell.

The three men realize that to save Lucy they must destroy the Count but have to restrain Lucy first as she desperately wishes to be with him. The two doctors & Harker go to the Count’s home in daylight but he is prepared and waiting for them and despite it being daylight he manages to escape. At night he bursts into the Asylum and frees Lucy and they make their way to board a ship carrying the vampire cargo bound for Romania. Harker & Van Helsing take a boat to the ship and get on board to confront the Count. They find the Count’s coffin; upon opening it they see Lucy sleeping beside her new “husband”, Dracula. Again they try to destroy him, but the Count awakens and once more fights with them. Van Helsing is fatally injured by Dracula as he is impaled by the stake intended for the vampire but manages to throw a hook (attached to a rope, from the ship’s rigging), into Dracula’s back. Harker hoists the body of Dracula high into up through the cargo hold and into the sunlight above. With animalistic screams of agony the Count dies a slow death, his body burnt into ashes.

The last scene shows a now more herself Lucy reaching out to Harker but he rejects her still feeling betrayed. As Lucy looks up she sees Dracula’s cape flying in the wind and smiles to herself, leading me to believe that we haven’t seen the last of the Count. Good film and excellent casting. A classic gothic-romantic style film with an emphasis on the romance. 8 outta 10, though it drags a bit in the middle!

Happy 8th Blogaversary To Me

Happy 8th birthday to my blog Awake & Dreaming & a happy 8th Blogaversary to me!

Well I am 3 days late (completely forgot with the rush of the past week) – it was actually on the 1st of Januay. I had setup this blog in a day with the help of my cousin (over the phone), who guided me through the process and by night I had the thing setup. Then I installed WordPress and started blogging.

This isn’t my first blog; I first started blogging in 2002, through,  when I lived in Calicut and continued with it when I moved back to Cochin. I was an inconsistent blogger, nothing having an internet connection at home & from 2003 till 2006, not having a computer at home. By 2005 I started getting more & more into blogging and I created a new one in and called it Count Roshculla : Awake & Dreaming. I started spending more time in internet cafes and hence could blog a lot more consistently. But I always wanted my very own website & domain and I wanted to install wordpress. That was achieved on January 1st, 2007.

I’ve been thinking that personal, non-theme related blogging has been dying out. Several of the wonderful bloggers I used to follow regularly have moved their posts to Facebook for each reach & convenience and their once busy blogs which I used to read quite often are now faded memories. It’s become easier to spend time on Facebook to connect with your 500-600 contacts who may not all be bloggers but share something or the other several times a day. And while I find myself spending hours on FB, I still want to blog regularly and keep maintaining it for as long as I can. Which is probably for a few more years I guess. I won’t ever get tired of sharing my thoughts online.

So happy blogaversary!

Tears Of Joy & Happiness?

We cry for lots of reasons: sadness, pain, fear . . . and happiness. When was the last time you shed tears of joy?

I’ve cried mostly for sadness in my life. Deep, emotional, toll taking, gut wrenching sobbing and wracks of pain. That’s been the most. I don’t think I have cried out of pain or fear since I was like 10 years old or so. A little too macho for that. Ok not really but pain hasn’t made me cry. Neither has fear.

Happiness, I have cried a bit at a few times. I know that I am an emotional man and that I don’t really hide my emotions too well. You can often see it written on my face or in my voice or in my expressions. Sometimes in the finger I hold up! Or in my actions. But crying out of happiness is a good thing though rare. I honestly can only recall a handful of times that I have cried due to happiness and love and it’s deeply treasured by me. But it’s been a while.

I hope I get to cry out of happiness and joy and love sometime soon. I am due one big Hallmark moment. We gotta have a few of them in our lives.

Prompt from the Daily Post at

Second Skin

If you could spend the next year as someone radically different from the current “you” — a member of a different species, someone from a different gender or generation, etc. — who would you choose to be?

Like I’ve stated numerous times before I always like to look forward to the future and what it could hold for us as a species. I hope someday that the travel to the various planets & stars & galaxies are as easy as us now hailing a cab and going on a ride or a plane ride between countries. Comfortable, easy, luxurious even, spacious and quick. Warp drive, subspace travel, creating artificial worm holes to aid the travel and save the time – whatever! I know it is possible and someday science fact & reality will eventually catch up and exceed the expectations of science fiction.

So I would want to be a person who lives in that era way into the future, who is piloting his spaceship or shuttle between solar systems with his crew and visiting exciting locales throughout the universe. Second star from the right and onwards – that’s where I want to go!

Prompt from the Daily Post at

Southampton 2 Arsenal 0

New year but same old inconsistent Arsenal with a horrendous defensive display and a joke of a goalkeeping error. Southampton punished two errors by Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny to stay fourth in the Premier League. Szczesny raced from his goal in the first half to allow Sadio Mane to curl into an empty net from a narrow angle. Saints’ keeper Fraser Forster superbly saved from Alexis Sanchez before Szczesny kicked a loose ball while on the floor to Dusan Tadic, who poked in. Southampton could have scored more, with Graziano Pelle’s shot cleared off the line, as Arsenal drop to sixth.

Without the suspended Morgan Schneiderlin – a reported target for many teams in January – Koeman’s side were solid all over the pitch, none more so than goalkeeper Forster, who saved brilliantly from Santi Cazorla and Sanchez either side of Mane’s opener. By contrast, Szczesny made errors which proved the difference between the teams. First, the Poland keeper raced from his goal to confront Mane, but the Senegal striker – soon heading for the African Cup of Nations – curled in his third goal in as many games with a measured finish from the byline. The Arsenal keeper then superbly denied James Ward-Prowse from 12 yards before the break, but panicked when grounded in his six-yard box before the hour mark and kicked a loose ball straight to Tadic, who scored his second Premier League goal. The Arsenal keeper instantly sipped his sports bottle with a bemused look on his face. It was the seventh goal his side have conceded from an error this season – only Everton, with 11, have more.

The Gunners nearly added to that tally when Szczesny was sold short by a backpass and Mathieu Debuchy was left to clear Pelle’s prod off the line. The home side were fortunate to end with 10 men when Florin Gardos – the last man – felled Alexis Sanchez with a quarter of the game remaining but the referee only handed out a yellow card. Theo Walcott was introduced in the 60th minute for Chambers but failed to even touch the ball for almost 20 minutes. Pathetic showing by the Gunners and deservedly losers. Now down to 6th on 33 points.

How I Spent My Last Day Of 2014

So yesterday was a busy day for me, atleast uptill like 6pm. I had some things to get done as I am starting a new job on the 5th of January. So I had to get photocopies of a bunch of my documents and stuff. I also ordered a set of passport size photos of my ugly mug. After that I needed to get two reference letters (oh, Indian corporate companies) from people I know and get it signed by them. After that I had to get a blood test and a general fitness medical certificate from a hospital. I went there by 11:45 am and was told that there would a wait till 1:30 pm, so I went to a cafe and got a nice cold frappe and while some time away.

While I was sitting in the cafe, 4 kids of an Indo-American family came in (as in one parent is Indian and the other is white American). I know this because I happened to ask them after I talked to a couple of them. The oldest girl was about 20 or so, a boy of about 14 or 15 and two little girls, maybe 9 & 6 years old. The little girls were so cute and sweet. They came near to where the tv was, I was sitting at a table near it, and were so excited to see some music video by some chick named Iggy Azalea! Damn, is that what kids listen to these days? And the 9 year old told the 6 year old to move her seat, because she thought she was blocking my view. How sweet! So I reassured them that she wasn’t (I wasn’t really paying attention to the tv anyway).

At 1:15 pm I went back to the hospital but had to wait till almost 3:15 pm to see the doctor. After a check up he said I needed to get another blood test (as I have high BP) and to then come back. So I took the test and a urine sample (peeing in a small cup on New Year’s eve, splendid) and then handed it over to the nurse. I had an hour’s wait so I went at 4pm to have some lunch and came back and waited even more. The doctor checked and said it’s ok but be careful of that BP as it is quite high and lose some weight (duh thank you) and signed my certificate. And then I came back home, after buying some stuff at the store and it was almost 6pm. I had coffee and much later some whiskey+coke and ate dinner with my folks.

Happy new year!

ROSHAN’S ELEVEN: First 11 Songs Listened To In 2015

  • Pick Up Truck – Shane Yellowbird
  • Sexy Little Thing – Chickenfoot
  • A Game In Town Like This – Corb Lund
  • Classico – Tenacious D
  • Dandelions In Bullet Holes – Sarah Harmer
  • Mary Pickford – Katie Melua
  • Devil’s Slide – Joe Satriani
  • Payin’ Dues – Richie Kotzen
  • Georgia Rain – Trisha Yearwood
  • If I Were A Carpenter – Robert Plant
  • Never Want To Say It’s Love – Dido