30 December 2005

Indonesian Soc Reunion

Had a reunion with ex-Warwick Indonesians last night. It was good seeing everyone again and hearing what they've been up to. I felt very young. While I sauntered in after a day on the sofa, everyone else had just come in from work. I was in t-shirt and they were in collars. Hengky, who has just got married, had to leave early because his in-laws are visiting. Phillips couldn't even make it because he is away on his honeymoon. Willy had to go early as well because he had an early start at the office this morning. Everyone's getting older. I began to realise just how much freedom there is being a 22 year old student and I am loving it.

Chris and Fel, this one's just for you:

By the way Vid, if you are reading this at the office you better stop and get back to work.

Thank you Febri for organising! Selamat tahun baru all.

'i' before 'e' except after 'c'

Apparently except after 'w' sometimes as well.

I have spelt 'weird' wrong my whole life but have been corrected by my ex-housemates. I now realise the error of my ways and see that it is not spelt 'wierd'. I want to convey my deepest apologies for this most heinous of heinous crimes.

This is what three years of English does for you.

28 December 2005

Five random points

My apologies to Jen for taking so long about this but I have been in bed with a fever for two days. Anyway, as per her request, here are five random points:

1) I never seem to get ill during term-time but invariably break down at the start of the holidays when my body is fed up with me.

2) I always get wierd dreams when I'm ill and I think they are real. Last night I woke up in a cold sweat after I dreamt that I was a mediator between two women in a dispute about who owned each of the four pillows I had on my bed. I woke up needing some water. I was obviously a bit delirious because before I tried to sleep again I looked at the pillows on my bed and actually tried to work out who they belonged to. It confused me so much and when I returned to my dream I got angry with the women for having such a stupid argument.

3) Barring getting up for that sip of water, I slept for 15 straight hours. My record is about 20 hours when I was put in my school's sanitorium four years ago.

4) I prefer 'alternative'/natural medecine (eg. acupuncture, herbs etc) to western chemical remedies. A few years ago I had some bad masuk angin (I don't know how to explain what this is in English) and I got taken to see this guy called Alfred who lived at the back of a slum in Kemang (South Jakarta). He cured me by banging the sole of my left foot with a hammer. It was damn painful but it worked a treat.

5) I don't conform to the rule that says "Starve a fever, feed a cold". I feed everything.

24 December 2005

Merry Christmas!

From me, my brothers and my cousins.

20 December 2005

Going Christmas shopping

Tomorrow is the big day. I'm braving Oxford Street to finally do all my Christmas shopping. The world, his wife and his dog are out on the streets doing shopping at the moment so it'll probably be a bit mad. I may have to put on some steel-toe capped boots and get some pepper spray in case it gets nasty. It's probably illegal but I say all's fair in love and war.

17 December 2005

Top of the league, we're having a laugh

Reading beat Millwall 2-0 today. It's difficult to keep calm when Reading are 6 points clear at the top of the league and 20 points clear of 3rd place. It really is starting to look like it's going to be our year at last.

However, you can never underestimate Reading's ability to blow it. Take last season as an example. We were top of the league in December and never left the play-off positions for the whole season... that is until we went the last 11 games of the season without winning including a final day loss at Wigan that West Ham snuck in to the play-offs at our expense (they're now in the Premiership).

Not good enough for you? Then let's turn our minds back to 1995, when Reading miraculously snatched defeat from the jaws of victory at Wembley. Leading Bolton 2-0 with twenty minutes of the Play-off final to go, we get a penalty. Stuart Lovell steps up and misses. So instead of being 3-0 up and on the way to the promised land that is the Premier League, Bolton come back to 2-2 and go on to win 4-3 in extra time. The following season, our best players were bought by Premiership clubs and we were relegated to Division 2. Bolton play in the UEFA Cup nowadays.

There's a lot of football to be played between now and May so please oh please Reading, let's get it right this time and make it to the Premiership...COME ON YOU ROYALSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

15 December 2005

Ronald Opus

The Criminal Law lecturer told this story today. I found it so unbelievable I actually googled it (I clearly have too much spare time):

"At the 1994 annual awards dinner given by the American Association for Forensic Science, AAFS President Don Harper Mills astounded his audience in San Diego with the legal complications of a bizarre death. Here is the story:

On 23 March 1994, the medical examiner viewed the body of Ronald Opus and concluded that he died from a shotgun wound to the head. The decedent had jumped from the top of a ten-story building intending to commit suicide (he left a note indicating his despondency). As he fell past the ninth floor, his life was interrupted by a shotgun blast through a window, which killed him instantly. Neither the shooter nor the decedent was aware that a safety net had been erected at the eighth floor level to protect some window washers and that Opus would not have been able to complete his suicide anyway because of this.

Ordinarily, Dr. Mills continued, a person who sets out to commit suicide ultimately succeeds, even though the mechanism might not be what he intended. That Opus was shot on the way to certain death nine stories below probably would not have changed his mode of death from suicide to homicide. But the fact that his suicidal intent would not have been successful caused the medical examiner to feel that he had a homicide on his hands. The room on the ninth floor whence the shotgun blast emanated was occupied by an elderly man and his wife. They were arguing and he was threatening her with the shotgun. He was so upset that, when he pulled the trigger, he completely missed his wife and the pellets went through the a window striking Opus. When one intends to kill subject A but kills subject B in the attempt, one is guilty of the murder of subject B.

When confronted with this charge, the old man and his wife were both adamant that neither knew that the shotgun was loaded. The old man said it was his long-standing habit to threaten his wife with the unloaded shotgun. He had no intention to murder her - therefore, the killing of Opus appeared to be an accident. That is, the gun had been accidentally loaded.

The continuing investigation turned up a witness who saw the old couple's son loading the shotgun approximately six weeks prior to the fatal incident.

It transpired that the old lady had cut off her son's financial support and the son, knowing the propensity of his father to use the shotgun threateningly, loaded the gun with the expectation that his father would shoot his mother. The case now becomes one of murder on the part of the son for the death of Ronald Opus.

There was an exquisite twist. Further investigation revealed that the son had become increasingly despondent over the failure of his attempt to engineer his mother's murder. This led him to jump off the ten- story building on March 23, only to be killed by a shotgun blast through a ninth story window.

The medical examiner closed the case as a suicide."
(from http://www.frojmark.net/hammarlund/humor/ronald.php)

Some people obviously are more dull or have even more spare time than me because Google came up with two pages of people who have critically analysed the story here and here.

If I get a question like this on the exam I will cry.

'Tis the season

It's that time of year again. The decorations are up in houses, shops and offices, green and red lights are lining the street, the morning post brings colourful envelopes containing the best wishes of the season and I have Silent Night and the LiveAid song running in my head (sadly it's the football fan version of the song - "Feed the Scousers, let them know it's Christmas time").

To add to it all, the term's end is drawing closer and closer. Things aren't getting any less busy though. This week is a a killer - three Christmas parties in five days. I know it's a hard life but someone's got to do it. Last night we had two - one at Alex's and then the school end of term do at the Strawberry Moon. Both were good fun.

Leo, Alex, Amelia and Kate spreading the love.

Anna and Emily spreading it some more.

It's not Christmas without crackers. Vanessa's red-eye shows how much we wanted the gifts inside. When I went looking for some I found a really posh set in Sainsbury that contained gifts like tie-pins and mini-staplers. Who wants those out of a cracker? They didn't even have hats or jokes. I'm sure that's sacrilege in some countries.

I found some better ones that actually had hats and jokes and some better(ish) gifts. I got a whoopie cushion. Kate, on the other hand, got a shoe horn (great). Amelia and Anna both got little heart shaped padlocks. I found the keys to both of them so I'm now the privileged owner of the keys to their hearts. Alex says I am a man-whore. I will neither confirm or deny the truth of this.

Povey, (future) QC

Rebecca and Kate

Leo and the returning Riesco

A perfect illustration of why Jun and I should be lawyers and not models

Amelia sans red-eye at last

Jeremy and Liz

Ben, Kate, Jun, Rebecca and I left Alex's to go to the school's party. The Christmas lights along Regent Street on the way there were magic:

The party itself was quite good. The ticket said there would be a surprise special guest. I was kind of hoping for them to bring Denning back from the dead but apparently that was too big an ask so we got a George Michael lookalike tonking out some Wham! instead.

I was in a good mood so have no shame in saying I actually found myself enjoying the cheesier than cheesy music there (I'm talking cheese of the S-Club 7 and Sugababes kind here). We met the guy who fixes the computer in the lecture theatre on our travels through the crowd and Kate got a pic with him:

She told me she'd kill me if I put this photo on the internet but as I will be half away across the world for most of this holiday I'll be too far away to touch and maybe she'll forget about it by the time next term starts.

Ben had a good time too:

It's probably a good thing you can't hear the music he's dancing too.

Jun kindly let me stay at his place afterwards and even cooked up a warm Korean meal for lunch yesterday. I was humbled by his hospitality.

Thank you all for a top night, espescially Alex for having us all round and going above and beyond the call of duty with the mince pies, canapes and decorations. Thanks also to Jun for giving me a bed to sleep in.

Have a good holiday!

09 December 2005

Benfica 2 - 1 United: Out of Europe, Scousers happy

For the first time in 11 years, United are out of the Champions League at the group stages. To be honest, if you win only once in 6 matches and score only three goals you deserve to go out. All human things come to an end so it shouldn't be too much of a surprise that this has happened. It was going to happen one day anyway. Amidst all the gloom is the optimism that comes from the fact that United can concentrate on the league as Chelsea over exert themselves in Europe and can therefore win the Premiership (the more I tell myself this the more I believe it).

At least it also made some people happy, as I found out even before the final whistle had gone. The phone rang, I saw it was Omaier and I picked up:

Me: Hello (said awaiting having the piss being taken out of me).
Omaier: *laughs*
Me: I knew you would do that. This is not a good time.
Omaier: *laughs again* I'll call you later after the game ends. Enjoy it. I hope you lose.
Me: Thanks.

I phone Omaier back at the final whistle as a means of possibly staving off the piss-taking:

Me: Hello (again, said awaiting stick).
Omaier: *silence (but the type of silence where you can hear him smiling on the other side of the phone) followed by continued loud laughter*

It's great to know you'll get by with a little help from your friends.

05 December 2005

Harry Redknapp

When I was just a little boy,
I asked my mother, what shall I be?
Shall I be Pompey?Shall I be Saints?
Here's what she said to me:

"Wash your mouth out son,
Don't do what your father's done,
And support the Pompey Scum,
Just support the Saints."

I don't think Harry Redknapp has heard the Southampton fans sing this before. He's gone Pompey to Saints and back to Pompey again.

What on earth is he playing at?

02 December 2005


I always get restless when I study. I can't sit down for long until I want to get up and do something else. In the course of doing my homework I tend to be in about four or five different positions to keep myself awake. The normal rotation involves sitting at my desk then getting fed up and bringing my books to the sofa and working on that, then perhaps moving to the bed and work sitting on that. I may then still get bored so I lie on my front and read like that. Seriously, I have so many ways of doing homework that I could write the karma sutra of study positions.

Today I found another wonderful position. I did the ironing but afterwards was too lazy to move the board back upstairs where it belongs so I just left it in the sitting room. I put my books on it and realised it was a comfortable height to stand and write so I ended up standing and using the board as a desk for a couple of hours. I recommend it to anyone. It's much easier to think and also you lull yourself in to a false sense that you're actually doing some form of excercise while studying because you're not sitting down.

I hasten to remind you, however, to switch the iron off and remove it before you start your work...