Archive for April, 2011

Did I mention I got a DSLR?

Posted: April 21, 2011 in Uncategorized

I don’t know if I mentioned it on my blog. Though if you’ve been living within a 10 mile radius of me you might have vaguely heard the sounds of me flailing around and taking a billion pictures of everything in sight and making declarations of undying love to my inanimate new camera.

Anyway, here’s a few randoms taken by the beauty. It’s a Canon 1000D. Who needs friends when you’ve got a Canon 1000D.
jk I love you, friends.

Srsly though I’d pick a Canon 1000D over yall. TEEHEE.


Anyway while we’re talking about photography, if you take pictures, try out for this thing:

For a good cause yo.

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Why I Love This Country

Posted: April 19, 2011 in Uncategorized

I’m not even going to touch on government and politics and human rights and all that jazz. Yes we’re really fucked up in a lot of ways, I know, I’ve heard enough about it and ranted enough about it myself, but I just had a profound moment today thinking of how badly it’s going to hurt when if I leave Sri Lanka.

As you probably know if you’ve been following my blog [people subscribing to this stuff, dudes, thank you, I’m flattered, confused as to why you would want to read this on a regular basis but flattered as hell nevertheless :’)] I’m planning on moving to India to study English literature.

Why? Because I love language and writing and it’s the only thing I have not been fickle about in my whole life. And because I did London A/Ls and there are no local institutes that give GCE students a chance to study for a degree in literature. Tragic! Such is life.

Anyway, from what I heard, Delhi is the best place in India to study English. It’s close to home and cheap to live in too. But I was also told recently that the men there are ‘very lecherous’ and that ‘everyone should carry pepperspray here.’ I am now working hard to make sure my parents don’t find out about that bit.

So back to my story of why I love this country.

I was at the High Commission of India this morning, with my college application to Delhi University in hand, because for some stupid reason it asks for the signature of an official from the Indian High Commission or from the Ministry of Education.

Everyone at the Commission is indian, mind you, as far as I could tell. So I walk in and I’m very nice and sweet (because a knowledgeable friend said the people at the HC aren’t very nice unless you’re nice and sweet to them), and I ask the receptionist nicely, hey I’m applying for blah blah, can I speak to the education officer?

She says, This is a different section, go and sit.

Which really made no sense to me. What section? Anyway I ‘go and sit.’

So I sit there for fifteen minutes, lip-reading the silent version of Stuart Little playing on a little TV on the wall.
I go up to her and ask if I can meet the education officer whose room is right there. She wags her head at me.

I walk into the education officer’s room and he’s not even there.

I go and sit again.

Twenty minutes later I see a woman walking into the education officer’s room, I follow her. I ask her very nicely if she could help me.
She glances at my application form and says, I don’t know anything about this. The education officer will come in soon, you can wait.

So more going and sitting and such like.

Later I see a man walk into the education officer’s room and I think it’s him so I go in, and I’m like, dude.
And turns out that’s just some random guy.
The woman says, oh wait I’ll get him for you.
And she walks out and turns out the education officer is just sitting at the back of the receptionist cubicle, just chillin’.

The woman shows him my application form and tells him the scene, and he doesn’t even look at it. He just wags his head a bit and mumbles something dismissive. I’m right there, six feet away from the fool in his plastic chair, only glass between us and I want to smack him in the face.

Anyway, the woman turns to me and is like, yeaaah, go to the ministry of education.

‘What? I’ve been waiting here for ages. It says someone from the High Commission of India can sign this application, right there, see? Don’t you have an official for this?’

She shrugs. Ministry of higher education, ward place.

I thank her and go outside so I can yell profanities at the wall.

I take a tuk to the Ministry. I’m already pissed off so when they make me wait ten minutes, I just keep going in there and nagging them about my application till they do something about it. Even though everyone’s sort of lazy (e.g. ‘the lady responsible for setting your appointment is having tea now, madam’), people are still more smiley here. The indians were just fucking rude (#irrationalracialslur).

So finally, all smiles, a woman says, The additional secretary who can help you is at a meeting. ‘When will he be back?’ I don’t know.
‘Well that’s just awesome. What do I do?’ You can wait.
‘Can I make an appointment for another set date?’ No, madam, appointments cannot be made.
Little did I know that I had entered a realm in which the concept of appointments did not exist.
‘So what do you want me to do? Shall I sit here for the next seven hours and hope he’ll be back by then?’ I ask her sweetly.
This makes her smile sheepishly and shift uncomfortably and she turns around to discuss with her colleagues what to do to fix this problem for the nice and sweet madam sitting in the veranda who is secretly longing to murder somebody.

A man walks into the room behind me. I call the girl and ask if that’s the man and her face lights up. Woot!
I say a little prayer and walk in, expecting him to end up rudely directing me elsewhere.
On the contrary, though the man couldn’t sign my application, he ends up not only telling me where and how exactly to get it done but also all about India and Delhi and colleges and options and just being awesomely nice and informative in general, which was totally unnecessary. After being shat over by the indians (#irrationalracialslur), it was such a welcome change I wanted to just give him a big hug for all his help.

Don’t worry, I didn’t.
So I left and asked the security guys, hey man what bus do I take to go back home. And they give me detailed directions.
I get in a bus and I’m not entirely sure since I don’t usually travel around this part of Colombo. The bus conductor probably sensed the confusion, and without me asking, asked the driver which bus routes to take and then told me how exactly to get there.

Then I go home and get a meter tuk to go to the Chinese Circus with some friends. This old man in his tuk, he waits for twenty minutes for me to finish some work, before taking me to pick up friends. He takes us all to the Sugathadasa stadium where the circus is at, on the way loads of people on the road readily give us helpful directions (which is a cultural norm I think we all take for granted), and finally the meter reads 700 bucks, urgh. We find out the circus is not happening at 3.30pm today like we thought so basically we came all the way here for nothing.

Fail.

We ask the old man in his meter tuk to just drop us at McD’s closeby to drown our sorrows in ice cream. We’ll take the bus back home later cuz we are broke as fuck right now. He looks at our sad faces and says matter of factly, hey I’ll drop yall back home, you don’t have to pay the going-back money.
We’re all totally shocked. Especially when he could have just taken our money and happily gone home instead of making the effort.
‘Thank you, uncle! :-B’ I say dorkily. Have you noticed how weird it is that we call just random old people uncle and aunty in Sri Lanka? Awesomely weird.

I tell my friend, I think it’s cuz we brought your tiny nieces with us. He sympathized with the children.
We should use them more often, she says.

Anyway, long story short, I love how friendly our people are. The giving directions, the random helpfulness, the smileyness. The fact that, I swear to god, if I stood on the side of the road looking really sad and about to cry, a random stranger would be bound to come up and ask me what’s wrong in the next ten minutes at most and stand there and figure out exactly what to do to fix my situation. I bet nobody would give a crap enough to give me a second glance in a capital city elsewhere. That Ministry guy didn’t have to give me so much helpful info about my college issues when he knew he couldn’t sign the paper, that bus conductor didn’t have to help me find my way home, and that old man in a tuk could have just gone home and had a nap instead of carrying us around for free. I think we take it all for granted way too much, I know I did, till I seriously started thinking of the reality of moving to a large foreign country.

I’m going to miss this.

I’ve been hormonal lately. I mean literally. It’s like I’m experiencing adolescence all over again. Heinous mood swings, stomach cramps and – DUN DUN DUUNNN! – PIMPLES OF DOOM.

Anyway none of it really bothered me much except for the pimples. There’s panadol for my stomach and there’s secretly killing people and burying them in my backyard for the mood swings – but the pimples, they are just incorrigible. And I hate them so I poke and pluck them out in fits of rage and they just get worse. The only time it got really, really bad was back when I was 18, and this week it was getting that bad again.

Bad as in, people actually ask, what’s up on your face. This is partly because when I get pimples I get just one or two which just look so angry and… bulbous, for lack of a better word, and partly because they don’t pop up in normal places like on my cheek, but more like next to my mouth or on my chin or between my brow and eye.

Anyway, TMI.

After a while of getting tired and fed up of answering people’s annoying ‘what happening on your face’ queries, I thought I’d get creative and change it up. An allergy to pineapples and being attacked by a giant wasp were chiefly used responses.

If you are someone who gets pimples, fear no more FOR I HAVE FOUND YOUR CURE.

Butterfruit.

Yes. Butterfruit. Aka Avocado.

If you’ve ever been to a spa, or ever had spa-like gooey cool stuff put on your face, or a facial or something, then you know that awesome fresh feeling you get after your skin’s been treated to those mysterious lotions of spa-eyness. And then, you know, the next day you go to work and the car fumes and the humidity and other various things flying around in the innards of a public bus go and just reverse all the detoxing you splurged on.

If you’re like me and you don’t particularly watch how healthy the food you eat is (i.e. you like KFC and chocolate) and you can’t be bothered indulging your vanity with trips to spas and salons and such, and you don’t believe any of the bullshit any commercial tells you about their superduper problem solving cream, and half the time you don’t care what colour your skin turns, then just imagine the light bulb of enlightenment that appeared when I found something at the supermarket for 6 rupees that makes your skin look instantly awesome? It’s like I found the fountain of youth, except I don’t think even the fountain of youth smells nice and is edible too.

All credit goes to the maid Chandra though. Whenever hormones and the heat act up and I get a coupla deadly pimples, she goes ‘aney baba lassana moonata ayy oya mokuth karannaayy!’ which roughly translates to ‘why don’t you get off your lazy ass and do something about those pimples cuz you look awesome without them!’ And then she suggests all these weird fruits and vegetables and all that jazz and how I should either eat them or smear them on my face. Really I can’t be bothered especially when my face usually clears up in a week either way.

But like I said, epic pimples of doom this week, and the heat and hormones were not helping. So I thought, why not. And she cut open a ripe butterfruit, used a spoon to scoop up the gooey green stuff in it and mashed it to total paste in a dish and then told me to put it on my face.

I must confess, I found the whole thing really funny. This is an accurate illustration of what I looked like in the mirror:

So I obliged to her insistence and didn’t expect results from the pastey insides of a random fruit, especially when my mother, a doctor, had foolishly dismissed the wise Chandra’s claims at first. Little did she know of the power of the butterfruit’s goo.

I worked on my laptop for two hours, at the end of which my face felt really cool, literally I mean, it was cold. I took the goo off and pimples that looked kinda ballistic in the morning looked like they were fast healing and my face just looked clearer and brighter (I had to go to a spa for a magazine assignment once so I’d actually parallel the result to that day, except this time I didn’t have an annoying stranger poking my face with her fingers). It does make sense though, because those nasty pimples are basically just inflammation, and they’re red and feel hot and sprout up in the heat – and the green goo of the butterfruit is just naturally something that cools with time, and I guess the cooling zeroes out the inflammation.

Whatever. Point is, butterfruit is awesome because it’s tasty AND awesome-skin inducing. And avocado face masks are actually used in spas, google tells me. Why the hell don’t we all just buy the fruit and have great skin instead of splurging on stupid commercial products and trips to overrated spas? It baffles me.

High-five to Chandra either way! I swear, the maids know everything.

I read this hilarious book the other day. No, not Calvin and Hobbes, not P.G. Wodehouse, but ‘Why Men Lie And Women Cry‘ by Barbara and Alan Pease. You might have heard of it. The two are apparently ‘internationally renowned experts in human relations and body language’ and ’13 million book sales have turned them into household names.’

Well.

To be fair I haven’t read the book page to page. Cuz I had to take breaks to lol my brains out and by the time I came back to the book I’d forgotten which page I was on. And just to clarify, I was laughing at the book not with.

Let me just show you some ‘extracts’ with my comments in bold.

TAKE THE TEST
When a man first notices you, what will be his first impressions? Most women would like to know how attractive they are to men, so we’ve created this test to show you just how well you rate! (WELL HOW KIND.)

Q4. If you could buy any outfit regardless of price, which of the following would you choose?
a. A long, flowing outfit that hides all problem areas.
b. A short, tight-fitting, low-cut outfit that shows off my assets.
c. A trouser suit, tailored and elegant.

Sooo, basically my options are, insecure person who wants to hide ‘problem areas,’ slut, and nun. Um. Pass.

Q5. Measure your waist and hips and calculate your hip-to-waist ratio. Divide your waist size by your hip size. For example, if your hips are 40 inches and your waist is 30 inches, then your ratio is 75%……… (it goes on)

-___-

Q6. When you’re chatting to an attractive man who makes you go weak at the knees, what position do you take?
a. Try and get him to sit down so he doesn’t notice my body.
b. Stand close to him with my legs uncrossed.
c. Play with my hair, lick my lips, tilt my hips and caress my body to get his attention.

LOL. LOL. Really, Barbara and Alan Pease? Really? Those are the only options available to me? Heaven forbid I don’t constantly obsess about the way I look and just talk to the guy? Wow. Just.. wow. I don’t even know what to say.

Q7. If you asked a stranger to describe your bum what would they say?

Yeah okay I’ll just go ask a stranger to describe my bum and get back to you on that one.

Anyway that wasn’t the best part – the best part is you get POINTS for your answers.

100 points or more: The Sex Siren
When men see you, they’re hooked, ready to be reeled in… You know how to sell yourself and use your body language to control men
(what’s the bet this one picked ‘I tilt my hips and lick my lips and caress my body to get his attention.’ LOL that one still cracks me up!)… Take a sexuality bow.

66 to 99 points: Miss Elegance
The majority of women fall into this section. This means you have reasonable success at getting men to fall for you at first sight.

Up to 65 points: You’re One Of The Boys
This one’s my favourite. Read carefully!
You probably believe that personality is more important than appearance and you’re right to some extent. But the problem is, how do you attract the right man in the first place, in order to dazzle him with your wit and charm? (Surely, there is no righter way of doing this than tilting my hips and licking my lips!) You can improve the way you present yourself without having to compromise your beliefs. Joining a gym to improve your body shape, for instance, will increase your attractiveness to men, but will also make you feel much fitter and healthier and give you a greater zest for life! (ORLY?) You can also camouflage your physical imperfections by dressing to enhance your good points. You may say you’re not interested in a man who’s so shallow as to be hypnotized by physical appearance. The problem with that, however, is that even the most intellectual and sensitive of men are at the mercy of their biology. (LOL! Are any of the guys out there insulted by this? They just practically called you a drooling bunch of idiots who are all immediately swayed by tilting hips and licking of lips. Victims of your biology, how tragic indeed!) The next chapter will show you how to improve your attractiveness and explains why so many men zoom in on women with IQs lower than their shoe size, and don’t give you a second glance!

Oh man. :’)

It gets even better in the next chapter, where they actually go into why men like ‘hemispherical buttocks’ and an ‘arched vulva.’
I don’t even… my mind is just boggled.

They also have a less interesting section of the book where they’re almost equally sexist to men, questioning male readers with really sad queries about their bum, thighs and what colour pants they’d wear to a party. It was just really sad.

Let me just end this with a really disturbing ‘fact’ according to Barbara and Alan Pease:

A typical Hentai cartoon is packed with all the signals that appeal to the male brain, including childlike facial features, long neck, 70% hips to waist ratio, pubescent breasts and flat belly.

Flailer at this point, sitting next to me as I read this, goes like ‘Dude. Don’t hentai cartoons have octopuses doing inappropriate things with the characters?’

I could have lived my whole life without knowing this.

As I was sitting around reading this shite out loud with a couple of friends whilst dying of laughter – especially when they showed us two pictures with the tagline ‘few men can tell the difference’ and ‘one of this is cleavage and one is a buttcrack – figure out which is which!’ (what has been seen cannot be unseen!) – it did occur to us, what if Barbara and Alan Pease are right and we were just deluded? What if men ARE all immediately swayed by Jessica Rabbit types and have no genuine first-impression interest in wit and charm! “WE’RE LIVING A LIEEE,” yelled R-underscore before mumbling, “We’re all going to end up as the crazy cat lady,” and stuffing a piece of cake in her mouth. But the point is, I told her, we don’t give a shit. Even if men biologically look for arched vulvas and child bearing hips and women who play with their hair and speak in delicate tones, so what? We’re still going to wear what we want and swear if we want and have higher goals in life than ‘how to attract the man at the next table with my sitting position.’

I’d like to know though from the boys, is it all true? One can’t help but wonder when it comes from ‘internationally renowned experts of human behaviour.’ Don’t worry, I won’t judge you, after reading that hentai thing, I’m seriously considering turning asexual.

First of all, I’m sorry! For abandoning my blog for more than a week. It’s inexcusable. I will hang my head now for 5 seconds of shame.

Okay.

So, I have no loyal inclinations to any radio station actually, so this isn’t some pseudo patriotic hate-rant, don’t worry. It’s more like a critical evaluation of how sucky music has become over the last few decades. Well actually over the last decade, because let’s face it, the nineties was amazing music.

Then come 2001, 2005, 2007 etc. commercialization became another word for mainstream. Then autotune happened which just made bad music even more obnoxious. Now I’m not going to be hipster kitty and claim to have a superior taste in music that nobody understands, but I’m just going to state the obvious with a simple example.

A mainstream love song, 1960s:

Yesterday
Love was such an easy game to play
Now I need a place to hide away
Oh, I believe in yesterday

A mainstream love song, 1990s:

There she goes again
She calls my name
She pulls my train
No one else could heal my pain
And I just can’t contain
This feeling that remains

A mainstream love song, 2001:

Sometimes I love ya
Sometimes you make me blue
Sometimes I feel good
At times I feel used
Loving you darling
Makes me so confused
I keep on fallin’ in and out of love with you

A mainstream love song, 2011:

Her ass. Her ass. Her ass.
I’m looking at her ass.

Okay maybe those last ones aren’t even lyrics of an actual song as far as I’m sure of, but they probably are or might as well be, because that’s pretty much the gist of what you hear on the radio today. Worst part is if a girl’s singing it, it just goes like:

My ass. My ass. My ass.
I know you’re looking at my ass.
Woot.

And then they just sing about doing inappropriate things with people they just met which is just really disturbing but also makes sense when you think about how popular Chlamydia and AIDS have become as of late.

Why? Just, why?
I don’t understand it. I flail in despair at the supermarket when the intercom plays Enrique Iglesias singing his censored version of how he’s going to screw somebody he met at a club. The supermarket attendants are frightened of flailing customers. You’re causing mental agony to supermarket attendants, Enrique Iglesias, stop it.

So Gold FM plays the older stuff. And TNL plays the obnoxious new ones. So that’s what those two have to do with this post.

I’ve also noticed general degeneration in the individual style of some contemporary musicians who I used to like, before said degeneration. Here’s a few examples that come to mind, I’ve inserted links if you wanna see the transition for yourself.

There was Avril Lavigne, whose first single <songlink> to the mainstream fan was really nice and simple and cute in that unpretentious punk rocker girl kind of way. She went around telling people not to fit in and to be yourself and all that reassuring stuff preteens (and adults also secretly) love to hear. Then BAM her music became about stealing people’s boyfriends and wearing butt shorts for the boys and being a self righteous skank in general <songlink>. I am disappoint, Avril Lavigne.

Remember when Maroon5 came out with This Love <songlink>? Good times. Nice and edgy and something different to listen to, especially his voice. Then they had a makeover and made a promiscuous video with forgettable catchy lyrics and tune, but hey at least there were totally irrelevant-to-song hot air hostesses in it <songlink>.

Nelly Furtado. I’m like a biiiiird I only fly awaaaay! <songlink> Okay I’ll stop now. But srsly, those were good days. Even Turn Off The Lights <songlink> was so much fun. Then she got really hot all of a sudden, yay for that but her music became bubblegumey autotuney catchybeatey blah <songlink>.

Linkin Park was in this list initially but the little fangirl in me can’t level them with these noobs, their music just got less edgier and they’re still kind of awesome.

You know what all these guys have in common? They all had their own hard to label style and some level of depth in lyrical intellect. And when they gave most or all of it up for a ‘new look’ (albeit, when their album sales were suffering a teeny bit), surprise surprise, their albums started selling to the masses like hotcakes. The ‘new look’ basically consists of a few notches taken off the intelligence of their songs, more make up / more abs / more hair spray, catchy beats and just a general dose of either easytoforget or sticksinyourbrainlikealeechcuzthebeatiscatchyandannoying. Also maybe this is just me, but they just became a little faceless, turned from an artist you could actually remember for the personality they portrayed through their work to just another pretty face on a billboard singing another familiar processed tune.

Finally there’s the Justin Beibers and Rebecca Blacks of our time, the child stars with catchy annoying depthless songs that everybody loves to hate, and some even secretly love to listen to when they’re alone in the car (yeah you know who you are! I see right through you, hypocrite!). I won’t hate them, they’re kids, they’re just trying to make it in the industry, Beiber can actually dance and Rebecca Black seems like a sweet girl personality wise. It’s the industry we gotta hate. ‘Mainstream’ has become a joke. The Beatles were mainstream. Ace of Base was mainstream. Hell, Britney Spears was mainstream. And come on, they were all totally awesome during their reign. Okay maybe not so much of Britney Spears but I know every one of you secretly knows all the words to Baby One More Time, don’t deny it.

My point is, bad music makes me sad. And bad music that’s actually successful and gets the most airtime and money paid for it to play makes me even sadder. And more importantly, who are these masses who download all that crappy music and make them number one in the first place? Who are all these people whose playlists are full of Akon singing about sexually harassing some poor girl who just wants to dance and mind her own business or of Beiber singing about serious relationships before even hitting puberty or of Nicki Minaj singing something in autotune that I can’t concentrate on cuz I just want to push her down a flight of stairs?

And why are they the majority?