Friday, November 30, 2007

The Realist's Reluctant Pessimist's Dilemma

Listening to: 'Bubbly' by Colbie Caillat [Coco]

I'm not one for resolutions (yes I know I'm a month early but hey, my blog = my rules). I've questioned the importance of the New Year before, and I've always seen New Year resolutions as a list of unrealistic expectations that we write down so we feel like we're making progress. But things have changed. I find that I need something to believe in...'cos I don't believe in myself (ouch! Thanks, Newton Faulkner). Jokes aside, something needs to change. Yes I know I've said it before and done jack all about it, but I have to keep trying...don't I? Which reminds me of some other lyrics, this time from Adele's Chasing Pavements -
Should I give up, or
Should I just keep chasing pavements
Even if it leads nowhere
I used to think I was a realist, but now I'm leaning (heavily) towards pessimism. Interaction with human beings has left me with but shreds of hope. And yet I keep hoping. I wear make-up, hoping I can hide the blemishes. I work at my degree, hoping that I'll pass. I keep my wounded heart on my sleeve, hoping that someone will want to mend it for me. Why? Why am I so keen on giving myself every possible opportunity to prove myself wrong? Why am I chasing pavements? Am I that bad at being a pessimist? Do I even want to be a pessimist?

The quote on the right side of this page reads:
The nice part about being a pessimist is that you are constantly being either proven right or pleasantly surprised.
I guess it's the control freak in me that wants to be pessimistic. The part of me that wants to avoid sudden disappointment at all costs...even if it means resigning myself to prolonged disappointment instead. Is the dull ache better than the sharp prick?

But I digress. I need to change. I need to formulate a plan to effect this change. I guess New Year resolutions are as good a way to do that as any. Whether I resolve to give up, or to keep chasing pavements...only time will tell.

Friday, November 23, 2007

History repeats (or maybe I just never learn)

Listening to: 'Hotel Paper' by Michelle Branch [Hotel Paper]

Seven years ago, I dared to criticise the leadership. There were things that I felt needed to change for the betterment of the community, and I thought (albeit mistakenly) that a little bit of constructive criticism from someone within the community would be appreciated. Did I insult them? No. Did I criticise them behind their backs? No. Did they get offended anyway? Hell yeah. Did they bully me to an extent that I told myself I would never voice my opinion again? You bet. Did I keep that promise? Well...

Yesterday, I dared to criticise the leadership. There were things that I felt needed to change for the betterment of the community, and I thought that a little bit of constructive criticism from someone affected (albeit slightly) by the situation would be appreciated. I was supported by some, so I know that I wasn't being delusional. Did I insult the leadership? No. Did they take my criticism personally and get offended anyway? Hell yeah.

Why is it that some people can't take constructive criticism? I have nothing to gain from criticising them, so my input is purely for their benefit. Instead of looking at it from a rational point of view, however, they choose to employ a knee-jerk reaction and rant and rave like lunatics. Arrogant, childish lunatics.

And why is it that I can't keep my mouth shut? Glutton for punishment? Masochist? Idiot? All of the above, I suppose.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Officially ancient

Listening to: Radio 1

OK I'd like to start off by saying, I have nothing against teenage girls OR continental Europeans. And consequently, I have nothing against continental European teenage girls. But I also have to say, I don't understand them. Why do these beings (especially those of the French or Spanish variety) feel the need to walk down a narrow Cambridge street with arms linked? Are they attached at the elbow? Did someone threaten them with torture if they lost physical contact for more than 0.001 seconds? Will they fall down if they try to walk by themselves? Has no one taught them that people walk down the street in both directions and sometimes it might be necessary to let the other person pass? No? Hmm...well that explains it.

These girls are at least 14...I thought only six yr olds did such things. The last time I walked with my arms linked through a friend's was...was...was...well, you get the picture. Although I guess six yr olds don't walk about with one arm linked through a friend's arm and the other arm attached to a hand carrying a cigarette.

Sigh, I don't get teenagers.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Here's to you, Seeya

Listening to: '1234' by Feist [The Reminder]

Hmm...I can't get this song out of my head. I can't remember any of the words after "1234 tell me that you love me more"...but the tune is on repeat in my mind, and I find myself skipping to the beat. Picture Tobey Maguire in his Peter Parker guise, skipping along sans spectacles to the tune of 'Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head'...yeah something like that, but with less sunshine. A lot less sunshine.

I miss him. When someone is in your life for all 24 years of it, they assume a state of pseudo-immortality. And then you get the call. I mean the call. No amount of preparation can set you up for that moment. Nothing can prevent the tears, or the heartache. Yeah I miss him. And I'll miss him even more when I go home next, whenever that will be.


Thursday, October 25, 2007

Anicca vata sankhara - uppada vaya dhammino
Uppajjitva nirujjhanti - tesam vupasamo sukho

Mahaparinibbana Sutta
Digha Nikaya

"Impermanent truly are compounded things (conditionings), by nature arising and passing away. Having arisen when they are extinguished (with insight), their eradication brings happiness."

Monday, October 22, 2007

Piled Higher and Deeper: The Power of Procrastination

Listening to: 'Just a Little Bit' by Mutya Buena [Real Grirl]

If you're a grad student, chances are the title of this post might sound familiar. It is, in fact, the topic of a series of talks being given by Jorge Cham, creator of the comic strip Piled Higher and Deeper. Today, Jorge was in Cambridge, and spoke to around 300 postgrads at the Engineering Department, courtesy the Graduate Union.

It was one of the most enjoyable talks I've been to. I wasn't sure what to expect...I mean how much can you say about a comic that the entire audience follows anyway? I was pleasantly surprised, for the most part. Jorge explored the anxieties and insecurities common to most grad students, and I was amazed to see how much of myself was in there. What I was saddened to hear was that 1 in 200 grad students at UC Berkeley have attempted suicide (don't quote me on that, but that's what he said). In a twisted sort of way, it tells me that things aren't so bad for me after all. It is scary though, to think that it could get that bad.

But yes, I bought a book and got it signed by the man himself. And in due course I will buy the other books (there are currently three) and safeguard them for future generations of masochistic postgrads.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

I'm not dead...yet (but I'm getting there)

Listening to: 'Young Folks' by Peter Bjorn and John [Writers Block]

And so I return to the blogging world, in an attempt to regain some of the normalcy I've lost over the past two months. I can safely say that the past two months have been the most tumultuous of my life so far. What have I learnt? Well, for starters, complacency is a bitch. In the eyes of your superiors, you are incompetent until you prove them wrong...and then you're barely competent until you mess up again. And finally (and probably most importantly), good friends are all you need to get by. I won't go into details, but it'll suffice to say that now I'm back on track. Sort of.

The experience has changed me, though. The once highly gregarious PseudoRandom now dreads gatherings of more than five people, in the fear that someone will ask her about work. The one time Procrastinator Extraordinaire now works on weekends, and hasn't responded to Facebook wall posts for two months. The term 'social recluse' comes to mind.

Still, the time has come for me to get my life back. Having spent a mini fortune on M.A.C. cosmetics, I am now rarely seen without the magic of concealer covering my sins. A suitcase full of hand-me-downs has provided me with an array of stylish attire, and yours truly is no longer sporting the 'lazy student' chic at work. And from tomorrow, the university gym will become my hang out. I still don't think I deserve weekends or holidays, but the new me will have to accept that. I'm still pretty certain that I'll grow old overworked, underpaid and alone, but I suppose I'll get used to it.

Anyway, time to get ready for work.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Super size me! (please?)

Listening to: 'Stronger' by Kanye West [Graduation]

I'm pretty sure that anyone and everyone who's ever seen me has, at some point during our acquaintance, commented on my size (or lack thereof). The most popular comments include:
  • Don't you eat? (and then their jaws drop when they see my plate)
  • Where does it all go? I'm so jealous!
  • Have you been to see a doctor?
Sigh. For heaven's sake, look at my mother. Look at my father. Is there any way I could be curvy? The genes wouldn't allow it.

So anyway, I'm scarily underweight. I do eat, more than most in fact. And I have no idea where it all goes. And I have been to see my doctor, and she assures me that there's nothing medically wrong with me. I've even been to a dietician, who had no sensible suggestions (I don't consider spending almost £10 a week on dietary supplements a 'sensible' suggestion). I'd love to put on a few kilos. I accept that I'll probably remain underweight, but hopefully by a little less than I am right now. So I delve into the treasure trove that is the internet, to get some inspiration. Good idea, right?

Wrong. It appears that the majority of net-savvy females are obsessed with losing weight, not gaining it. Most web entries related to good health harp on about low-calorie diets and other weight reduction methods. And almost all web entries related weight gain are directed towards body builders. And for anyone who wants to increase body fat, no chance! (I was gonna say 'fat chance' but decided that would be too lame)

I'm trying to over eat. I don't mean gluttony, I mean a systematic increase in daily intake. I'm trying to join a gym, but the gym needs a medical certificate authorising post-surgical exercise, and my GP has referred me to an orthopaedic specialist...and thanks to the 'wonderful' NHS, I'll find out the date of my appointment in about a month's time (yes, they take a month to tell me how long I have to wait to be seen).

Until then, I have to be satisfied with being likened to a stick insect.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Dreams are for kids: Confessions of a Realist, maybe

Listening to: 'Hey There Delilah' by Plain White T's [All That We Needed]

When you were little, you dreamt you'd be superwoman. You'd graduate at the top of your class, get the most amazing job ever, marry the most amazing guy ever, have the most wonderful kids (three: girl, boy, girl) and pets (two dogs: most probably Labradors) anyone could wish for. Your family would be nearby, and they would be proud. You'd be popular, and all your friends would be sincere. You'd be beautiful and your house would be heavenly.

And then your grandmother died. You failed a paper at school. You started getting pimples. The first guy you liked found out, and laughed at you. You found out one of your friends wasn't really a friend at all. But hey, you were still young, everything would be fine.

Years later, you've sorted some of your issues out. Your parents miles away, but they are proud. You don't expect your grandparents to live forever. You're managing OK (read: hanging on for dear life) at university. You have a few amazing friends. But you still have pimples, and now you realise how different your body looks to everyone else's, and you wonder if you're a freak. You're still waiting for some guy - any guy - to like you. You wonder what'll happen if you never get married. You wonder what'll happen if you can't have kids. House prices are so high that when the time comes, you'll probably have to rent a flat in the dodgy part of town.

Those dreams you had when you were younger are all but shattered. Your imperfections have ruined your perfect future. If this is what it's like to be mature, then dreams are definitely for kids.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

The Anti-Birthday

Listening to: 'One Thing' by Finger Eleven [Finger Eleven]

Was in London for a friend's birthday on Friday...and was reminded that there are 2 weeks (not 3, as I had hoped) left until it's my turn. I don't like my birthday. Birthday wishes reek of insincerity...especially when they come from people who I know couldn't care less about me. When someone reminds me about my birthday, I feel so antisocial...I just want to crawl under a rock and wait for the day to pass. And this year I don't even have exams to hide behind.


Saturday, May 05, 2007

Shopping list: fish, milk, bread, husband?!?!

Listening to: 'Come What May' by Ewan McGregor & Nicole Kidman [OST - Moulin Rouge]

Apparently some my-life's-so-boring-I-want-to-meddle-in-everyone-else's aunty had told my mother recently that it's stated in Buddhism that it is the parents' responsibility to find a suitable spouse for their child...and therefore, my mother should be actively looking for a 'good Sinhala Buddhist' boy for me. I'm sorry, what? If anyone can verify that claim with evidence from the scriptures, please do! I'm guessing it implies that parents should have some say, but I hope it doesn't mean that my mother's supposed to go boy-shopping for me! Thankfully my mother is a sensible lady, and had told this meddling female that she will do no such thing.

Why can't they just mind their own damn business and leave me alone?!?!

Sigh I don't know what I want. On the one hand, I'm faced with the prospect of going solo being handed companionship on a platter would be favourable, yes? No. I'd rather go solo than be pimped to all the eligible bachelors in Colombo. A number of my friends are currently being pimped by their parents...with all due respect, it makes my skin crawl.

I feel sorry for my I get older, they're just gonna have to put up with this interference more and more. For their sakes I sometimes wish they would start looking, just so everyone else would shut up...but I know they won't do that. Sigh...the debt owed by a child to his or her parents is one that can never be repaid.

OK, rant over. Back to my literature review.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Back to reality

Listening to: 'Sweet Misery' by Michelle Branch [The Spirit Room]

I woke up (late, as usual) on Wednesday morning, only to be greeted by an email from my supervisor:

I'd like to meet to discuss your work. Would next Tuesday at 9.00 be OK?
Could you please have a short presentation ready to update me?
Discussion? Presentation? NINE AM?!?!?!?!? I can't remember the last time I made it into the department at 9am. I signed up for 40hour working weeks, not 9am meetings! Sigh. Yes I know you probably have a 9 to 5 and are cursing me for whining about a 9am meeting...but how would you feel if your boss suddenly said he/she wanted to meet you at 7.30am? Would you be happy? Didn't think so.

Once the shock of having to leave home before my usual wake-up time had died down, I realised that he actually wanted to see some results. Eh? Results? Nope, never heard of them! Oh crap. He'd better be happy with a big fat literature review! I've read over 50 journal papers...yes, fifty, for this report. My head's a jumble with this information overload, but the scary thing is...I remember most of it. And if that's not scary enough for you, here's the shocker...I actually like it! As frightening as it is to realise that I enjoy reading scientific articles written by smelly old men (and some not so smelly and old women), it's comforting that I don't want to give up (yet...there's still time, I know).

Still hurting over the cricket. The World Cup final should be a level playing field for the two best teams in the world...last Saturday's game was anything but that! Oh well, what to do. At least Sanath's supposed to be playing for Lashings XI this summer! What a joy it would be to see him play in Cambridge. The fact that the match is two days before my report deadline is just a minor inconvenience. Grr.

Living alone sucks. I miss the family feeling of college...being able to reach your friend's room in less than a minute...being able to organise a get-together in less than 5 mins (more like 5 hours...but we could've, if we didn't procrastinate so much!) I find myself working till 7pm on most days for no other reason than to avoid coming home. I guess that's not such a bad thing, considering how far behind I am with work. It'd be nice to have some companionship, though.

Now Pseudo, don't be greedy.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

A farcical end to a farcical cup

Listening to: 'You Know My Name' by Chris Cornell [You Know My Name]

Oh well, what to do. Hats off to Adam Gilchrist, he was amazing. Not that our boys were bad...our bowling wasn't exceptional, but it wasn't disastrous; our fielding was iffy at times, but decent overall...and Sanath and Sanga gave us hope, until the rain.

It wasn't our day, however...rain, losing the toss, more rain, perfect batting conditions for Australia, sudden appearance of swing for the Aussie bowlers, MORE rain...Australia took every freebie they could get. They played brilliant cricket and thoroughly deserved to win. We played exceptionally well throughout the the entire tournament, and I don't believe there's any shame in the runners' up spot.

In fact, I think if you exclude Australia from the equation, we are the best. And that's not such a bad place to be...such is the invincibility of this Aussie World Cup squad. As Rahul Bhattacharya said in his cricinfo verdict:
If the finale was bizarre and shambolic, it was also ultimately scary. If the Australians are going to keep this up there is no point lopping a week or ten days off the next World Cup. It may as well be scrapped altogether.
The game suffers when one team monopolises the stage...let this be a call to the others to make a concerted effort to out-think, outplay, and outdo the kings of cricket.

On a slightly different note...did anyone else notice that Percy Sonn failed to mention Bob Woolmer in his closing speech? Disgraceful. Heartless officials, clueless umpires, relentless weather...surely the World Cup final deserved more than this?

Oh well, what to do. Time to get back to that degree of mine, I suppose.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

It's just a's just a's just a...HELL NO IT'S NOT JUST A GAME!!!

Listening to: 'Starlight' by Muse [Black Holes and Revelations]

I'm so excited. I'm wondering whether I'll be able to sleep. It's Venus' birthday (happy birthday sweetie!) so we're meeting for lunch first, and then going to our usual hangout to watch. My heart rate's rising just thinking about it. I get drawn to cricinfo, see the articles and have to turn's killing me.

And to think...on Sunday, it'll all be over. I'll finally have to pay attention to my PhD. Eek!

GOOD LUCK SRI LANKA!!! We can do it. I hope.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Another one bites the dust

Listening to: nothing, 'cos I should be asleep!

We're through! YAY!!! Can't be bothered to do a match analysis now, but you can read all about it here. Once again, my only complaint is that we had them at 149/9 and we let them score up to 208...what the hell?! It's almost like we felt sorry for them.

As predicted, there's been more off-pitch action since my last post. Bennet King resigned as Windies coach (bet you never knew he was the coach, huh?) and a few hours ago, Stephen Fleming resigned as New Zealand's ODI captain. At least he hasn't retired...dunno what I'd do without my eye candy fix!


So NZ have lost their 5th World Cup semifinal, and we'll face either Australia or South Africa in our 2nd final on Saturday. Put your cheering caps on people.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Cricket, cricket, luverly cricket

Listening to: 'She Wants To Move' by N.E.R.D. [Fly or Die]

Oh it's all happening in this World Cup. Two of the biggest cricket powerhouses (the biggest powerhouses in terms of fan base and sponsorship) kicked out in the first round, the hosts not being able to beat any major teams in the Super 8s, the reigning champions bulldozing their way into the semis...non-stop entertainment and quality sport. And if the on-field performances weren't enough to grab your attention, the off-field happenings definitely would. Here's the list, as best as I can remember it:
  1. Indian cricketers' houses torched after their loss to Bangladesh
  2. Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer killed in his hotel room, less than a day after Pakistan's humiliating loss to Ireland
  3. Andrew Flintoff sacked as England vice-captain due to his drunken disorderly behaviour after England's loss to NZ; other players involved are fined
  4. Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq resigns as captain and retires from ODI cricket
  5. Greg Chappell resigns as India coach after India fail to qualify for Super 8 stage
  6. ICC orders YouTube to remove all World Cup clips from its video database
  7. High ticket prices result in low audience turnouts for matches
  8. Brian Lara hints at a rift between himself and West Indies selectors
  9. Lara announces his retirement from ODI cricket after the World Cup
  10. Rumours of Sri Lanka coach Tom Moody's return to Western Australia after the World Cup surface
  11. Sri Lanka are criticised for resting key bowlers in a dead-rubber match against reigning champions Australia
  12. Duncan Fletcher resigns as England coach after their loss to South Africa and subsequent failure to reach the semis
  13. Brian Lara announces that his post-World Cup retirement will be from all forms of the game, not just one-days
  14. NZ rest Bond and Oram in their trouncing by Australia, apparently due to stomach bugs and niggles
Bloody hell that list is long...and there's still one week of cricket to go.

Can we make the finals? I think so. Can we lift the cup? I hope so. We have major batting concerns...Tharanga is not in form; Sanga, despite having an excellent run with the gloves and the pen, isn't concentrating enough to stay at the crease and score some decent runs; the tail seems to crumble every time, regardless of the platform laid by the upper middle order. All that constitutes a huge worry for us against the likes of Bracken and McGrath, and Bond (although we have managed to overcome him before)...all on pitches apparently not suited to us sub-continentals. And then assuming all goes according to everyone's expectations, we'll have to bowl to Hayden, Ponting and Symonds in the final...all three of whom look like only a bolt of lightning could get them out.

Everyone loves to love Sri Lanka and hate Australia, and many are hoping for a rematch of the '96 World Cup. At the end of the day, I don't care who our opponents are, as long as we're in the final. Although thrashing the Aussies would make victory so much sweeter.

Go Lanka!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Keeping up with appearances

Listening to: 'Take Control' by Amerie [Because I Love It]

Firstly, subha aluth avuruddak wewa! Had a lovely start to the traditional new year, full of great food, great company and great weather. Shorty commented that it's been a while since I called an experience 'awesome'...yesterday was a truly awesome day.

Moving on...

Ever felt like you were part of the furniture? That people have gotten so used to you being around, that they practically take you for granted? It's not that they don't like/love/care about you...but they forget that maybe you need some attention too, sometimes. I guess it's more noticeable in a male-dominated clique, where all the other girls are extremely pretty. The more you notice the preferential treatment, paranoia takes over and makes you focus on all your insecurities, and you start to wish for all the things that friendships shouldn't be based on: nicer clothes, nicer hair, bigger boobs, more flesh, better know the drill. Yeah, low self-esteem sucks...add that to paranoia and you've got yourself a cocktail for social suicide.

Does appearance really make a difference? Would dressing differently make me feel more comfortable around my friends...or would they just think I'm weird? I was wearing a flowing skirt yesterday, and according to one of my friends, I looked very different...'reserved' was the term he used. It wasn't a conscious decision to wear a skirt...I'd heard the weather was gonna be good, and it was New Year, so I figured I'd dress nice, that's all. Most of the time I just live in my somewhat baggy (not by choice...I'm just too skinny) jeans, so I guess a tapered skirt was an anomaly.

I'm puzzled...on the one hand, I want to make an effort to look more feminine: I want to try and gain some weight, clear my skin, get some nice clothes and actually wear them on a regular basis. But on the other hand, I'm not sure if I have the willpower to maintain such a materialistic lifestyle (yes I'm a lazy bum), and assuming I did, I'm not sure if it'll have the desired effect. But wait...I'm not even sure what this desired effect is!?!?!

Ugh it annoys me that I'm so dependent on my friends' acceptance. It makes me feel weak and helpless, and those are two traits I despise. but I guess, at the end of the day, it stems from the fact that, as Janet Jackson said at the end of her Velvet Rope album, "everybody needs to feel real special".

Monday, April 09, 2007

Lovin' the Live Lounge

Listening to: 'Valerie' by The Zutons [Tired of Hanging Around]

It's Easter Monday (read: bank holiday) and I'm back from London. Laziness took over this morning and I decided to do some reading at home instead of making the 20-minute trek into the department. To make the reading less laborious, I had the radio on, and I had the pleasure of listening to Jo Whiley presenting the best of Live Lounge '07. They were all quite good, and if you've got time, you can listen to the whole thing online for the next week or so. The highlights though, were by Amy Winehouse and Corinne Bailey Rae. Amy Winehouse doing a soulful cover of The Zutons' Valerie is expected, I guess...but Corinne Bailey Rae doing JT's Sexyback?!?!?! Wow.

Thankfully youtube is a treasure trove, so here are the links for Valerie and Sexyback.

Friday, April 06, 2007


Listening to: 'Take It All Away' by Ryan Cabrera [Take It All Away]

It just hit me. What am I doing? Why am I doing whatever it is that I am doing? What's the meaning of my project? Is this really an original contribution to knowledge? What am I supposed to achieve by the end of June? Will I ever get meaningful results? Hang on, will I ever get any results? Do I really deserve to be here? Am I gonna get through my first year? Are they gonna tell me to go home and wash dishes for a living? Why am I going away this weekend when I really need to work? Why am I so up for partying the night away when I really need sleep? Why do I need so much sleep? Why can't I wake up before 9am? Why can't I go to sleep before 2am? What am I doing with my life? Why can't I find the answers to any of these questions?
To succeed is nothing, it's an accident. But to feel no doubts about oneself is something very different: it is character.
Let's hope Marie Lenéru's right.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Now who said cricket was boring?

Listening to: 'Find Your Way' by Ryan Cabrera [You Stand Watching]

I can't not comment on yesterday's match. The day started off with England the underdogs by far...even the English fans had given up any hope of them putting up a fight. The journalistic previews were very pro-Sri Lanka (as in this article on cricinfo)- they seemed to have elevated the Lankan boys to dizzy heights that were, to be honest, too oxygen-deficient for my liking. My grandmother would've said the words reeked of evil mouth (kata vaha, for the Sinhala speakers amongst you)...and retrospectively, I'd be hesitant to disagree.

OK, so we lost the toss. That's luck, and as that same luck would have it, we were asked to do what we've been doing this entire tournament (slight cause for concern here - will we be able to chase effectively, if and when the need arises?) - bat first. Personally I thought we were doing OK - not brilliantly, but it definitely wasn't hopeless against some pretty decent bowling and fielding by a rejuvenated English side (maybe the arrival of the WAGs was what was in order?). And then Dilshan got run out...and in the fashion that I've sadly started to expect from our boys, the final 5 wickets fell for 20 runs. Why do we seem unable to capitalise on a good foundation and finish what the top order started?!?!?!? You'd think the tail (who can bat, mind you) would want to give themselves a decent score to bowl at.

Anyway, fast forward to the England innings. End of the 6th over, 12/2 - could it be better? Don't bet on it, said the scoreboard, with Pietersen and Bell taking England to 100/2 after 25. And then luck decided to make an appearance, and bounce Bell's bat off the ground just as the ball hit the!

Fast forward (yes, again) to the end of the 34th over - 134/6. 102 off 16 overs, with the last two recognised batsmen (both facing Sri Lanka for the first time) at the crease...someone start the party! Oh wait, captain Mahela seems to want England to regain some lost pride. Defensive tactics from "the neutral's favourite" and some less than amazing bowling from Murali the Maestro (pleeeeease let him not be injured!) resulted in Nixon and Bopara requiring 19 off 12. Not impossible, but not easy. Malinga bowls...

1, 1, 0, 1, W,...what's this...changing the ball?!?!?!

It may just be my lack of cricketing knowledge, but who on Earth can justify changing the ball in the 49th over?!?! Say bye-bye to reverse-swing Mali...sixth ball goes for 4.

By now my palms are sweaty, and my fingers are digging into the knee of the poor soul seated next to me...some of my friends are turning away from the screen, and I can hear a faint "I don't like this game anymore". The English are biting their nails too. Add that to the fact that I really needed the can imagine the tension!

...Dilhara bowling the last over, there's nothing much anyone can do (except for Mahela, who could've at least tried to put some pressure on the batsmen!?!?!) except watch 9 runs come off the first 5 balls. And then the short of a boundary required off the final ball, England's new wonderboy Bopara facing. Dilhara runs to bowl, and he...he...doesn't bowl. Nerves or tactic? Cheeky tactic, methinks...aimed at reading the batsman's intentions. Sportsmanship is questionable, but then so was the decision to change the ball in the 49th over - shit happens. Poor Bopara wasn't experienced enough to guess what Dilhara was trying to do, and got bowled on the last ball of the innings, bringing to an end, a very courageous innings by the newbie. Looks like luck had the last say afterall.

In closing? Amazing comeback by England. Sorry, amazing comeback by Nixon and Bopara. While in my humble opinion, England will not give Australia a run for their money on Sunday...neither will we on the 16th, if we continue with this despicable defensive gameplan. We have a must-win game against New Zealand on the 12th, and I'm not looking forward to it. Attack, Mahela...attack! We're good enough. Bloody hell we're good enough to get to the final, if only our boys can maintain some momentum throughout 50 overs! Bottom order collapses while batting, Middle over snoozes while fielding...this isn't the stuff champions are made of!?!?!?! C'MON BOYS!!! We can do better. We want to hear the lions roar, not purr.

Amid all this confusion, the English media has given up on Andrew "Fredalo" Flintoff and Kevin "I came to England 'cos I have no chance of getting into the South African side" Pietersen and decided to big up Ravi "Essex boy" Bopara. The boy's played 5 matches in his career so far...maybe wait a little before you call him the next big thing?

P.S.- Apologies for the in-depth match report. I still haven't fully recovered...hopefully this post will help me sleep well tonight.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

I don't like cricket...I love it!

Listening to: 'Oh My God' by Kaiser Chiefs [Employment]

I think I'm going to die. I was sitting on the floor (unable to sit in a chair) screaming to every deity that ever graced this planet to let us win. We didn't deserve to, after that dismal batting display (if you can call it that), but I wish we could've won, for Slinga's sake. He's awesome. OK yes Dilshan and Arnold batted well, but they were far from dominant. Kudos to South Africa, apart from their collapse towards the end, they played very good cricket. Why oh why didn't Mahela have a second slip in?!?!?! He's gonna kick himself when he sees the highlights.

Sigh...and so we remain on 2 points. We'd better beat West Indies on Sunday, or our place in the semi finals will be much less secure.

Slightly aside, my day was made when they showed Jonty Rhodes on TV...sigh he's so cute.

Oh well, I shall now go and nurse my misery. The song's quite fitting, don't you think? Funny to note that an Indian would've probably wanted the Kaiser Chiefs' other song ;-).

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Proof that I've been spending too much time on the internet

Listening to: 'Tiny Dancer' by Elton John [Madman Across the Water]

So finally, the Home Office has got something right! In the application form for the UK visa, there's a question that goes something along the lines of "Have you ever been convicted of a crime?" Now it doesn't say that you will be refused a visa should you admit to being convicted, but if Snoop Dogg's visa refusal is anything to go by, it sure seems like it! While I feel sorry for everyone who bought tickets to see him perform, I'm happy that at least in this case, the Home Office has shown that celebrities aren't above the law.

From one celebrity sphere to another...and the Bob Woolmer tragedy. Cricket Cluedo, they're calling it on the radio - a classic case of whodunit. And the tongue-wagging media are having a field day. Internal rifts, match fixing exposé name it, they've speculated it. The investigators promise that the case will be solved, but who knows.

Keeping with the cricket, I can't not comment on our dear neighbours' dismal performance last Friday. I know practically everyone has already seen this photo, but it begs mass distribution -

Need I say more?

India's exit from the World Cup has probably cost a lot of companies a whole lotta money, but in my honest opinion, it's good for cricket. Not because I have anything against the Indian cricket team, but because I'm not a fan of any one player (or in this case, team) being bigger than the game itself. Teams that play mediocre cricket don't deserve to be in the second round of the World Cup. And before you remind me about Ireland, I think it's great that they're in there. Had they been in any other group we might have a different top 8, but that's the luck of the draw. I guess the whole point of this World Cup being excruciatingly long is to sift out the teams that get to the Super 8 by chance.

On that note, I think I'll give up on waiting for the rain in Antigua to let up...West Indies, you better hope that tomorrow's a sunny day, you've got a hell of a lot of runs to chase!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Stop the faff

Listening to: 'Kokomo' by The Beach Boys [Still Cruisin']

Yeah I'm still here, barely. I really need to get back to blogging. Let's hope this is a start.

I just realised that I hadn't mentioned my shiny new computer! My laptop froze over Christmas so I went in for a new desktop. I don't care what anyone says...Vista is cool! My laptop couldn't play DVDs (yes, it was that basic) but obviously my desktop can, so I bought the Love Actually DVD to celebrate :D.

My project is crawling along. I've been reading a lot, but I'm not really sure whether that's 'cos I have to read or 'cos I'm avoiding doing experiments. Hopefully I can sort myself out soon.

I am LOVING the cricket. Not loving the Woolmer saga (may he rest in peace), but as far as the cricket! I was so relieved that we beat India on Friday...take that! to everyone who screamed 'match fixing'. Quite nervous about meeting South Africa on Wednesday, but hopefully we can prove our worth. GO LANKA!

The mood's still quite low. "Give it time", they all say. I guess I can't really do much else. Maybe if I stop the faff and get on with my life, time will sort everything out. Yeah, maybe...

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

More Than Just OK

Listening to: 'Dare You to Move' by Switchfoot [The Beautiful Letdown]

Thanks to Switchfoot for the title. I think it's time to move on from the emo sound of Dashboard Confessional and take up a more inspirational soundtrack. DC may express exactly how I feel...but it doesn't make me want to change. And I think it's about time I did. I'm not sure why...maybe it's because I'm sick of being miserable, or maybe it's 'cos people are losing sleep trying to put some sense into me and I feel bad. I'm hoping that in this case the ends justify the means.

So what do I need to change, exactly? Well for starters, I need to shed my paranoia - no one hates me. Even as I type this, my head is telling me "but you know they do"...must stop listening to myself. I claim that others are too quick to judge assuming that they hate me from a few isolated incidents, am I not doing the same?

There are many more flaws that need to be rectified, but I've had less than 4 hours of sleep, and it's time to go to work. Maybe I'll just work on the paranoia for now.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Mega Update

Listening to: 'Twenty-Four' by Switchfoot [The Beautiful Letdown]

Blogging's much more difficult this year. The thought "oh I should blog this" comes to mind an immeasurable number of times...but good intentions are all that exist. I'd like to get to bed in 12 minutes, so here goes.

I'm a lot less depressed than I was when I entered my last post, you'll be glad to know. A word of advice...diving into other people's love lives is an excellent way to divert attention from oneself. You use up so much energy sorting out other people's problems that by the time you actually have time to yourself, you've forgotten why you were upset in the first place, and you're too tired to care. Awesome. That's escapism, I hear you say? Perhaps, but tell me how this is different to drowning your sorrows in a bottle (or more) of wine, or burying your head in a cloud of smoke. At least this way, I'm making someone else's life better by helping them deal with their issues.

Speaking of wine, the peer pressure's getting to me. No, I'm not about to cave in and become an alcoholic...but I do feel that I'm in fear of being ostracised for not conforming. All the cool kids drink, and only the cool kids are...well, cool. Am I OK with not being a part of the cool kids? Probably not...and that's where the problem lies. I need to become less dependent on the cool kids...I mean, being cool isn't that big a deal, is it? Hmm...

In other news, I went into the lab! Fears have been dispelled temporarily, but I'm sure they'll be back soon. Until then, all systems are go.

It is late, and I am dozing off as a type I shall now go to sleep. Hopefully I'll return soon.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

A Song for Me

Listening to: 'The Places You Have Come To Fear The Most' by Dashboard Confessional [The Places You Have Come To Fear The Most]

Buried deep as you can dig inside yourself
And covered with a perfect shell
Such a charming beautiful exterior
Laced with brilliant smiles and shining eyes, perfect posture
But you're barely scraping by

And this is one time
You can't fake it hard enough to please everyone or anyone at all
And the grave that you refuse to leave
The refuge you have built to flee
The places you have come to fear the most

Buried deep as you can dig inside yourself
And hidden in the public eye
Such a stellar monument to loneliness
Laced with brilliant smiles and shining eyes, perfect make up
But you're barely scraping by

...because Chris Carrabba says it much better than I can.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Happy Birthday, PseudoRandom!

Listening to: 'Himi Nethi Pemakata' by Malini Bulathsinhala [Nimnethi Pemakata]

Somewhere back in November I had 70-odd blog posts and I thought maybe, if I was really keen, I'd be able to reach 100 in time for PseudoRandom's 1st birthday. Looks like I missed that milestone, whoops! But I'll be damned if I miss my first birthday, which is tomorrow. So Happy Birthday to me (in advance)! Here's to many more years of highly therapeutic blogging and hopefully less drama in my life...although that might result in a less interesting blog, so maybe I'll stick with the drama :D.

Speaking of drama...don't I just love it (note the sarcasm). Somehow I can't seem to avoid getting into situations where I want to cry my guts out. Continuing from my last post, my defeatist attitude is seriously pissing me off. I know I need to find a way out of it, but I don't know how! At every turn, there are signs telling me how pointless it is to even think about it. My friends are trying...SoulSister, Shorty, Venus, Waz and others - all have tried their best to cheer me up, but to no avail. My heart feels heavy, and my head hurts. Rejection hurts, but loneliness hurts more. And right now, I feel alone. My gut is sending me mixed signals and I don't know where to turn...and I end up turning to the one person I shouldn't be turning to. A deep and meaningful friendship is all well and good, but when the required closeness is achieved for all the wrong reasons...I dunno, maybe it's not as unhealthy as I think it is (or maybe that's just me hoping that it's not unhealthy).

I saw Babel last night. I was blown away. I know reviews are mixed, and a lot of people are hesitant to recommend it, but for people who love arty movies that explore human interaction, expression and experience, it's one not to be missed. The acting was amazing, and so was the cinematography. Not as good as Constant Gardener, but pretty damn close.

In other news, I'm going into the lab tomorrow. The time has finally arrived. Glassware is ready, chemicals are ready, PseudoRandom is ready (I hope). I hope it works.

You may have noticed that there's no real theme for this post. It's a bit all over the place, as is my mind right now. I've eaten an entire slab of chocolate by myself today, and it has helped...but only somewhat. I wish I could move on. I wish I was strong enough to put it behind me and look towards the future with hope in my heart. Yet all I have is dread. I had to update my parents on my pathetic situation pains me to shatter my mother's dreams, even though it's not my fault that she lives inside a period romance. Will I ever be able to prove to them that I'm normal? Will I ever be able to prove it to myself?

Monday, January 22, 2007

The Art of being Chicken (...or how I have learnt to settle for nearly nothing at all)

Listening to: 'Heal Over' by KT Tunstall [Eye to the Telescope]

SoulSister was giving me a right telling off the other day. She said I'm selling myself short. I guess she's right. I've changed my language of study twice (English to Sinhala when I was 10; Sinhala to English when I was 17), I've undergone major spine surgery (11 years ago today, in fact), I've survived the bitchiness one is confronted with when switching from a sheltered government school to an international school, I've travelled far away from my parents to pursue higher education...and through it all, I've stayed pretty much the same. But somewhere along the line, I lost something. Call it optimism, call it oomph, call it killer it what you like, I've lost it.

I was never one to take risks, but now I won't even push myself. I seem to have developed a "If I don't do anything, nothing can go wrong" mentality...and it's pissing me off. I want to be able to just go out and get what I want...but I'm scared. Scared of failing, scared of falling...scared of hurting. This is especially true when it comes to affairs of the heart. Not that I have had much of a chance...but since of late, the ol' hormones have been making their presence felt. And I'm hating them for it. With every encounter, I feel my heart race...and then I tell myself "yeah but nothing's gonna happen so just pipe down". How can I be so sure? Why am I so convinced that I can never be lucky in love? Is this my method of self-preservation - to put myself down so badly that I repel every individual around with my pessimism? *Sigh* I dunno...but it's not looking good. And every time someone tries to give me an ego boost, it just scares me even more. When did I become such a wuss?

I hate myself so much right now.

Monday, January 15, 2007

PseudoRandom lives again!

Listening to: 'Days Go By' by Lifehouse [Lifehouse]

Happy New Year! If you're happy, that is. If not, well I hope you're happier soon. I'm not a big 'New Year' person...I can't for the life of me understand why people make such a huge fuss over something that exists only since the 1580s. Oh well, my fault for being cynical. Moving on...

I'm not dead. I didn't even go into hiding. I just got really really busy, and then went home for three weeks, where I was also really really busy. Serves me right for going home for Christmas. Still, I loved it. I did miss Cambridge, or certain elements of Cambridge...but it was nice to chill out at home. Now I'm back in the freezer that is Cambridge, and to be honest, loving every minute of it :-).

So what has happened...well, nothing much. Just as well I didn't blog, 'cos I wouldn't have had much to say! I saw Casino Royale, and more recently, The Pursuit of Happyness, both of which I thoroughly enjoyed. Oooh and I saw Happy Feet, which was lovely! I saw a couple of others, but they were pretty forgettable.

It appears love is in the air for 2007, or at least schoolgirlish crushes that may or may not develop into passionate romances. My own endeavours never develop into anything but deep and meaningful friendships so I'm not expecting much romance...still, addiction is a welcome diversion.

I still haven't gone into the lab, although I have ordered the chemicals, so I'm improving. Hopefully next week, my fears will be dispelled forever.

Well, this was just supposed to be a note to let the blogging world that the altruist is still here, and definitely still rambling. Stay tuned.