Friday, December 19, 2008

T minus 7hrs for the journey home

Listening to: Radio 1

So much for my "I'm a student and therefore too broke to buy presents"...
Mother: Can you get a gift for Aunty A? She always cooks for you when you come
Me: Ah yeah no prob
Mother: Aney darling better get something for Aunty B also no?
Me: Hmm ok
Mother: Ah one more thing, can you get something for Akki X as well? She likes those [blah blah blah] things
Me: Erm...I'll see if there's something small
Mother: Oh and another thing, so-and-so was saying [insert random ailment] remember those things at Boots? Aney bring some please
Me: Mother! I only have 20kg allowance...these things add up
Mother: Ah then ok...don't worry about it...I was just saying because she was finding it really difficult...but never mind
Me: *Sigh* Ok ok I'll try and bring it
Mother: No no don't worry if it's a hassle, you just come will you
Me: [pregnant pause] No I'll bring it
Mother: Aney thank you baba. I can't wait to see you!
Me: I can't wait to see you too, Ammi
Ugh my bag is so heavy. I should say here that the above dialogue wasn't an exercise in emotional blackmail by my mother. It's just me being unable to say no to her.

But enough of the grumbling. I'm so bloody excited (yes I think I've already mentioned that quite a bit). It's a bit weird 'cos while I'm really looking forward to seeing family and friends, the weather and the food...there's also stuff I'm gonna miss from here. Like the music - I have no clue what they play on Sri Lankan radio any more! I've become so addicted to Britpop and Brit Indie that I think I might die without them. And how am I supposed to live for a month without Chris Moyles, Sara Cox and Scott Mills?! Sigh.

And another thing. I don't know if I'll have time to blog from home. My parents are social butterflies and yours truly will probably be fluttering around with them most of the time. So here's wishing the entire blogosphere a very merry Christmas and festive season in general, and all the best for the coming year. See you in 2009!!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Note to self

Listening to: 'That's Not My Name [Acoustic]' by The Ting Tings [We Started Nothing]

PseudoRandom it's 01:20. Go to sleep woman. Stop downloading insanely cheap (but awesome) albums off amazon mp3 (I mean, £3 for the Ting Tings album...insane!). Stop salivating at the thought of having fish curry with stringhoppers for dinner on Saturday. Stop grinning to yourself at the thought of seeing your parents at the airport. Stop making list after list of things you need to do, stuff you need to buy, people you need to call before you go. GO TO SLEEP!

They call me hell
They call me Stacey
They call me her
They call me Jane
That's not my name...

Sunday, December 14, 2008


Listening to: 'Listen' by Beyoncé [OST - Dreamgirls]

OK so I didn't see the X Factor final *shock shock horror horror*. I slept like a baby from 7pm until 11pm when I woke up feeling extremely hungry. I might watch it online later, but I've already youtubed the only bit I wanted to see - Alexandra's duet with Beyoncé. Ooooooh mama. X Factor should be renamed 'Goosebump Factor'. How could anyone compete with that combination?! I mean seriously, Westlife? Boyzone? HAHAHAHAHAHA you have got to be kidding me. Eoghan and JLS had no chance!

I'm not gonna embed the X Factor version here 'cos it's an edit, and I think the song should be experienced in its entirety. So maybe she's done some retarded songs too, but this, my friends, is pure diva gold.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

I signed up for this, oh yes I...wait, I signed up for what?!

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

The time is 03:10. PseudoRandom is currently in the 13th hour of her 21 hour experiment. Oh yeah you read right. By the time I go home next, I would've been at work for 25 hours. Continuously? Well no, not really. There was the bit when I walked all the way to STA to collect my flight ticket, only to find that they close early on Fridays. D'oh! And then I went to get dinner from the Chinese takeaway. I'm surprised I haven't mentioned this place before, to be honest. The special fried rice is to die for. Although I was slightly perturbed to find that the price has gone up from £3.80 to £4.50. Yes I know that's only 70p, but there's something 'expensive-sounding' about it being over 4 quid. Shorty's heard this too many times, but I am going to dedicate my thesis (when it finally materialises in a legible format) to said Chinese takeaway. Many experiments would not have been completed had it not been for their special fried rice.

Today was the department Xmas lunch. Free food, yay! I borrowed a pound off a friend and bought a raffle ticket, and won myself a cute beaker (there were about 50 minor prizes going). And we kinda won the pub quiz (tied with two other groups), partly thanks to yours truly remembering that Thomas Woodward is more famously known as Tom Jones. Why the hell I know that is beyond me.

I'm so excited about going home! Not only am I going to see the parentals after two whole years but SS is gonna be there simply to see me! I will give the three of them the BIGGEST hugs I can manage. I'm also attending two weddings, and I've got a day trip to Kandy and a longer trip to Nuwara Eliya planned. I think the trips are what I'm most looking forward to (apart from seeing the family, of course). I know this is gonna sound really sad, but I've just spent the past 3 hours looking up photos on flickr that are tagged with 'nuwara eliya' for inspiration. Ugh there's so much to photograph and so little time! And I suspect my father's patience will start to wear thin after the first few "Thaththi can we stop here please? I want to take a photo". Thankfully I won't be the only happy snapper on the trip to Kandy. Oh and there'll also be a minor matter of hot butter cuttlefish ;-). Just thinking about it brings a smile to my face.

And (surprise surprise) I'm sick again. Cough this time. Man I hate this weather. I'm relying on my ayurvedic cough medicine and hoping that all ailments will disappear the moment I get home.

Right, I've spent time browsing flickr, I've trawled various blogs and broken my rule of not blogging from work, and I've read almost all the interesting news items on BBC. I think it's time to settle down with another peppermint tea and get back to reading 'A Vindication of the Rights of Woman' to the sounds of my library, while attending to my experiment when required, of course. I'm thinking pancakes for breakfast...but I don't know where I can get that as a takeaway. A muffin and coffee from Nero's will have to do. Sigh where's my bed when I need it most.

I just hope I can stay awake for this evening's X Factor final. Go Alexandra!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Coming Full Circle

Listening to: 'The Loving Kind' by Girls Aloud [Out of Control]

It's been two years since I last went home. In those two years (in chronological order)...
  • I experienced yet another episode of unrequited love
  • My parents were in an accident
  • My supervisor said I wasn't cut out for research, and told me he was kicking me out of university
  • My grandfather passed away
  • One of my best friends moved 7,000 miles away
  • I became depressed
  • Some very close friendships were tested
  • I tried to gain weight, and failed
...and...yeah I think that's it.

However (in response)...
  • I got over it
  • They escaped with minor injuries
  • I proved my supervisor wrong, and made it back onto the PhD
  • Anicca vata sankhara - uppada vaya dhammino ("Impermanent truly are compounded things, by nature arising and passing away.")
  • She's back
  • I'm only slightly depressed now
  • The friendships survived
  • I told the world to go screw itself and decided I was happy with my weight
In addition...
  • I had a wonderful trip to Austria and Italy
  • I got back in touch with some old friends (Hello Darwin! And thanks V :D)
  • I visited some beautiful parts of Scotland
  • I had the best time of my life in New York
  • I got upgraded on a transatlantic BA flight
  • I had an awesome 25th birthday in the Lake District with friends surrogate family
  • I saw Matchbox Twenty live
  • I saw John Mayer live
  • I saw Diana Krall live
  • I saw Black Kids and Ladyhawke live
  • I got a free trip to Brighton
So yeah. It's been an up-and-down sort of two years. But it feels like I've finally tied up most of the loose ends. I won't say I'm perfectly happy now, but I'm kinda back to where I was before, just stronger. The true test will be when I go home next week, and I have to deal with the inquisitiveness, pettiness and superficial nature of Colombo culture. Hopefully the past two years have toughened me up sufficiently.

Monday, December 08, 2008

New template

Listening to: nothing

Figured I'd try a three-column layout to minimise the scrolling down required. Might change it back at some point, might not. We'll see how it goes.

What do you think?

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Run was written by Snow Patrol, and don't you ever forget it

Listening to: 'Run' by Leona Lewis [Spirit]

Yes, Leona Lewis of X Factor 2006 fame has made it to Numbero Uno again, this time with a cover of Snow Patrol's Run.

Don't get me wrong, I love the new version. When I heard it first, sung live as a feature on Jo Whiley's Live Lounge on Radio 1, I had shivers down my spine. Truly haunting. But then I fell in love with Run when I first heard it being performed by Snow Patrol. The song was already amazing.

It's annoying that Leona gets a #1 hit with Snow Patrol's song, when they haven't received the same honour yet. But seeing as Leona's a product of the Simon Cowell production line, it's hardly surprising.

Which is better? I don't know. It's like they're two different songs to me. Snow Patrol's version sounds more raw and melancholy...something which Snow Patrol do perfectly. Leona's version is a ballad being sung by a diva. Nothing wrong with that, but I'm just sayin'.

So congratulations to Leona, but I think it has to be said that if you have an ounce of talent (which she definitely does have) you can't really go wrong with something as flawless as Snow Patrol's Run.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

'My curious bodyclock' and other (extremely) short stories

Listening to: 'Beat Control' by Tilly and the Wall [Beat Control]

So I don't seem to be able to sleep early these days. It's been past 1am every night this week. No I'm not an insomniac...when my head hits the pillow I'm off like a light. It's the transition between "hmm I should get to bed soon" and "zzzz..." that takes ages. And I need eight hours of sleep every night. It is physically impossible for me to wake up for the alarm until I've had 8hrs of sleep. Curiously enough, this didn't happen in Brighton - I managed to wake up with just 5hrs with no problem - I suppose it was the unfamiliar surroundings that did the trick. But yeah...I'm not sure how to fix this problem. And no, multiple alarms/really loud alarms etc. will not work. You're talking to someone who has slept through everything but a bomb (I woke up when the LTTE blew up a transformer down our road in the middle of the night - exciting stuff).

From bodyclock to bioclock. My hormones are usually very well behaved. Why not now? Me is confused.

Shades of Jade was questioning patriotism recently. Today at my lab group xmas party, one of my old PostDocs was going on about his visit to Bentota a couple of years back, and how Sri Lanka has the most beautiful beaches he's ever seen, along with the tastiest food he's ever eaten and the nicest people he's ever met (admittedly he was after more than a few glasses of red by then, but still...). If I were to give patriotism a face, it would be the absolutely massive grin I had on mine while listening to him. If I were to give patriotism a beat, it would be that of my heart thumping with pride that someone would have such nice things to say about my darling country.

Why do I have so many clothes that can't go in the washing machine? I did not come to university to spend most of my time handwashing! I need to take some of these back home though, so I should probably do some washing over the next few days.

I think DeeCee and LD were right - the second practice was far more successful (on a personal level) than the first. And damn we sound good, if I may say so myself :D

I'm cooking for some colleagues tomorrow. 12 in total. Never cooked for so many. And even in small quantities, my cooking is in a word - mediocre. But they're insisting on being introduced to Sri Lankan cuisine. Thankfully since they don't know what it's supposed to taste like, they won't have anything to compare it with ;-).

Hmm 5 extra short stories. Enough no? I think the inertia has finally lifted and I'm off to bed. I'll leave you with 'Dog Days Are Over' by Florence and the Machine. I just love the drum beat :-).

Oh bugger, it's past 1am again. D'oh!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

The fugly friend

Listening to: 'Love Is Stronger Than Pride' by Sade [The Best of Sade] moi. You know, the one who always hangs around her pretty friends, always getting in the way. The one who sees through all the guys' attempts to get with her friends, and doesn't offer to put in a good word for them, unless she thinks the friend is gonna respond positively. A female cockblocker, as it were.

This is so frikkin' retarded.