Friday, April 30, 2010

What do you do?

Listening to: Radio 1

What do you do when you feel the all too familiar sword of rejection piercing through your core? You gather your girl friends around, curse every boy ever to walk the planet, and pig out on chocolate ice cream while watching crappy romcoms. Camaraderie and sisterly love (and a lot of hugs) get you through, and get you back on your feet and ready to face the world again.

What do you do when you don't have any girl friends nearby? You hold back the tears, swallow the disappointment, put on a smiley face, sneak in a blog post when nobody's looking, and dive into work. All the while hoping that when you finally break down ('cos it will happen), you'll be alone in your room, unable to make a fool of yourself.


I suppose it is a plus point that I didn't humiliate myself this time...makes a change. It's good to know I'm learning from past mistakes. Now if only I could learn from the mistake of falling in the first place!

P.S.- If you're about to tell me that my time will come, please don't. I don't need to be patronised right now.

Monday, April 26, 2010

One existential crisis, coming right up!

Listening to: 'Hello, I Love You' by Glee Cast [Glee]

I'm turning 27 in exactly one month *gasp*. Shorty and I were trying to decide whether this means I'm entering my 'late-twenties', or if I can stretch the 'mid-twenties' for another year...I sure hope it's the latter! He-whom-I-really-should've-given-up-on-by-now said I don't look 27. I didn't dare ask him how old I do look...I mean no self-respecting adult female wants to be told by the guy they like that they look about 12, right? So I just joked about how I'd still get ID'd when going to 'spoons (it's trashier than it looks), and that was that.

And then I watched Episode 14 of Glee (which was amazing, btw) and realised that in certain aspects, I'm actually a nowhere-near-as-pretty hybrid of Rachel and Emma...minus the amazing voice and the OCD. *Sigh* pathetic.

OK I'm gonna go back to my thesis in an attempt to hide from the impending doom. What a way to bring up the 300th post eh?

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The curse of the has-been over-achiever

Listening to: 'Nothin' On You' by B.o.B. ft. Bruno Mars [B.o.B Presents The Adventures of Bobby Ray]

I got an email a couple of days back from one of my mother's friends asking me how I'm doing, and she said -
"...knowing you, you'll pass with flying colours. I know your parents are so proud of you."
Today, I decided to start updating my CV. I was looking at the example CVs in the guide book, and my list of achievements looked...well...minuscule, in comparison. I felt like a failure. A phony. Like I had let everyone I know down.

Why does everyone I've known since childhood assume that I'll just breeze through everything? My mother jokes that it's my own fault for being an over achiever. Perhaps...I'll accept, I used to be an over achiever. But not any more. Now I'm struggling to keep afloat. It's difficult enough as it is to not drown, without everyone else expecting me to just sail through. It's taken a lot of soul searching for me to accept the fact that things are difficult now, and that it doesn't mean I'm a failure. I'm learning how to ask for help, and I'm learning to love myself, warts and all...but the moment someone expects me to return to my over-achieving ways, it all comes crashing down. The chest tightens, the tension headache appears, and I burst into tears...only to be told off by my father for getting hysterical.

I wish I could explain to these people that it's difficult. And that it doesn't just happen. Yes I did my school exams well...but don't for a minute think that I didn't work incredibly hard. I am not a genius. I know a few geniuses, and I know that I'm not one of them. This assumption that my life is obstacle-free infuriates me. They expect more from me than they do from their own is that fair?! It's peer pressure on a whole different level, and it's unbearable.

And it's not just regarding my studies.
"Someone like you must be having boys lining up at your door!"
I'm sorry, what?! WTF does 'someone like me' mean? Last time I checked, insecure, highly strung female engineers with no physical assets whatsoever weren't really high up on the 'desirability' scale. I wish people would quit the whole 'talking just for the sake of conversation' thing.

I don't really know where I'm going with this post. The positivity of a few days ago disappeared as quickly as it appeared. Looking at CVs was demoralising. I only managed to do half of what I was supposed to do today. And I'm as lonely as hell. Yes I know I keep going on about it. But seriously, you know it's bad when you think "oh shit I forgot to wish Dave for his birthday"...and by 'Dave', you mean 'Comedy Dave' Vitty off of The Chris Moyles Show on Radio 1 (wished him now on twitter though, so it's OK). I think I'm actually going crazy.

If I ever have children, a part of me hopes that they're not high one deserves this pressure.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Pipedreams are made of these

Listening to: 'Jem Theme' by Jem and the Holograms [Jem]

I want to be a singer in a band. It'd be a five-piece - drums, keyboards, lead guitar, bass guitar, (I figure I could manage that). The drummer would be a girl...I've always thought female drummers were cool, ever since I saw Raya on TV (please don't judge me). We wouldn't be famous or anything...just playing the pub circuit and generally having fun. I'm not sure what I'd do during the day...probably work at the post office or something. The lead guitarist would get all the groupies (yes, even crappy bands get groupies in my dreams). And the keyboardist would secretly fancy the drummer (well he'd think it's a secret, but everyone would know, obviously). Oh and I'd have a steamy love affair with the bass guitarist that we'd have to hide from the other band members.'t thought of the rest yet.

What's that I hear you say? PhD? Imaginary band members? Wishful thinking? Delusional? Gah, trust you to spoil my pipedream! Oh well, I guess I'll just go back to singing along (out loud) to my iPod as I walk down the street, hoping for a Shola Ama moment.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Bring it on

Listening to: 'Scherzo in C Minor for Violin and Piano' by Vanessa-Mae/Johannes Brahms [The Classical Album 1]

I am bursting with excitement. My brain is a melting pot of ideas. What experiments to do, what experiments not to do, how to explain that phenomenon, how to introduce this feature, which stuff to show my supervisor now, which stuff to hang on to until I've got a better idea of what's going's all kicking off in my head. I've gone from 'meh' to 'HELL YEAH!!!' in just 2 hours. It feels good.

I've had this feeling before...when I was working my way back onto the PhD after they told me to pack up and go home. I succeeded then, and I will succeed now. Impossible is nothing.

So yeah, world...bring. it. on.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Let me not google that for you!

Listening to: Radio 1

A conversation that happens all too often -
Retard: Hey PR, so I have this question that I need answering...can you answer it for me?
Me: *mutter under breath* Erm...*finds answer on google*...there you go
How I want the conversation to go:
Retard: Hey PR, so I have this question that I need answering...can you answer it for me?
Me: You're connected to the internet, yeah?
Retard: Yeah...
Me: You can type, yeah?
Retard: Yeah...
The last time I checked, I wasn't an encyclopaedia. There is no website called So why don't you pull your finger out and do something for yourself for a change? Even my parents knows how to find stuff on the internet without asking me, and they're over 60!

Yes I know there's lmgtfy, but the type of people who ask me dumb stuff are usually the type of 'sensitive' people who'd get offended if I were to answer with that link, and I can't be bothered dealing with the aftermath.

OK rant over.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Marry me Strickland!

Listening to: 'Love Goes Down' by Plan B [The Defamation of Strickland Banks]

After the emoness of the last post, I think a music review is in order! For this I have chosen an album I bought yesterday - The Defamation of Strickland Banks by Plan B. I'm pretty sure I've mentioned him before. I was really looking forward to this album, and I wasn't disappointed.

The first question that comes to mind is, what is this? Is it a normal album, a concept album inspired by a movie (like Jay-Z's American Gangster), a movie soundtrack, or a musical? Well the answer is, all of the above (he has called it 'a film for the blind'). The songs serve as different chapters in the life of Strickland Banks, as the soul singer meets a groupie on a night out and is then put in jail for a crime he didn't commit. The music videos for the singles released so far ('Stay Too Long' and 'She Said') are all 'scenes' from the short film The Defamation of Strickland Banks, which is currently in production (if Wikipedia's anything to go by).

As a normal album, it's one of the best I've heard in recent times. If you like your blue-eyed soul - Amy Winehouse's incredible Back to Black being the most recent success - you're gonna love this. It's a complete turn around from Plan B's first album, Who Needs Actions When You Got Words, which was heavy on the hard-hitting rap lyrics (some of the, all of the tracks are amazingly twisted). Defamation... on the other hand, is heavy on the dulcet tones of Plan B's singing voice. Love Goes Down has to be the sexiest song I've heard in a while...ooooooooh baby! And the falsetto on She Said is amazing. The hard-hitting lyrics are still there, notably on 'Darkest Place'. And all the tracks have a very authentic 60's feel to them, which is commendable considering there's a fair bit of rapping going on. There are plenty of trumpets, doo-wah backing vocals, soaring strings (I'd buy an instrumental version of 'The Recluse', just to hear the violins!), and even a gospel-type choir! Speaking of which, I love the fact that the gospel choir appears on a track titled 'Welcome to Hell'! Get it? 'gospel'...'hell'...oh never mind. Anyway, to me, the album is 'all thriller, no filler'.

As a concept album/'film for the blind', I think it's amazing. The songs tell you the story, but at the same time, they don't give everything away. The final track 'What You Gonna Do' tells us that Strickland is back in court to find out if he's gonna be set free or sent back to jail...we never find out the outcome, and ironically the last line of the album is "just don't leave me on a cliffhanger"...genius! I can almost picture Plan B watching me from afar and laughing maniacally when he sees my frustration at not knowing the ending. I guess I'll have to wait for the movie, eh?

So yeah, I love the album. I hope it charts well this weekend, 'cos the legend that is Plan B really deserves it. Soooo....GO BUY IT!!!!!!!!!!!!

To finish off, I'm gonna give you two very different videos. The first is track #2 off the new album. I can't get the tune out of my head, and for some reason it reminds me of Charles & Eddie's Would I Lie to You. The second is from Plan B's first album (it took a while to choose between this one and Sick 2 Def). Someone this versatile has to be a genius. Enjoy!

Writing's On the Wall

No More Eatin'

Friday, April 09, 2010


Listening to: 'Defying Gravity' by Glee Cast [Glee: The Music, Volume 1]

My insides ache when I hear the Glee version of this song (I haven't seen Wicked yet so I've nothing to compare it with). There's a spot deep within my body, somewhere beneath my diaphragm...and it's like there's someone there, clawing at my skin from the inside, screaming, trying to get out. My chest feels tight, as if my lungs are trying to jump out of my ribcage. And my shoulders feel like they're about to explode.

My insides ache when I see babies. And oddly enough, it's exactly the same kind of ache I just described. It's like there's another pair of arms inside my own, trying to reach out.

The aching is also the same...when I'm spending time with him. It's like I have to restrain myself. It's a deep sense of longing, coupled with restraint. But I don't think it's him (even though he is lovely). And it isn't the babies (even though they are adorable). In fact, it isn't even the song (even though it is an amazing rendition of an amazing song). On the contrary, I think all this aching is just a manifestation of loneliness. A lot of loneliness.

It's the longing for something familiar, something comforting, something safe. Something that makes me truly happy. The majority of my real friends are somewhere between 50 and 11,000 miles away from me...and when a proper hug is what you need, even one mile is too many miles away. All I can hope for are weekends like the last one, or stolen moments with Shorty.

A part of me feels that this loneliness was the main reason for this crush (because essentially that's all it is) to develop. It wasn't because I wanted to be with him, but more because I wanted to be with someone. I've been thinking, and while I always knew he wasn't gonna be Mr. Right, I've decided that he isn't even Mr. Right Now. That's not to say he isn't an absolute sweetheart ('cos he is), but my gut is telling me that he's never gonna be my sweetheart...and if I've learnt one lesson from my many romantic misadventures, it's that I should always listen to my gut.

So here's the part where I let go. Where I rid my mind of all misplaced hope, and accept the reality of my predicament. I am sad, and I want to cry...but something's stopping me (there's that restraint again). Boys have brought me nothing but tears for the past 13 years, and it's always the same: "He doesn't like me! Waaah!". Something's gotta give.

You know, maybe I'm just not cut out for this 'relationship' malarkey. I mean I've always been a loner. Team activities were never my thing. Choir was probably the closest thing to teamwork that I engaged in, and even then I remember getting told off 'cos my voice could be heard "like a gunshot" over everyone else's (RIP Uncle Lylie). Maybe I just work better on my own.

A lot of people, including Shorty and my mother, seem to think that I'll find someone when I leave Cambridge. However, considering I currently have no plans for my post-Cambridge life, I think their words are probably meant as much to reassure them as they are to comfort me. And so I'm settling. For whatever comes my way. Apparently the horoscopes are coming in without any effort from my parents (go figure!), so I'll just wait for one to match. I can't hope for love, but at least I can hope for companionship, right?

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

To the polls!

Listening to: 'Ego' by Beyoncé [I Am...Sasha Fierce]

It's happening, people. Gordon Brown has called a general election for the 6th of May, and there are now less than 30 days for the residents of this country to choose their next leader. Why did I say 'residents' instead of 'citizens'? Well I've known for a while that non-citizen residents could vote in council elections, but up until now, I was under the impression that you had to be a British citizen in order to be eligible to vote in a general election. Today I found out that that isn't the case. It turns out that UK residents from 'qualifying Commonwealth countries' (and therefore Sri Lanka) are eligible to vote in all UK elections, including general elections. Which means, folks, yours truly will be voting for the first time next month!!!

I've been on the SL electoral register since I was old enough to vote, but I've been in the UK whenever there's been an election. I've been on the UK electoral register since I started uni, but since I was under the shelter of college life, I'd never thought to vote...until now. With each passing moment I feel just that little bit more 'British', and voting in this election feels as much a 'duty' as it does a 'right'. I feel honoured that I have a say in the future of the country where I have spent half of my life. I guess the Commonwealth is good for something apart from my scholarship, eh? ;-)

Those who follow me on twitter will probably know that I've been quite excited about this all day. The cynics among you will probably scoff at my enthusiasm in what you see as a fruitless farce, but I for one disagree. I can't wait to go put a cross on that ballot paper. I don't know where I'm gonna put that cross yet, but I have less than a month to decide. Looks like I have a lot of research to do!

Thursday, April 01, 2010


Listening to: 'Pass Out' by Plan B [Radio 1 Live Lounge]

I used to love X-Files. It was the only thing I could be bothered staying up late enough to watch on TV. I've forgotten a lot of what I saw, apart from the Smoking Man, the stretchy dude who came out of the escalator, and of course Mulder's password. But I digress. Sort of.

When you choose to trust a female friend with a secret, say the fact that you fancy their generally expect them to do one of two things: honour that trust, support you and keep quiet about the whole thing, or betray that trust and blab all over town. What you probably don't expect, is for them to act like you never told them anything and then use every opportunity they get to give you a "ha ha he likes me more than you, sucker!" sign. But that, ladies and gentlemen, is exactly what has happened to me.

Now I've come up with a few possibilities. Either it's all innocent and she doesn't realise how painful it is to have my nose rubbed in the glory of their friendship, or it's anything but innocent and I've inadvertently signed up for a catfight. The other explanation is that I've unwittingly made myself a third wheel in a budding clandestine romance, in which case...oooh shit. My gut is inclined to go with Option 2 (I have my reasons).

So what can I do? I'm shocked, disappointed, confused and upset. But none of that is gonna make me want to 'fight'. It's just not me. And it's not like me to be confrontational either, so we can cross out the "talk to her" option. All I can do is stomach it. Just sit through all the "ooh let me share this titbit of information about him to highlight the fact that I know him better than you" and the "ooh let me casually mention how he's so sweet to me and not you" moments. I mean seriously...I'm not the jealous type but she is really pushing me!

But yeah. Grin and bear. To be fair, it is my fault. My fault for bringing my emotions into the workplace, for forgetting that I should trust no one, and for allowing myself to get distracted and affected by all of this. I just need to get the walls back up and then all will be fine.

Sigh...when am I gonna stop allowing myself to get hurt?