Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Go Suck An Egg

Last night, I posted a rant on the mis-governance of this country. This morning, I had well over 50 comments on the matter, out of which just 2 disagreed with me, in pure filth. SO, to those two 'learned' individuals who thought otherwise, therein lies my point. You can wear your rose-coloured glasses for the rest of your life, and sing songs of praise to the corruption and greed that runs this country, but please know that I am not alone on the other side of the fence.

That said, I have removed said post, not because I am apologetic by any means (you must be joking... I still stand by every word I said), but because I realized with rest and contemplation that exuding negativity is what got this country into a mess in the first place. And so, since I have nothing nice to say about the administration or you who got so nasty with the biased comments, I am not going to say anything at all. You are entitled to your viewpoint, as I was to mine.

I could have gotten defensive, and I could have used intolerance to my advantage. But that would make me another parliamentarian who can't handle criticism. Or a blog reader who can't respect another person's opinion.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Risk? Hahahahahahah

Told my techno-savvy boyfriend last evening to help me build a website. I wanted to name it Anyone from the ad frat will probably agree with me wholeheartedly, and hopefully even send me big bunches of flowers. (hint)

Maaaaan the kind of people who run companies in this country.... it sometimes makes you wonder who the hell let them out of kindergarten, let alone gave them a job at the top. To think that we've even developed an atom's worth commercially amazes me, coz there ain't no way in hell these guys are going anyway but down in the near future. I sometimes think life is so unfair to have put imbeciles like my clients in positions ABOVE me, because I actually seem to have more up there than they do, and THAT'S saying alot! There's a poster that hangs above my desk that says 'People who think they know it all really annoy those of us who do", and I swear I couldn't have said it better.

OK... what am I ranting about again? Oh yeah... Sri Lankan advertisers, a.k.a 'clients' to those of us who suffer their whims. I sometimes wonder about why the devil events like the 'Chillies' and 'Brand Excellence' exist at all, because really... we hardly have any noteworthy material to show for it, save the one-off scam ads that are produced with much eagerness. But then again, if it weren't for the scam ads, we'd have VERY little effective creativity to show off to the world when it comes to the local advertising industry. And it's not the fault of agencies at all... it's those buffoons we have to deal with, and produce the ads for.

With the exception of the rare few clients who actually think beyond their own noses, not a single corporate manager in Sri Lanka is willing to show some balls and think differently when it comes to advertising. Every briefing starts with 'we want something out of the box and new', and in the process of a vicious and tiring cycle, the jobs end up looking just like what they did before, or worse.

I'm suffering it as we speak. I've sat here and churned out many an idea and script that I and most of my office think are fairly good, only to have the client pour a boiling hot tub of oil on our excitement. I can understand if the ideas were absolute crap, and didn't do justice to the brands... but the alternative ideas that the client suggets are just BEYOND ridiculous, and you sometimes wonder why you speak to them at all. Brands in this country (again, with the exception of a precious few) will NEVER make it to an iconic status, simply because Sri Lankan marketers will NEVER make new decisions. They just don't have it in them to think out of the proverbial box, and unless someone else has tried it and succeeded, they'll never give new thinking a shot.

The best part is that no matter how much you tell them this, the idiots live in denial. In the mirror, they see themselves as dynamic and creative leaders of tomorrow, paving the way for brand effectiveness in the country, when all they are, are miserable lice who just follow the rest of the pack, because they fear rejection. In a nutshell, they're shit scared to take a risk. There is not an ounce of foresight in the Sri lankan strategic thinking machine... we live for the day, and damn tomorrow's potential.

Gah. Rant. Sigh.

It's not just the government that consists of a bunch of dickheads.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Wahh... badly want a car.... (ooh looky that rhymed.)

Leaving my previous office meant returning my company vehicle to them, so I am now suffering the general populace's ire at having to take taxis to wherever I want to go. I won't do buses coz there's a long story behind my phobia that warrants a whole new blog, so I'm currently forking out cash on a daily basis on trishaws and cabs to get to office, around and back home.

It sucks!

Pardon me for sounding like a spoilt bitch, but after having driven myself around for one year, the inconvenience levels have risen drastically at the absence of my own vehicle. It's not only about the convenience factor either... driving was my one claim to independance - to go wherever I please whenever I please, and to feel powerful and in charge for that brief travelling period. When YOU'RE a semi-subjugated Sri Lankan female, you'll understand what I mean.

And so, I really, really, really, badly need and want a vehicle of my own. The new office has been nice enough to grant me a vehicle allowance that will help towards investing in my own wheels, so these days I've fervently seeking my baby. I refuse to buy a 'suitable' car; by which I mean a gender-appropriate Swift, Maruti or Starlet. For whatever goddamn reason, people I speak to about my want for a car automatically presume I'm looking for a little bug-like one, just because I'm a lady driver, and that, let me tell you, gets my GOAT. There is no way in hell I'm gonna be a Tweety's Grandma and chug away in a tin egg. No siree... this feminist wants an SUV. (Ideally a Hummer, but both the price and the steering wheel are well beyond my reach.)

I'm all too used to seeing eyebrows shooting up in curious amusement everytime I tell someone I'm looking for a 4-wheel drive. Nobody understands what I, Ms. Tiny Loudmouth, would want with a jeep, but I've been dreaming of driving one for so long, that no amount of bubble-bursting will sway my search. There's something POWERFUL about driving a 4X4, y'know? You don't get walked all over by them buses and vans, like the way you do when you drive a small car. ESPECIALLY when you're female. To me, an SUV is a power symbol, and proof to myself that I've made it. I can do so many things with it, without worrying about undercarriage or tyre damage. My dreams of off-road thrills are that much closer.

The problem, however, is the constantly-increasing price factor. With the new budget coming into force, even second-hand vehicles are going up in price, all because of some greedy lame-asses in parliament. The vehicle of my dreams is moving further and further away from my grasp, and it's so depressing. Just last week I thought I found a baby for myself (test drove and fell in love with a cute recon Cami) , only to have my plans thwarted by the bank, who said the interest rates had gone up and increased the installments to an impossible amount. Since then, I've been looking around, but haven't found one within my budget. The ones I HAVE found that are price compatible, are in crap condition, and will not help me in anyway.

Gah. This car-shopping business is such a pain.

If you know anyone selling a 4 wheel drive for a reasonable price, please do let me know. I promise I'll give you a free ride.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Playing Hostess

Gosh I'm tired! I swear, I don't know how the society laydeez do this whole entertaining thing on a regular basis... it's bloody exhausting!
The guys from my old office came over for the day. I invited them to lunch, and promised them a home-cooked meal, since I felt I owed it to them and the years of bliss they've given me. I had a vague idea of what I wanted to do, but quite obviously didn't realize how much effort it really takes...

We'd planned for the whole lot to come over by 10 am, to give us some time before lunch to catch up, and play some games (yeah... we're real card game addicts.). This meant I had to have my cooking done by the time everyone arrived, coz it woulda sucked if the whole visit went by with me stuck in the kitchen. So I woke up this morning at 6 to make sure I'd have everything ready an done by 10. And then panic began.

While entertaining all those thoughts of good luncheon-hosting for weeks ahead, I'd completely forgotten about buying the damn ingredients I needed for the cooking! Thus, a better part of the morning was spent bribing my slug brother to drive me to the market to get the stuff I needed. He, having gotten his license just a few weeks back, spent another good hour getting me to the shops. I hurriedly bought the groceries, and rushed back home to make time, and immediately started preparing my 'gourmet' dishes. I'm an average cook, and can manage an omelette or two, so I figured my decided menu of biriyani would be a piece of cake to handle. That's because I hadn't considered that it was biriyani for ten people, which is something I've never attempted before.

For one thing, we didn't have pans big enough to cook in, so yours truly had to improvise with making several pots of the same dish, to be combined once it was all done. The cooking was eventful to say the least, what with the constant tears thanks to the never-ending number of onions I cleaned, the planned tempered potato & cauliflower overcooking into pure starch pulp, and the cat making off with a large portion of the marinated chicken. Nevertheless, I did manage to get my act together by and by, and have my fare ready by quarter to ten. I had somehow completed a menu of biriyani rice, boiled eggs, chicken korma, raita, malay pickle and potato & cauliflower mish-mash.

Was just beginning to feel rather proud of my accomplishment, and grateful to mum for having cleared up the house a bit and laid out the table for me, when I suddenly remembered I'd left the rice in the cooker too long. A stressed check confirmed it too, now matched the potato's consistency.

Had I known that my visitors would delay their arrival by 2 hours (!!!), as they are typically prone to do, perhaps I would have saved the panic attacks for later and gotten more sleep.

They eventually turned up at 1.30, and to put it in a nutshell, we had a blast. We played game after game - giggled at 'Mad', shrieked at 'Twister', created a cacophony during 'Mafia' and got hysterical over 'Uno'. In the interim, they ate my biriyani, and took second and sometimes even third helpings!! Made the whole pre-process totally worth it. I now know why women beam like sunflowers when people compliment their cooking.... it felt DAMN good to be told that my efforts were successful. :))

Cleaning up was less of a pleasure, but mum helped out. As soon as the guys left, I put on my shoes and went out with mum on a window shopping expedition for cars. Spent the rest of the evening checking out vehicles that were way too expensive, and haggling with dealers who assumed that my gender made me stupid.

And now, I've just gotten home, and collapsed onto my bed. And. I. Am. Tired.

AH well... twas worth it. It was great to see the guys today... I was reminded of how much I miss them. Maybe I'll invite them over again soon.

But I'm hiring a caterer next time.

Thursday, November 8, 2007


Imagine the scenario. You've been walking for some time along a familar path. Some spots along the way have flowers, some display thorny weeds and potholes. It's a generally satisfying walk, with light breeze and bunnies hopping beside you. Nothing too exciting... just nice and relaxing, for most of the time.

But suddenly, you come to a junction. The path splits ahead of you. On the left is a continuation promising the same walk, with nothing else to be seen in the horizon. Same bunnies, same light breeze, same potholes and same flower spots. A continuous long walk, with the possibility of the path taking a circular route and ending at the same junction.

On the right, the trail dissapears into a mist. You have no idea what's behind that mist- happy endings or sad... darkness or light. You don't know if the path ends at a steep drop or if it goes on to an end. And you're not too sure if you're feeling adventurous enough to find out, either, since all the walking has put you into a comfort zone, and there's really nothing wrong for you to need to choose a different direction in the first place.

So... which direction do you take? A lifetime of the same scenery, or something you have no idea about, that quite possibly ends in failure?

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

The Maternal Instinct... something I'll probably never have. I assumed it a long time ago, but my assumption was confirmed ten-fold yesterday during a couple of interviews I sat through with an office colleague. We accompanied this research agency on visits to a few ladies in the locale, to interview them on their lives and their children, for a project we're working on at the moment. We asked the women about how they feel about motherhood, and their fondest memories about their kids, who were seated next to them.

Maaan.... it was all so alien to me. Their faces went all gaga-gooey, and their eyes would tear up while huge smiles splashed across their faces when they described what a sheer blessing it was to be a mom. All the while, the demonic imps next to them screamed, wriggled and ran around uncontrollably like wound-up toys. What amazed me more was the look of 'awww sweeeet' on my colleague's and the researchers' faces everytime the little tykes pulled their hair or disrupted the interview process. All I wanted to do to those kids was strap them to their seat and plaster their mouths. The more I sat through those interveiws , the more I was yearning to speedily escape, because the moms kept carrying the kids to me and saying "see the nice auntie...go play with the nice auntie." This auntie was NOT feeling nice, I can tell you that much. All she wanted to do was scream and bolt, but instead, she had to grit her teeth and smile benignly for the sake of a succesful research.

So yeah... I came to the conclusion that maybe mothering just ain't for me. I can't fathom how the majority of the female race does it... go all gushy over mini-humans like that. I don't have the patience, or the in-built nurturing instinct that I am 'supposed' to have, to give up my freedom and sacrifice my sanity in the name of motherhood. The only living beings that DON'T evoke my sympathy and undying affection are humans, whatever size they come packaged in. Other peoples' kids are fine... cute and cuddly to look and coo at... because you know that at the end of the day, someone else has to deal with the whining and pooing. But to have to do that myself... hell, I'M still whining and pooing. There's no way in hell I'm gonna be mature enough to take care of another little me. I'd lose the one sane nerve I have left. Gimme dogs and cats, or even slugs to look after and I'll do it with joy. A fur-less, noisy baby who will in a few years talk too much...NO.

In general society, this makes me a heathen of sorts, but I don't really care. Society can go stuff itself... it'll be some time before I want to play Mummy.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Ode to Fleadom

You know how some folks say that certain activities help them to de-stress, like cleaning the house or weeding a garden? Well, I'm not some folks. I've recently discovered my own method of stressbusting, and boy does it work like a charm for the ol' grouse. It comes in the form of a tiny little creature called a tick. Thats right... my heart lifts and my emotions soar at the thought of a parasite, and I wanted to share this new-found joy with everyone.

I don't know if it's the weather or the moggies he socializes with, but since recently my dog Tuti (short for Tutankhamun, after that rich pharoah bugger up the Nile whom I fantasize occasionally about) has started displaying miniature black lightbulbs on himself. Looks like one of those costumes from Pirates of the Carribean (I watched it recently, hence the reference to demostrate my indepth knowledge of movies). At first we though it was just another fashion faux pas of his, because he's given to his phases - like the time he took a liking to sporting my underwear on his head. On closer inspection they turned out to be a community of insects, commonly known to the local as a 'makka' in the mother tongue.

Having brought up countless canines ever since I can remember, ticks are commonplace in the homestead, and don't evoke the stereotypical shrieking and exclamations of 'eeyah' from any of the household women. Nor does it spur us into action by way of speedily transporting said dog to the vet and wrining our hands in abject dismay, until a stinky solution costing the earth is poured onto the fur and we grimace at the sight of the ticks falling off and scrambling all over the floor.

No. We pride ourselves on our primitive methods, and thus, as we have for many years, we immediately swooped down on a thoroughly perplexed dog and began using those glorious tools called fingernails and proceeded to pluck at the parasitical baubles.

It's been two weeks since, and we're still plucking.

I know. You'd advice me to use the stinky solution and have it over with in a day. But here's the thing, mate... it's LOVELY to pick ticks. It's actually relaxing and very zen-like. There's something so releasing about picking out a crawly little bugger and flicking him down the toilet. It's a sense of accomplishment, I tell you, to collect them in a bowl of water, and at the end of a grooming session, proudly survey your pluckings, backstroking in their new swimming pool. So much so that it's almost become an unspoken contest between Mother and I; working tirelessly from two sides of dog and competing to pluck out the most number of fleas.

We're not the only ones benefitting either. You should see Tuti. He flops down on the floor and surrenders himself to our greedy fingers with a sigh of content and a look on his face that is very much reminiscent of a maharaja enjoying a sensual oil massage at the hands of his harem. The cats are incredibly jealous.

I have to admit, I'm now addicted to the art of de-ticking my dog. Before them creepy crawlies came, I couldn't tear myself away from Yahoo game demos. Now, all is forgotten and trivial in comparison to the joys of playing Nazi to a bunch of fleas. After two weeks of fur-weeding and strict prohibition from hob-nobbing with strays, Tuti's little companions are a dying race. Soon, they will be gone, leaving a fond memory of the happiness their exorcism gave me.

You should try it sometime. I swear, it's a rewarding expeience like no other. Ask you dog to think about it.

And if you're too squirmish, you know who to call for the job. ;)

Friday, November 2, 2007

So Far, So Good

You know what... this new job thing ain't so bad after all...
That's not to say I'm not shivering in me boots anymore, coz I still have to prove that I'm worth my salt in this place. Since yesterday I've done practically nothing because everyone's too busy to attend to me and my ignorance just yet. I have been warned, though, that come next week, my work will load up with much speed.

I've kept myself quiet without irritating any of the new office mates just yet. We'll give it some time before they get to know me, neyda. I'm seated in my cubicle in the corner, watching the rest of the ad world buzzing by, and taking down mental notes on the whos and hows of the place, until such time that I have developed myself a satisfactory opinion of my decision to move here.

It's a far cry from my previous office, this one. Not professionally, of course - this is a much larger agency and everything's alot more professional and structured in that sense. But the people just aren't the same, and nor is the culture within which they work. Having thoroughly enjoyed myself in a real home-like atmosphere back at the old place, with such a down-to-earth, warm and unpretentious team that became my family, the new place is kinda alien to me. that's not to say that the people are bad... just different. Much more 'stylish', I would say... a little more interested in themselves than each other, and not so passionate about their work and company as my old team is. It's a younger, 'party hard' crowd (most of them), and everything is just a tad too superficial. But that's possibly me being very biased because of my loyalties to what I left behind.

What struck me as foreign was that yesterday was supposedly the company's first anniversary, and absolutely no one wanted to celebrate it in any way. The management held a meeting and formally announced that one successful year had passed, and that was it. Not a fly seemed too interested, and everyone just went back to their workspaces, to silently click away at their machines and occasionaly crack a really posh joke that I just didn't get. Back in the old place, we'd be hugging and kissing each other while finding more excuses to party about an anniversary...

Also, when new people joined the former office, we'd do everything possible to make that person feel welcome and enjoy him/herself. There'd be team activities, initiation rites to giggle at and sing songs galore. Here, people barely gave me a second glance. I wouldn't say hostile, but it's certainly a much stiffer environment than I'm used to.

Workwise I still have no idea. Most probably I will, when my training begins next week. Until then, I shall wait, and watch , until it's time for me to change things. Fingers crossed.