Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Best Things In Life Are Me.

It almost hurts when one starts something that has the potential for a tagging explosion, and yet one chooses NOT to tag anyone and leave it all hanging uselessly like jellyfish tentacles. How annoying.

But Lady D did leave it open for interpretation, and seeing as how several others have grabbed at a chance to tag themselves, I’m going to do the same.

Let’s first pretend you know nothing about me.

1. What time did you get up this morning?
Too early for my comfort. Or the cat’s. She didn’t appreciate being thrown hastily off her warm perch on my stomach. I have a claw mark to prove her ire.

2. Diamonds or pearls?
Depends on what I’m wearing, really. I have a schizophrenic thing going on, so I think I’ll take both, sil vous plait.

3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema?
Madagascar 2. King Julian gets me horny.

4. What is your favourite TV show?
Who’s Line Is It Anyway and Oprah. There… I’ve said it. I am not ashamed.

5. What do you usually have for breakfast?
It used to be one particular employee, but since I moved jobs it’s been muesli. Both taste the same.

6. What is your middle name?
I find that very politically incorrect. Why, I ask, should a name be imparted rank? Do not all names deserve equality?

7. What food do you dislike?
Shit. I had it once and didn’t much take to it. Brain and tongue come in a close second. Something about the concept of eating those parts of an animal really put me off.

8. What is your favourite album at the moment?
The one my mother shows off to everyone who dares to stop by for a visit. It has all my baby nudey pictures in it.

9. What kind of car do you drive?
Darling, she’s not a car. Don’t make me shudder. She is Camilla Parker the Toyota Cami, with individualistic scratches to boot.

10. Favorite sandwich?
I’d love to say man, but I’d tick a few people off. I will settle for Marmite, pol sambol and cheese. Have you tried it??

11. What characteristics do you despise?
Complacency and arrogance. I am the only one allowed.

12. Favorite item of clothing?
Bras. It’s my new-found girly love. Then there’s also my collection of denims that I literally live in. They know me well.

13. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you go?Disneyland. Over and over again, if I could.

14. Favourite brand of clothing?
I hate clothing brands. I really don’t see the point. Perhaps it’s my career in advertising that’s gone and bogged the show. I refuse to let some other name besides my own define me.

15. Where would you retire to?
If it’s not to an early grave, my little log cabin way up in the misty mountains, along with my pet goats (I will have three) and gotukola patches.

16. What was your most memorable birthday?
No.17. My first/last/only real mixed party, where I got all dressed up and acted posh whilst my dad and his camera tailed me like the paparazzi all evening. We later found out that there was never any film in that damn camera, and he was merely spying on my every activity to make sure no boys kissed me.

17. Favourite sport to watch?
Rugby, for that glorious sea of muscular thighs and figure-skating because I have a gay streak in me.

18. When is your birthday?
If I tell you I’ll have to kill you.

19. Are you a morning person or a night person?
Depends on what time of the day you plan to meet me.

20. What is your shoe size?
I don’t have a penis, so it shouldn’t matter. Unless you plan to buy me shoes, in which case I’ll gladly tell.

21. Pets?
Redundant question. But wait… you’re not supposed to know me, neyda. Yes. Two snooty cats, one species-confused dog and a sibling.

22. Any new and exciting news you'd like to share with us?
A mosquito bit my ass last night and now I have a boil.

23. What did you want to be when you were little?

24. How are you today?
Still the same height. A little underweight because I haven’t had lunch.

25. What is your favourite candy?
Caramel toffee bananas

26. What kind of flowers do you like?
Jasmine and frangipani for their smell, and lilies because they look like they know it all.

27. What day on the calendar are you looking forward to?
All those hypothetical days I’ve marked out for when I get to leave home.

28. What is your full name?
Dunnam Kaala Kaala Duwannam. I’ve waited so long to say that online!

29. What are you listening to right now?
The boring natter of a client service executive.

30. What was the last thing you ate?
A toenail. It was delicious.

31. Do you wish on stars?
I’m usually under them.

32. If you were a crayon, what color would you be?
One of those collections of shaven bits put together in a gooey bunch.

33. What is the weather like right now?
The one outside or the one hovering above my head at this very moment?

34. First person you spoke to on the phone today?
My mother. She called me in a panic about a cow who'd been knocked down on the road.

35. Favourite soft drink?

36. Favourite restaurant?
Taprobane at the Cinnamon Grand. Once you’ve delved into their buffets, there’s no turning back.

37. Real hair color?
All my hair is still real. It’s black, with bits of brown and speckles of reddy bronze.

38. Favorite toy as a child?
A gun. Ironic, that

39. Summer or winter?

40. Hugs or kisses?
Hugs. Lots of them. Kisses put me to sleep.

41. Chocolate or vanilla?
I’m female. Why ask silly questions?

42. Coffee or tea?
Coffee. It becomes obvious when you meet me.

43. When was the last time you cried?
Last night, as I strained to exile a particularly defiant poo.

44. What is under your bed?
My mother keeps asking me the same thing. I still don’t know, although it does tend to smell a bit now and then… I have a feeling the cat knows, though.

45. What did you do last night?
Wouldn’t you love to know…

46. What are you afraid of?
The sea and dependence.

47. Salty or sweet?

48. How many keys on your key ring?
I have keys??

49. Favourite day of the week?

50. How many towns you lived in?

51. Do you make friends easily?

...and then they get to know me.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Poses and Promotions

You know how you get that urge to smoke after having had some really good sex? I’ve never felt that. Interpret it any which way you like, but I was referring to the cigarette action. However, I am feeling a similar satisfaction much like the one felt after a good romp.

Not that I’ve romped. Stop hyperventilating, mother… I know you’re reading this. Go back to marthastewart.com, please. I am merely trying, in a creative fashion, to open this post by telling you all that I’ve had some very good days lately and now I want to lie back and breathe it all in with the hopes that my recent lucky streak won’t wake up and not remember my name because it was under some universal alcoholic influence when we first met.

God, I can even confuse myself with the way I write.

Back to the story.

Two things happened in the last three days. The first, and by far the most important, was that someone out in the blogosphere thought I had a sense of humor good enough to save the tomatoes for a rainy day. I won the coveted ‘funniest post’ award in RD’s line-up for 2008. George Bush judged it, too. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank God, RD and George for bestowing this incredible, humbling honour upon me. I also want to thank the Doc, without whose unending tortured soul the winning post could never have been. I dedicate this award to my cats and John Cleese.

The second event that took place was to do with work. So I let the cat out of the bag in my last post about a little career upgrade that I’d been informed about by the powers that be. Last evening, the rest of the office was informed too. I guess that makes it official and I can safely blab out more details to those of you who aren’t yawning at my self-obsessed natter. Yet. I was appointed as a group head within our creative department, which means I now have the power to veto the opinions of any cat-haters. All hail me. They also say I now have the authority to call the shots, though this may come at the risk of getting shot at. Not everyone in the team is dancing the jig of joy at the announcement – I am, of course, a newbie in comparison to some of the other stalwarts and institutions, and sometimes taking direction from a loudmouthed woman can be an icky experience to say the least. I didn’t expect it to be hunky dory and I am fully geared for the onslaught of ‘how-she-got-the-job’ assumptions that are bound to scatter far and wide in the coming days. Nevertheless, it still feels good to have made a mark with my work and be recognized for it. Yes, Ms. Gaynor…. I will survive.

Besides the two most recent causes for joy, I had some rather good fun two days ago too. Remember how I mentioned my clients wanting me to model in their campaigns? Note how I assume you’re an avid fan of this blog to remember such things? Even if you don’t, now you do.

Thursday saw me posing and pouting at a full-day photo shoot for a spa catalogue, in which yours truly was the creature feature. If I ever thought modeling was a glamorous job, I don’t now. It is something akin to ranching, where you are the cattle and the photographer, agency, make-up artist and light boxes are four very mean cowboys. I was pulled, pushed, poked, prodded and pummeled in every direction humanly and bovinely possible, all in the name of a good shot. Along the way, a good many adventures took place, as is usually the way with the universe and I.

Make-up was the biggest adventure of all. I had been granted, by virtue of a stingy client, a make-up lady who was still learning to differentiate a powder from a glue. A mousy little thing, so fragile that I felt her pain every time she bravely wielded the weight of the blusher brush, wondering whether it was meant for my face or a wall. Had I been cruel enough to growl in her direction, she’d have had to undergo trauma counseling, she was that timid.

She had with her a platter of colours and creams of all sorts that she presented with pride. The instruction was to:

a) Cover my spots (because this was a glamourous brochure and not a connect-the-dots playbook)

b) Make me look simple and sublime.

Simple, right? Wrong.

First, she took out the one foundation stick she’d brought (about ten shades darker than my skin) and painted my spots until she’d actually created more than I already had on my face. Chicken pox would have been jealous. I diplomatically asked her if she’d like to blend, and blend she did. She took that thumb of hers and with an alarming force that kept throwing me off my chair, rubbed my face so hard until I was sure I’d end up doing a pet commercial for pugs.

Next came the colour. Out swished the brush and the electric blue shadow. Sweep, sweep, and I was instantly contesting for Drag Queen of the Year. I waited patiently till she turned away to load her evil brush and then hastily rubbed off as much as I could with my fingers. Should we apply some rouge, I asked her. Sure, she said, and gave me a Coco the Clown. More rubbing off. She next walked around me in circles, periodically clucking to herself while she examined my head and wondered aloud what to do with my hair. Enter abject pain, as she took out Satan’s trident in the guise of a comb and managed to skewer my scalp from every angle before hauling at my hair like a fisherman’s net while blasting my increasingly reddening scalp with heat. It was meant to straighten the tresses, she excitedly informed a weeping me. I now know that by ‘straighten’ she meant knock the last ounce of gayness out of my darling locks till I could pull off a convincing struck-by-lightning look. I hear it’s the rage in deepest darkest Africa.

Why we spent so long attending to every strand of hair, I will never know… the second I sat on my perch in front of the camera they switched on two massive industrial fans directed at me and all that painstakingly tortured hair just exploded everywhere, including into my nose, mouth and eyes. “Wow! Yes! Hold that!” the photographer instructed as I beautifully choked on a particularly large bunch of hair socializing with my larynx. “Love it!” he shouted when more hair went up my nose and made me tear. “Give me sexy!’ he barked, whereby the poltergeist on my head dutifully throttled me. If the shots that resulted are not used for this brochure, I’m sure I can make a mint selling them to Amnesty International for their next campaign.

One hour and much hair later I was done with the ‘hair care’ shots. Next came ‘skin care’. “Lets do the splash images’ I heard someone calling. Splash? As in, water? What the devil did that entail? While I mused and panicked, Make-up Mouse doused me in a new coat of colours – oranges and greens this time- till I looked like a carrot. My apprehension mounted when I saw someone bringing me a bathrobe. “Wear this over your clothes”, she muttered conspiratorially, not daring to look at me lest she felt my emotion and ratted on their secret plans. My thoughts went insane when they brought out a large basin filled to the brim with water and placed it on a stand in font of me. By this time Mouse was grabbing fistfuls of my hair and clenching them tight to create curls. She being a good two feet shorter than I meant that every time she grabbed, I got whiplash.

The photographer appeared again. Lights were adjusted. One last blob of orange dust was showered onto my face for an extra splotchy effect. “All right DQ… throw water on yourself.”

WTF? What did he mean throw water on myself?? The basin, I was politely told, was for my use. I was to use my hands to splash water on my face. With my eyes closed. With that lovely smile I always get when I throw cold water on my face with my eyes closed and thereby aim so well that it actually goes up my nose. Could I also please open the neck of the bathrobe to make it look like my shoulders were bare? Smile, DQ… don’t wince or scowl at the water. It is your friend. No spluttering, please… the camera needs you and the water to remain still, please. That’s it… open your mouth bit in a happy declaration… no don’t gag on the water like that, it doesn’t make a good shot. Come on now… LOVE IT. Yes…yes…that’s it…splash!..splash more! More! More water….hold it there… what’s that? No swearing, please.

60 shots later, I was drenched from head to toe – clothes and all- and not looking pleased. Mouse pursed her lips disapprovingly at me for daring to let the water get the better of her skillful artistry and leave me looking like a deranged panda with a badly done fake tan. It was time for the ‘aromatherapy’ shots and she’d have to start all over again. My hair was wet, she reported. She’d have to blow dry. Dear God, help.

Because ever millimeter of cloth on me was as wet as sin, someone’s convenient shawl was taken and wrapped around me. They wanted the ‘Sigirya effect’, I was told. I wasn’t sure if they meant the paintings of the maidens or the actual rock, which was what I was looking like at that point. Once they’d bathed me in purples and pinks this time around, I was instructed to clutch onto a bunch of lotus flowers and smell them, smiling serenely and the enthralling scent that supposedly wafted my way. Here’s the thing… lotuses smell god-damn awful. Especially the ones with the little flying bugs in them. Within the hour I was a grandmaster of serenely smelling stinky flowers while insects flew up my nostrils.

That evening, I went back to office with my face caked up like a cheap prostitute’s and a wealth of experience that teaches me never to agree to modeling assignments that involve water or lotus flowers. Or a make-up artist who looks like a mouse.

I hope that damn spa makes a sale or two.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Lady Luck

Dudes, January is SO my month. Way up there in the big ol’ universe there’s a soccer game in full swing and my planets are scoring some awesome goals. Beckham, eat your heart out.

2009 has started off with a bang for me and I am hoping and praying this is meant to last the whole year, unlike a politician’s promise. Allow me to take a moment to kick modesty in the rear end and tell you what’s been going on since I last blogged.

On the career front it’s been good. Very good. I’ve been told that Big Brother is pleased with me and my leadership skills are going to be put into use soon. Let’s see how that goes. If it happens as it has been foretold, I will divulge more. All my scripts have gotten approval without so much as the blink of an eye, which is disconcertingly uncharacteristic of my clients. They usually like to play diva, but this time around they actually went for everything I presented. EVERYTHING. Including all optional in-case-you-hated-the-last-one scripts. The world’s biggest misers are actually considering investing in more than one campaign. Weird, in a good way.

Not only have they approved my work, but my clients want ME to be in the commercials too! In the last week they fought with each other over who gets to have me, coz doing all of them would compromise on the believability of the character I’d play in each. In the middle of the fights I get calls from two other production houses calling me for screen tests coz THEIR clients want me in some commercials. And I’m not even a bloomin’ model. Considering that I am a good ton fatter and zittier than the last time TV saw me, it’s like the twilight zone, man.

I had a two-day shoot this weekend and as all shoots go, something or someone is always bound to screw things up big time. It’s a time-tested, proven theory in the ad industry that no shoot ever goes unfazed. This one, in the evillest way, did. Nothing happened. Everything went FINE. We even finished at decent hours with surprisingly few takes. Not even the models were bitchy or difficult. I even got a marriage proposal out of it, courtesy of a 95-year old toothless onlooker off the street who claimed to be Gamini Fonseka’s brother. He’d just buried his wife (showed me her photograph to prove it) and was looking to take another.

Ok, so the planets were probably pulling my leg that time, but it happened and I lived to tell the tale. The old guy, on the other hand, probably went home and drank poison to rid him of the heartbroken misery borne out of my rejection of his courtship. Sorry uncle…seeya…. I’m taken, and I ‘d like to kiss someone with more teeth, anyway. A brushed set, preferably.

On the home front, there is abnormal peace. I don’t know how long THAT will last, but the going is good and greatly appreciated while it does. The house is also abundant with luscious fruit, all obtained FOC from the afore-mentioned shoot. We had to set up a fruit stall, you see. There were tons and tons of the freshest produce brought in and no where to take it to afterwards. Hence yours truly filled up her car (which, by the way also starred in the commercial and was given the star treatment of a good wash by not one, but FOUR sets of hands) with the stuff. Free fruit is not easy to find these days, especially water melons, apples, oranges, chinese guavas, king coconut, nectarines, humongous papayas and entire branches of bananas. If bought, the stuff would have cost me a good 5 thousand at least. With my recent bout of luck, I got it for nothing.

To top it all off, last morning I received an email informing me that I’d won a shopping spree worth Rs. 50,000/- at ODEL. Naturally, I thought it was a hoax. But the contact numbers and addresses cited seemed real enough, so I called with much trepidation. Turns out it was hoax-free and 100% fact. I nearly died. But didn’t. Instead, I screamed like a mad banshee into the phone and then danced wildly in circles inside the office. I can outshine an audience member on an episode of ‘Oprah’s Favourite Things’ with my expressions of glee. My grand prize was awarded to me an hour back, with a photo shoot to boot. I tried my best to look half decent and prize-winnerish, much like an aunty who would visit Dubai for the first time. I was so excited that my vibes transcended towards the branded banner above me and it fell on my head just as the cameras clicked.

And now, half faint with excitement at my recent rush of luck, I have boasted to everyone in the blogosphere and probably jinxed it all. Ah well… at least it’s good while it lasts.

A toast to my stars….GOOOOAAAAAAL!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Year, New Tag

My first tag for 2009. Goody. All thanks to that Doc fella of mine. :) Utter bloody sweetheart, he is.

Yes, I am feeling gooey. Deal with it.

Right. Here are my resolutions for this brand spanking shiny new year, in no particular order. Please note that I am also making up resolutions as I type, coz I really didn't have time to think on it before:

  • Get back into shape. And I don't mean round. There used to be a time when yours truly could make a few hearts skip in her sparkly little salsa outfits. They barely fit my thigh now. I promise you, I WILL wear them again, even at the cost of being called the vulgar old aunty who can't act her age.
  • Fight harder for my freedom. Bring it on, mother.
  • Make bigger, louder and less debatable points on animal rights and welfare.
  • Learn something new. Anything. Even how to play guitar with my teeth.
  • Save up cash for my next big adventure. I'm not telling you what it is because I don't want to jinx it. But I plan to have it within the next two years.
  • Dance again.
  • Visit some place I never have before.
  • Try to be a little less of a spoilt bitch. (I am being a realist. I said TRY.)
  • Get closer to figuring out what it is that I really want out of this soddin' life.
  • Be better friends with God. I think he's feeling a little left out these days, the poor darling.
  • Change someone's life for the better. That someone may or may not be human.

Enough, no?

Oh yeah... I tag RD, DeeCee and TheMissingSandwich.

Another One Bit The Dust

Another year, that is.

Cue superficial sobs and wails as I wave goodbye to the exiting 2008 with the one clean handkerchief I own. The minute it’s out of sight (2008, not my handkerchief), I turn to 2009 with a cunning smile on my seasonally pimpled face. Christmas food does that to the skin.

“It’s gone.” I whisper conspiratorially to the year ahead, referring to the one I left behind. “Done. Finished. Kaput. Just you and me now…. let’s party.” My seductive purring is meant to get 2009 excited by the unspoken potential of what is to come.

How’s THAT for a blog-post opener, huh? HUH?? Read it and WEEP.

OK. Back to normalcy. If ever there was any.

The crumbly leftover bits of 2008 since I last blogged were pretty hectic, hence the long silence. It’s not easy for me to silent for too long- ask the Doc or LD if you don’t believe me- so it obviously was a VERY stressful couple of weeks.

First there was the Christmas Woof. For those of you who are uncool and not in the know, The Christmas Woof is a wicked device that the boyfr… sorry… MANfriend (you’re welcome, hunny) and I thought up to feed the more intelligent species during the season. Yes, dolphins and chimps are quite the smartasses, but dogs and cats come in a close second in my opinion. Slightly over 15 species ahead of man. Ptishh.

Anyway. That’s another post.

So we wanted to feed street & shelter dogs and cats for Christmas and we figured that by selling some home-made brownies, chutneys and hand-painted mugs, we’d make the money we needed for the mass furry almsgiving. We went into it with fervour and no idea of what we were getting ourselves into. Man oh man. We tried to be posh IT-savvy pundits and went to the lengths of designing a website to take orders on. We’d planned to let the orders roll in for a month and then, hoping that there would be at least 25 orders from gullible friends whose arms we could twist, we’d go into making and delivering the goods. Geez what a couple of schmucks we were. In a matter of days the orders reached about the same level as our panic when we saw the numbers. So much so that we shut the site down in a week and sold our souls to the banks to fund our ingredient shopping. Thus ensued a mad rush of baking, burns, cuts, ants, rotten pineapples, wrapping, labelling and cussing loudly at the crumbs on the carpet floor. Poor Doc. Having selected his place as the holy shrine of brownie baking and chutney making, I singlehandedly managed to turn the place upside down in a matter of two days. He still can’t walk on his floor without wincing at the sticky feel of chocolate blobs or fermented pineapple juice on his toes. And it’s been three weeks since we had the sale.

We managed to bake, bottle and paint everything up and deliver by the 22nd of December. Considering our full-time jobs, that gave us about two hours to remember we had to do our Christmas shopping. I swear, as of Christmas 2008, I’ve broken the record for fastest completion of gift-buying-and-wrapping for an army of greedy relatives. One hour, two Xmas sales and a mall. Even Santa would be impressed.

The next week was spent visiting said relatives, or as the Doc puts it ‘The generation of vipers’ and having my cheek and ass pinched by aunties and uncles respectively. Morning, noon and night. Whoever said Christmas is holiday season needs to be shot. In the balls, because no woman would ever say something that stupid.

By the time I finally got the chance to sit the damn down and put my feet up, it was the 31st. It was all I could do to keep my eyes open beyond 8pm to see the dawn of the New Year. Thank goodness for the Doc and his innovative ways of keeping me awake. *Wink wink* A movie, a Jap meal and two packets of sparklers later, here I am… on the first day of 2009.

So you see, I didn’t have time to blog.