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Sunday, June 28, 2009

Weekend Fun

The past month or so have been really hectic, to put it mildly. Been so busy and there weren't many days I went back home before 10 in the evening, which is truly tiresome. And waking up at seven in the morning next days is no joy, specially with my love for the sleep. So anyway, this Saturday I decided to pay a visit to a nearby Zoo, namely the Ueno Zoo which is the oldest Zoo in Japan. Maybe the age's got to it, or it was just like this from the beginning, but either way, I must say that it was pretty much crap. I honestly think the Dehiwala Zoo is better. This was very cramped, in the characteristic Japanese way, I couldn't help but notice.

Still I didn't miss the opportunity to take some photos, of which a couple turned out to be really good. Particularly I love the pics of one of the Eagles - the guy was in such a regal pose, like saying, "people, take your photos, you don't get a better poser than me." And he wasn't far from the truth. Was just awesome, he was, all I could think. But the Lions ans Tigers were such lousy posers I couldn't get a single decent shot. In fact, all they did was just sleep under some bushes so were barely visible. But the Gorilla dude was the epitome of coolness. Seriously, I always thought that Jamaicans and Gorillas are a bit similar - no offense to either party. I mean, Jamaicans must be the coolest people on earth, aren't they? And the Gorillas aren't much different. You see, he was totally asleep and I spent like 30 minutes, probably more, to take a decent shot but still couldn't. Then there came a Jap chick, just gave him a glance, he was asleep but she wanted to take a photo so the silly girl started thumping the window! WTF? So the gorilla should wake up and pose so that she could take a photo? I was starting to get pissed off, really, but the Gorilla was like "dude, whatever" and was busy asleep. Ain't that coolness?

Happy Week Fellas!


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A guide to successful Facebook status messages

Have you been updating your Facebook status regularly, with all kinds of stuff from Good Luck to Sanga and Co to What should I have for my next meal to I'm taking a crap, but not getting any worthwhile attention? Whatever you say, don't anybody give a crap and ignore you? Do you crave for some attention, and some comments? Fear not my friends, you've come to the right place. Here is a guide to How to write successful Facebook status updates, that is tried and tested, and guarantees positive results within a week. Of course this is for us the mere mortals who likes attention - not for those higher beings who are above us all and do not care for simple things like these. If you are one of them, forgive us for our silliness, but please do move on to 'bigger and better' things that you are destined to. All the others, pay attention.

The.Golden.Rule. People don't like to hear others whine, however good friends they are. It's not only you that have problems. Everyone does, and you problems are not any worse than theirs. Besides, what can - or rather, will - they do if they knew that you're going to keep whining no matter what they say? Other than ignoring you? At first you might get a few comments sympathizing with you but eventually they will die down. At least try to keep things non-negative if you can't keep them positive. Nobody likes a cry baby, except perhaps another one.

2. Try to be funny.
Everyone likes a laugh. And what better way to get your day started than seeing a laughable status message and laughing? Well of course there are many better ways, but this too is not a bad way. In case you have a sense of humor that won't stand a chance even against a troll - or worse yet, a gollum - worry not, still put up an update that you think is funny. At least people will laugh at the unlaughableness (is there such a word?) of your supposedly funny comment. Something is better than nothing, eh?

2. Don't boast.
People aren't really interested in your new ultra slim iMac or the new iPod Touch or the Ferrari you jut bought. Well, the latter only applies to Aravinda and in his case people are interested in it, but other than that, just don't boast. Who cares, really, what you have. This does not apply in the case of a new girlfriend/boyfriend though.

2. Instead, laugh at yourself.
A status message like I just realized how dumb I am is much more likely to attract attention than something like Wish I could improve on my IQ of 140. For one, anyone with an IQ higher than 140 wouldn't waste time on FB, and even if they did, they wouldn't put it on their walls. Also, in case you're dumb, people can always suggest ways of overcoming your dumbness, but what can they tell you to do with your IQ of 140?

2. Don't go with the trend.
What's the point of a status message like Good Luck Sri Lanka!!! on the eve of the World Cup Final? It's not likely that anybody in the team is going to read FB status updates hours before a WC Final. Besides, so many people put such messages so yours become only one of many. But be careful not to overdo this either. On the day LTTE was defeated you don't want to say something like I'm eagerly waiting for Ranjan Ramanayake's next movie. You are gonna look plain stupid and dumb, not to mention ignorant. Well, you will be all those and more if you're eagerly waiting for Ranjan Ramanayake's next movie any day, but still.

2. Be original and unique.
Reciting what other famous people said will bore the other not-so-famous people; ie, your friends. Hell, those sayings are widely known, analyzed, criticized, debated and accepted already. What more can you add? Rather, try to be original and say what you think of anything, something or nothing for that matter. While doing this, keep in mind all the above points.

2. Every once in a while, take a shot at a friend.
Who doesn't want to laugh at their friends? Everyone does. So take the initiative. Only, make sure that a) the said friend knows a joke when he/she sees one and b) don't try to be too frequent. Still, follow this step at your own risk.

2. Avoid, as much as possible, the use of big English words unless you're trying to be funny.
People-unfunnier-than-trolls should take special notice as they will end up looking they are being serious. Status message is not really the way to display your proficiency at English anyway. Plus you could also end up looking like you're boasting even if you're not. Rather, keep it simple or better yet say something in your mother tongue, at least from time to time. There is a little kick in saying something in Sinhala if you're a Sinhalese, or in Tamil if you're a Tamil, or whatever your mother tongue is. "Haiyoooo", "Mala keliyai", "Baduma thama" and any other such words helps you express yourself better. It adds to the fun factor as well.

2. Keep it short.
People who like to read novels, will buy and read them. 'Nuff said.

2. Keep your wall clear.
Make sure your status message is easily spotted. It's the status message on the wall that people normally notice, not the one next to your name on top of your page. Besides, it's a pain in the buttocks when everything you do on FB is posted on your wall is it not? So cleaning the wall is a good idea anyway.

2. Don't be too frequent.
Too much of anything, irrespective of how good it is, makes it less appreciated. Gems are worth because they are not found so easily. Obama made it to the top because he is black, which makes him rare. And if you saw white elephants everyday (no pun intended) they wouldn't be so cool as they are now. Your status messages are no exceptions, however good they are. Remember, overdoing kills even the best of things. Like SRK's acting.

2. Timing.
This is getting less and less important due to the two facts that your FB friends could be anywhere in the world and the world is a globe. Still, know your target audience and make sure your timing is convenient to them as well as you. Increases the chances of reaching your intended audience and getting a reply.

2. And at last, REPLY.
Unless it's an ass-pineapple whom you really want to get rid of. But in that case, you can always block the idiot and get it over with. Other than that, reply to everyone who comments which almost always guarantees more comments. A good practice is to express only half of what's on your mind on the status message and discuss the rest on comments. However, that runs the risk of nobody replying - due to various reasons including your dry humor, any other points above, or the simple fact that you are in fact an ass-pineapple and people don't really like you - and you end up looking like a fool. Either way, replying guarantees more responses.

That's about it, folks. Hope this act of unselfishly sharing valuable information will lead you all to more happier times on Facebook. All the positive acknowledgment will be appreciated while I'll be kind enough to let you keep the negative ones that you get should anything go wrong.

Happy Facebooking all!


Monday, June 22, 2009

Don't Mess With Me!

I'm tough, you know.


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

What's with all the Facebook quizzes?

Just wondering - how many of them are there actually? I've been clicking the 'Hide' button on the homepage for quite a while now, to hide all the FB quizzes and still a bunch of new ones appear everyday. It's guaranteed. Both them appearing on my homepage and me hiding them, that is. But I get a kick out of seeing them too, I must admit. I mean, there are people with all kinds of imagination - I can tell that just by looking at the kind of topics they choose for these friggin' quizzes.

I saw one the other day that tells you how well you would survive a zombie invasion! How cool is that, knowing in advance whether you should run or fight back when there is a zombie invasion. Note that I didn't say "if and when". Why would I? If FB says, it must be true right? There are zombie invasions - you can not convince me otherwise no matter what. Then another one says whether I'll marry from an arranged marriage or a love affair. I can only imagine what people in love would go through if they happen to get the result that they will marry from an arranged marriage. Oh well, maybe they can arrange their marriage and be done with. There is a clear loophole. Then there's another one that tells you whether you attract good guys or bad boys. All good for the fairer sex, but I didn't even think of taking that one. It's a no-win situation for a guy, except if you're gay. Maybe the one who put that up could be gay for all we know. That reminds me that there was another one titled How gay are you?. God! But the things doesn't stop there. Another one says if you'd make a better man or a woman. Holy tolido! So are we supposed to change sex if it says we're in the wrong side? Jeez.

In case you're in doubt, there is one that helps you to find out that if your better half loves you as much as you love them. It's the end of cheating guys. And girls. Beware! The madness doesn't stop. There is some kind of chocolate calculator that tells me my age. WTF? Maybe we should make all the ladies take the quiz while that 'Truth Meter' thing fixed to their heads. That'll help. There's more. How addicted to FB are you? Yeah right. As if we didn't know. How common is your birthday and How common is your name! Surely a jobless statistics graduate. Another one tells me how confident I am. Too bad I wasn't confident enough to take that quiz. But you could always try How cool are you?. How cool is it to be judged cool by a cool FB quiz? But there are apparently jobless doctors too - who else can come up with a How good is your medical knowledge? That follows by a How lazy are you? Oh I don't need FB to tell me that - mom's been telling that all the time. But it also lets you know other important things such as how many people have a crush on you. It's only good it doesn't tell you that who has a crush on you. Otherwise things could get a lot messier and the girls might run out of shoes. Apparently, every FB user is going to be famous someday, in case you didn't know. Worry not people your time is coming. Just take the quiz. It says how you're going to be famous. Doesn't say whether you're going to be famous at all. So I came to the earlier conclusion. Cool eh?

Things get weirder when you take the three quizzes When will you get married, At which age will you die and How many times will you marry. Apparently I'm going to get married at the age of 46 and end up marrying three times.

The only glitch is I'm going to die before I marry.


Thursday, June 11, 2009

Sigiriya and Cricket

Last night, while watching the SL vs WI game I was on a chat with one of my American friends. A born and bred American type, the type to which cricket doesn't make any sense at all. So I gave her the link to the stream I was watching and then tried to explain what's the whole thing is about. Her knowledge of Baseball helped a bit, so did the fact that T20 lasts only about four hours. But she seriously didn't believe that the more original version of the game, Test cricket, is played full five days or that people actually watch them the full five days. Finally crapinfo scorecards, youtube vids and some articles convinced her that it is in fact true. I didn't even consider telling her that there was a time when they played Timeless-Tests where games went on for days, even more than 10 and were abandoned only because the English had to catch the ship back home. She would seriously have considered me a bit of a retard if I said that too and that I actually enjoy this five day game more than all the others. Hell, she may still be thinking that I'm a retard anyway.

Then the conversation moved onto other things and finally we came to Sigiriya. No we didn't actually go to Sigiriya, just the topic moved to that. So I was giving her this online tour guide which she genuinely seemed to be enjoying. Starting with the Wiki, I gave her some links, lovely pics and some background. Then finally I came to telling her about sort of local stories about it, the theories and what not. She was unsurprisingly impressed by the frescoes and made a comment that made me laugh out loud for a while. She was like, "Sach, seems that pornography was legal in your country back then isn't it? Who made it otherwise? The Brits? Oh god, those Brits are always a bit lost it, aren't they?" But she seriously loved the frescoes and took a keen interest in the verses or the poems written on the Mirror Wall. So I had to cite her a few I remembered, and she loved this particular one, which incidentally is my favorite as well.

බුදල් මී
සියොවැ ආමී
සීගිරි බැලීමී
බැලු බැලු බොහො ජනා ලියුවෙන් මා නොලීමී

Loosely translated into English, it goes like;

I am Budal
Came alone
Saw the Sigiriya
Since many who saw it wrote something, I didn't

I absolutely LOVE it. The first time I heard that was, I think when I was like 10. My dad taught me that for he himself is a History teacher and almost a scholar when it comes to Sigiriya. He knows a lot about it and I learned a few things from him, including this. Isn't it simply so amazing. Our ancestors certainly had some wit and intelligence didn't they? My American friend too agreed on that.

By the way, does any of you guys know if there is any web site which we can find more of those verses written on the Mirror Wall? I searched a bit but couldn't find many. Made me realize that people outside Sri Lanka has very limited access to stuff like this, isn't it? If you are in Sri Lanka of course you could go to a library, pick up a book and learn those things. I think the government should look into things like these too. If we could come up with the web site, an online library of sorts where you can find almost everything that is documented about the history of this island I think that should be a great thing. Could use to promote tourism in the country too.

OK, so since I have been talking about cricket let me go on a bit more. First, I was so amused by the number of facebook status messages, comments, links and the sorts about the SL vs AUS match. Honestly, some people I thought that didn't know the difference between a bat and a ball had put some comments. At least a "Yippeeeeeeeeee!!!". And I'm sure it's not because we won, rather it's got more to do with the fact that Aussies lost. Lately we've been winning some good matches, but nobody except the people who really loved the game bothered to put a comment. Now the Aussies lose and all of a sudden all hell breaks loose. How much people love to hate the Aussies!

Talking about Australia, I think CA (Cricket Australia) missed a big trick by sending Symonds home. I know a lot of people hate him, well at least he's not widely liked even outside Sri Lanka, but honestly I like the guy. He was one fucking cricketer, which, for me is the most important thing. Yes he had an issue with drinking, wasn't really the nice guy, but hell I'd take a drunk Symonds over a well behaved Kallis any day. He was a genuine match winner. But now it seems the Aussies have lost him forever, which in my opinion a big loss for the game. Cricket will surely be poorer without him. Also this reflects another bad aspect of cricket being so professional these days. Sending a player home for having a drink - in his leisure time? Seriously? Gone are the days when you played hard and then at the end of the day - drank hard. I mean, for God's sake cricket is still a game you jerks! In my opinion it shouldn't be so strict and professional. People with the same mindset are the ones who hail their favorite cricketers when they are going great guns and burn down their houses when they loose a couple of games. Cricket should be taken a bit less-seriously. It' a game - you win some, you lose some. As long as you play hard and you play fair that should be good. Let them have a drink at the end of the day. Let them enjoy!

Reminds me of something someone said on a cricket forum on this. "Oh well, if the Aussies don't want him, let's get him to play for us. We have enough beer here and enough lakes for him to fish too. Let the bugger drink as much as he wants and fish as much as he wants. As long as he turns up for the games and beat the crap out of the other teams, I wouldn't complain"

Couldn't have put any better myself.


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Dilly's New Shot

Ugh, that didn't sound right.

But what I mean is the new shot Dilshan has invented. A sweep over the top of the keeper? Pretty outrageous if you ask me. But it's cool too. I mean you need some balls to play a shot like that, and some skills to get it right.

I think we should name it in honor of Dilshan. How about "Dilly Top Sweep"? We have the normal sweep, the paddle sweep, slog sweep and reverse sweep. Let's add this to the list as well!
Or are there any other suggestions?


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Please Help People! It's Fucking Needed! Right Now!

Enough with the celebrations, seriously. In fact, we never should have started celebrating in the first place, but now that we have at least let's stop and get to work. There is a lot - and I mean a LOT - of work to be done. While we are basking in the glory of victory, our own people are suffering out there in the IDP camps with only the minimum facilities available to them. The govt is trying hard, but they can't do this all by themselves. They need all the friggin' help they can get, and it is time for us to help instead of pointing fingers. Remember when the Tsunami struck? The whole nation got together and came forward to help even without a call from anybody. Now the need is even bigger. And urgent. So let's help.

To all the facebook patriots. No amount of status messages are going to help. No amount of links showing how the IC is being a bitch and how right we were to go on with the war are going to help. But money will. Even the smallest amount you can afford can make a difference. Be it thousand, five hundred or even hundred rupees. Doesn't matter, it all counts. And honestly, I think most of us can do better than that. Buy one shirt less the next time you go shopping. Cancel one booze party. Smoke one pack of cigarettes less. Buy a little cheap birthday present for your daughter this time - there are thousands over there not knowing whether they'd live to see another birthday.

Here are some places where you can help.

Sarvodaya is a pretty credible organization and have been doing good work for a long time. I think you can be pretty assured that your money will be put to good use. So is ACT. They have full access to the IDP camps and have been doing an impressive work lately. You can find more information here in Indi's Blog about their work. Also the govt related organizations are collecting funds, so you can donate to them as well. You'd find more information on Defence site.

So again, please do help. This is the only way we can get those people out of those camps and give them a better life. If we all care to help, and raise some money, the resettling will speed up. It's worth the effort even if we can make them stay one day less in those camps. That's not a life any human being wants to live. They are all respectable people with dignity as much as any of us, so let's help them live with dignity. Now is the time to put all our differences behind and just be humans, more than ever before.



Monday, June 1, 2009

Cleaning & Cooking

Yesterday I managed to clean my room. Don't say what's the big deal, because it is a big deal for me, you know. I think mom would be totally proud of me for this more than even if I won a Nobel Prize or something. No exaggeration. Only problem is that now it's so clean I feel a bit out of place... like I don't belong there. Now there aren't any T-Shirts on the floor, nor there are any books on the bed, everything is where it is supposed to be. I just remember the days when I was back home in Paradise. Back then, nothing was in it's place in my room, everything was scattered all over. But also, it wasn't total chaos - more like organized chaos, if you know what I mean. Because though nothing was neatly organized, I knew where exactly everything was. It's just I couldn't be bothered with putting things in place and organizing. But this always drove mom mad. So every once in a while she would clean my room, organize everything and make is look so cool. Only, after she that I wouldn't know what is where anymore and we used to have a lot of arguments over this many many times. She would go on and on and on about how irresponsible I am, how un-organized I am, and that someday my wife would kick me out of the house! Seriously! But I would say I just have to find a chick a little bit messier than me, and voila! Problem solved! She just went nuts over this all the time.


Alright. I need some help. Specially from those ladies. I need to know how to cook 'haalmasso'. By the way, what do you call that in English? Anyway, I need to both fry them and also to make that curry. Damn it's so fucking tasty isn't it? So, please do tell. But please, I need specific instructions. You see, we men are designed to follow simple instructions precisely. "Add a little salt" wouldn't work. We get confused about the amount of little, you see. Just say how much, so that I get what you mean! Deep fry it or not. For how long. All that instructions. Seriously, guys, and girls, not joking here. If someone know - I bet you do - just drop a comment.


For those who already don't know, crapinfo - oops, sorry, I meant to say cricinfo, has changed it's look and a bit of a restructuring as well. Looks different and things are a bit hard to find. So, until people get used to this new look there will be a lot of bitching and moaning and whining - you know the usual stuff when there is a change. Just like when FB changed their appearance. But life goes on, so, umm.... well that it!

Happy week fellas!