Thursday, April 23, 2009

[Learning to] Play the guitar

I’ve always been a sucker for guitar music and have always wanted to learn how to play the guitar. But the problem is that I am sooooo not ambidextrous. I once read somewhere that you can ‘train’ your left hand (or your right hand if you are left handed) to do things better by using it to write a paragraph a day. Must try that one out.

I tried to self-learn how to play the guitar once but that didn’t go very far. I guess self-learning (unless held at gunpoint) is not really my thing. Now I am looking to go for some classes – if I don’t do it now I never will.

Friday, April 17, 2009

When I was young...

Back in the day, I used to say to myself 'Here we go again' whenever my father started a sentence with 'When I was young...'. Having said that, I'm going to do just that.

In my younger days, fireworks were really fun. And above all, dependable. When we pulled out a sky-rocket from its bundle, we knew it was going to threaten low-flying aircrafts. They had strong tails and took off as straight as an arrow high into the night sky. And anything that was supposed to go 'Bang', did. The sound would have caused the neighbors to call the ol' bomb squad if we were to light one up during off-season. The 'Chakra' burnt and rotated in all it's glory for at least two minutes.

I am quite disappointed with the sorry state of the fireworks on sale these days. Every time I light one up, I feel like a participant who is just about the spin the wheel-of-fortune. It is quite common to find sky-rockets that won't fly or out of the ones that do, they wouldn't explode with a thunderous bang that would give your grandma a heart attack. The 'Charkras' and 'Nilas' often won't last longer than it would take you to say "what next".

But it still pleases me to see the sparkles in my kids eyes every time I light fireworks. I just hope they will somehow become better as time passes by.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Bowled out!

I had a horrible time at ten-pin bowling the other night. Ended up with a miserable score of 89. Six months ago I was consistently scoring 180s and even touching on 200 on some occasions. What happened? Yes, I've not been visiting the bowling alley as frequently as I used to, but 89? I even scored more than that the very first time I picked up a bowling ball.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Kennel Hunt

We were thinking of going away for a few days, what with the long weekend and all. We wanted to get away from it all and live a minimalistic life (at least for a few days). What better place than visiting our relatives living in a village off Kandy. They’ve always been telling us to come stay for a while – we thought it just might be the right time to take them up on the offer.

We had six days of holidays coming thanks to Poya, the weekend, Avrudu and also a complimentary day off from my employer. We were feeling all happy inside until we remembered Matisse (my 4 year old Golden Retriever). Usually when we take a vacation, my immediate relatives help out in looking after Matisse – but this time they were all away too. Now what?

Although I hated the idea, I knew there’s not much else I could to except for putting up Matisse at Kennel. We were all too aware of the perils of using kennel services. We have once used such a service; that was a different time and a different place – and that was when we had a cat called Ginger. Yes, we had a cat once. I hated that pompous SoB. Anyway, somewhat reluctantly, our kennel hunt began in earnest.

I got some leads from some friends. That evening I did the rounds, checking out these places. First place I went to had the kennels on the 3rd floor of their building – that was a no no! Next place had cages which were far too small for any large breed – did I mention Matisse was a 4 year old Golden Retriever? Well, two down two to go! The third place had a service picking up the dog and dropping it off too – wonderful, but I didn’t like the look of the guy who was looking after the kennels – he resembled a shady alleyway drug dealer you’d see on movies. I was quite dejected by the time I was looking for the last address on my notepad. To make matters worse it was drizzling and getting quite late.

I pulled up to a fairly large house with a extra large garden. Was I mistaken? Surely this cannot be a kennel? Just then the barking started. It was easily the sounds of more than three dogs. Either I was at the right place or I was in trouble. A middle aged lady answered the door and soon she, her husband and I were sharing stories that dog-people tend to share. We hit it off straight away; I knew this was the right place. After half an hour, I left there feeling happy and somewhat relieved too.

I hoped Matisse wouldn’t be too unhappy with this temporary arrangement.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Caramel Popcorn

For a few weeks now my missus was looking for this Julius Caesar DVD; She wanted it for a teaching assignment. She had been looking for it in all kinds of DVD stores (and there are many kind too) but in vain. Finally she had heard it might be available at Majestic City.

Like many typical Sri Lankan blokes, I am not the kind who likes shopping – or even be seen at any shopping centre. But then again I wanted to check out a webcam, so I finally agreed to accompany her to MC. My 8 year old who happened to acquire superhuman hearing at that very moment jumped in joy. “Wow, caramel popcorn!”. Y’see, the last time I was at MC (which was a good 7 months back), I bought her a bag of caramel popcorn from that basement outlet near the food court. They were fresh from the popping pan – hot and crispy.

We reached the underground car park around 5pm on Sunday – mercifully there were hardly any traffic. There were plenty of parking spaces too... hmmm… odd! By this time my 8 year old was getting very impatient – so I got her the popcorn immediately – 30 bucks a bag, not a bad deal – it was quite tasty. Then we all went upstairs and into this DVD corner-shop. The very mention of old Julius brought a blank expression to the poor shop-girl’s face. So we moved on. I spotted a fancy DVD shop to my right and swiftly moved in – Julius Caesar? Sure miss, we have the one with Charlton Heston. After a quick play on their in-shop player, we purchased it. By this time, shops were closing all around us. My webcam hunt would have to wait for another day.

As we were descending the stairs down to the car park, I experienced a tug at my t-shirt, “Can I have another Thaththi?”. Gosh, she had already gone through the whole bag. So I spent another 30 bucks – one for the road I guess!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Are we related?

What would you do if you find out that you are related to Obama? Especially if you are Bin Laden? Think about it. Kinda funny isn't it?

I'm sure most people on facebook would have received this message by now (at least I hope they did). It seems that I am related to Obama. How nice!