December 2008


Just three hours to the end of 2008 and the start of a brand new year…

…and I’m feeling incredibly sleepy!

Countdown this year I shall not. For the past years since I left JC, practically all Christmas and New Year Eve were spent partying away with friends. Instead I went home straight after a half day of work today, pushed away all offers from friends and took my family to a delicious lunch at a Japanese restaurant. My family was delighted. Of course they would be. I was the one who paid the bill. Anyway as I was telling my family, who still couldn’t believe that I was staying home this eve, over our last lunch of the year this afternoon, I’m going to count down to 2009 with 周公 this year!

Opps finished almost everything by the time I remembered to take a photo!

I bet he would be lonely considering that most people wouldn’t be getting much sleep tonight, at least not before midnight! I’m going to be a kind soul and keep the old fellow company!

Then again, my sister reckoned that 周公 might have his own countdown party with the other deities like 财神爷 and 八仙, so I might be finding myself at a very lonely party later.

On the last day of each year, I always wanted to write an entry on reflection. But every year, I found myself too tired to do this. Perhaps there’s nothing much to reflect anyway since reflection is an subconscious activity which most of us do on a regular basis. Neither is there any regret to talk about. Life has always been smooth. Sure, there have always been bumps and molehills along the way, but nothing to cripple me, nothing breaking me down to crumbles. Besides, what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger. I’ve a job, I’ve health. I can walk, speak, run and do practically anything I want. I’ve a happy family and wonderful friends who are all fortunately as fit as a fiddle too. I have enough.

I hope that everyone has a fantastic 2008. Don’t worry if this year has been slightly rougher. Next year will definitely be better. Well, it can’t be worse, right? 😉

In case, anyone’s interested:

because a zillion things have been zooming through my mind recently and it is exceedingly difficult to pin-point just one to spin out into a blog entry. Perhaps it’s the year end, a time to reflect upon the year and thyself. Maybe it’s because there’s not much work keeping my mind occupied as with every December.

I’ve been thinking a fair bit – of my life, myself, what I want, what I want to persist doing, what I should perhaps start doing, whether I’m satisfied and happy, what I can do to make myself happier. If you think that I’m just thinking about myself and no one else, being individualistic and all, maybe you will be glad to know that I’ve also been thinking about my family, my parents, my sisters, my friends. I ponder if I’ve been fulfilling my role as a child, a sister and a friend. I don’t push myself all out just to make them happy, I don’t always put them way before myself, but I do want to make them happy (though the bland, selfish truth is that making them happy makes me happy). Just that I don’t want to sacrifise too much of my own happiness in the process. I’m striking a balance but I do want to see if I can push the point of equilibrium more towards them, without tipping the entire balance and crashing myself to Earth.

Maybe it’s because I’m facing the frightful 26 next year. As my sisters ever-so-kindly pointed out, “Now you are nearer to 30 than to 20” and “You’re in your late 20s!” Damn. Counting down to the big 30 and one foot in the grave is definitely a wake-up call – “Not much time left to waste!” No time left feeling unsatisfied, no time left to procrastinate or lament, no time left wallowing in misery and self-pity, no time left for just words, words, words and no action.

There isn’t as much time as you think you have. And no, there’s no such thing as a next life where you can carry forward your unfinished business from your current life and settle them in your next one! It doesn’t work like annual leave! It’s now or never!

I sound like an active, always-on-my-feet kind of doer, don’t I? But in reality, I’m just a laidback city dweller who loves to sit and watch, with a cup of tea in one hand, as the crazy zombie-like city people scurry about with their hectic daily schedules, trying to overload themselves to death with activities or trying hard to look busy because looking free looks useless. I just do what I want. Which ironically can be quite a lot sometimes. I prefer to go on my long winding road to seek knowledge, wisdom and inner peace when others claw their way to the cash. But city versus countryside? I’ll grab the city anytime. I can probably survive with the cows, sheep, green pasture, garden fences and cottages for a month. Thereafter I would need my wireless Internet, my blog, Gmail, iGoogle and YouTube.     

I can do without Facebook though.

James Morrison’s debut album “Undiscovered”.

All thanks to Diz and, hmm, her bro for that scribbling of the album title and artiste name on the CD.

It’s unbelievable! I should have bought it the moment I heard “You Give Me Something” on the radio as well. Sometimes I can’t believe all the good music I’m missing out because of my unwillingness to spend twenty bucks on a CD.

While both Jason Mraz and James Morrison have soulful voices that easily touch people’s souls, Mraz sounds like butter while Morrison is a lot more raw. Both are appealing, but in their different ways. Morrison writes very good lyrics as well, but Mraz’s lyrics are definitely much more picturesque and leave more to the interpretation and imagination of the listener, and I like how tongue twisting Mraz’s lyrics are. Morrison’s music is more on the rock side. I’ve absolutely no complaint about “Undiscovered” though. I would say that it is almost as fascinating as any of Mraz’s.

I’ve just begun to appreciate and enjoy this album, but I’ve also just learnt that his second album “Songs for You, Truths for Me” has already been released in Europe in late September this year! I’m listening to some of his latest singles on YouTube and I must say that his new album doesn’t seem to disappoint too!

This time round, I must grab it soon!

Nothing Ever Hurts Like You

Last Friday we had our annual department building activity, which was supposed to take up two hours during lunchtime (a grand Christmas buffet completed with two log cakes and turkey was provided) but ended up running overtime by more than an hour. We had loads of fun. We played our own “Don’t Forget the Lyrics” with Christmas carols, which unfortunately I truly suck at but thank to my group mates, we actually won this game, as well as the ancient “The Pyramid Game”. Does anyone remember this old TV game show?! It was hosted by Benedict Goh! Darn, that was such a long time ago that I had really forgotten how it was played, but the memory was refreshed pretty easily. Because the stuff that we had to guess were mainly company-related and three out of four in my group are the newest in the company, naturally we came in last.  

I had bought small Chirstmas gifts for my team and two other colleagues from another team within the department whom I’m closer to, so I gave them out after the day’s activities before some of them go on leave the whole of the following week. Anyway my Christmas shopping was swifter than a Ferrari. I had the intention of buying the same item for everyone because not only would it be fairer, it would also be easier for me since I’m not that familiar with all my new colleagues as yet to know what each and every of them would paricularly like for a gift. I already had the shop in mind, so when I was in town last Sunday after a buffet lunch with my girls, I popped into the shop when the rest of them went insane at the Mango nearby (Mango sale!).

I was out of that shop, which was too small and awfully packed with ladies like sardines in a tin, within fifteen minutes. I was actually kind of proud of myself. I got practical gifts which were at the same time classy enough, and it was a pretty good deal that didn’t burn a hole in my already thin wallet. I got the ladies in the office Crabtree & Evelyn hand cream:    

I got two of the bigger boxes which contained six tubes each of a different scent, and a smaller box which had three tubes of the same scent. There was a marvellous discount with UOB cards!

I wrapped each tube up nicely. A total of thirteen gifts.

The funny part was that there was a lucky draw for the department building activity where presents were prepared for everyone. The committee started off by giving away the 20th to 18th presents. Which were Crabtree & Evelyn hand cream! Yes, the exact things which I had bought! My heart sunk when I heard the committee announce those three presents! Cyn who was sitting beside me then and was with me that Sunday when I made the purchases gave me a small kick under the table and a knowing look. I just shook my head in despair. When I distributed my gifts at the end of the session, I apologised to the two colleagues who already got the hand cream during the lucky draw and made sure that they got a tube different from what they already had.

If you thought that was funny, wait a while more.

When we got back to our desks, our boss took her gifts out from her office and started distributing them out to us. When she passed mine to me, she laughed and said, “Our team is going to have very well moisturised hands.” I thought she was referring to my gifts and laughed. When a colleague, the first to open up the boss’ present, saw what was hiding within the wrapping, she laughed out loud and drew out a tube of Crabtree and Evelyn hand cream from the package (which also had a book, a candy cane and a handwritten card)! Yes, my boss bought us the same hand cream too!

LOL!

I admit. I have a soft spot for Mr Bean. I think he’s hilarious like hell. When the television is showing one of the Mr Bean episodes, I simply can’t take my eyes off the set.

This was the case when I was sitting at a clinic at a hospital this morning, waiting for the doctor to be available for a brief meeting. It was a posh, private clinic setting, though in a restructured hospital, and they were showing Mr Bean on their TV. That sounds kind of weird, I know, but perhaps the hospital felt that Mr Bean would be an effective way to relieve the stress, tension and maybe even pain that some of the patients might be experiencing while waiting for their turns. It certainly worked for me!

I had to resist laughing out loud in public! I’ve posted here what I felt might be the best episode of Mr Bean I’ve ever seen so far. Aptly titled “Merry Christmas”, this is the very festive season to watch it! Enjoy and have a good laugh!

 

Today my sister who was in school doing her honours project got locked out of both her laboratories accidentally. She went out of Lab A and into the dark room of Lab B to put her specimens where she eventually forgot to take her keys with her. She walked out of Lab B and only realised that after the door had shut. There she was, standing along the corridor, unable to get into both labs and without her mobile phone or any other belongings. No other student or staff was there.

Instantly, she flew into the panic mode. For five good minutes, her mind was blank except knowing that she could neither call anyone for help nor take the bus home. She was stuck.

Then she calmed down and being the vivid movie goer she is, went around the corridor looking for some thin wire. Yes, she was thinking of  picking the lock. Some wire she did find soon, and the lock she did try to pick. For ten whole minutes. Then realisation dawned upon her that this scene looked familiar. Yes, it had to be from some TV drama or movie. She finally discovered how ridiculous her plan was and that it probably wouldn’t work. She ditched the wire and started examining the lock.

She quickly figured that she just needed to somehow push the latch in and the door would open. She looked around finding tools suitable for the task and found a pair of scissors. Within five minutes, she had the door of Lab A opened. Yeah, she had retrieved her belongings! She wondered if she should pack up and go home since she needed Lab B for her work. Then she thought, why not try opening the door of Lab B as well?

That door was a tougher nut to crack and took her ten minutes.    

The entire episode took her 45 minutes.

Moral of the story?

When given any situation, as sudden as it is, as unpredictable as it is, as prickly as it is, why just panick and lose hope immediately, without even trying to salvage the situation?

Take a deep breath, calm down, slow down that pumping of your heart, clear your mind and think. It cannot be the end of the world. Nothing cannot be resolved. Not without trying.

 

Details in the Fabric
(Jason Mraz featuring James Morrison)

Calm down
Deep breaths
And get yourself dressed instead
Of running around
And pulling all your threads and
Breaking yourself up

If it’s a broken part, replace it
But if it’s a broken arm, then brace it
If it’s a broken heart, then face it

And hold your own
Know your name
And go your own way
Hold your own
Know your own name
And go your own way

And everything will be fine

Hang on
Help is on the way
Stay strong
I’m doing everything

Hold your own
Know your name
And go your own way
Hold your own
Know your name
And go your own way

And everything, everything will be fine
Everything

Are the details in the fabric
Are the things that make you panic
Are your thoughts results of static cling?

Are the things that make you blow
Hell, no reason, go on and scream
If you’re shocked it’s just the fault
Of faulty manufacturing.

Yeah everything will be fine
Everything in no time at all
Everything

Hold your own
And know your name
And go your own way

Are the details in the fabric (Hold your own, know your name)
Are the things that make you panic
Are your thoughts results of static cling? (Go your own way)

Are the details in the fabric (Hold your own, know your name)
Are the things that make you panic (Go your own way)
Is it Mother Nature’s sewing machine?

Are the things that make you blow (Hold your own, know your name)
Hell no reason go on and scream
If you’re shocked it’s just the fault (Go your own way)
Of faulty manufacturing

Everything will be fine
Everything in no time at all
Hearts will hold

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