Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Define "rich"

Conversation over lunch today:

Colleague: At the rate we're going, our accounts clerks are earning far more than us
Me: Huh?!???
Colleague: Try calculating pay per hour
Me: Aaaah.....I concur

Sad but true....and that's only going on monetary grounds....nevermind yet the qualitative aspects such as opportunity costs foregone (i.e. time with family and friends) and health detriments (i.e. stress, lack of sleep)...

Is this all worth it? Hmmmmm......food for thought

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Drowning


The last week had been hell and back. The department is really busy with the business plan, the business continuity plan, the introduction of the new Financial Reporting Standards, the Board of Director papers and circulars to be submitted by month end....all on top of the routine work load we already have......argh!!!!! have been soooooo drowning in work................

Thank god for breaks like this and this ....the former is the one thing I surf for an interesting amusing read to reward (ahaks!) myself at intervals...whilst the latter was a wicked present for the weekend from hubby to destress...will probably blog about it later.

Rejuvenated, I'm ready to brave the coming week...er, I think!

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Chrissy shopping

I've just done some christmas shopping!! ehehhe...a little early perhaps, but I just saw the right thing today which I know the gals would absolutely love....and they're practical too for the cold wintry months in UK/Germany....

Cool eh? I wish I could have a pair too...but it'll be nuts wearing them in hot humid weather....and its stupid to buy them just so I could look at them every once in a while...as cute and funky as they are

tee hee....er...now where have i placed those snail mail addresses.....

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Procrastination II

Received a call from the queen herself - Good News!!! She will start looking into my case next week....

sigh....I suppose this is slightly better than being totally ignored.

Procrastination

I procrastinate...but hell, I've met my match today. The queen of procrastination works in a government department from which, I require confirmation/finalisation.

The last piece of information I had submitted to her was sometime end of July 2005. Since then, have followed-up on status almost 2 weeks once.

Lets see the excuse of the month thrown my way:

August 2005: Hold on, I have a lot of other cases in my hands

September 2005: Wait, am busy preparing for the Malaysian Budget 2006 scheduled at month end

October 2005: Please call back after Raya (Note, there seems to be a lack of effort in even coming up with an acceptable excuse)

November 2005: ***still on Raya leave to date***

and my prediction for the next 3 months to come:

December 2005: Its Christmas and the New Year soon

January 2006: Wait...there's also Hari Raya Qurban, Chinese New Year and Awal Muharram....oh and did we forget Thaipusam?

February 2006: Federal Territory Day...by the way, February is a short month....

Oh man....status quo for 7 whole months?!?!? And you tell me she draws a monthly salary?!? Sigh...maybe I should apply for a job where she works too...yeah rite, doubt my conscience would let me lead the happy carefree life the queen of procrastination currently relishes in.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Define "Spouse"

My company is holding its annual dinner next week. The RSVP list has been circulated round the department and thoughtfully, spouses are invited too.

I was surprised to learn that a lot of the young clerks in the department were married, as evidenced by the numerous ticks in the column for spouse on the RSVP list...I never knew...had always thought they were happily single and available....

...till, I discovered from a fleeting comment that the definition of "spouse" was stretched beyond belief.

Not only was "spouse" construed as that defined by the Merriam-Webster Online dictionary :

Main Entry: spouse
Pronunciation: 'spaus also 'spauz
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Old French espous (masculine) & espouse (feminine), from Latin sponsus betrothed man, groom & sponsa betrothed woman, bride, both from sponsus, past participle of spondEre to promise, betroth; akin to Greek spendein to pour a libation, Hittite sipant-: married person : HUSBAND, WIFE
- spou┬Ěsal /'spau-z&l, -s&l/ adjective

...apparently it is also interpreted to include brothers/ sisters/ mothers/ fathers/ friends/ ex-colleagues & their husbands!!!!

Pure exploitation...but apparently this practice has been rampant in the past few years...not only at clerk level (where, I suppose, it could be entirely possible that the term "spouse" was merely misunderstood and never corrected) but at manager level too!!!!

Gosh....this is daylight robbery....where is the conscience? How can anyone stoop so low and sleep restfully at night??

The company treats you and your spouse to dinner in a 5-star hotel...and you want to bring your whole kampung with you too? ...Raised eyebrows? How you ask? - well, I actually heard some really thick-skinned individuals openly soliciting/ cajoling others for "unutilised" dinner seats allocated to "spouses" - the request was whether they could please bring in stranger A/B/C as their "spouse"...and if you are shocked at that, your jaws will drop when you hear some dimwits actually giving their consent too!!

Recognise this as a privilege generously offered by the company...not a right! If you do not have a spouse, you just do not have a spouse! period!

Dear, dear, dear...re-education of the term "spouse" is in order.

I used to laugh at my previous work-place, whereby spouses were also invited to annual dinners but tickets were only collectible upon presentation of a marriage certificate - a little extreme perhaps but after what i've seen and heard today...i don't blame my ex-company.

Maybe someone should suggest this practice be adopted in next year's RSVP list.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Monday blues

My car is sick....treating it is gonna set me back by RM2,600 ....and it'll take one entire week, at least, for the major overhaul to be completed!!!

*****

I was sick this morning - feeling floaty and nauseous...I almost blacked out in the crowded lrt. Mustering all my might, managed to clumsily exit at Abdullah Hukum and stagger to the nearest concrete seat, where I put my head between my legs and took large gulps of breath.

Must have been a sight, but apparently, it did not bother the many lrt commuters around for they had more important things to do, such as checking their watches and looking out for the next train to work.

My entire body was cold and clammy and I was positively drenched in cold sweat...several lrt trains came and went...i was seated for a good 20 minutes before things stopped swimming. Steadied myself and still managed to make it to work on the dot.

The remedy for my sudden unexplained illness was a lot cheaper than that for my car....tonnes of sugar and milo at my company's expense! :)

*****
Sigh, lousy start to the week can only mean that things will get better hereon!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

GOOOAL!!

Argentina vs England - though a mere friendly, it has been an entertaining 1st half. In the past 45 minutes, I've learnt/been reminded:

1. David Beckham still delivers the most consistent and finest crosses, ever

2. Tevez is fast.....
3. But so's Rooney
4. Paul Robinson's a pretty impressive keeper; and

5. To the irritation of the boys, Owen's still as cute! hahaaha

Half time: Argentina 1 - England 1

Go England Go!!!

*****

Thanks to a Steve G-Owen combo, and another moment in which Owen decided to be more than a pretty face on the pitch.....

Final whistle: Argentina 2 - England 3

Good game twas!

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Never say never

OMG....received an e-mail....VK's getting married to her long time sweetheart!!!! :)

This is the same german girl who told me she would NEVER EVER get married as she did not believe marriages were meant to last!?! ...my personal opinion: sentiments of fear.

Am glad she has the faith to take the leap...and about time too, after 12 years plus with the same bloke!

Am so happy, am so happy....wish I could give her a bear hug in person right now!!!!!

Well...will just have to settle for a virtual one via e-mail!!! :)

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Logic of time costs

My boss, who is rungs up above the corporate ladder, is super brilliant and damn sharp with details. What takes her one day to complete, requires at least two days of hard work for me...and if am lucky, it would be "just passable" by her standards.

That's part of the logic behind how the audit/consultancy firms arrive at the time costs for their different levels of staff, I suppose.

...now if only my boss will understand that logic too and cut me some slack sometimes.......

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Spring cleaning

Having constantly been nagged by mum and bro (he needs additional cupboard space) the last year, have finally FINALLY turned my wardrobe in Penang inside out.

In it i found:

1. T-shirts, shorts and jeans, mainly stuff which I wore in the later secondary school years...still in tip-top wearable condition....er, if only I can still fit into those jeans!!! Man...the quality of clothes back then, though bought for a song comparatively, were far more superior than the made-in-china clones nowadays. And heheheh....really, I used to be quite slim....hahahahah....now that I've gained lots and lots of weight (depressing, though it would be better if I'd actually DO something about it...hahaha), I actually am impressed at my waist size those years ago....
well...the t-shirts were retained and my cousins happily snapped up the rest of the stuff which I can no longer wear

2. My sewing projects from Standards 2-4! Yup....my crooked cross stitches/ blanket stitches/ herring bone stitches on the familar gingham cloths....eheheheh....damn ugly stuff, but am still keeping it for memories sake

3. A box of the stuff I shipped back from England:
- cheery photos of loved ones I brought to England which I blue-tacked all over my bedroom wall to keep me company whenever homesickness struck (admittedly, I was so busy living life there that I really only succumbed to homesickness once a year, when Chinese New Year came around and I had to make the obligatory phone call to family, but with a "fake" cheery voice to cover the tight knot in the back of my throat);
- cards, letters and notes received - the good old days of snail mail and when people did make the effort;
- the cheapo speakers I bought from the East Anglia market for 2 pounds but which served me well throughout my 3 years in Southampton, connected to my walkman whenever I was in my room;
- a candle holder with the Spanish sky line (I think) received from May and Ray;
- a parachuting penguin mobile
...nothing I could bring myself to give-away or throw

4. A diary I attempted to keep when I was in Form 1....ar....embarassing few entries...all about that one and only private topic....argh...closed my eyes and chucked it away.... :)

5. My boxful of trinkets, mostly gifts from friends....not that I wear them, but again...so many wonderful memories therein

6. My numerous school badges accumulated through the years (monitorship/ prefectship/ the Young Enterprise programme/ the school newsletter etc) and my batik-printed prefect's tie

7. A really old watch my grandma gave me which I wore from Standards 3-6...though old, I used to consider it cool coz it was a metal bracelet watch, rather than a normal one with leather/plastic straps....during those days, Swatch/ Esprit styles were out of reach (actually was not even aware of brands) ...well, watch is no longer working, and there are quite a few yellow cracks (?) on the face of the watch....but who knows....it may just pass off as a valuable antique a few more years away! yeah rite!

8. Handkerchiefs!!!! These are really old school...stopped using them ever since we could afford tissue! hahahahah

9. A really cool trinket box from India - gift from my uncle malc....it doesn't open up conventionally....i remember him telling me specifically how to, but it took me a good half an hour to re-figure out how to unlock the carved wooden box.

So in the end....apart from the clothes my cousins inherited...I've spent an entire afternoon re-arranging my cupboard contents....a true hoarder I am *sigh*

Monday, November 07, 2005

Butterfly

My cousin is a budding beauty...unlike me, she's slim, fair and definitely Japanese looking. A little young perhaps, but hey...it's been 15 years since I first baby sat her and had her screaming herself blue...so much so I almost needed to belt over to the neighbours' for help (the adults were out and those were the times when we could not afford, nor see the need to have handphones)

She's quiet and sensible, but is quite chatty once she warms up....bitching with her about my alma mater (where she's schooling now) can be quite entertaining.

The last week, have noticed that she's been constantly sms-ing....during chor tai ti sessions (my bro's initiative to "educate" the kiddos - youngest being 10 years old - as well as to avoid us older ones (i.e. bro, hubby and I) being stuck playing with matchbox cars only), during meals...heck if she could bring her handphone with her into the shower...she would too!

So....something was up...and I gently prodded - boyfriend? ;)

"No, Cheh....just gossiping with my best friend from school"

Ok....will seek another avenue....her little brother - 2 years her junior but ever so willing to volunteer information on the romantic lives of his sister and himself (to be taken with spoonfuls of salt, sometimes - particularly stories relating to the latter)

Apparently there is an interested party...and as per most teenage romances in school....it's gotta spring from camp, then tuition, then a fervent crush, relentless pursuit...and according to the "reliable" source...the guy can bloody keep banging his head against the wall coz his sister was just not interested.

Hmmm...am not so sure...and so what does this love-struck romeo look like? ....was duly directed to his friendster page...hahahahaha...he looks er...young!!!!

Anyways...., I figured with the advent of technology...what are the chances of this guy having a blog?? So in my own private time, away from the prying eyes of the younger ones, i googled....and I struck gold!

Lets see, from the few entries I read:
- he's 16 going on 17, from a neighbouring school
- he's into computers
- self-confessed banana who loves chinese songs nevertheless
- his first date with cousin - obviously head over heels at the moment

Sweet really...from a stranger's point of view...but when it concerns your little cousin sister....i cannot help but feel a little protective!?!? hmmm....yikes...i sound soooOOOoo old!!!!

yeah yeah...i've been there too....and I remember what it used to be like...and at that point in time, I admit I did scoff "One's never too young to be involved in a relationship as such - as long as one was mature enough to time manage and handle the emotions...yaddi da di da...."

Hahahha....but now, having been through the ups and downs of relationships...things can get overwhelming, even when you're an adult, let alone a teenager!! Am beginning to comprehend the horrors running through my parents' heads when bro and I were in Forms 4 and 5....although they allege ignorance... i am certain that they knew more than they let on...just like me now.

Like a butterfly emerging from her cocoon, my little cousin is spreading her wings to fly....come joy or pain, I'll be keeping a quiet eye on that blog...just in case.


Sunday, November 06, 2005

War and beauty

Yes...have neglected my blog a little...besides being back in Penang and spending time with family and cousins, have also gotten hooked on this :


I know....pathetic...but to my credit, I hardly am hooked on any TVB serials nowadays....normal week night Astro selections have veered more towards one-hour English serials (i.e. CSI/ House) with independent plots contained in each episode therein...so there is no urgent need to "chase" for sake of continuity nor tendancies to schedule my life around the idiot box (so I like to think)

Of course, with the luxury of only one Astro decoder in the house and living with the other half who not only does not have the patience for long drawn complicated story lines, but also requires BM subtitles whilst watching chinese movies ...well you get the idea....as it is, should thank my lucky stars that we are not tuned to EPL only the whole week through! :)

So with all the hype on War and Beauty, coupled with discovering that bro conveniently had the entire 30 episodes sitting in his computer hard drive, mum and I decided to attempt to marathon through the entire series in the past week.

Yes...TVB serials can be extremely addictive, particularly if you are watching it with another enthusiastic junkie (read: mum)...for me, watching it alone does not quite feel the same.

My second uncle prohibits his children from watching these serials. His rationale being that such plots take up memory, and may hamper his kids' study skills. My opinion - pure bull shit

During my childhood in Penang, I've grown up watching TVB serials. Back when we bought our first coloured television and our first video machine, we also began to rent TVB serials...though strictly it was to help occupy grandma's time in the evenings...the entire family gladly sat in to watch these serials together.

It took a couple of years after before TV2 first introduced the 5:30 - 6:30p.m. Chinese belt. That hardly was sufficient to feed us serials junkies....and I remember doing all my primary school homework in front of the TV after dinner (i.e. from 7:30 - 10:00p.m.)

In retrospect, TVB serials were good in that it ironically meant we did spend quite some time together as a family (although, some would say that this could hardly qualify as quality time spent, I beg to differ as there was still interaction/ comments in between - particularly pertinent when as kids we sometimes did not understand what was going on).

TVB serials also tended to have a lot of "good vs bad" plots, peppered with a lot of street wise stuff therein... but more importantly, through these serials, bro and I learnt and spoke Cantonese at home almost effortlessly...absolutely essential as that was also the main language used to communicate with our grandparents and our extended family.

Back to the present...all my cousins have not had the experience of sitting through TVB serials...mainly due to supposedly stricter parenting (my uncles consider it a waste of time) plus other distractions such as Buffy and PS2...and with little command of Cantonese (it's the in thing to speak only English at home...no?) - boy, interaction during extended family functions are often limited due to communication difficulties

Anyways...am on episode 22 now....hmmmm...8 more to go tonight before am back at work tomorrow?