Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Leadership Entry Can Wait... Give Me Poetry

... because for now I'm in the mood for some night poetry of Rubaiyat (The Testament) by Omar Khayyam. Lol ~ Also because tomorrow I'm going for a Benchmarking workshop, so I need to this dosage of dream and fleeting moments of pleasures. Enjoy.

One Moment in Annihilation's Wake,
One Moment, of the Well of Life to Taste -
The Stars are setting and the Caravan
Starts for the Dawn of Nothing
Oh, make haste!

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Am I a Leader?

I wasn't at work for the past two days and that really felt good - even though I spent yesterday and today attending a course on Leadership Style. A week before the course I was asked to complete a Harrison-Innerview interview.

Once you complete them, the InnerView program produces a series of computer-generated reports covering your suitability for various careers, professions, and different work environments. It is supposed to assess your suitablity and match your interests, preferences, and skills with your job. Hmm... is this kinda of late? After all I'm already here in the organisation. Why wasn't I given this during my job-interview stage? So there I was, one late evening, spending about 20 minutes to complete the questionnaire.

You know I hate these questionnaires, I'd rather you asked me in person. Plus I'm not so sure if my responses were spontaneous or thought out. One of the instructions mentioned that you are to rank the statements close to you and be forthcoming. So that's that, I thought....

Until the trainer gave me the reports containing a detailed breakdown analysis of my traits, preferences, dispositions, strengths and weaknesess all in the context of leadership. God, it was quite a revelation for me.

And to think I know myself pretty well.

More on this tomorrow night, dear readers.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Uwek uwek... Again

I meant to write this last night but I wasn't feeling it. So I'm going to summarise yesterday's events into these words.

Went out with M to do a lil' bit of my birthday celebration. What can I say it was an ok afternoon because I wasn't clearly in the right frame of mine - until the cable-car ride, that is. Never have a cable-car ride been more thrilling or risque before! Lol, it was literally the rush and heights of the evening.

But funny how events unfurled themselves.

We joined some friends at Lau Pa Sat. It was basically my idea as I had already given my word to come. Now this was the situation - I had already eaten, but somehow when I got there I found myself helping out with the satays and half-boiled cockles. And in my unconscious manner I gave some of that to M who gamely tried them.

Bad idea.

In the taxi back home she puked, and into the bag, which contained my birthday gift - a tie. No kidding, it's really exasperating to have someone puked that close to you. I dropped M at her place as usual and continued with the rest of the journey. By the time I reached home, the first thing I did was to take off my khaki pants which were soiled. While doing that I laughed it off, thinking of the taxi-driver's reaction to M's throwing up. Lol~

So to the taxi-driver (SHB 7602), that picked us at Lau Pa Sat around 9.30pm - we're so sorry for annointing your cab with vomit.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Images From Ubin

Went to Ubin with an old buddy of mine who was very much interested in Ubin and all this cycling, rustic, nature stuff. We even spent the night at my late-grandparents' house. Yup, there are still some kampung houses on the island.

Heck, I've never stayed overnight in Ubin for a very long time and it was rather funny with us trying to start the generator for electricity, grappling with the keys as I was about to open the door in pitch darkness while my friend shone the torchlight, and listening to the strange noises out there. Anyways we made it.

Friday, August 26, 2005

The Al-Fatiha (The Opening)

In the name of God
Most Gracious. Most Beneficent.

All praise be to God,
Who is the Cherisher
And Sustainer of all.

He is, indeed, all Compassionate
And Most Merciful.

Master of the Day of Judgement.

To You Alone, O Lord,
We offer our prayers
And from You alone
We see all help.

Show us, O Lord,
The right path,

The path of those
Whom You have blessed
And not of those
With whom You are wrathful,
Nor of those who have
Chosen to go astray.

Surah 1: The Al-Fatiha (The Opening)

Love myself - Happy Birthday Summersnail.
Pray and remember that you're always on the journey towards Remembrance and the Point of Origin.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

26th Aug Can Wait - Yamaha CGX171CCA

26th Aug can wait so I'll just have a lil' bit of pre-birthday gift for myself. Seriously can't help it, sorry M... :P You can treat me lunch or dinner this Sunday k? Or make me a happy dude later. (winks*) Anything... Haha.. Anyways this guitar is a beauty and I told myself that I just gotta have it - after playing it for the first time, for a few minutes! Then of course I just kept coming back to the store to play it again, just to be sure.

I got this from the Yamaha Music shop at Plaza Singapura after work (I was so fcukin' restless today, maybe it's the Calling of the Guitar, got this nonsense?), used my Yamaha student pass and got quite a bit of savings from its hefty pricetag. I don't know how many visits I've made there (one of the sales assistants even started to recognise me) to test-play this instrument just to be certain that I like its sound and its tone and its build wrap in me and off course my fingerings on its fretboard.

The CGX171CCA has everything (no, the blue rug is already there, not staged, lol) you need in a modern classical; solid Cedar top, cutaway body design, and a 2-way pickup/mic system utilizing a Piezo bridge pickup and an adjustable condenser microphone. The electronic system then allows you to blend between the pickup and the mic to get the desired tone. Whether your plugging in with a band or playing acoustically the CGX171CCA sounds terrific.

Well that's what the specs say. Of course my playing will be put on the line and that is entirely another matter. The point is I have been putting this off since Tuesday, December 21, 2004. See my post on this.

My first guitar is the Yamaha CG - 111S, which I've really grown into. It's really is a slow-burner instrument as its spruce solid-topped seems to break-in of late.

Lol ~ I'm not a luthier but I know that cedar has been used extensively by makers of classical guitars. Cedar-topped guitars are characteristically lush, dark-toned, and bursting with flavor. They are often less powerful in projection than their spruce cousins. But after playing this intrument I beg to differ lol ~ ... It seems this new instrument of mine is louder and has a lot more crystal bright notes than my CG - 111S, which is spruce solid-top. Could it be that it is also pluggable to the amp type of guitar? I don't know.

But what I do know is that if I miss the dark, mellow and moody tone I can always play my spruce-topped guitar anytime, which I still love the complexity of its tone and overtones. It is not crystal clear, but it has a unique voice all its own. I call it warmth.

But since cedars tend to break-in faster than spruce, I'm really looking forward to play more on this new instrument. Let the journey begin!

CG111s, meet your new brother, CGX171CCA.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Adidas vs Nike

I've been running in my Adidas adiPRENE and so far I've clocked 'just pass' timings. Not exactly burning the tracks here, but more like heartburn! Also, not a reassuring thing especially when your IPPT date is looming this 23 August 05. You know you're desperate to do something about it when all of a sudden you realised that hey! I've another pair of running shoes - the Nike SHOX, which I have not used for ages. Maybe that can shave precious drag off my leaden feet.

So there I was on the track, running, thinking. I thought if I'm not blessed with Hicham El Guerrouj's stout heart at least I have a little shoe advantage on my side. And whadaya know, I did feel like I have that lil' bit of psychological edge. Haha.. watever... if it makes you happy... Summersnail.

Adidas and Nike. Which do you prefer?

Thursday, August 18, 2005

New Staff and How They are Perceived by Others

I really got my plates full this month - with work. For the past few days I have been smoothening out some details on the Service Excellence programme which I'm running for peeps at my workplace. Talk about challenges, at the same time we're supposed to draft 2006 projects. This is where I'm struggling like a novice because you're supposed to put in some budget figures into your plans and being new is not helping me at all. I really had to dig previous budget history. Thank god I'm the shameless type who keeps asking for more info from my colleague. Hope she's not fed-up or exasperated. Eh... are these words the same?

Anyways god bless her for I truly will be clueless if it wasn't for her help.

There's an SQC kick-start meeting tomorrow morning and I'm already in one of its working committees. Later in the afternoon we're off to MCYS to do build some networking with the Organisational Excellence (OE) folks there. Can't wait for this, really. Then much much later in the afternoon, a session with the head honcho for our Extra-Ordinary tasks. The last time I heard mine were changed. Good grief.

I got a feeling the head honcho will question us newbies if we had made a real effort to know the staffs here. A few days ago someone actually feedback to him that 'a particular someone' had experienced an unpleasant moment with one of the newer staffs. Apparently that incident got the whole lot of us labelled as arrogant, smart-aleck and 'keeping to ourselves' bunch. Urgghh... that's nasty. After all the energy and time I spent working on committees, attending other departments' events and even volunteering my services - all of these may come to nought by such perceived understanding.

But that's the nature of feedback for you. Imagine going about your business without anyone ever telling if you're doing a good or bad job. The thing is, even if that feedback wasn't directed at me, I'd still think it didn't address the situational issue that may have imbued the incident as unpleasant.

My two-cents worth as a OE dude, - feedback is good, but let's not jump to conclusion. Let's find out the truth. Let's talk.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Work Hard, Play Hard and Bitch Hard

I just got back from dinner with some colleagues. We ate at this seafood restaurant called Saujana, which is located in JB. Hmm the place Singaporeans go to just to makan. It's hard to get the National Day Observance committee members agree on a day, and it's even harder to get the other volunteers to join in as well. I myself wasn't too thrill having this dinner right in the middle of the week, but I have to agree that it cannot be delayed any longer.

The food was good, but the company was better. From that dinner alone I really had a better idea on working relation and preference among them. It got quite interesting as some began to recount their personal experiences working with certain individuals. Fuhh... major bitchin' session was in progress and I couldn't help but listened to all the 'anecdotes.'

So day by day, week by week I'm beginning to 'see' more of the workplace and I'm glad its not through a rose-tinted glass window. I say... give me the warts stories and the jagged little pills of the workplace and I'm sure I'll be fashionably disillusioned with work in no time at all. Lol.

Anyways, I'm so stuffed now. It's been two days in a row that I've not been running and my IPPT is on the 23 August. Come what may! Below are pics I took with my O2 of the jetty and the restaurant next to Saujana.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Good Chocolates

"Twice a day, on his way to and from school, little Charlie Bucket had to walk right past the gates of the factory. And every time he went by he would begin to walk very, very slowly, and he would hold his nose high in the air and take long deep sniffs of the gorgeous chocolatey smell all around him. Oh, how he loved that smell! And oh, how he wished he could go inside the factory and see what it was like." Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl.

Saw the movie this afternoon with M after we visited my colleague's open house at Pasir Ris. I'm just a sucker for movies that have hope and longing themes in them. I don't know why, but I think I'm stupid that way. Can you imagine I thoroughly dig movies as diverse as The Shawshank Redemption to Out of Africa? Lol. Anyway, even though the book has a predominantly moralistic and even sinister tone to it, I still choose to be moved by Charlie's hopes and longings.

Purists out there may dismiss this version as yet another Hollywood attempt to bastardise a classic book or the movie version starring Gene Wilder. Though I want to categorically say that I'm not a Hollywood supporter I do however think it has many bastards... I'm off tangent here, but really, I've seen that version and I've read the book both as a kid and as an adult, and I certainly like this one by director Tim Burton too. There you go. I'm sooooo happy and I'm now going to raid the fridge for some misplaced M&Ms I put in a few days ago.

p.s. I read this somewhere. Did you know that eating dark chocolates reduces the risk of heart disease? Or was that heart attack?

Thursday, August 11, 2005

ISO, Challenger, Panda, la Esperanza

ND is over. So stop it with all the jingoisms on Singapore's achievements. Shoo! And my blog is back to its true blue now.

At about 5pm I thought of going home early today, early here means 6pm sharp but funny how things turn out as I found myself labouring on an ISO report which will be due next week. There is another course assignment which needs a kick-start but that can wait says my irresponsible self.

I made a last minute decision to go to Challenger after work. As I needed to buy something, again I only made up my mind on what to buy when I got there. Challenger, is the upscale version of Sim Lim Square. Unlike Challenger, Sim Lim is the place techies and geeks swear by as they claim to find almost everyting there including their personalities and social life. As for me I only go to SL with a techie geek friend who can patiently explain to me the oddities of PC trivia.

So while browsing the Internet Security section I came across this Panda software. Hmm... I've not seen or heard of this brand and I kinda like what I read on its product info so I there you have it, I made up my mind. All this time I've been using the freeware ZoneAlarm but there are still some rubbish spywares in my notebook. Well I have only myself to blame as my surfing habits can be very wild, I mean, all that stupid sites I go to, aahahah.

And hey you know what? In a few hours time it will be Friday. Then the weekend will come in all its glorious hues and promises. Lol~ I'm being silly here, but yesterday someone from the workplace, from another department, approached me if I could help her department out this Sunday with their event. Now you all know I'm a very nice and obliging person, right.... right? But I had to turn her down because I already made plans.

So there you go... I actually had a valid reason to say no, which can be hard for a newbie like myself to do. But there was no conflict as I told the truth and nothing (The Holy Quran appears here) but the truth. Plus it helps, too, if you have this earnest, innocent look on your face. Lol~

Well, it's too late at night (dah malam bute) to do the samba or rhumba or my 2.4km run, .... but it's certainly not too early for the weekend to be playing La Esperanza in my CD player now. Night.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

This is Really Useless

not to mention futile you know... my running in the stadium, followed by a few laps in the pool this morning just to build up my stamina for the upcoming IPPT - only to go home but realised too late that I had made a detour to the coffee shop and ordered a plate of nasi lemak. Boy, that was so freakin' unhealthy shit, but the stuff was waaaay too good. I ate it like it was my last supper and washed it down with a bottle of Gatorade. Lol~ Rubbish init?

And dear readers, just for today, just for today, to take ND celebration to the extreme and create annoyance to your eyesights and probably to the casual blog hoppers out there, I've decided to go Red & White - the colours of our national flag. eehehehee...

Anyways.... Have a great ND celebration y'all!

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Patriotic Noise

There's a National Day celebration rehearsal going on in the Woodlands stadium, which is like a 100 metres away from my block. Nothing like the rehearsals you'd see on the Padang or the National Stadium, this one reeks grassroot-level feel all over it, lol. The MC sounds really constipated and worse still, as I'm typing this, someone is singing Maroon 5, This Love.

Good grief.

Friday, August 05, 2005

I'm Snooping Around Tomorrow

Do you work from home, telework or run your own small business? Do you operate a small office/home office (SOHO)?

I'm writing a feature article on young SOHO entrepreneurs. The minute my editor told me that the next issue will focus on young entrepreneurs I quickly pitched my story idea to her right away. She's a real pro. You bounced ideas with her, she explores them on the spot, throws some angle & slant, offers some pitfalls and issues and before you know it, your story idea is approved. That's what I like you know, decisiveness from an editor.

I once freelanced for a multimedia company and had a uber 'leceh' time with its editor. It took me 3 copies just to get a simple CD review approved. What the heck! I got so much issue with her instructions that I ended-up sabotaging the piece by giving a biased review. I felt like I was subtly coerced to give a good rating for the CD so that I can get more assignments! Come to think of it, how could I be so principle-less, I don't know. Perhaps it was because I was new and desperate and had no principles? Lol!

But you learned from mistakes. So now I couldn't care less if editors blacklisted me. At least I'm honest. If you don't like what I write, I can still edit it to your liking - but don't ask me to rewrite!

Anyway I'm interviewing some entrepreneurs tomorrow. I would also be checking out the modus operandi at their homes. I thought of doing a phone interview, but I still need some proofs. Heaven forbids this because I don't want to end-up interviewing a pirate or porn CD operator.

Hmm.. can't wait to snoop around their homes though.

Thursday, August 04, 2005


After hours of rehearsals on stage and doing dry-runs we finally came to the point of, "This is it, tomorrow is The Day." Now I seriously don't know how well our National Day Observance ceremony will turn out, but the number of hours put into rehearsals cannot equate slick performance, can it? Everyone seemed to be in high spirits, unlike yesterday, where our performance was scrutinised by the big M and as a result we had to make changes to it. Or were that concessions?

It was only today we managed to pin it down after someone videotaped our lacklustre performance. God, I looked like a prancing primate doing the dikir barat. Aaahaha. At one point we were so enthusiastic with our performance that silliness just crept in us. And the jokes kept flowing and were rather boisterous. I even witnessed some of the ladies cut it loose. Hmmm... there is still hope in this place after all. Lol~ And I thought life and interaction in this place would be sedate.

Anyways... the ladies were pretty unison in their clapping and movements, but the guys weren't half as bad.

Imagine saying this Dikir Barat chorus over and over with some of the most mundane and repetitive movements ever...!

This is the story of our country
It's the one that we love so dearly
It's our history, it's not fantasy
Listen well now and reflect with me...
At times I'd ask myself why am I involved in this merepek stuff. Did I leave TT to do all this? It was definitely not mentioned during the interview. If the job scope fits me, the extraneous activities that come along working in this place have only questioned my own sense of acceptance and efforts in trying to fit in the culture. I hope this is all just a passing phase.

But I really had to give it to the tukang karut guy, man..., he's the one who leads the group and provides the anchor despite him not feeling too well today. Now that's professionalism that I can certainly identify with!

5pm onwards and I still had to toggle myself between the auditorium and my workstation for I had to do some follow-up on yesterday's lunch talk. It didn't feel good as I stole time during the rehearsals to do some paperwork while some of my committee members were fine-tuning the programme flow into perfection.

I also got to spent a couple of minutes with some of them after the rehearsals and I took the opportunity to tok cock. The conversation somehow steered to my blog and being the cyber exhibitionist that I am, I gave them my blog name. I couldn't help it, so there you go!

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

I'm Not Running Tonight For I Did That At The Workplace

It has been a crazy schedule for me today. I got back and slumped in the sofa without even taking my socks off. Usually I'd pick the papers and catch on with some reading in my bedroom but today the sofa was damn inviting. What happened today? I was organising a lunch time talk at my workplace and the morning really bit me in terms of stress levels. Why? Because I'm new in this events planning schmenning thing, that's why... and wherever there is a new territory the experience, mine anyway is akin to opening my mouth for a dental extract. I would have gone skulking about had it not been for my calm demeanour, but inside I was really praying for the event to go as smoothly as possible.

We've invited the good folks from The Ritz-Carlon, Millenia Singapore to come over and give a talk on organisational culture and customer-focused strategy from the management perspective. I've had the event and program flow to the T, but there were some last minute changes that really put me out of focus. Thank goodness for a colleague of mine who helped to ease the tension with her awesome support.

I know things could have been better, for example, I nearly missed welcoming the Ritz-Carlton folks for they came a tad too early, and we took quite sometime for the multimedia to run. But overall I think it was a good first attempt with no major boo-boo plus the audience, about a hundred plus staff, well most of them anyway, gave the session positive reviews in their feedback. So that ended at 2pm.

After that I was off to some rehearsals for our National Day Observance. Tomorrow will be the last day for us to do the rehearsal and dry-run before the actual event on 5th August. I barely had time to be at my workstation the whole afternoon to do some work and when I did have the chance, I didn't even know where to start. I was too tired, and plus my cough is beginning to creep-in again. I guess tonight's jog will have to be postponed.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Legs or Fingers?

I'm in real trouble. I've booked my IPPT on the 23rd August Khatib Camp. That's like less than a month away. And my 2.4km timing is a geriatric pace

ish .... I'm too shy to put this .... 13.19mins

Is this the result of practising too much on the guitar? You gain some you lose some. If you keep practicing scales and arpeggios your fingerings will improve. The same practice principle ought to apply with running and stamina.

Now if only I could find the motivation to run.