Sunday, September 28, 2008

Give Thanks - HE will make way

In June, I was the assistant teacher in the Junior Sunday School class assisting Gary…early this month, circumstances have forced me to go full time and today is my last class. I’m so glad :)

Some times the kids are the sweetest, coolest, funniest, loving, most excellent and most wonderful little darlings ever. But at times; it’s just stubbornness. It’s UTTER DISOBEDIENCE, ON STEROIDS. It’s a senseless, irrational, single-minded, unwavering, testosterone-fuelled, kamikaze disobedience. No amounts of reasoning, negotiation, positive or negative coercion will make the children turn from their path. And then the whole class will spiral out of control.
I realized that I was quite wishy-washy with their discipline. We had some black and white rules. But for the grey areas, I kept making up new rules and discarding the old ones as new situations unfolded. So I guess the kids didn’t take them seriously, or they just got confused. I think I gave a lot of empty threats as well, which I did not follow through with. When I asked them to do something, I should have expected them to do it. But instead I re-negotiated and explained and listed reasons and talked and talked, thus I let them get away with it and they wouldn’t do it until I blew up in anger.

I was also very aware that I was dealing with 10 very different personalities of the little people here, so what will work for one; will probably not work for another.
Victor – the most creative of all; be it in music or art, copies his big brother in mostly everything. I organized 2 craft sessions for the children and Victor always comes out with something that amazes me. I hope it will be a huge boost to his confidence, development and identity.
Caleb & Enoch – noisy, playful, talkative, comical and reckless.
Phentia & Joshua – well, this sister & brother team have not turn up for the past 1 month.
Samantha - she has been blessed by a cool, unaffected confidence about everything.
Basil – the weakling, the cry baby…I really wanted to make a ‘man’ out of him.
The J Siblings – never take the class seriously, never like to take part in the class activities. I racked my brain thinking of activities and practical lessons for them - different ways to contrive situations to encourage good character traits like teamwork, friendliness and sharing. However, it failed.
Steven – the obedient, faithful & hardworking one.
As I said before, kids behaving badly are just a normal part of growing up.
On the flip side, you don’t want to under-estimate the child’s potential or be a pushy teacher or be one with deluded expectations. You don’t want to smother the child, hold them back or keep them wrapped up in a cotton wool.

To be honest, I’m not really that well-versed in biblical studies, I know nothing, I basically just follow the module but most important of all…I want the children to have fun. But sometimes it hit me – what do I want to impart unto them at the end of the day? What kind of character do I have? And how is my character going to grow unto these children in terms of attitudes, behaviors, thinking and values? Which leads me to: How can I help the kids to develop good characteristics in the first place?

For example, I was a very cautious child. As a kid, I used to be proud that I had never broken a single bone in my body - no broken ankle, arm or wrist. Never had any stitches. I’ve never stepped on a bee, got stung by a jelly fish, fallen out of a tree, wandered too close to slippery rocks. It took me ages to coach myself past that way of thinking. I think there’s a huge degree of intellectual and emotional laziness associated with it, as well as the need to be in control and the need for stability. But I’m no psychologist, I don’t know what this entire means - I just know how to work around it in my life. That is why I always play safe. And I think I have to wake myself up with a kick in the butt, drag my sorry self away from my bubble of contentment and force myself to do something out of the ordinary :)

Lots to think about. Lots to hope for :)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

the dance unfolds

The plan today was to go to Jusco and pick up some toiletries & personal care items…but I ended up shopping & buying a new handbag and 2 gorgeous tops – impromptu! :) Like I was also berraya-ing with my fellow Muslim community for the last minute Raya shopping. I think I need a new pair of jeans, a watch, some bling-bling bracelets or rings and a party dress.

I really enjoy ogling at beautiful clothes; and looking at how colors, styles, textures and moods arrive from the “fashion” world and then permeates into the rest of the “design” world to define what’s visually cool and fashionable in today’s popular culture. But when it comes to dressing myself up…I tend to go for something that is simple, comfy and just being me. Nothing extravagant…then it will be very un-yingze like :) I’m not into brands or teeny fashion trends. I’m a careful shopper; I’m always on the look out for a good bargain. Like today, everything I bought was at 50% off. And I like to think that I’m careful with my money :)
I’m still trying to save up more money. It’s so hard, and it takes so long. Money does make the world go round and it is everything. Without money I feel insecure, I can’t go through my day without it. Even if I don’t eat, my family has to eat…my car have to ‘eat’ as well.
I put down a RM10k for my new car down payment and borrowed another RM5k from my Pa so I can cut short the installment period. Now I have to pay my car installment every month and also trying to pay back my Pa as soon as possible. I don’t get paid a lot. I wish I could get paid more. But Iron Butterfly thinks I’m too expensive :(

Friday, September 26, 2008

just tell it like it is

Monday – attended the Coleman Trade Show at Hotel Istana. I had an ok time. I didn’t have a fantastic time, but it was fun nonetheless; with Iron Butterfly & Rufus around. The event set-up was nice and cozy. The camping gears and outdoor pieces were breathtaking. I would describe their American range as very stylish, lush, distinctive, vibrant and a bit vintage, arty and eclectic. They make camping stylish…and the heavy-duty raft boat…it looks very sexy. It makes me want to jump onto it and blaze through the rapids. I guess they are selling the idea, the lifestyle, the brand and the image. To try to get more people to go outdoors :)

Tuesday – meeting with Noro Singapore. Sometimes I don’t like the fact that I know nothing about this industry that I worked in. I feel stupid. I still have problems. Issues. Flaws.
Coleman CEO & CFO visit – we did a branding block display presentation for them. They were impressed :)
Right now, if possible…I try to avoid being alone with Iron Butterfly…because whenever we are alone, Iron Butterfly will start to psycho me again. Iron Butterfly has got a big personality, a strong spirit and a whole lot of big ideas. But sometimes, the techniques are a little bit skeptical. I tend to play safe and Iron Butterfly is the opposite. But I’m learning lots from Iron Butterfly and are currently revisiting old ones as well. Rufus is amazing too – fantastic to work with, full of great ideas, amazing results, lovely personality, professional but fun, hard working, very determined to get that perfect shot. Iron Butterfly & Rufus have great chemistry. I love the way they talked about their business ventures. As if they were talking about a little project they just happened to find in their garage. But to look around and see what they have created from nothing, I was in awe.

Wednesday – dinner with Seth & Celtic. The place was cheap to eat, the cheerful kind of environment, quite crowded, a bit daggy, unpretentious, full of colourful international characters and the food was just excellent.

Thursday – negotiation for Brand Fair November till December.

Today - lunch with May Leng & Miss Chan. Best part of the afternoon: catching-up :)

This week conclusion: I’m draining and exhausting. My eyes are sore, my skin feels weird and worst of all, my hair feels oh so gross. In the midst of our daily hustle and bustle, our flurry of daily activities, rushing here and there, we see LIFE. As it is. Steady and continuous. Ongoing and faithful. Unaffected by us.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

unforgettable - that's who you are

Dear Diary,

This week has been hell-lish!
Sales have dropped dramatically this month.
Entry Margin & Gross Margin was at a reduced percentage rate compare to last year.
Profitability is at a negative.
Outstanding Promotion Fees (i can’t cough out another RM100k, even if I ‘stand’ in Bangsar for a month, I am still unable to pump in that amount of money).
High stock level until it reaches a point where the RY reject supplier stock upon delivery. Thank GOD, the suppliers didn’t chase me with their ‘parang’.
Never-ending deadlines. I have to learn the art of prioritizing. I have a feeling that I am in danger of turning into a workaholic. Maybe I’m one already.

This French life is crazy. And Iron Butterfly has set a deadline for me – I have to complete everything by the end of November. And I have to deliver the figures and perform in the next 100 days…or not…I am very sure that my appraisal will be screwed! I’m beginning to realise that some ends are out of my grasp and it’d do no good to wish, hope or dream because it’ll never come to be and it will be consequentially depressing. I may not get the confirmation. I think, in some ways…and probably more true than I’d care to admit, is that I’m bloody scared of what may or may not happen. Look, I’m going to give my best. If I can perform, I stay…if I can’t…I shall start looking…maybe I’m not suitable for this…maybe Iron Butterfly have really psycho, brainwash me and put a dent on my self-confidence.

Looking at all of it right now, it makes me feel like I want to take my bags, pack them with all of my belongings and disappear into the unknown.

I've have thanked GOD quite publicly here before, but today I want to say thank you again and dedicate this entire post to Him. For the opportunities, for the twists and turns in my life, for giving me these skills, for the friends who've helped me to get to where I am today, for the future (bright, I hope), for what's possible, for the dreams I'm allowed to realized, I thank You. And yes, sometimes the trivial problems of our everyday life hinder us from seeing the bigger problems of the world. I will be humble. I will respect and treat my families & friends well. And I will keep my feet firmly on the ground as my hands reach for the stars.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

a suitable boy

Congratulations to Ping & Tony :)

I just can’t begin to describe how excellent and fun the wedding dinner was! Everyone was in da’house – Celtic, Wyatt, Seth, Juan, Julian, Lucius, Thor, Torres, Amadeo, Sverre Magnus, Regina, Justin, Sharan, Farah, Najib and many more. The atmosphere is fantastic! :) It was unfortunate that Miss Klein, Trix, Damian, Nikolai, Tommy, Boss & Pierre Andre couldn’t make it. We could bring the whole event down! :)

The ballroom d├ęcor is gorgeous with chandeliers, vintage wallpapers, antique furnitures and big rugs. The whole place is dripping with abundance and vintage luxury. I love it. The food was awesome and arrived quickly too (hey, we were starving! the dinner was supposed to start at 7pm, but it was delay till 8.15pm)! The meal was DELICIOUS, fresh and tasty. The wait staffs were excellent and helpful. Nothing to complain about! Highly recommended! Hey, it’s the Bangsar Seafood Garden! Family speeches were all really touching and charming, even though it was a bit long-winded. The dancing performances (from jazz to hip-hop, ballroom dance & cha-cha) were cute & enjoyable. Everything was just so nice. The details were perfect…very typical of Ping. Ping’s creative signature was all over the place - girly, very entertaining and heaps of fun. All of us ate, we drank, taking photos and silly antics. Seth’s baby was feeling pretty crook that night so Seth couldn’t stay for long. The trio has to make an early exit.

I saw so many people I knew from all over the place and some faces I haven’t seen in years. I walked around to each table, striking up conversations with old friends, old colleagues, a few familiar faces and some really interesting people on our table. I’m the kinda gal who finds it hard to contain my delight. Mind you, I’m often delighted by very simple things. VERY. Simple things. And most times, people don’t often share my amusement :)

I missed Juan. Juan is still the same - strong, bold, funny, witty. A real character. Juan has been a good mentor to me and like an older sibling watching & protecting over me. Wyatt has certainly mature a lot. And he was great to talk to! Lively, confident, intelligent and passionate about his work. He was very modest and very kind. After his horrible working experience with The French, Wyatt has decided to switch his career from Commercial to Schematic. Maybe I should do the same thing as well. Iron Butterfly is not making my life any easier. Plus, Rufus is beginning to side Iron Butterfly as well. I’m being ignored and neglected. It’s a good thing…I have some space to breath :)

And all of us had a fantastic time! The company of great friends is priceless indeed!

I still hate Iron Butterfly. But life for me is still moving forward. I’m still pursuing my career and interests. I’m still being a happy and active person. I’m still planning a future filled with rich and new experiences. I still want to make sure that I grow old while living a full life.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Nineteen Eighty Two

No need to wait for a year...100 days...and let’s see how things will work out.
The Iron Butterfly challenges me and asks me what I have achieved so far…I’m only here for a month and obviously there is no achievement or any accomplishment for me to shout about. How much can I do in a month's time? But the Iron Butterfly continues to push me; a month or not a month, it’s not an excuse. Ramadhan season where everyone is fasting and people tend to buy less from my categories – that is not an excuse either! The Iron Butterfly really expects me to fly and deliver the goods ASAP. I’m already started to stutter! And that is not a good sign because it means that I’m starting to be out of the track; not on track. I felt fidgety at work. I feel like I’m constantly watching my back - like the other shoe’s going to drop. I feel worried and my brows are furrowed.

“Guillermo spoke well of you”
“Guillermo have a very good impression about you”
The Iron Butterfly and Rufus have gotten this feedback on my work performance & attitude from Guillermo. Sigh…I’m not really that good. I wish I were more intelligent.
I wish I was more steady and firm; like Celtic. Let me tell you, I can take a very long time to decide what I want. I have to consider all the pros and cons, imagine the consequences of each choice, go back & forth on all of my options, think and rethink. Then I get frustrated and think WHY DO I HAVE TO CHOOSE ANYWAY? WHY CAN’T I HAVE BOTH? It’s one of my most distinctive personality traits. One that I’m constantly working on. I wouldn’t call it a BAD thing. It just slows me down sometimes. I am proud to say that I’m definitely getting much better at it. Decision making, that is. Working out what is actually important. Working out what I want, in an appropriate amount of time.

:( I hate Iron Butterfly.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

about a girl

The big, big, big boss of The English called me…whether I’m interested in exploring my career opportunities with them. I don’t see a need and I can’t find a reason why I should leave my current space. Besides, I will end my journey here. I want to earn the money, save them and do what I want to do later on. I want more time to pursue my other interests and socialised like there is no tomorrow :) I’d like to read more books, do some photography, listen to more music, watch more plays/movies, see more live bands, shopping, visiting art galleries & attending parties. I wouldn’t have been able to if I had a gigantic workload and feeling tired all the time. I need to prioritize.

Work schedule seems heavier by the day where I have to rush, implement & execute all of the ideas, the projects and strategic changes as fast as I could...then, I’ll have something to show to Rufus, and to myself. So much to think about and plan. Accept the cards that I’m dealt with. This is one of the rare moments where I know what I’m doing but have no control over the time that is running away so fast. I’m a wee bit ticked off with myself for it, but at the same time I’m happy. I’d have to work on getting my work experiences up to par with the others.
At times, I’m beginning to doubt myself - am I the right person for this job? Or I am where I am today is by sheer luck? I obviously lack the skills and everything else involved. I don’t have what it takes. They know it. Maybe I’m more suited towards administrative-type-routine role, where I aimlessly doing data-entry and file things whenever people want me to; a menial type of job. That should be what I’m looking for - instead of this. I’ll bring the entire house down the longer I stay. But with a challenging task ahead, I’m willing to learn and work :)

Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

HoneyMadu

(Gaaaawd, I’m going to DIE from this cuteness overload)

Thankfully, the directors and producers make Wall-E irrepressibly charming, cute, lovable and adorable because during the first 20 minutes, he’s all you’ll get to watch in the movie trundle around a desolate, rubbish-filled Earth. Looking like a cross between R2-D2 and Short Circuit’s Johnny Five, Wall-E is undeniably one of the cutest robots ever created for the big screen. With his expressive binocular-like eyes, his square box shape and his cute R2-D2 like “vocal chords”, it’s hard not to go ‘awwwwww’ as you watch the little thing :)

Wall-E is set in the 20th century, a future where mankind has polluted Earth to such an extent that the humans had to leave the planet behind and are now living in the outer space aboard a massive luxury space liners. All that’s left behind on the planet (besides the huge amount of trash) is our plucky little mechanical hero, Wall-E (short for Waste Allocation Load Lifter – Earth Class). The last of his kind left functioning, he has spent 700 years doing the same job over and over again; which is cleaning up the mess on Earth and making the planet liveable again for the human beings. By and by, a futuristic robot named EVE (Extraterrestrial Vegetation Evaluator) comes along and Wall-E falls in love with her. Yes, robots can love :)
In terms of storyline – I rate it 5 stars out of 10. It’s mature but the movie remains largely dialogue-free; with hardly any spoken words during the first 40 minutes…making it a little bit boring.
Technical vice – excellent! It’s just so rich. Because it’s more like a silent movie, it relies on the visual language – the tilt of the head, the angle of the binoculars…all those little things tell you something about the character’s viewpoint.