Saturday, December 29, 2007

Garoupa vs. Tilapia

I recently thought of an interesting hypothetical situation. Imagine you're going fishing...you only have enough bait to catch one fish. So while fishing, you happen to catch sight of a really big garoupa. And you've had a taste of garoupa before, so you decide you want to save your bait for that really big garoupa. So you keep throwing your line towards that garoupa, but all the stupid fish does is swim around the lure, seemingly taking interest but never biting.

And then along comes this reasonably sized tilapia. You've had a little taste of tilapia before so you kind of like it, but not as much garoupa. And you've been waiting soooo long for the garoupa to bite, then you don't want to settle for any other fish. But then this tilapia keeps having a go at your bait... and since you only have enough bait for one fish, you keep reeling in to stop tilapia from grabbing that one piece of bait which you want to reserve for the annoying garoupa who is still deciding whether or not to bite.

So what would you do? Keep on waiting for however long it takes for garoupa to bite? Or decide to settle for the tilapia instead?

Ok, so that's not exactly the hypothetical situation I was talking about, but is rather a pretty good analogy of it. Currently there's this guy that I've been really liking for a while now. He has a lot of qualities that I kind of really admire in a guy, and he's fun to be around, so basically I'm at that euphoric stage where I can't imagine meeting anyone else as great as this one guy. Of course, I'm not so naive to say he's the most perfect guy in the world... he does have some traits which I don't really like, but the good parts pretty much outweigh all of that. But though he treats me as a good friend, he hasn't shown any really obvious signs that he has a thing for me.

And then there's this other guy whom I'm beginning to suspect *might*, *possibly* have an interest in me. It's kind of early to tell as I've only recently noticed certain 'hints' from him... and it's also not very obvious sort of hints. And technically there is no reason for me not to like this guy. He's Christian, which is of course very important. He's nice and easy to talk to, and also not too bad looking. He quite possibly could qualify it as one of Cleo's 50 most eligible bachelors. I actually wouldn't mind going out with this guy.... except that I am just not half as interested in him as I am with the other guy that I really like.

So the hypothetical situation is...what would I do if this guy whom I think likes me but I'm not so into decides to ask me to go out with him? Or officially start a relationship?

Of course, the fact that this is a hypothetical situation means it hasn't happened, and by all likelihood it isn't going to happen. But when I asked myself this question, I was actually really stumped.... I'm wasn't sure what I would do. I mean, on one hand, I have emotions invested in one guy and I am waiting and hoping for them to be reciprocated... which might or might not happen, I don't know. On the other hand, there would be this other guy whom I wouldn't mind being with who's already made it clear that he wants to be with me, so the ball is in my court. But I am simply not that interested in him. So should I keep on waiting for the guy whom I really want to be with, which might end up with him never reciprocating my feelings and by which time, the other guy would've moved on so I'm left back to square one again? Or should I settle for the guy who likes me because he is also a good catch, even though he's not the one I really wanted? Garoupa or Tilapia? Tilapia or Garoupa?
Very interesting question indeed...

I think if this actually were to happen in real life, I would just completely freak out. I wouldn't want to be in the position of having to make this kind of decision. But after thinking about it, I decided that if *touch wood*, this situation actually does happen, I think I would continue to wait for Garoupa guy. As stupid as it sounds to wait for someone who quite possibly isn't interested in me... I would rather face the possibility of being disappointed than get into a relationship while still liking another person. It just wouldn't be fair for Tilapia guy... and I would probably end up hurting him even more than if I decided not be with him in the first place. But anyhow, given that I'm not actually in this situation right now (thank God), it's not really the most pressing matter in my love life at the moment.

The more pressing matter is actually learning to be patient when it comes to relationships. I've kind of learned that I really, really, REALLY need to get to know a guy very well first before getting into a relationship. The problem with me before this is that I would be so excited at the prospect of being with a guy that I jumped right into it without knowing the guy well enough. I know it's stupid, I know I should be patient... but I'm not. And I'd like to think that after two experiences, I would have learned my lesson, but I'm afraid I'm not sure that I have. So now I'm split into like two people, one who can't stand all this 'hinting' and waiting for something to happen and would just jump into the relationship again at the first chance I get.... the other person who knows that I am probably not ready to be in another relationship right now and I need to BE PATIENT and get to know the guy better.

But on the other hand, I also don't want to be 'patiently' waiting for a guy who isn't interested in me... which is the second pressing matter in my love life... and one that I have much less control over. I actually would prefer to know whether or not he likes me...if he isn't, then I can straight away forget about any chances of being with him and just accept him as a friend. If he is interested, then it doesn't necessarily mean that we have to get into a relationship right away, but we can still take our time to get to know each other better... but at least I would know that the guy has a thing for me and I'm not really wasting my time and energy investing emotions in a dead duck. And if later on, we decide we want to be together, then great. If not, then at least I could still enjoy the euphoria of knowing he was interested in me. Which is considerably better than this roller coaster of emotions that I'm going through now.

"Oh, he's leaning over to my side. Is that a hint that he likes me?"

"Dang, he went off without saying goodbye to me. I guess he's not that interested."

"He actually notices what I put on my Gmail status. How sweet!"

"Why's he sitting on the other side of this very long table so we're separated by a gazillion friends. Doesn't he want to talk to me??"

Case in point. It's not fun. Not fun at all. I don't know how or why some girls I talk to seem to enjoy the emotional ups and downs that come with having a crush. I. CAN. NOT. STAND. IT. It's comes to the point where I asked God that if something is going to happen between us, let it happen soon, or else just take away these feelings I have for him. *Haaaiii.....*

By the way, now that I think about it, my favourite fish is actually salmon... but I shall not complicate things any further.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

The joyfulness and loneliness of Christmas

It's 3 days to Christmas and as usual, my church has been a-busying with all sorts of Christmas activities. Well, mainly just the carolling and a Christmas Children's Production which runs on two days, which was yesterday (Friday) and today (Saturday). And since I'm involved in both carolling and the play, my Christmas hasn't been much of a holiday yet. More like nonstop practice, practice and more practice. Which is quite tiring, but enjoyable as well. We get to do some pretty funny warm-ups before each play practice... things likes pretending to be statues acting out various scenes, 'passing claps' to each other in a circle, tongue twisters, rolling up into little balls and vocal warm-ups...all mainly to help us release our inhibitions on stage as well as to help us learn to project our voices.

Our first run for the play today went pretty well. The church was quite full of visitors, and the play went 'almost' perfect...I say 'almost' because the play totally did not end as planned. Some of the cast was supposed to do a dance to the song 'Joy (To The World)' by Avalon, and we were supposed to have some kids doing a dance with the banners while I, who plays the very old lady with the English accent (decided to go for that instead of the Diedric the Disgruntled Elf voice, coz' it's very hard to sing with that voice :P) was supposed to toss aside my walking stick and break out into a very energetic and hilarious dance at the end. Somehow or another the technical people played the wrong part of the finale song, and all of us who were dancing had to 'improvise'. Needless to say, it was exceedingly messy, and the kids couldn't do their banner dance and I couldn't do my old lady dance. But at least we managed to cover up somewhat when everyone moved aside and left the poor guy who plays a court jester in the middle of the stage. He just pretended to look so blur that it turned out to be so funny! Apparently someone said that that was the best part of the show...so it wasn't a total disaster. :) Anyhow, we have another run tomorrow, so *hopefully* the same screw-up doesn't happen again. But other than that, from what I could tell backstage, everything else went really well. The timing was pretty good, the prop changes for the different scenes were done pretty fast, and one of the kids who was saying her lines so softly during practices was much louder...basically it was MUCH better than our practices. Thank God!

So anyway, tomorrow is going to be another busy day, and I still need to wake up early to do some super last minute Christmas shopping. Not exactly a fun task for me since I don't really enjoy shopping and I enjoy thinking of what to buy for people even less. I hate getting impersonal presents that I don't know whether people will like or not...it makes my life a whole lot easier if I have a pretty good idea what the person wants or likes, coz' then I don't have to wrack my brains figuring out what to get them that won't end up gathering dust in some corner of their house...or even worse, re-wrapped and thrown into the next church Christmas gift exchange. Buying presents for church people is especially difficult since there are just so many people to buy for, and in addition to the problem of not knowing what they want or like, I also have a problem of insufficient finances to buy reasonably good presents. So whenever I had the time in previous years, I'd try to do something a bit more personal like a handmade bookmark for everyone... or at least give some cute little bag of candies. But this year, I haven't had the time to do that, so I had to settle for the dreaded 'less personal and probably useless' little trinkets. And I still haven't gotten something for all my friends. Bleah... maybe I'll just go for the good ol' candy canes, if I can find some tomorrow! Or I could just go all scrooge-like and not buy presents for those I haven't bought for. Wahahaha.

In addition to the headache of present-buying during Christmas is also that annoying feeling that I'm going to spend another Christmas and New Year without a 'special someone' to share it with. Well, yes, I have family and friends to spend the holidays with... and usually I get along pretty fine without a guy in my life (except when I have a crush on a guy, which is equally as annoying, and is unfortunately happening as well!!!)... but it's always around this time of year when I start thinking how nice it would be to have a boyfriend to go hang out with during the holidays, or to give a smoochie to when the new year countdown ends. And yes, the fact that I am so totally into a guy right now TOTALLY is not helping. But anyhow, the annoying pangs will go away once the new years starts and I'm all busy at work again. Plus the only time I've ever had a guy to celebrate Christmas and new year with me was last year... and one of the most unforgettable memories of that time was seeing him throw up nonstop in the toilet bowl because he drank beer, wine and God knows what other kinds of alcohol, which apparently did not mix well in his stomach. Not exactly one of the highlights of my life... and sort of helped to kill my notions of a romantic Christmas and New Year celebrations with that 'special someone'. Hahaha, ok ok, so I'm being a bit unfair coz' I did enjoy spending the holidays hanging out with him in Singapore... but that's all over now. I'm single again, liking another guy, hoping against hope that by some miracle of God I would get the best Christmas present in the form of this guy actually telling me that he likes me too, but knowing that that is probably never going to happen and I shall just enjoy my celebrations as I usually do... with family and friends. Which I am still thankful for, considering there are probably tons of people out there who might be away from their family and friends, or have no one to celebrate with at all... which is why as ironic as it is, Christmas can be a lonely time for some people.

I'm thinking this year, I'll indulge in my developing love for artsy fartsy photography and go walk around in some nicely decorated shopping complexes, taking pictures of the decorations. But how nice if I could do that with that 'special someone'....Hahaha...*Carol slaps herself on the head*.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Helping out for good causes is quite depressing...

Last month, Cyclone Sidr hit Bangladesh and killed thousands of people (one article reports the death toll is above 15,000) and of course, leaving tens of thousands of other people injured, left with nothing and/or grieving over lost loved ones.

Over here in Malaysia, I had no idea about any of this as I barely have time to skim over the news...until some folks over at the Accenture head office decided to organize a collection of funds from Accenture staff for MERCY, the humanitarian aid organization that's helping the people of Bangladesh. And so they elected a one or two people from each Accenture project to help collect funds from their project mates. As yes, as you might've guessed if you don't already know, I was the 'lucky' representative to be elected by them for my project two weeks ago.

When I got the email asking to help collect funds, my initial reaction went along the lines of "Argh!!! Not again!!!". This wasn't the first time I was 'volunteered' by the company or project to do stuff. First I was 'volunteered' to remind my project mates to register for some company forum...which fortunately I didn't have to do anything anyway as it was a compulsory thing for everyone and so they all registered without me having to bug them to do so. Second, I was 'volunteered' to help out with my company's bowling trip in September. And now, for the third time, they seem to think since I'm a newbie, I'm doing nothing but shaking leg everyday and hence I can help out with all these other side projects. Which actually isn't that far from the truth...I actually am quite free, which is rather strange for this company, I think... but anyway, I still wasn't too happy with the idea of having to go around asking for money from my project mates, like one of those annoying people who go around coffee shops asking to buy useless stuff, or donate to some blind men's association, or just give them money coz' they're too old/handicapped/poor. But since I honestly wasn't busy enough to use that as an excuse to not help out, I was 'stuck' with having to do the gold-digger dirty work.

Well, as it turns out, I decided since I had to do this anyway, I might as well try to get as much as I can from as many people as I can. Not just my project mates, but also my church folks. So I went all gung ho, emailing and urging my project mates as well as everybody in my church whose email address I had, asking for donations. I even asked my pastor if we could a collection in church specifically for this...but unfortunately for some reason this couldn't be done, and the next best thing was to ask the cell leaders to collect from their cells on friday and then pass it to me.

So tomorrow is the day when I have to pass my collection back to my head office, and how much have I gotten altogether? So far, I estimate a total of around RM250, from project mates and church people. Which, to me, is really quite disappointing. I guess I had the expectation that since Accenture people are paid quite well, as church mates do regular donations to the church too, I would get rather generous donations. Surprisingly, the highest amount I got from any of my project mates is a rather measly RM20...from one of the managers too, who probably earns more than RM20,000 a month or some ridiculous amount like that. And from my church, only 3 people donated, and two was because I asked them personally. So I'm guessing everyone else either conveniently 'forgot' to donate or just couldn't be bothered...which I can't help but find a bit sad and disappointing. But then again, my own initial reaction to having to help collect donations wasn't exactly the best either.

Which really got me thinking today about the question I used to think about a lot... what is the world coming to? I mean, here we are, so engrossed in our own lives, going to work each and every day, trying to earn as money as we can to buy more stuff and lead more comfortable lives...and for most of us, our lives are already comfy enough...but when it comes to giving something to help others who really, really, REALLY need help... most of us really couldn't give a damn. Ok, maybe not everyone doesn't give a damn...I'm sure some people actually do give a damn and want to help... but maybe we don't trust the system. Maybe people think there's no point in donating coz' we don't know whether the money will actually go into aiding the people who need it, or go into the pocket of one of the aid organization's topshots. Which is actually a valid concern, as it really does happen quite often...The miserable RM250 I got is probably not going to end up going to the right place anyway. But then again, if everyone thinks like that and no one donates...then how can we help the people who need the aid? Shall we donate other necessities like food and medicines instead of money? That's noble as well, but then considering the high cost of having to transport such goods all the way there, the transportation costs could be used instead to buy more supplies for the people. So people don't donate coz' either they're too 'kiasu' or afraid of funds being mismanaged, and donating other supplies is too expensive in terms of transportation, so what's the next best way to help? Volunteer to go there and try to help out the victims personally? Yeah right, how many people are willing to stop everything in their lives here to go some strange foreign country where there are little or no luxuries to help some poor folks. So in the end, little is donated, few people care enough to help, and the poor Bangladeshies are left to fend for themselves.

A depressing thought, I know...but that's not half as bad as the thought that the Bangladeshies are not the only people in the world who need help. In Malaysia, there are people who are poor, hungry, homeless, handicapped, abandoned, and so on and so forth. And they would need help from the more fortunate ones too. But again, most of us lucky ones are just too caught up in our own little worlds worrying about our own relatively small issues to bother to help others. And I'm not exactly proud to say I'm one of them... and as much as I would like to help somehow, the thing is...it's just so much easier to continue on with my life and worry about my own little issues then be go all out to help the people who need it. It's much easier to work and try and gain more luxuries than think about the people who don't even have the basic necessities.

So anyway, now that I've probably made anyone reading this have a totally sucky guilt trip, I have to apologize for that coz' I'm not intending to make anyone feel guilty...but rather I'm just reflecting on the fact that this is how people behave. When I was young, I used to feel sad about the very same thing I'm talking about right now, and I used to want to go all out and try and save the world...but over time, when I realized there's just too many people who need saving and one little person like myself really can't do much, I lost the gung-ho-ness. Also didn't help that my parents conditioned me to just take care of ourselves and my own family as nobody else out there is going to care about us. And so when it comes to giving to other people, even just a little RM10 note, we just couldn't be bothered. I guess it's funny how when we're young, we're so idealistic and wish we could do something to help make the world a better place, but we're limited by our lack of experience (and usually, lack of money too). But once we're old enough to actually have the ability to make some difference, most people are too jaded or overwhelmed with the amount of things that could be made better, that we just can't be bothered anymore.

So anyway, I think I've had enough of ranting about how sad the world is and I shall go back to worrying about my own little problems like whether or not I should buy a Sony Ericsson W660i or Motoslvr Red, or whether that guy I like really has a thing for me. Cheerio.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Discovery Days, Christmas events and strange sms-es

Yay, I did get my haircut several weeks ago, and now that my hair has grown out a bit, it does look pretty good....so now I think I finally have a regular hairstylist whom I can trust my crowning glory with, thanks to Yee Ling for recommending him to me!

Well, I haven't blogged for a while, mainly coz' I haven't had much to blog about. I'm still working at the same TM project at Accenture...still clicking buttons everyday doing testing of an application. Sometimes I actually am quite free, which is very strange considering my company's reputation for having overworked staff. Everyone says my time of busy-ness will come...but so far it hasn't...and in a way I enjoy it, but I also feel kid of blah coz' I don't feel very challenged in my work right now. Well, perhaps once this project is done and I move on somewhere else...I'll be enjoying my work a bit more.

Christmas is also coming up, which of course means that I and almost everyone else at church is BUSYYYY. I'm in choir, and I get to lead the sopranos to do their parts...which also isn't very challenging coz' we just sing the normal melody and all of them are pretty good enough already. So usually all I do is run through all the songs with them, then we get to hang out til' we have to practice together with the other groups (altos, bass and tenors). One of these Christmases I really should try to be an alto, so I get to learn whole new parts that are more challenging...but then again, I am (in a none braggy sense) one of the stronger sopranos, so I think that if I switched, the sopranos might not be loud enough... Oh well, hopefully next year there will be so many sopranos that if I switched, it wouldn't matter. Hehe!

Anyway, doing carolling has also left me target to the usual but lame jokes about my name. Examples include:

"Carol is carolling!"

"Carolling Carol!"

"If you married a guy whose surname was Ling, you'd be Carol Ling!"

I shall make sure I steer clear of any guy I meet whose surname is Ling....

I was also recently involved in my church's annual event for kids, Discovery Days, where I was in charge of the 'Fun Singing', and also helped out for games and art and craft, while also helping to take care of the kids at other times. With over 100 kids there, running around like little energizer bunnies on caffeine every chance they got, I was pretty zonked out by lunch time. Somehow or another I did manage to make it through the entire day...woo hoo! But then the next day there another day of outing with the kids. I actually didn't think I would be going coz' on that Saturday morning, I had to work at the weeeeee hours of the morning around 1.30am, coz' we had to shut down TM's system for upgrading at the hour when no one would be using it. So I had to go in to test the newly upgraded system and see if there were any issues. And I didn't think I would have the energy to go for the trip the next day, especially since after DD on Friday, when I got home and planned to sleep from 7pm to 12am before going to work, I slept until 9pm and then woke up coz' of some sms-es (which is another story in itself...). After that, I tried to go back to sleep but wasn't completely in dreamland. So I went to work that night all sick-ish and sniffly due to lack of sleep, so I thought I definitely would not be able to go for the trip next day.

When I was done testing, I got home at around 6am and jumped into bed again at 6.30am. Before sleeping though, I told God that I really wanted to go for the trip and asked Him that if He wanted me to go too, then wake me up in time for me to get to church and board a bus before they leave, and make sure I'm rested enough to last the trip. But if He thought I'd better rest, then just let me continue sleeping. So I went to sleep at 6.30am without setting my alarm.... and at 7.30am (one hour later!) I woke up on my own. And I wasn't feeling sick or sleepy, so I jumped out of bed, flew to church and got there in time to meet everyone boarding the buses. So I got to go on the outing, which was pretty fun...though one of the kids I was taking care of had a rather annoying habit of going missing. And I wasn't tired or sick the whole day! Woohoo! Goes to show that the Holy Spirit is better than any coffee...:D

All in all, DD was great...although one thing we did this year which I'd very happily not do again next year is giving out little namecards to the kids. Supposedly this is for the kids to call us in case they need some aunty, uncle, 'tai ko' or 'jie jie' to talk to, for whatever reason. But then the thing we didn't seem to foresee is that our handphone numbers might end up in the 'wrong hands'... such as the needy 18 year old brothers of the kids.

See, that Friday after Discovery Days when I was sleeping early to try and get enough rest for my graveyard shift, I got two sms-es around 9pm that woke me up. Both were from the same number which I didn't know... the first one said "Hi Carol, how are you?" No name, no introduction, nada. I was still in snoozyland when that firsts sms came, and the second sms came about 5 minutes later. "Why you never reply? Please reply?" When I woke up, read the sms-es and figured out that it was probably from a DD kid and not a murderous stalker, I replied "Sorry, what's your name?". Then the kid sms-ed back in BM, saying he was one of the Stepping Stones kids' brother (Stepping Stones is a children's home from which a bunch of Indian kids came for our DD event), and he said he wanted to be my friend, but asked why did I talk like that. Hmm? Apparently in this kid's world, it's incredibly rude to ask for his name when he doesn't introduce himself. The way this kid was going, I was starting to think that the kid probably had potential to be a murderous stalker. But considering these kids are probably orphans who were emotionally scarred since childhood or some sob story like that, I thought telling him to bugger off, as tempting as it was, probably wasn't the best response to such strange behaviour, so I continued replying to him in a civilized manner. He seemed to be very happy that I 'agreed' to be his friend. That night he sent me one sms asking me to go out because 'the moon is saying goodnight to you!'. And the next morning, I got a long sms in Tamil which ended in 'Good morning', which were the only two words I understood.

To cut a long story short, I asked him how old he was, and when he told me he was 18 years old and NOT one of the kids, I told him flat out that my number is for the kids to call me in case they need someone to talk to, not for anyone else. So I asked him not to sms me anymore...and he replied by saying something about opening his heart to me and being glad to have me as a friend. Good grief. I replied by saying that he shouldn't open his heart to a person he never even met, and that I can't be his friend coz' I don't know him at all. And I said I wouldn't reply to him anymore. And ever since then, I haven't gotten any more sms-es from crazy potential stalker kid. Whew!

Well, I dunno if what I did is considered 'cruel'...but in my experience, an 18 year old boy sms-ing a girl he's never met before usually is interested in more than just being 'friends'. And this guy was obviously incredibly desperate for some sort of affection, to declare me a great friend when all he knows about me is what his brother told him about me from DD. It's quite freaky. And apparently I wasn't the only one who got strange sms-es or calls after DD...another friend got sms-es from a 15 year old kid! Nooooo way I'm going to give away my handphone number to kids next year...ESPECIALLY if they are some orphanage kids who are more likely to have attention-craving older siblings with too much phone credit to spare.

So anyway, that's about the biggest drama I've had in my life recently. I'm also in my church's Christmas production, which is a musical directed mainly for the kids. I haven't done acting for quite a while, so I signed up for acting and hoped to get a reasonably challenging role and not just be some small koochy extra with no lines. Well, I kind of got my wish...I'm playing Harriet Redrose, an 'eccentric' old lady who apparently lives at home alone with cats! :p Well, it wasn't exactly the kind of role I envisioned for myself (perhaps hot rocker chick? Hahaha... kidding)... but after a few practices, I'm actually quite enjoying the part, since I can get away with doing an impression of Diedric the Disgruntled Elf. If you don't know who that is, listen to Hitz.fm during holiday seasons...it's a elf who decides he's sick of working for Santa during Christmas only and decides to do his 'holiday rounds' during other local festivities such as Hari Raya and Deepavali. And being eccentric is always fun...so yeah, I think I make a pretty good old lady. :P But we only have 3 more weeks left before the date of the play, and we sort of just started practices, which doesn't leave us much time left. Gotta reeeaally hope and pray that we can get everything together in the short time that we have....

Ok, that's enough blabbering for now. Time for bed!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

The hunt for the perfect hairdo!

There comes a time, or rather, many times, in all girls' lives when they look at themselves in the mirror and think "I need a new look!" And that time has arrived yet again for yours truly. Before this, I always went to the hair saloon requesting for my 'usual' cut... medium length V-shaped layered cut. Occasionally I'd get my hair dyed my favourite colour, red, but it would always eventually end up brown (cheapo hair dyes!). The most adventurous do I've ever had was a long perm, which turned out rather weird, especially when my normal hair grew so half my hair was curly and half of it was straight (I have my horrendous IC picture to prove it). As such, I've learned that perms are a big no-no for me.... though perhaps it was just permed to be wavy, it would still look pretty good. Just no Maggi Mee styles!

Lately I was thinking how nice it would be if there was some way to see how different hairstyles looked on me before actually doing it at the saloon... and today a spark went off in my head.... there probably IS a way to 'experiment' with different hairstyles...through the internet! There must be some website or program that allows people to upload their photos and try out different types of do's... So I did the search, and the first website I found was Stellure.com. It's a very cool website where users can upload a pic of themselves, and it become a 3D model on which you can sort of 'cut and paste' different hairstyles on your computer model to see how it looks at all angles! Very da cool! Only one slight-ish problem...you gotta pay for the software before you can use it. So for extremely kiamsup people like me who likes everything free and also doesn't trust the security of anything paid through the net, Stellure.com was not a option. So I tried to search for similar but free websites....and mostly came up with a bunch of similar hairstyling softwares that also have to be paid for.

Finally, after a long and tiresome search (ok lah, not that long...) I found the Makeover-O-Matic Virtual Makeover Game! Does the same thing as Stellure, except the uploaded photos and do's can only be seen from the front view, no angles. Which is much better than nothing! Admittedly, the number of hairstyles available there to experiment with isn't much, but it's not too bad. And if you can't find what you want there, there is also MakeoverSolutions.com, which you can do exactly the same thing, but there are other hairstyles to play with... The demo version for this is free with only about 100 styles to play with, but of course if you are willing to fork out moolah, a motherload of other hairstyles will become available for you to feed your hunger for different do's. Still the demo version was good enough for me, coz' I found lots of looks I liked from these two websites alone.

Both sites allowed me to try putting the hairstyles of various celebrities on my pic.... and the results were quite interesting, and I have complied some of the more interesting looks into 3 categories:
1) Celebrity hairdos that look pretty good (on me)!
2) Celebrity looks that should stay on celebrities (not on me)!, and
3) Celebrity looks that are just plain funny (on me)!


For Category No. 1, the Cameron Diaz and Catherine Z.J. looks both are radically different, but I like them both. Cameron's short bob looks pretty good on me.... I wouldn't even mind dying my hair to that colour too! Catherine's do, however, is long and slightly curly which is sooo totally glamorous baby! BUT it's obviously very high maintenance, and I prefer to keep to the K.I.S.S. principle (Keep It Simple, Stupid!).

I was surprised that No. 3 and 4, although very different from what I would normally do, actually do look quite alright on me. I like the colour of Kelly's do (which wasn't actually her do, just that it looks like a hairstyle she would have ;)), but I don't think gravity-defying ability of this do would last long. No.4 looks like a style similar to what Charlize Theron would have (except blonde, not black). It's looks....ok on me...perhaps it would have been nicer with more colour and if my makeup was less goth in this pic (did I mention both websites allow you to change your picture's makeup too? Yes, it's very cool!)

Now for Category No.2, we have the celebrity looks that look good on them but definitely not on me .Jennifer Aniston's hair looks great on Jennifer.... not on me. Drew Barrymore hair makes me look like an unbalanced mushroom. Halle Berry's hair kinda makes me look likes I was electrocuted by the Mad Science Van der Graff generator. The best looking do among these four actually seems to be the Scary Spice afro do.... haha! And we all know the only way I'd get that do is if I was going to a Halloween party dressed at Scary Spice... or maybe one of the Alleycats....


And for the 3rd and final category of celebrity makeovers, I have here all the looks that I should never attempt to try. Even in my wildest dreams. Coz' they just look dumb. Take the classic beehive, which is a popular look with Amy Winehouse. Now she can miraculously pull off a beehive without looking like a Conehead with hair. I, on the hand, am not quite blessed with the features for pulling off the beehive. As for No.2, I think I would go for this look if I was auditioning for a role in Hairspray 2. But I don't think I ever would coz' as much as I appreciate the incredible amount of hard work that must've gone into making that musical, the ridiculous amount of fake grins and over-exaggerated excitement in that movie almost made me want to gag. The Macy Gray look, well, that a look that should be reserved for the black sistas' and them alone.... And last but not least... the classic 80's rock band look. This hairdo would probably give me sudden urges to dance to Van Halen's 'Jump'.

Of course, why those styles above would look rather ridiculous on me, they are nothing compared to come of the other wild and wacky do's I found on the websites. And so, I present to you.... the Top 6 hairstyles I'd get if I went completely bonkers! Complete with lame punchlines, which I shall put at the side as well, since the pictures came out smaller than I intended....


7) "I'm a big fan of yours... really I am!"


6) Scientists have just discovered a new species of giant blue sunflowers.... growing on my head!"


5) "With this device, the Martians will surely be able to contact me now...


4) "What? It's not the 80's anymore?? And I wasted all that hairspray..."


3) "Yes, I DO take up more bed space, but at least Astro doesn't go down anymore when it rains!"

2) "Anyone need some Kleenex?"





And the no. 1 Hairdo I would get if I went completely bonkers...

1) "Excuse me, is this your Shih Tzu that died on my head?"






So now that you've either laughed or puked yourself silly reading my lame-O punchlines, it's time to get serious and looksee at some of the styles I would consider for my next do:



8) Upswept gorgeous

Ok, I'm not planning to have this as a permanent do, but it IS something I might consider for a fancy event, like a big prom, or maybe my wedding. Looks a bit too high here though...should've placed the hair a little lower to make it look more balanced. Anyhow, I like the highlights too. Adds a nice touch. But so far, I haven't been bothered to get my tresses all teased up for any fancy event... and even for my wedding I think I'd prefer to look like a more gorgeous version of myself instead of a beehive queen wannabe. Oh well, it just looks nice.


7) A little flare

This is one of those styles that look pretty good here, but in real life, I think it just wouldn't work. For one, my hair doesn't have this kind of volume... Two, the flaring ends would probably make my face look bigger than it already is.. That wouldn't be good. So it's another nice one to look at... but not in real life!





6) Medium length coloured

A nice sleek, professional look. Looks pretty similar to styles I've had before... but again, my hair would suffer the lack of volume issue, so maybe it wouldn't work for me. And anyhow, it's not quite the different look I'm aiming for... but it still looks good.






5) The messy bob

I didn't think the messy look would suit me, but looking at this pic, I quite like the results. It's cute with a tinge of rebellious.... unfortunately it's also not very professional looking, which might not go down well where I work. So no go for the messy bob (maybe later on when I'm feeling exceptionally adventureous!)




4) Long with wavy ends

Surprisingly, this is one of the few medium length do's that I really liked (the others I really like are all short styles). It's quite a romantic, slightly glamorous look...and I love the wavy bit at the end. But looks a bit too high maintenance for someone who tends to jump out of bed in morning, run the brush through her hair a couple of times before flying out the door.







3) Cute short bob

This looks very good on me... very cute, quite neat, low maintenance... all very good traits. Only thing is that it's rather boring. No zing. Nice, cute, neat, but normal. Anyone can get away with this hairstyle, but I'd prefer something a bit more zing...






2) Cameron Diaz look

Ah yes, this is more like it! Also very cute and short, but the few longer strands at the sides at the 'oomph' to this look. Unfortunately, since this cut was taken directly off an actual pic of Cameron Diaz, I wasn't given the freedom to change the colour to match what I would prefer. Nevertheless, I'm sure it would still look good in black or reddish black. :) But as good as it looks, it's hairstyle No. 1 that really got me hook, line and sinker...which is....



1) Highlights take the prize!

This is it, ladies and gents! The look that I totally fell for the second I saw it! Not too short, not too neat. Slightly messy, but not too messy. And the blonde bleached highlights are FAAAb-ulous, baby! I like!

Of course, the main issue for this style would be the cost of the highlights, which I'm guessing would be purty high... And also, since I have dyed my hair red quite some time ago, I now have black hair closest to my roots while the rest is that annoying faded brown colour. So highlighting above this might look a bit strange.... unless I re-dye my hair at home first... then a week later, go to the saloon for this look. Hmm..... sounds likes a plan.

So anyway, ladies, now that you know these sites exist, try not to have too much fun experimenting with your look. Cheers!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The cure for SDA (Sudden Depression Attack)

It's been a while since I lasted blogged, the reason being that work has been keeping me pretty busy. My team spent the week before last preparing for a UAT (otherwise known as User Acceptance Test), which is the time when some of our TM clients come in to test the application that we designed for them and to determine if there are any issues that need to be fixed. This is naturally quite a critical time, as we have to deal face to face with our clients everyday for roughly two weeks... the first round starting last week. So I was a busy busy bee...up until last weekend when the Hari Raya holidays started and everyone gets to enjoy a nice long break. My break is especially long, as we Accenturians have to take forced leave for two days (Tuesday and Wednesday) for God knows what reason. I don't mind a nice long break, but when two days are deducted out of my annual leave against my will, it kind of makes me feel uneasy about whether I will have enough leave to last me the rest of the year or not.

Not that I am lacking in anything to do these holidays. I had to prepare worship stuff for the upcoming Discovery Days kids program at my church. I had my first worship practice for it with my worship team on Monday night, and it went better than I had anticipated, which is a good thing. Although the backups singers still need to get used to the idea of doing kiddie actions while singing (I got quite a few weird looks from them when doing actions for the song 'Superhero'. It's times like that when I'm glad I don't get embarassed easily. Kakaka!). I also had to write out my Performance Objectives, which is something all Accenture employees have to do once every year. The thing is that they need us to pinpoint exactly what objectives we hope to achieve, even though in reality we might not have any idea what that might be. And as tempting as it is to put it down, I doubt they would accept it if I just put my performance objective as "to make sure I do a good enough job that I don't get fired and hopefully qualify for pay increment next year and promotion in two years." I managed to put it off right up til today, and since it's my last day of holiday before it's back to the grind tomorrow, I figured I'd better get it over and done with. At least I get a chance to utilize my skill of writing crap while making it sound like I know exactly what I'm talking about. Something I used to do a lot during my university exams. Yes kids, as long as it sounds like you know what you're talking about, you should at least get a pass. Haha!

Anyway, even though I knew I would be somewhat busy during my break, I still had this little feeling of 'lostness' after church on Sunday, when it felt like I had nothing (or very little) to do over the next 3 days and a half (including Sunday after church). And it was that time that I came down with a sudden depression attack.... not just because of that lost "what-am-I-gonna-do-for-3-whole-days?" feeling but I think also because of other factors. One probably being that I quite recently (as in almost 3 weeks ago) broke up with Gerald and since we live 2 hours drive apart and usually only ever saw each other during long breaks, I couldn't help thinking that if we were still together, he probably would've come to visit me this holidays..... Probably, but not definitely... coz' he might've been too busy to come see me anyway. And that's part of the reason why I didn't think it would work out.... the long distance thing was quite an issue. It's difficult to see each other regularly when we're both busy with work, and I realized at times when we might need each other, it would be very difficult to be there for each other. And since I just started a new job and not moving anywhere anytime soon, I figured it was best to separate instead of keeping him waiting for me... when I don't even know if I'd ever go where he is. And then there were other issues like differences in beliefs, which I think would've become a pretty big issue if we had committed to each other. So logically, I know that ending it was probably the best thing for both of us and in a way, knowing that makes it easier... but of course when that nostalgic feeling comes back every now and then, that makes it all the more difficult. Like sometimes when I'm at a place or doing something that we've done together before, it reminds me of him and then I go into Nostalgia-land. Quite normal I suppose... but at least I'm not bawling my eyes out every night or something. I guess the fact that we hardly got to see each other kind of made the post-break up easier as well....*sigh* Well, now we agreed to not contact each other at all after that, which I'm not sure if it's good or bad coz' I would've liked to still know what's going on his life.... just as a friend instead of being emotionally involved. But I guess right now we both need some time apart to move on, and maybe later on we could just say hi to each other sometime and catch up. I do wish him well though, and hope he finds some girl closer to home.

And if going through a post-break up isn't difficult enough, throw in the fact that I also quite recently started taking interest in another guy. Which on it's own can already be quite an emotional headache... liking a guy but wondering if he likes me, and not wanting to get keep my hopes up coz' he might not like me but getting disappointed anyway coz' he shows no sign of being interested in me. Throw post-break up into the emotional mix and you'll get me feeling guilty for liking another guy so soon, and wondering if I'm one of those desperate girls who would happily jump from one relationship to the next. Though logically, I don't think I am that kind of girl... I knew my previous relationship was probably heading for the rocks for some time. But much as I know that getting into another relationship so soon after is probably a bad, baaaad, BAAAAAAD idea, I still am interested in another guy. But considering he really doesn't seem to be interested in me at all, that could be a good thing at this point in time... at least I will have time to release whatever emotional baggage I might have left over. Haha. Yay. Well, at my age, after liking a total of a gazillion guys and getting disappointed all the time, I think I learned by now that disappointments are to be expected. So now the number is a gazillion and one. No biggie. I'll get over it as I always do. Anyway, all this was yet another reason for my sudden depression attack on Sunday.

Another reason would be that someone at church totally irked me to bits after service, and effectively killed my spiritual high as well as my good mood for several hours after. The details of that incident, however, shall remain under wraps. I am considering having a private talk with this person with regards to that incident, so hopefully it won't happen again in the future. However, whether or not my talk with this person will have positive results, I have no idea. I have a strong suspicion that said person, under the DISC profile, is a strong D (for Dominant) personality. Apparently D people always like to be in control and either people like them a lot or don't like them at all. And even though D people are quite happy dishing out criticism to others, they are most likely not too good taking criticism about themselves.... unless they are in very good control of their D-ness. So this D person might just eat me alive for bringing up this issue.... and the fact that I'm a strong S (for Stable or Steady) doesn't make it much easier. S people do NOT like conflicts. Therefore I am not looking forward to bringing up this issue with said D person.... In fact, I'd be quite happy just forgetting about it and hoping I'll have very little to do with said D person in the future. But unfortunately that won't be the case as I do see this person often enough. So for the very same reason that I do not want any further conflicts or tension between us in the future, I feel it's best to bring it up sooner than later. But then again, my L (for Lazy) side may just take over at the last minute and decide to just let it slide *Insert dry laugh here*.

Well, as quickly as my depression attack came, it went off by the next day once I started making myself busy with Discovery Days prepping and doing those annoying Performance Objectives. I also kept myself occupied by playing around with Hero Machine 2.5, which is a cool website where you get to create your own superhero or superheroine. I guess I was watching too much "Who Wants to be a Superhero?", so I got bitten by the hero-creating bug and stumbled upon this website where I had quite a bit of fun creating some funky heroines, including a thief and mermaid and fiery female version of the Human Torch. I also went simple and created a cartoon version of myself... or perhaps a hotter looking version of myself. :P So anyhow, keeping myself busy successfully helped take my mind off those silly depressing thoughts. Today I also had worship practice, tomorrow I go back to work and have Christmas Carolling practice at night, and Friday I have cell group as usual. So I think I'll be sufficiently busy to not think depressing thoughts for quite a while. Ah yes... there's nothing like being a semi-workalic to keep me happy. :P

Friday, October 05, 2007

Dear Mr. Anonymous :)

Tsk, tsk, look at this interesting comment somebody put for my last post:


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Shopping for work is fun! ;-)":

Oh my god, she actually has the guts to post her pics up here? I came here looking for some hot chick and what do I get? Dumbo the big fat blob!God, I'm going to puke.


Wow, I thought living a nice low profile internet life away from IRC and ICQ and other chat or forum sites would spare me having to deal with sad case guys with no life who are out for nothing more than to fulfill their kinky fantasies by getting on with anybody they meet on the net who's female. Apparently I was wrong.

Oh well, so sorry I didn't quite meet your expectations of a hot chick, Mr. Anonymous. However, although I won't deny I could lose a few pounds, I have enough self confidence to know that describing me as a 'fat blob' is grossly inaccurate and I can look attractive if I wanted to. Also, this is MY blog, and if I wanted to put pictures of the inside of my nose, I could dang well do so. I don't know if you're blind or you can't read, but the title of my blog is 'Naeem's Neverending Nonsense', NOT 'Naeem's Hot Chick Pics', so I'm wondering where you got the half-brained idea that you would find hot chick pics here. If you don't like the way I look, my extra pounds, or looking up the inside of my nose, you can dang well go search out your idea of a 'hot chick' at one of the gazillion porn websites that are out there.

Also, just so you know, the last time anyone has ever insulted my weight was when I was in primary school. From then on, the people I got to know were considerably mature enough not to judge me by my size. Hence, I can deduce, Mr. Anonymous, that you have the maturity equivalent of a primary school child. But then again, I won't dare conclude that as I happen to know a lot of nice, smart kids as well and I don't want to imply that their intelligence is anywhere as low as yours. And not only do you lack in maturity, Mr. Anonymous, but the fact that you didn't even put your name or any means of contact in that nice little comment of yours implies that you also lack the guts to know what I would have to say in reply to your sneaky little swipe at me. At least when kids made fun of my weight, they had the guts to do so to my face. Well, I won't stoop so low as to christen you with an insulting name like Dumbo. Your lack of maturity and manlihood pretty much speaks for itself.

So please, if it makes you puke that I have the confidence to put up not-so-good looking pics of myself on my blog, then go ahead and puke. And in case, you ever come back here again in the hopes that perhaps, maybe, HOPEFULLY you will get to see some hot pics of myself, well, here's a little something for you to remember me by....


Happy puking! :)


Monday, October 01, 2007

Shopping for work is fun! ;-)

So I've working at Accenture for about a month now and so far, it doesn't seem all that bad... though I can't say it's all that interesting either. Sitting in front of a computer for 9 hours (with a lunch break in between) hurts both my eyes and my rear. Fortunately, my workload is surprisingly still not that bad... in fact sometimes I don't really have much to do. On the other hand, my supervisors somehow manage to work until 10pm each day and come back to work even earlier than me the next morning. Which means either I'm not experienced enough to handle the work they need to do, or they're workaholics who have no life outside of the office. Perhaps it's both. Either way, I have always been an advocate of the Australian culture of going home right after working hours end... because there are other things important in life such as spending time with family, meeting friends, socializing, playing with gerbils (ok, maybe not that last one). And Aussies are certainly no less productive than we workaholic Asians... at least they don't overwork themselves to the point where they burn out and leave their jobs. So going home on time (not early, mind you) is a good practice that I hope to live out throughout my time here... though most people say my time to overwork will come soon enough. *Sigh* I sure hope Accenture will have enough manpower so that that day doesn't ever come!

Anyhow, now that I work for a big@$ corporate company, I've had to seriously change my style of dressing. Obviously, wearing t-shirts and jeans everyday like I did at Mad Science wouldn't go down well with the corporate stuffy people. So I was a bit worried that I wouldn't have enough working clothes to last me the first week. But by some miracle, I managed to find myself a different change of clothes every working day for the first month. Woohoo! Ok lah, I admit I cheated and stole some clothes from my mum... it does come in pretty handy when you have a mum with a pretty good sense of style.

And to seal my assimilation into the world of Accenture drones, the company kindly provided everyone from the Systems Integration and Technology workforce (that's my team) with some cool new gifts, apparently to commemorate the fact that our workforce has been expanding significantly. And among some of the gifts we got was a pretty nice looking shirt and a nifty laptop bag with a ton of compartments (which I liiiike...).
























We also got an Accenture umbrella, which I didn't bother to take a pic of coz' I left it in my car. But anyway, I'm really glad I decided not to buy a laptop bag before that.... the one they gave us is pretty bulky, but I can keep everything I need in it, including, of course, my company laptop. Aahhh, the perks of working in a big@$$ corporate company.....

I also had to do quite a bit of shopping for new stuff for my job, and something I REALLY wanted was a handbag that could turn into one of those cute little backpack-like bags... so when I want to look more 'professional' I could carry it as a handbag, but when I can be more casual, I could wear it backpack style. I didn't think I would find a bag like that, but lo and behold... I actually did find it at Mydin! Check it out below!






















I'm not usually the type to get excited about women's bags, but this bag is pretty cool.... even though it does have a few holes in some of the compartments. But for something I got at Mydin for only RM4.90 (normal price Rm9.90, but it's RM4.90 with purchases above RM20. Yes, I know...it's just too good to be true... but it IS!!!), I can live with the holes.

Another cool thing I bought from Mydin is a really watch with exchangable straps and faces. There are 5 different coloured straps and 9 different faces, so altogether I can make 45 different looks for the watch. Pretty neat, huh? Of course, some of the faces and straps don't really match, so there are some combinations that I would never use unless I turned colour-blind or fashion clueless. But anyway, check it out here:





















See, I can change my watch's look from:
1) Elegant white with 'bling' to match (best for fancy dinners), to
2) Classy red and gold (for work), to
3) Cool blue and silver (also for work), to
4) Cute and completely pink (for those girly girly days), to
5) Lovely light blue (for whenever I wear blue. :P), and even to
6) Whacky pink AND blue (for when I feel un-colour coordinated)

And no. 7 just shows the other watch faces that I didn't use, coz' I don't really like them as much. Haha, most likely I will never use number 6, unless it's for something like Discovery Days where I'd be surrounded by kids who are can appreciate the weirdness of unmatching bright colours. Now I feel like going to Mydin and buying another set of these watch with different

Anyway, after those first few days of shopping galore, I have since toned down and am now saving up for my next item of desire... a new phone. More specifically, the latest Sony Ericsson W6610i phone!



Why do I like this phone? Well, first of all, it just looks so hot.... I LOVE anything red, and I LOVE the design.... and it's go a 2.0 megapixel camera which I really want...and, the walkman feature should come in pretty handy too, though I'd still be happy with just a radio tuner as long as it has a decent camera function. :) The only problem is the price tag. Right now it's still above RM1200, which is a tad bit too pricey for my taste. So I shall exercise some patience and wait for some new stuff to come out so that this phone's price will drop... hopefully to about RM800 or so. Hyuk hyuk, working at big@$$ company and I'm still so kiamsup. What to do? :P

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Life in big, stuffy corporate company

So it's already my second week working at Accenture and so far working here hasn't been all that bad, considering the field of work I'm in, Systems Integration and Technology, is completely uncharted territory for the true blue science geek that is yours truly. But let me start from the very first day, which is of course was the most exciting day of all... after all what's more nerve wrecking than my first day at work in a super huge multinational and extremely corporate company such as Accenture when all this time the toughest I've had to deal with so far is bratty primary school kids? Personally, I'd rather take the bratty kids over a stuffy corporate environment where I'd have to deal with difficult clients.... which eventually I will have to do, but thankfully has not happened yet.

Anyhow, the first day last Monday was just an orientation for me together with about 17 other newbies (that's about 3 times more people than the number of people at Mad Science. Yikes! And that's just in addition to the 750 over other Accenture employees in Malaysia alone...). That first day is the closest I've had to endure of stuffy corporate environment so far coz' everyone was in a business suit or office wear. I was the most 'casual' as I was wearing a long-sleeved cardigan over a matching spaghetti strap top with slacks, totally unaware that I was supposed to be dressed more formally as I failed to check my email until after that day. Fortunately, no one chided me for my dressing anyway. There was one other newbie girl with a Japanese-like dorky kind of hairdo (super thick bangs cut perfectly straight across her forehead, with the rest of her straight shoulder-length hair so stiff, it could've been a wig!) and wearing a black blazer with shoulder pads that made her look like a jock.... she looked pretty scary! And it didn't help that it turns out she was my junior from high school and she recognized me, even though I had no idea who she was. Fortunately, everyone else didn't pull off the super intimidating I-mean-business-so-don't-mess-with-me look quite as well as she did.

Anyhow, the bunch of us spent the whole day sitting in a big fancy meeting room, listening to the facilitator explain to us all the important things we need to know, like making time reports, using technical services, our benefits, what are our respective projects, etc, etc... In between, we were taken out to have a nice lunch at Madame Kwan's, a very expensive restaurant at KLCC selling local and western cuisine. Seeing how the company was treating all the newbies to lunch, I helped myself to a rather pricey meal of lamb chops and vanilla milkshake. Then I spent the rest of my lunch wondering if the company would keep an eye on those 'kiasu' people who ordered the more expensive meals. Haha, first day jitters! We also had a guy named Victor sitting at my table together with half of the newbies. Victor said he has been working at Accenture for over 10 years, during which he has travelled to a number of other countries for business. He also told us, very interestingly, that he was on leave that day and was on leave for a whole six months! This is because his family complained that he was spending too much time at work and not enough time at home, so the company, recognizing his contribution to Accenture, allowed him to take a break of 6 months! Wow, that's pretty cool. I don't think many companies would allow that! And the travelling to other countries part sounds nice too (yeah yeah, I know it's not really all that fun having to pack and run around to airports and there would be little time to actually sightsee with work, but still... I'm always up for a little adventure even if it IS mixed with some stuffy corporate meetings). Anyway, we were supposed to try and find out more about life at Accenture from Victor, but the newbies at my table were unfortunately mostly the silent type, save for one other guy and myself who kept bombarding Victor with whatever questions we could think of.

After lunch, we trooped back to the big meeting room where we continued with our long and boring orientation, which got even more boring towards the end when they subjected us to an hour of powerpoint presentations about what to do in case of technical or IT problems related to our laptops (yes, we got laptops!). Every now and then, that robotic sweet lady's voice would ask us "Do you understand this part of the presentation, at which all of us would groan "Yes..." in unison. This was after lunch at around 5 to 6pm, mind you. Then at the end of the day, all of us went of to collect our laptops, which was pretty exciting for me coz' it didn't even occur to me that we would be getting laptops! Unluckily for me though, I ended up with a old Dell Latitude 610, and from what I've heard since then, Dell is sucky compared to the newer models like HP. Plus the bag it came in made carrying it around a huge and heavy hassle, so I decided to ditch the bag and use my Compaq laptop bag at home, which is much sleeker and not so bulky. So now I carry around a Dell laptop in a Compaq bag. Just a couple of days ago, the 'R' button on my laptop came completely off, so I reported it to the IT department, and hopefully it'll be a good enough reason for me to change my laptop with a nicer and newer model!

Anyway, after Orientation Day, I was straight away thrown to my first project, in which the client is TM. I was rather blur on Tuesday though, coz' I was told the day before to contact my project manager but it was late so I decided to do it the next day, which I did only when I went all the way back to the KLCC office and I was wondering if there was anything else there to do before I flew off to my project site. Apparently there wasn't coz' there was no one there who was remotely interested in the newbies anymore (and I didn't even see most of the other newbies save for a few, including scary Japanese hairdo girl), so I handed in a few more forms before calling up my project manager who told me to get to the Cygal building, which is next to the TM building along the Federal Highway. And that is where I have ever since. And what exactly is my project all about? Well, here's the 411:

The project: Creating a customer care application for TM known as iCare that will integrate with their own system and enable them to further enhance their customer services.

Current stage: They have already created and launched three earlier versions of iCare and are currently working on their fourth release of the application which will have additional features to serve specific TM users. Right now, we are done building the application but it needs to be tested thoroughly for bugs. Which is where I come in!

My job: Create a list of test conditions on which to test the application against, and report and problems discovered to the fix team, who will then proceed to eliminate the problem. For those non-technical people who have no idea what a test condition is, don't worry, neither did I when I first went in. An example would be, say, the test condition is: Search for a customer by his login name. The expected result for that would be: Customer profile is located and his details are listed. So if I perform the search by login name and it did not appear as expected, then something is wrong with that function and I need to report it. As such, anything that has to do with what system's functions are can be made into a test condition. If the system is tested against a condition and the expected results are achieved, then hooray! If the results are not as expected, such as an error message pops up, then it's work for the Fix team. Comprende?

So basically, my job is not difficult in the sense that I don't actually need much IT skills or need to learn heaps of programming stuff before I can do anything (which was what I was worried about)... all I need to do is know what the system is supposed to do, and use a bit of common sense to create test conditions and then test the system against them. The difficult part is that the number of test conditions created are, well, a LOT. And to test against all of them is taking a LONG time. It's a tedious process, in which I do little else but sit and stare at my laptop all day, testing the functions until I come across a problem. In which case, I have a chance to get up and walk 8 steps away to my senior team member to ask her if this is actually a bug or not. And if it IS, then I have to create something called a SIR, which is a report of the problem which will be sent to the fix team. And another difficult part was, and still is, having to remember a gazillion and one new terms and jargon that are used at TM. There are a ton of TM applications with names like CASS, MCMB, eQuest, WebSTARS, TMBilly, WebBRAINS, and so on and so forth, and I have to remember what all the systems are for. And then there are another gazillion abbreviations used related to the project, like CRM (Customer Relationship Management), CSR (Customer Service Representative), ToS (Termination of Service), SR (Service Request), SIT (Systems Integration Test), UAT (User Acceptance Test), CRMKB (Customer Relationship Management Knowledge Base) , etc, etc..... By the end of the first day, my head was full of a jumble of letters! You can imagine how blur I am when my project team members start rambling on about the project and talking in abbreviations, while I'm blinking and trying to remember what they all stand for. The funniest thing is that, while I know my official position is as Analyst under Systems Integration and Technology (SI&T), I had no idea what is meant by workforce or operating group, let alone which one I am under coz' no one told me at Orientation. So when someone emailed me at work asking for my OG/WF (even that I didn't know it was, until later I found out), I emailed back asking what she meant. And her reply was something along the lines of "OG means either CHT, GHT, etc... and WF means SHT, GHF, etc... (I'm just making up those coz' I can't remember exactly what she wrote). Suffice to say, I was even more blur than before.

Sigh, I suppose over time I will gradually understand and speak the strange alien language that they use at Accenture. In addition to that, I also have to deal with less technical issues like how my eyes get blurry rather quickly now that I work all day in front of a comp, and also my butt hurts from sitting on the chair too long. One of my friends suggested shifting from one butt cheek to another at intervals. I never thought any suggestion related to butt cheeks would actually be a good idea.... The good thing now though is that I get internet access all day, unlike my previous job, and I get to enjoy free internet music...which is actually really cool coz' I get to listen to all sorts of weird stations you'd never hear on local radio, like Christian music stations, Rock & Alternative, New Age, and even stations playing recorded sermons. Tried listening to the sermon station once, but it kind of distracted me from my work so I decided it wasn't a good idea. Also, we get to enjoy free milo, coffee, tea and Maggi at office if we're feeling peckish. Unfortunately, this is one area where my office is still lacking, even compared to Mad Science. Over there, I could have all that and even enjoy a variety of sweet, biscuits and other goodies! Of course, most of this stuff is for party pinatas, so technically I wasn't supposed to eat them.... bygones!

As for now, it's time for bed and back to work tomorrow. TTFN!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

The death of a pet

I started my new job at Accenture yesterday. As much as it has been an interesting past couple of days working in a completely new environment, unfortunately my story of my experiences so far are about to be put on hold until my next post, due to a recent sad event. One of my gerbils died on Saturday. The poor blighter was one of my brown male gerbils, named Peanut. He was the biggest and fattest among my gerbil family of eight (would have been ten, but I gave two away to an ex-colleague).

Now it would not have been so bad if the little fella had died of old age, or got sick, or just died of high cholesterol coz' it was too fat. I would have been sad, but I would've gotten over it quickly. But instead, not only am I sad, but I am also infuriated, pissed and downright ready to explode everytime I think about what happened to my gerbil. Because Peanut was a perfectly happy and healthy gerbil, and it would've lived up to a ripe old age.... if NOT for someone in my house who decided he was so smart and didn't listen to what I asked him to do so many time. This said person in my house completely disregarded what I told him NOT to do, even though it was related to MY pets, which HE never lifted a finger to feed, or give water to, or change their bedding or take care of them in any way. This said person in my house caused the death of my poor innocent gerbil for his own sadistic amusement!!!!

How did it happen? Well, let's see... this person in my house, or PIMH for short, because I do not want to refer to him in any other manner out of my little spattering of respect I think I have left of him simply because I am 'supposed' to respect him, had decided from the time I had begun taking care of my gerbils that it would be amusing to let the family dog a.k.a. Sassy the Shih Tzu 'play' with the gerbils by letting her loose on a few of the gerbils at once in a confined area. By confined, it usually meant on the top of a bed or a couch. The PIMH seemed to think it would good to do so because it would get the dog of the house all excited and give her some exercise chasing the gerbils around. But I myself having observed the dog when it chased the gerbils, saw that the dog would sometimes get too rough and try to grab them with a mouth (equivalent to a fatal bite for a little gerbil) or immobilize them by pouncing on them with her paw. As such, I informed this PIMH not to let the dog play with the gerbils, not once, but on several occasions, reminding him that the dog could hurt the gerbils, even though she may only be 'playing' with them and not want to hurt them intentionally. However, this said PIMH thought our dog to be so preciously innocent that it wouldn't hurt the gerbils at all, even though I once saw the dog catch one of my gerbils in her mouth and grip it tightly enough that it took both me and my mum to extricate it gently. Fortunately, my dog was smart enough that time to not bite hard enough to injure the gerbil, so it came out unscathed. But it still demonstrated that the dog would not hesitate to take a bite at them if she had the chance. But this said PIMH insisted that all she was doing was 'nudging the gerbils with her mouth'. Right.

So last weekend, I went to Malacca to visit my boyfriend for a few days from Friday to Sunday. And I had a great holiday, blissfully unaware of any unfortunate events happening back home... until I arrived home on Sunday. Then, after a little nap to recuperate from the journey home, I was informed my this said PIMH that something not-so-good had happened over the weekend. Now if he had just told me straight out what had happened instead of beating around the bush with a sheepish look on his face, maybe I wouldn't be so mad in hindsight. But that wasn't the case, coz' after a few more 'hints' about whatever it was that happened, it dawned on me. I asked him if anything had happened to my gerbils. Again, the sheepish look on the PIMH's face. And he asked me "Would you be mad of something bad had happened to your gerbils?". Confirming what I suspected, I answered a definite YES, and after some more questioning of this PIMH who annoyingly continued to beat around the bush, I discovered that he had let the dog 'play' with the gerbils and 'apparently' during this 'playtime', one of my gerbils 'died of a heart attack'.

At first, I didn't believe him. I couldn't believe him. I thought he was joking. But he said he wasn't. And when I went to count my gerbil family, I found 7 instead of 8. Peanut was missing. And when I asked him which gerbil was dead, he said the one that was brown in colour from the cage of males.

After I realised what had happened, I couldn't help myself. I cried for the next half an hour, completely speechless. I sat in front of my gerbil cages, cleaning out the stuff that they had chewed up over the weekend and replaced it with new things for them to chew. Then I went to eat my lunch, still crying silently. And all this time, this said PIMH didn't say anything. He didn't apologize, nothing. He just sat in front of his computer, staring at the screen as if nothing had happened. For more than half an hour. Then after a while, I got so mad, I asked him if he even felt sorry at all. Then, and ONLY then, did he say "Yeah, I'm sorry". And that was it. Just a sorry. Nothing along the lines of "I did something wrong and stupid and I shouldn't have" or anything else to indicate he regretted was he did. The only time he apologized was when I asked him to!!!!

And if that wasn't enough to make me cry, curse, swear under my breath and throw occasional angry fits at the idiocy of this PIMH allowing the dog to chase the gerbil around when I had told him repeatedly NOT to do so, today after even more prodding, I found out even MORE details of that horrible day that makes my blood boil even more. For one thing, the dog and the gerbils, were't just on the bed, they were on my floor of my bedroom. I've seen them on the bed before, and on that small space, the dog isn't usually chasing the gerbils so frantically as there is little space to chase them. But on the FLOOR, there is PLENTY of space for her to chase them, and there is where I have seem her pounce on them and try to bite them. I would have NEVER left her alone with them on the floor for a SECOND coz' I know she would do something to them. But this PIMH of amazingly low IQ told me that he NOT only left them alone, he left the dog with Peanut in the room alone for TEN minutes!!!!!! TEN MINUTES!!!!!! For crying out loud! The dog could have done anything to the gerbil in just 30 second, let alone ten minutes!!!!And what was he doing in that ten minutes? Well, he said he had been letting her play with a few of them at once, and he left the dog in the room with Peanut while he said he was putting the other gerbils back in their cage. WHAT??!!! It doesn't take ten minutes to walk from my room to the cage! What on earth was he thinking by leaving them alone for TEN minutes!!!!!!

After that, I realised not only was this said PIMH was sooooo stoooopid to leave the dog alone with my gerbil, so but he was also bullshitting me with pathetic excuses to try and cover up what had happened. For one thing, he told me that the gerbil 'died of a heart attack'. For goodness sake, there's not way it would've died of a heart attack! The dog wouldn't either bitten it or jumped on it so hard that it cracked it's skull or broke it's body. Either way, the dog did something to that killed it. And his lame excuse is that it died of a heart attack! And secondly, he told me that 'the dog was very quiet and sad' after that. Yeah right. The dog wouldn't have known it did anything wrong any better than a young lion cub who had killed its first rabbit. And I'm sure that this PIMH didn't even do anything to punish the dog or let it know what it did was wrong coz' he pampers the dumb pooch so much (though I also might add that it's my MUM who feeds it, bathes it, blowdries it, grooms it and does practically everything else for the dog while all this PIMH does is cuddle it call it his "LOVE"). And these excuses just infuriate me to bits! It's already bad enough he let this happen when I kept telling him not to do it! And he had the nerve to try and make it sound nicer than it was??? And the even MORE infuriating part is that when I scold him for it, he gets annoyed and just tells me that it's over now and I shouldn't be bringing it up so much. WHAT??? I raised this little gerbil everyday from the day it was born to become a perfectly healthy little fella... I bought the gerbils nice cages to stay in with wheels for them to exercise on and little funnels for them to play in.... I spend hours separating their poop and chewed up stuff from their bedding so I could make their cage cleaner (and not have to buy so much bedding)... I sat down next to their cages almost every night to feed them their favourite kuaci... I know each and every one of my gerbils by name.... and this insensitive PIMH who never lifted a finger to take care of them, doesn't even know their names, goes and does exactly what I told him NOT to do, gets one of my gerbils killed because of it, and when I scold him for it, he dares to get annoyed with me???? CAN YOU BLAME ME BEING SO ANGRY I WANT TO SCREAM MY HEAD OFF??? AAAAAAARRRRGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!

Now everytime I clean out the cages or feed them kuaci, I keep thinking how there should be one more fat healthy brown gerbil running around in one of the cages, together with it's brothers and father. And I keep thinking how it's broken little body is rotting in some rubbish dump somewhere coz' that's where that PIMH unceremoniously dumped it before I even had the chance to see it. And he is still happily sitting in front of his computer everyday like life is just dandy. And he expects me to get over it. Right. I know most males are not as sensitive to other people's plights as females are.... but this PIMH... he has less sensitivity than that of a rotten prune. He's not truly sorry... and he never admitted he was wrong. To him, it's just one silly rat that died, and he probably thinks I'm overreacting. Which may be right, maybe I am overreacting. But it's the principle of the thing! Even though Peanut was just a little gerbil who cared more about getting it's daily kuaci than loving me back, I still loved it and it was MY pet. And if he doesn't have the decency to listen to me when I tell him NOT to endanger them, nor even apologize or admit he was wrong when something like this happens.... then I'm sure it will be a long time before I can ever get over this unfortunate incident. For now, all I can do is hope time will help me regain my severely depleted respect for this PIMH while also helping me to get through the tragic and unnecessary loss of an innocent pet.

Friday, August 31, 2007

A Pottery holiday... :Þ

I've finally finished reading all of the Harry Potter books! Woohoo!I actually managed to finish Book 6 (Harry Potter & The Half Blood Prince) within two days (Monday and Tuesday) and the whole of Book 7 (Harry Potter & The Death Hallows) in just one day! Well, I had read a few chapters of Book 7 beforehand when I borrowed in from a friend during a trip to Genting, so I skipped those that I had read when reading it yesterday. Took me about 14 hours to finish the whole thing, including breaks for food, a swim, shower and other miscellaneous things. And if you're wondering how come I'm so free that I spend the whole of 3 days reading Harry Potter til my eyes grew bleary and my butt was aching from sitting on the chair too long (reading from my laptop, see), well, it's coz' I'm off the whole of this week to use up my remaining leave days before I start my new job at Accenture, which is next Monday. I have a feeling I'm just going to totally freak out when that day comes coz' it's a completely different world from where I was working before, and not being a big fan of anything corporate-like (which is all what Accenture is about), me thinks I will most likely suffer from some form of culture shock. I just hope I don't meet any cruel, crazy people who will backstab anyone in their way to climb to the top, or have a nutty boss who will make me work right up to midnight everyday. Eep.

Well, anyway, worrying about things that may not happen never helped anyone, so back to the subject of Harry Potter. I thought all the books were great (except for Book 5, which was also good but full of a lot of unnecessary stuff that made it a bit draggy) and Book 7 did not fail to deliver a fantastic finale to the series. Unfortunately, quite a number of good guys die in the book, one of which I liked quite a lot so there was actually a little tear in my eye when he was killed, more out of shock than anything coz' he was one of the funniest characters and I didn't expect him to be killed off at all. But ah well, it IS just a fictional story after all. But anyway, I really have to take my hat off to that Rowling lady, coz' I have no idea how on earth the woman couldn't thought up the whole complicated story in a her head and end it all in such a bang.
I mean, there are so many twists and turns and mysteries in the book, which makes it so fascinating that I couldn't hardly stop reading juz' coz' I needed to know what happened next. And she manages to wrap it all up pretty well in the end. Plus there's a really cool battle scene at the end which I think would just be totally cool to watch in the movie, though I think the movie would not be able to fit in most of the book's details, so story-wise, the movie would probably go splat. But I hope whoever directs the seventh movie does that final battle scene justice, coz' I think practically every magical creature in all the books was involved in that fight scene, and it could be a fight scene of epic proportions that would probably make Lord of the Rings look like a line dance party.

Anyhow, just for fun, I was looking up some Harry Potter stuff on the net and took one of those funny surveys to find out which one of the four Hogwarts houses I would go to, if I were a Hogwarts students. Apparently my score was highest for Hugglepuff, at 73 points, and it said "Hufflepuff students are friendly, fair-minded, modest, and hard-working. A well-known member was Cedric Digory, who represented Hogwarts in the most recent Triwizard Tournament". Hmm... sounds like me I guess. I also might have done equally well in Gryffindor (71 points), which has students which are "brave, daring and chivalrous", or Ravenclaw (70 points), with students who are "clever, witty, intelligent, and knowledgeable". Hmm.... I think Ravenclaw actually suits me better than Gryffindor. Not unexpectedly, I'm least likely to get into Slytherin (45 points) as I'm not so "cunning and hungry for power". Yup, I'm a good girl, I am!

Haha, too bad my holiday is going to end soon. *Sigh!*

Monday, August 13, 2007

Being a witch for a day

Well, after my little stress releasing session in my last blog entry, I guess it would be good to write about some more cheery events. Before my last post, I was pretty much MIA (Missing In Action) from blog posting for a few weeks. Mainly because, just like pretty much half of the rest of the world, I was getting caught up in a bit of Harry Potter fever with the launching of the last book on the 21st of July. About one week before the book launch, my colleague lent me a cd with soft copies of the first six books, so I've been happily reading all of them since then (I finished the first book in two days!) and neglecting my blog because of them. Right now I'm on Book Five, so I'm on leave possibly until Wednesday (initially coz' I wanted to use up all my leave before moving to my new company, but now also because my car is in the workshop), so I will most likely lap up Book Five in no time.

But anyway, in conjunction with the launch of the final book, MPH had organized a Harry Potter
pre-launch party, in which they invited us Mad Scientists to go there are perform a magic-related show. They had also wanted us to perform some demonstrations on the day of the laucnh itself, but due to the whole hoohah with the hypermarkets making them boycott the selling of the book, they cancelled that. But they couldn't cancel the party, so I and three of my colleagues went there. All of us except one were decked out in witch and wizard's costumes, which were mainly just our Mad Science lab coat with a 'cloak' (read: big piece of cloth) of our favourite colour, a witch hat (I made them myself out of hard board) and a wand (a super-size japanese chopstick, decorated personally by each of us). So, I being the lover of the colour red but not looking like an apple, decided to go for the maroon cloak and also painted my 'wand' that colour. I had also glued on a long piece of yarn that wound around it like a vine, so it looked cooler. My male colleague, Jay, went for the blue cloak and actually took the trouble to stick a golden eagle statuette at the bottom so it looked pretty cool. And another colleague, Swee Khem, who likes pink, decided to go for the Professor Umbridge look and really decked herself out in pink (an outfit I wouldn't have been caught dead in). So thus is our motley Mad Science Magic crew!

As for the fourth colleague, he came dressed like normal, so they slapped on him and every other normally dressed visitor a sign that red "Muggle", which in the Harry Potter world means non-magical folk:

And though most of the other people there were dressed like 'normal' witches and wizards, there were a few who took the extra step by dressing up as specific characters in the book, such as this fella below who dressed as Mad Eye Moody, who first appeared in book four. Don't ask me if it's a guy or a girl, coz' I'm not too sure myself....

Next, I performed possibly one of the most fun Mad Science shows I've ever done, as I had to customize everything specifically to the Harry Potter theme. It was a half an hour show, and I introduced myself as the long lost niece of Professor McGonagall (one of Harry Potter's teachers) who is a teacher at a not-famous school of magic, called the Mad Science School of Magic! And I was about to teach them some of our magical Mad Science secret, haha! I did stuff like making my "magical pet", a real live rat appear in an 'empty' pan (it was actually one of my black gerbils, Coffee!) which the audience really enjoyed. Then I showed them how to make a Rainbow Potion that can change colour from green to orange to dark blue. Then I got two kids to help me making some slime that can change colour as well. And for my grand finale, I did a super cool trick with a water cooler container where I poured in some methanol shook it up well so it evaporated, poured out the excess and lit the top of the container with my wand (I actually stuck a match on it and lit it with a lighter while yelling out a so-called lighting spell, which was pretty funny!), so a blue flame would shoot out of the container and make a loud whooshing noise that scared the pants off everyone! I called that my Dragon Breath spell, hehe! And to end it off, I pretended to want to continue my show but my assistant sent me a letter from the Mad Science School of Magic saying I had performed magic illegally in front of Muggles (at which, I looked around and yelled out when I saw a 'Muggle' in the audience) and I was to stop immediately or else I would lose my job. Of course, it was just all pre-planned to make the end of my show more interesting. And all in all, I think everyone did enjoy the show and so did I. Anyways, here are the pics:


This is me doing the colour changing slime with some kids from the audience.

And me doing the Dragon's Breath thingy. Too bad we couldn't catch the fire coming out coz' it only lasts like one second.


So after my show finished, there was a best dressed witch and wizard competition, and though they didn't think I was good enough to be a finalist (Hrmmph!) they chose my colleague Jay as a finalist. Funnily enough, his competitor for Best Dressed Wizard was only one other guy, and the other guy won. Heh. And the reason they chose my colleague was because of his wand, which actually does look pretty cool. But I still like mine better. :P




















Anyways, my other colleagues who were supposed to do the other demos which were cancelled also had their Harry Potter fun in the office, as shown below by my colleagues Sharmila and Paul.

Paul even dressed up in Swee Khem's pink cloak and wore the blond wig so he looked like an Ah Kua witch, and the picture is so disturbing I think it's best not to show it here. But anyway, I will most likely post up more of the Harry Potter pics on my photo site, http://naeemng.dotphoto.com. Whenever I feel like getting round to it that is. Now if only I could magically make my car repair itself and the other guy's car too... *Sigh*....