Saturday, December 29, 2007

Garoupa vs. Tilapia

I recently thought of an interesting hypothetical situation. Imagine you're going 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 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 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'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.