Thursday, February 28, 2008

Sort-of one-third life crisis

I'm not old enough to have a mid-life crisis. I can't say I'm having a quarter life crisis coz' I'm almost 25 and I highly doubt I will live til I'm 100. I quite possibly will live until 75. So here I am in one of those annoying periods of dramatic self-doubt, which I shall term my one-third life crisis. Well, it's not that dramatic actually... I'm far from wallowing in deep hole of depression. Just that I'm feeling rather blah coz' I feel like I don't really know where my life is going. And sometimes it's just fun to be a drama queen.

Biggest issue right now is my job. I spent the past almost one month learning Java programming because my company needs more people with technical skills. I am the kind of person whom whenever my comp gives me problems, I press the 3 magical buttons: Ctrl, Alt, Delete and use Task Manager to close whatever program is giving me issues. If comp hangs, I shut the whole dang thing down and restart. So technical things really are not my forté. But I did know from the day I joined that most of Accenture's projects are very technical... and when they asked me if I was willing to learn some technical skills, I said yes coz' I thought I would be able to pick it up. In the first couple of weeks, I had this little cheerleader voice in my head, saying "You can do it, Carol! You can learn this stuff down pat! Go go go!!!". And now all that I'm hearing from the prissy cheerleader voice is "You are, like, sooOOOoo screwed!". *Sigh* I might be able to pick up programming if I had more time to study and understand what I'm doing, and if I had a nice big book called "Java Programming for Dummies" plus at least 5 different coloured highlighters to colour code the important sections. But unfortunately, I'm not in college or uni anymore. I don't have the luxury of time to prettify an entire text book with 5 different highlighters. My current project is slated to end in one month... I was supposed to use my so-called technical skills to get the system we're working on going. But it takes me forever to figure out how to write a simple program, I don't get most of the technical concepts that I read up on, and the more I read, the more confused I get. I think that my brain just isn't hardwired to do technical stuff. I like dealing with things I can see. Even better if I can touch. That's why I loved biology, coz' everything I have to deal with is physical. Chemistry is pretty fun too... nothing quite beats being able to make blue fire shoot out of a water cooler bottle! Even artsy stuff like drawing or making crafts is fun for me. With programming, the concepts are all completely abstract. I can't see how the Java code I write produces something that looks completely different on screen... so I just don't get it. Far as I'm concerned, Java code goes into some magical computer limboland which miraculously converts it into some cool looking program thingy.

What makes it more exasperating is that my more technically savvy colleagues were supposed to be helping me, but they don't really much help and I don't like asking them. For one thing, they are usually pretty busy, and I don't like being the blurcase going and bugging them every ten seconds asking them questions and distracting them from their work. For another thing, when I do ask them, they seem totally dumbfounded when I don't even know the 'simplest' of things. Meaning, these things are simple to them coz' they studied IT and these are obvious things to them... but for someone like me who only knows CTRL-ALT-DEL when I have problems with my comp, these things are not obvious. But I feel pretty dumb asking them such things. And even when they do explain it to me... most of the time, I don't really get their explanation either. So I still end up feeling dumb. And not only do I feel dumb, but I also feel useless, coz' I can't do the technical work at I'm supposed to do. The only thing that makes me feel better is that I have another female colleague, Kumuda, in my project who joined Accenture around the same time as me and is also from a Biotech, non-technical background. And she is going through exactly the same problem as me... feeling dumb, useless and crappy, trying to learn technical stuff but not getting it. We actually make ourselves feel better by talking about DNA, gene transcription, polymerases, electrophoresis, and other Biotech jargon which WE understand, but our colleagues and most other non-biology loving geeks wouldn't understand... with the possible exception of Shaun coz' he knows just about everything and if he doesn't, will go and Google/Wiki it just to find out what it. I imagine he will be able to tell me what are polymerases and electrophoresis by the end of today, but I wouldn't be surprised if he already knows... :) But anyway, Kumuda and I even fantasize about us running a Biotech company where all our colleagues would be working under us, and they don't know a thing about Biotech. So whenever they ask us anything that is like so 'duh' to us, we can make them feel stupid. Ha. ha. haaaaaa... How nice if fantasies came true. Fortunately, my project manager realised the two of us were struggling like a couple of fish out of water, so yesterday he told us that we now are back to doing non-technical things. Which is a relief for now, coz' at least I don't have to feel so dumb and useless anymore... but still, seeing how Accenture's main business is technological business solutions, I know if I want to move up in this company, I have to learn technical skills eventually.

Which is has lead me to ask myself... do I really want to spend more time trying to move up in this company? And every fibre of my being is yelling a resounding "NOOO!!" As crazy as most people might think it is... that I would want to leave Accenture, where I'm getting paid an insane salary compared to my peers, and I get to work with the best and brightest people. But this nice, comfy, corporate job... is totally not me. In fact, it's exactly the kind of thing I once swore to myself I wouldn't do... but I ended up here anyway, just coz' it's a secure job in a nice, big established company and it my parents are happy coz' I have an insanely good salary. But doing little else other than sitting and tapping away at my laptop all day long at my little office cubicle is completely boring and unfulfilling to me. I miss being able to travel out of the office most of the time, like in my old job, or getting out into the field and getting my wellington boots stuck in mangrove swamps like I did while I did on my uni field trips. So I'm pretty sure right now that I'm gonna move on to another job soon. And this time, I'm definitely getting back into my first love, biology! I'm aiming for an environmental consulting job... where I would need to do some research, but I won't have to stuck in a lab all day (which is one reason why I was afraid of research jobs in the first place) coz' going out into the field is part of the job. I didn't know any big environmental consulting firms before this, but thanks to Chi Hui who got me in touch with some friends in the field, I know where to check out now. Thank yooouuu, Chiiii Huuiiiii!!!

Ok, enough ranting about work. Onto my next one-third-life crisis issue. My spiritual life.

Couple of weeks ago, I was teaching my Sunday School kid the story of Mary and Martha. We all know the story... Mary was the one who sat at the feet of Jesus to listen to Him while Martha was busying herself around the house serving Jesus and the guests. And Martha was annoyed that Mary wasn't helping her, but Jesus said that Mary was doing the right thing by taking the time to listen to him. The moral of the story is of course that listening to Jesus, or God, is more important than serving Him. And teaching this story struck a chord in me... coz' I think I'm more of a Martha than a Mary. I spend a lot of time serving... I play guitar in the worship ministry and cell group, I teach Sunday School, I'm involved in church performances... but I don't really take the time to take a break and just pray and listen to God.

I guess I'm the sort of person who just likes to keep doing stuff... and in some ways serving God is my way of giving something back to Him... but I know that serving is pretty useless if I don't get to know the one I'm spending my time and energy on. I lack the patience and attention span to sit down and pray and just be still and listen for whatever He might wanna say. Most of the time, it's just me saying "Hi God!" then ranting on about my day or my thoughts or my problems, then I spent a couple of seconds trying to listen before my brain drifts off into lalaland. Or maybe it's just that sometimes I don't really want to hear what He wants to say coz' I'm afraid it's something I won't want to hear. Like if I pray about whether I should stay or switch jobs, I wonder if He'll tell me to drop everything and go serve people in Indonesia, or something like that. Yes, I know. Bad of me. Baaaaaad Carol. Should listen to God already and not be so selfish!

So I don't know if taking a break from serving will actually help me to focus more on Him... but I think now would be a good time to give it a shot. Sometimes it is pretty hard to worship when I'm busy focusing on playing the right chords for a song. Especially those crazy fast songs which are in E, and therefore are full of tiring-to-play bar chords. They're fun to play, but distracting from the real purpose of worship... so I'm looking into working out a one month break from the worship team and Sunday School... and anything else I'm in, after I'm done with Easter play, which is end of next month. And then one weekend I might up and go somewhere nice and peaceful without any computers or comfy bed or other distractions, so I can a good long alone time with Him. Might hear a few things I might not wanna hear though... but will have to deal with that sooner or later. Sounds like a plan.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Random news

Was filling up my mug with water to drink a few days ago, and looked over at my male gerbils' cage to see what they were doing, when I saw Coffee trying to hump Peanut Jr. from behind. And Peanut was standing there for a few seconds before he decided to run away. And I was standing there kind of dumbfounded at what I just saw.

My gerbils are gay!!! Arrghh!!!!

In other random news, I recently realised my blog comments weren't working, which is why nobody was saying anything on my blog. Hmm... and I thought my blog was being read by a whole bunch of silent anonymous lurkers out to analyse every single one of my blog entries to find incriminating evidence to use against me... Actually, that may not be too far from the truth.

Anyway, I managed to fix the problem got Sel to help put some 'testing comments' and now it works. Woo hoo! I can get comments again! And I've re-exposed myself to idiotic comments from a certain anonymous person who has no life and nothing else better to do than to try and bug me! Doesn't matter to me coz' I can reject idiotic comments! I have the power, baby!!! Woo hoo!!!

*Ahem*. And that is my random news for today.

Friday, February 22, 2008

American Idol predictions

It’s crunch time on American Idol. The top 24 contestants have been chosen, the guys did their performances two days ago, the girls did their yesterday and today the results come out. Two guys and two girls are going to get the boot. And this will continue for the next couple of weeks until there are only 6 guys and 6 girls left to form the top 12. Of course, if you’re an Idol fan, you would already know all this. If not, you wouldn’t give a hoot about American Idol and you probably wouldn’t want to read the rest of this. So if you fall in the latter category, you can scoot off and do your thing now, coz’ all I’m gonna do right now is hop on the happy Idol bandwagon and talk about my predictions for American Idol this year. Woot woot!

Of course, at this stage it’s too difficult to guess which ONE person is going to win. There are, as always, some really good contestants who all make pretty good runner-ups for the top prize… but there are also plenty others whom you can tell from the first round that they won’t even smell the top 12 positions. Having said that, the competition can still get pretty unpredictable and sometimes contestants who are really crappy somehow manage to scrap through to quite late stages in the competition. Very good example last year: Sanjaya Malakar. What the heck was were the American’s thinking? And what was up with that 7 ponytail Mohawk thingy? Yes, that’s just about the only thing most people remember him for, I would think. And the only reason he managed to scrape all the way to the final 7 (I think) before being booted is that there was this group of people, who aptly named their site ‘Vote for the Worst’, out to ‘sabo‘ American Idol by purposely voting for the worse contestant… and that contestant was Sanjaya. Thankfully, once the contestants dwindle down to a small number, the amount of votes generated by this group of saboteurs isn’t enough to overcome the votes made for the contestants who can ACTUALLY sing…. So unless the whole of America decides they want to ‘sabo’ AI just for fun, the furthest a crappy singer *should* make it to is the final 7 or so. If the Sabo group really goes out this year, the crappiest contestant might even make it to the top 5. I hate to admit it, but it does kind of make the show interesting… especially when Simon vows not to return for the following season if the crappiest singer actually wins American Idol. :P Thank God Sanjaya didn’t win. American Idol would be no fun without Simon around!

So anyhow, enough waffle. Here’s my breakdown on who I predict is sailing through to the top 12, who’s going to get the boot within the next 3 weeks, and who is…. kind of in between. I won’t go into detail about each and every single contestant, coz’ there are only a few that are really worth talking about… so hopefully this will be shorter than I expect it to be. I

Most Likely to Sail Through into Top 12:
1) Jason Castro
For the guys, far as I’m concerned, there was one guy who blew away the competition, and another 2 to watch out for as well. The guy who blew me away was Jason. Had no idea who he was coz’ they didn’t show him at all before during the auditions…but after his performance, I was like “Whoa! Who is THIS guy? He da man!” He was the only contestant who performed and played an instrument, guitar, at the same time while the band played down the music on their part… which for the most part is a very risky thing to do coz’ if there isn’t strong music to cover, the singer has to be REALLY impressive or the song will fall flat. A lesson that was learnt the hard way by Josiah Leming, who was one of the contestants who made it to the final round of Hollywood week, but the judges decided he wasn’t worth the top 24 after he screwed up big time singing ‘Stand by Me’ without any music. I’m glad he got kicked though coz’ I really couldn’t stand the way he sings with a weird British accent and stands like he’s a spastic, so I had no idea why the judges liked him in the first place…. Ahem… Anyway, back to Jason’s performance. He did a risky thing by playing down the music…but I absolutely loved his performance. I had never heard the song he sang before (it was 60’s night, btw) and he doesn’t have a powerful singing voice, but he was totally relaxed and natural on stage and he got me wanting to dance to the music from the first couple of lines. It was a simple but fun performance, and I wouldn’t mind watching his it again and again on YouTube, coz’ it was just THAT good. And I got the link right here for your viewing pleasure. Only thing he needs to improve on is his hair. Someone really needs to tell him that Bob Marley is dead, and dreadlocks are only good for hiding cockroaches and other miscellaneous creepy crawlies.

2) David Hernandez
Another contestant whom they did not show at all before this week, except once during Hollywood week. When I saw him then, I already knew that he would make it to top 24. And his performance… wasn’t incredible or jaw-dropping, but still really, really good. He’s got a fantastic singing voice, a lot of potential, and even though I liked Dreadlock Guy’s first performance much more, I’d say David is the guy more likely to grab the AI crown coz’ he seems to have more charisma… but among all the guys, the one who tops in charisma is…

3) Michael Johns
Simon nailed it on the spot when he said this guy has the charisma of a band’s lead singer. Michael looks like he would do very well fronting a band like INXS or U2. Wouldn’t say his performance is jaw-droppingly great as well… but he will definitely sail through to the top 12.

4) David Archuleta
Hmmm… this guy is interesting coz’ he did sing really well and he’s a cute and likable guy but one thing about him that bugs me is when he takes breaths between lines, it sounds kinda like he’s Darth Vader breathing through a pipe. Apparently he had some tracheal disease when he was young, which is why he sounds likes that… and though I know it’s not fair for me to be bugged by that coz’ he actually is a really good singer… it’s very very hard to ignore the sound when he sings. Still, I think he’s good enough for America to vote into the top 12

5) The last 5 girls who performed
Sorry, I don’t have much to comment on the girls coz’ I’m more biased towards male singers, and also coz’ there’s nothing particularly special to mention about the girls apart from the fact that the good ones can really sing. I always prefer listening to guys... probably coz’ I like rock and rock music is pretty much dominated by the guys. So I’m gonna lump my favourite girls into one big group. Out of the 12 performances last night, only the last few performances made a blip on my radar… and there were by Kady Malloy, Ramiele Malubay, Asia’h Epperson, Syesha Mercado and Carly Smithson. Pics are in the order I named them. :)

These girls will definitely stomp all over the other girls in the competition, and probably will stomp all over the guys when it gets down to the top 12, coz’ they all have really strong voices. For some reason though, Simon didn’t like the performances by Kady and Carly… which I don’t get at all. Usually I agree with most of what he says, but for these 2 girls, I thought he’d gone bonkers. I think they will sail through to the top 12. Asia’h annoyed me a bit during auditions coz’ even though she could sing very well, she tended to do this thing where it sounds like she’s going to lose her voice after every line. Fortunately she didn’t do that this week, so she will sail. But the girl will support is Ramiele, coz’ she’ the only Asian I’ve even seen in the whole American Idol who’s made it so far (I know there was another one in one of the earlier seasons, but I didn’t watch that season) and I’ve always wanted to see an Asian win American Idol…. Just to prove it can be done. :)

Most Likely to Get the Boot Soon:
1) Danny Noriega

Whoever the Sabo group decides to vote for, I really, really, REALLY hope it’s not Danny Noriega. For the first round of singing this week, he did a rendition of Jailhouse Rock by Elvis Presley. Not only did he look like a 10 year old prancing around in his room pretending he’s Elvis, but the way he behaves when he’s not performing is just as, if not more, annoying. He talks and behaves like a typical prissy teenage prom queen… and he’s a guy! It’s just… ewww… Please don’t vote for him, America. I won’t be able to stand seeing him around for one more week. Ick ick ick. Spare me the agony!

2) Garrett Haley
When I saw this guy perform, only one thing came to mind… Hanson. Yes, that teenybopper trio of blond long-haired boys that came out with that infectious ‘Mmmbop’ song… I used to love them when I was a teenager. But they wouldn’t win American Idol in a billion years. And even though Garrett is a sweet and innocent looking guy, he’s not a great singer and I’m pretty sure he will get the boot before we hit the top 12… unless all the Hanson fans decide to go all out to vote for him.

3) Kristy Lee Cook
She was sick during her performance, so she won’t get kicked out this week coz’ of the sympathy votes… but she didn’t sing well, and even though it could be because of her sickness, I suspect it’s just coz’ she’s not that great a singer. She will probably get the boot soon… unless she remains sick for the next 2 weeks and all the sympathy voters go all out to rescue her. Not really an implausible thing with these crazy Americans.

4) Amy Davis
She didn’t sing her song well… she doesn’t have a strong personality. I think most people won’t remember her… so she’ll be off the show in no time.

The Ones Hanging In The Balance:
1) Amanda Overmyer
Also another interesting one to watch… she has a very distinctive voice and she is truly a rocker chick with strong personality. I think she will get into the top 12… but her first performance was really all over the place. I didn’t like it. And if she keeps it up like that, there is a chance she will get the boot. And even though I like most kinds of rock, classic rock is not one of them. So her style doesn't go down well with me.... but probably will with quite a few viewers so she will stay for a while.

2) Jason Yeager
Now this is one dreamy guy… and he can sing pretty well… but he’s not a great singer. I think the girls will swoon over him and vote to keep him in the competition for a while… at least til they realize he’s not that great a singer and they start voting for someone else. I don’t mind if he stays around… always nice to have some eye candy. Kekekeke…. ;)

As for the other contestants, I have trouble remembering what they sang… which means they didn’t make any blip on my radar. So the rest of them are pretty much on the bubble… but still, some are better than others, so if I was to make a big prediction on who will make the top 12 guys and girls, it would be:

1) David Hernandez
2) David Archuleta
3) Jason Castro
4) Michael Johns
5) Jason Yeager
6) Chikeze Eze
7) Amanda Overmyer
8) Kady Malloy
9) Asia’h Epperson
10) Ramiele Malubay
11) Syesha Mercado
12) Carly Smithson

The ones who will get the boot, is of course everyone else:

1) Danny Noriega
2) Garrett Haley
3) Robbie Carrico
4) David Cook
5) Colton Berry
6) Luke Menard
7) Alaina Whitaker
8) Kristy Lee Cook
9) Brooke White
10) Amy Davis
11) Alexandrea Lushington
12) Joanne Borgella

So now I just have to wait another couple of weeks to see how true my prediction will be. I predict it won’t be very accurate and some of the crappier singers will remain while the better ones get voted off coz’ most Americans can’t vote for nuts. How else did Bush manage to hang around in the White House for so long?

Saturday, February 16, 2008

I feel...

Like a deflated balloon

Like a Energizer bunny with no batteries

Like a kangaroo that can't hop

But I'll get my groove back...


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

What to do on S.A.D.

It’s Valentine’s Day today. Or, as JJ and Rudhy call it, it's Singles Awareness Day (a.k.a., S.A.D.) today. The day when the world is divided into people who are single and people who are taken.... and those who are single become fully aware that they are single.

I’m not a great big fan of Valentine’s Day. Not that I’m one of those people who hate it… just that I don’t see any particular reason to celebrate it. Sure, love is a great thing to celebrate it… but far as I’m concerned, you don’t need a specific one day out of the whole year to celebrate love. I would be just as happy getting flowers or heart-shaped chocolates from a special someone any other day of the year…even more so coz’ on any other day I know the guy isn’t giving me stuff just ‘coz’ it’s Valentine’s Day and they’re ‘supposed’ to spread the lurve.

But of course, I don’t have any special someone right now, and even though there is that someone I still very much have in mind, thankfully V-Day doesn’t make me wish I could cozy up to him any more than usual… which is pretty much every day. Yeah yeah, you’ve all had fantasies too, so don’t gimme the funny look. Though I can’t help but still wish that today he would miraculously show up at my doorstep and serenade me with that manly man singing voice of his ….hmm…naaaaiiiiice… Aaaargh! Damn! Control yourself, woman!!

*Ahem* Anyway, in honour of the Day of Lurve on which I will most likely end up doing nothing but work, eat, watch American idol and sleep, I thought it would be interesting to see what my love life has in store for me… by using the highly reliable method of taking a bunch of online tests from and making a big summary of the results. I answered all of them as truthfully as possible, and here are those results (slightly edited coz’ they were all rather long-winded :Þ):

Test 1: Where Will You Find Romance?
Result: Carol, You'll Find Romance in Los Angeles

You believe in taking care of yourself inside and out, and there's nothing more attractive to you than a partner who shares that passion. That's why Los Angeles could be your romantic mecca. This city of glamour and stardust isn't just for actors and musicians; it's for anyone who embraces a healthy lifestyle.

Test 2: Who Is The Man of Your Dreams?
Result: Carol, A Secret Agent is The Man of Your Dreams

Mystery and intrigue — it's what you are looking for in life and love. From spontaneous weekend getaways to notes stuck in your jean pockets, you love being surprised and appreciate the extra thought and effort that goes into making it happen. That's why a secret agent could steal your heart!

Test 3: What Turns You On?
Result: Carol, a Romantic Gesture Turns You on

In affairs of the heart, your pulse pounds at the tender and enchanting moments, and romantic gestures are a sure way to give you butterflies. It might be sweet notes, a bubble bath for two, or even just an extra spin around the block listening to your favorite love song. Whatever it is, romantic moments (and the thoughts behind them) turn you on. Sure, brains are important, a sense of humor is attractive, and you never said there was anything wrong with sexy underthings, but it's how your partner expresses their feelings for you that really lights your fire.

Test 4: What Is Your Relationship Destiny?
Result: Carol, Your Relationship Destiny is to have a Romantic Rendezvous

Daring and headstrong, you know that the world is full of all kinds of adventures and possibilities, and you want to try as many of them as possible. Whether you've already met the action hero who's bold enough to join you on your travels, or are still looking for a soul brave enough, you're sure to enjoy the search. A risk taker by nature, you're not afraid to put yourself on the line, whether you're scaling mountains or falling in love on the first date. Sure, that means you'll get a few bumps and bruises along the way, but for a courageous spirit like you, that's part of the fun.

Test 5: The Passion Predictor Test
Result: Carol, You're a Snugglebunny!
When you're in love, the whole world knows it. The excitement of romance shines from your eyes. After all, love is grand. And so is intimacy, whispering sweet nothings and the joy of being cuddled up and cozy with your partner... Fact is, you've got a leg up on most folks when it comes to welcoming romance and nurturing its growth. Here's the catch: You might want to check in with yourself from time to time to make sure you're not avoiding real intimacy or hiding behind romantic games. We know, we know. It's more fun to just play. But keep in mind that true love is worth the work!

Test 6: What Kind of Kisser Are You?
Result: Carol, You're a Romantic Kisser
Whew, is it warm in here or is that just you? When it comes to kissing, you get your drive from the lure of romance. For you, it's more than a meeting of the lips. You appreciate kissing for the rush and for what it symbolizes. You're a kissing partner who can go beyond the sweet surrender of locking lips to discuss the meaning of relationships. To really express yourself, you're probably one who's concerned with setting the proper mood. You might light a fire or take your date to a beautiful lookout before cuddling and kissing. You probably like to make a lot of eye contact, gently hug and touch your date, and talk tenderly about your feelings. While your intentions are pure, your intensity might sometimes be a little overwhelming. Don't forget that being playful can also be a sign of affection, and remember, sometimes a kiss is just a kiss.

Test 7: The Wedding Date Predictor Test
Result: YOU ARE CLOSE to finding "the one!" We have carefully calculated your responses according to our scientific formula and harmonized the results to the Venutian lunar calendar. But don't get your hopes up to hear those wedding bells soon, because your bridesmaid days aren't over just yet.

YOU WILL BE MARRIED BY: Saturday, August 13, 2011

A number of different factors influenced your result. On the social front, you are not looking at an immediate marriage prospect. Prince Charming, for now, is waiting in the wings. But keep in mind that he is slowly warming to the idea. Emotionally, you seem to show some inner hesitations about marriage. You've got what it takes to make the plunge, but you seem to want a little more time. There is something more than the "jitters" at work here. Maybe you just want to enjoy your single status for a little longer. You have very few sexually motivated reasons for avoiding marriage. Of course, the carefree single life can pose a strong attraction, but you probably prefer the thought of devoting yourself to one person. Congratulations on having the strength and security to know what's right for you.


So basically I need to catch a plane to Los Angeles, the land of healthy living, in the hopes of finding my one true lover boy, who will not only be living healthy but also will be a Secret Agent who can steal my heart through spontaneous romantic gestures such sweet notes and bubbly baths for two, and will also join me on a pre-destined romantic rendezvous, throughout which I shall be his cuddly snugglebunny who will often turn up the heat with romantic kisses until we finally tie the knot on August 13, 2011 and not earlier because I’m still not ready to ‘take the plunge’ as I am happily enjoying my singlehood.

Woohoo. I’m officially a total romantic. And now my love life is all worked out. All I need to do is to catch the next plane to Los Angeles or else risk spending the rest of my life living in the land of singledom.

Happy Singles Awareness Day. :)

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Magnetic poetry

What do you do during Chinese New Year season when you have:
1) A whole bunch of friends over at your house,
2) A sad case of a house that is completely void of party games, and
3) A magnetic poetry set someone gave you for your birthday ages ago?

Why, you get all your friends to make magnetic poetry, of course! Well, that's what I did anyway. A bunch of my cell members came to visit last Sunday and after we got bored playing card games and chit chatting, I remembered I had the magnetic poetry set, and thought it would be fun to see what we could make of it. Here are my buddies making their poems....

And here are the results. We came up with everything from the funny to the weird to the nonsensical to the kids-better-not-be-reading-this poems. Names of the poem creators have been omitted to avoid strange looks/comments from church members who might be reading this... BUT there was only one guy among the group.... so probably won't be too hard to guess which poems were done by him. *evil me*

Monday, February 11, 2008

Chomper's CNY greeting

Yes, I know, it's already the 5th day of Chinese New Year so this is kind of late, but I was having another one of my blogging PMS periods... which are those times when I am just not in the mood to blog even though I have might have things to blog about, but usually because I actually don't have anything to blog about. In this case, it's the former and I'm just not in the mood to blog. This is what happens when I'm one of those very fortunate girls who don't suffer from normal PMS...I come up with other excuses to have it! Only thing is that blogging PMS can happen any number of times instead of just once a month... and it can lasts a few days, weeks, or even more than a month. Heh. And this is where you go (o_O)?

ANYwaaayyy, during the months leading up to CNY, I thought since it's going to be the year of the Rat and I own a whole hoard of African rats a.k.a. gerbils, it would be pretty neat if I could teach one of them to do that cute little gesture where you put your hands together and greet people "Gong Xi Fa Cai!". So I decided to try and teach the trick to my smallest and cutest and unfortunately, dumbest gerbil, Chomper (so named because when she was young she liked to 'chomp' on my fingers for no reason. But I also call her by many other names, such as Little Bugger, Poochi, Macha, and whatever other silly cutesy names I feel like calling her). Chomper is stupid coz' unlike the other gerbils, when I hold her in my hand, she cannot tell how high it is and that to jump off my hand onto the ground would be rather painful. As such, she tends to zip off my hand whenever she has the chance, and has had a couple of painful falls (which, I believe, probably increased her stupidity). I tried to to teach her this neat little CNY trick in the hopes that learning a trick would somehow increase her intelligence slightly and make up for whatever brain cells she lost in those few falls.

So my last few months were spent painstakingly trying to get Chomper how to clasp her little paws together and wish Gong Xi Fa Cai... and every time she got it down I would give her a good belly tickle with my finger and a little treat to munch on. And after many months... I have finally succeeded!

Too bad I forgot to teach Chomper some manners in the process. But anyhow, mission accomplished! Happy Chinese New Year from Chomper and me and all my other gerbils and probably my dog Sassy. May you and your family be blessed with prosperity and joy and all that other good stuff this year!

Oh, if you haven't figured it out by now, the whole thing about me teaching Chomper how to do the CNY handclasp greeting thing is a load of bull poop. It's pretty easy to get her to look like that while she's holding a kuaci with both paws and busy stuffing her face with it. ;)

Friday, February 01, 2008

Call Slimming Illusions today!

I'm sure everyone has seen them. Ads in the newspaper for slimming centres, promising that if you go for their sessions, you will lose God knows how many pounds/kilos/inches with little or no effort. And they will display these Before and After pictures of their so-called 'successful cases'. The ladies in the 'After' pics of course look much slimmer than in their 'Before' pics. Now, whether or not these slimming techniques actually work, I don't know and I highly doubt they do, but that's not my gripe. The thing that I bugs me about these ads are those photos. Take for example, this photo I ripped off the website of a certain well-known slimming centre:

I notice in a majority of these ads, there are a few common traits, as shown in the example above:
1) In the Before photo, the woman's body is fully frontal towards the camera. In the After photo, they are usually turned sideways
2) In the Before photo, the woman has her arms resting straight down beside her. In the After photo, the woman is almost always having their hands on their hips, behind their back, or just doing something other than being lifeless logs hanging at her side.
3) In the Before photo, the woman is dressed in the probably the most unflattering clothes she can find. In the After photo, she is dressed in a really hot outfit that flaunts all her 'new' curves.
4) The woman's hairstyle is different, usually much nicer and flattering in the After photo compared to the Before photo.
5) In some ads (though not all), the woman in the Before pic is not smiling. Of course, in the After photo, she is beaming radiently.

Basically, the women in the Before photo is always made out to look as fat and unattractive as possible, but in the After photo, they re made to pose, smile and wear great clothes. Far as I'm concerned, that is pretty much false advertising... if they want to show the actual results of their slimming program, they should make the women do exactly the same pose, wear exactly the same clothes, have exactly the same hairstyle. But they don't. So basically, even if the women didn't really slim down much at all after these slimming sessions, these little advertising tricks can make them appear like they have a shrunk a heckuva lot more than in actuality. And just to prove my point, I decided to do a little demonstration using...who else... me! >:)

This is a picture of me doing the typical slimming ad Before photo pose.

Eww. Bleah. Ack. Double ack. Triple ack! This pic does nothing but supersize my already larger-than-I-would-like hips and arms and face. If I were to put this up on any one of those networking sites I've joined (but don't really know what to do with), all the guys would take one look and flee in the other direction. Note, also, that the camera was positioned slightly below the tummy level, so the slightly bottom-up camera angle adds to the whole unflattering look. I *sarspect* that some slimming centres also tend to take their customers' Before photos at a similar angle, in order to exaggerate the unflattering features of the female body. Heck, if a supermodel were to pose like this, I'm sure she would look totally not hot as well.

Now here I am doing the typical slimming ad After photo pose, and the camera positioned slightly higher than before.

Now if I were to post THIS photo up online, I guarantee I'd be getting flirts and messages from all sorts of unknown guys, saying things like "You're so beautiful, I forgot my punchline." (I actually got this message recently after joining Facebook. Sorry dude, couldn't help laughing my head off! :P). Obviously, I look a heckuva lot hotter in this pic than the monstrosity that came just before. And I took this pic right after taking the one before! The exact same person, but just two different poses can have dramatically different appearances. And this is while I was wearing the same clothes too... if I had taken the Before pic wearing my baggiest t-shirt and shorts, I'd look even more like a walking potato sack.... So this pic just goes to show a few things:

1) A not-so-hot person such as myself, wearing the right clothes and having the right style can still look pretty hot.
2) Carrying yourself with confidence significantly increases the hotness factor.
3) Camera angles help maketh a person look hot..... or not hot.
4) Don't trust all them slimming centre ads coz' they use these same techniques to fooleth you!
5) Carol is such a poser.

Yeah, I threw that last one in for fun. But anyway, seeing how it can be quite simple to make a convincing slimming Before and After pics, I wondered if I ever started my own slimming centre, what would my advertisement/flyer look like? And of course, I have the answer below (left click the pic to see the larger version)... >:D

P.S.: My blog is now open to comments to anyone again, including anonymous commenters... I decided to limit the comments to Blogspot users only for a while coz' of a certain no-brainer who was posting very un-family friendly comments.... but it's been quiet again which hopefully means he gave up bugging me and crawled back into whatever hole he came out of. So anyhow, comments are welcome, whether positive or negative (in the form of constructive criticism). Of course, nasty comments will be deleted...or if I'm in the mood, will be dissected and picked apart sentence by sentence by yours truly just for the fun of highlighting the idiocy of whoever posted them. Cheers!

The Invisible Button on Sassy's butt

The following video demonstrates how to activate my dog Sassy's growling mechanism by pressing the invisible button on her butt. But use it wisely, or you will suffer the consequences....