Tuesday, May 27, 2008


OK I really shouldn’t be doing this. I should not be blogging right smack in the middle of my work day.

But…had stressful meeting! With the Project Board and ended up caught off guard and was put on the spot by being asked to present certain things that I had no idea I was presenting and thought had previously agreed not to talk about first.

Word of advice: when working for certain bosses, please, be prepared for the worst and unexpected.

You never can tell.

But never mind…back to work.

Want to make it in time for my basketball later.

6 months away

Of course, in the corporate world, until you receive the offer/confirmation letter, there are no promises. Not until the money is banked into your account are you sure that you are getting what you were promised. Hence, one should not make rash and potentially high consequence decisions based on verbal promises and words, as from my miniscule experience, I have come to realize that managers will say what they reckon are the right things to certain people in order to push the right buttons to achieve their personal cause. There is nothing wrong with that, but we just have to exercise caution and not believe everything we hear.

However, this particular manager, is a highly reputable and straight-backed man, a Christian (who smokes, gambles and plays pool, but hey, don’t we all) and a very decent person who would rather be short-changed rather than to join the integrity-less masses in the hope of accelerating his way towards a more rewarding goal.

And he has promised me that a promotion will be coming my way between the year end and the 1st Qtr of next year. Now, any other promotion would be quite ordinary, but this particular one will be very welcome and attractive indeed, as I know the position I will be moving into, as well as the accompanying base salary. I am not that much interested in the title, but the salary that comes with that position is really attractive for a dingbat like me. For a start, I believe that for someone in my industry, with my age and experience, I’d be one of the highest earners then, and that would enable a lot of things that would be quite important at this juncture in my life. For instance, it’d make buying a house much easier, I will be able to have some investments and have a sounder financial plan. Great! Also, if I do intend to leave this company, I’d be set to move to green pastures rather than leaving while in my current designation. Additionally, the new position would really push me to gain more experience and knowledge fast, and expose me to higher level management thinking, for whatever its worth, in this company.

However, as with all such incidents, we tend to focus on the commensurate benefits first. There are a few drawbacks. Firstly, I know the expectations, stress and deliverables will be magnified like never before, and I will definitely be under the spotlight. Can no longer fly slightly below the radar any more, and it’d also be payback time, for some managers stuck their necks out to push me into this role. Secondly, work life balance will be severely affected, as the volume of work will demand much more time invested at work. Well the good news is that with more money, more time at work, that means less time to spend it on, hence equates to more savings. Lastly, by the time the promotion kicks in, I will have passed my deadline for returning to Australia, if I do intend to service my PR.

Decisions, decisions…give it up and go anyway…or stay on and go only after I get the promotion? The thing is, if I do go once I do get the promotion, it is not likely I will be able to get similar positions outside due to my lack of experience at that position, having just come into it.

Never mind… I will park these thoughts aside for now. Time to focus on work again…a lot of it… and need brain work to do. Let’s do this right.

Of sea dives and sky jives...

Reading a bit of news this morning, and came across this article about a couple who went diving in Queensland, surfaced too far from their chartered boat, drifted in the seas for almost 24 hours, and were finally rescued. Luckily for them, they were rescued. I watched Open Water a few years ago, right after my trip to the Great Barrier Reef, and was slightly haunted by it. In Open Water, the couple who also surfaced too far from their dive boat were never seen again.

The places mentioned in the article, the scenarios here and in Open Water, are eerily similar, and what makes it so scary, is that I can really relate to it, based on my trip to the GBR while I was at Cairns, a few years ago. The fact that it is so highly possible, out of such ordinary circumstances, is what is chilling.

At any rate, I really think that if you do go diving, please, do not for the sake of adventure, lose sight of your chartered boat. Watch Open Water…the helpless fear, sense of regret, feeling of responsibility for the demise of your loved one who trusted you to guide them back to the boat…it is all too much.

Kinda depressing…so, for some slightly more upbeat developments.

If you think the hot hunk 2 rows in front is hot, next time you find yourself on a plane,
you can actually sms him and flirt with him. Have you ever wanted to do that? Do you wonder how you can do that? Well, wonder no more, for the idea is finally executable. Apparently, people can do that on NZ Airlines nowadays.

Well, that certainly floods my head with ideas and possibilities.

And I don’t really agree to it. The best response, if someone tried that with me, would be to ignore it. I wouldn’t even bother replying. I’d just ignore it, and if I seem rude, then so be it, or the person can just assume it’s a malfunction. I dare say no female would be as forthcoming as to walk over to me and tap my shoulder and go ‘hey mister…’, and I dare say no female would march up to the air stewardess and complain that her system isn’t working coz apparently I’m not responding. That’d be the case, whether or not I am single, because I don’t think that is a decent way of coming on to someone; why not just march up and say ‘hi’?

But it’d be a good way to test the loyalty of one’s partner, don’t you think? So, if you know your boyfriend is flying Air NZ on flight X, get a hot female friend to get on the same flight, test him out, and have her come back to report to you on his responsiveness.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Random news

Wow what a whirlwind day. Coming in to work, still hung over from the chillax pace of weekend life…I decided to scan the headlines of the Herald Sun and The Age, a habit (the scanning of Australian newspaper headlines online) which I have not been able to kick. So, many worthy stories aside, I have distilled down to a few of the more interesting ones, though, mind you, some narrowly made the cut over other similarly worthy news items.

First up…we have the
story of the sick Austrian man who locked up his daughter when she was 18, in his dungeon, and then, repeatedly returned to rape her over the next 20 years. So this girl was basically locked up, had no sunlight nor rain for 20 years, no exercise, NOTHING, and was basically just kept for disgusting sex reasons. What an animal. And then, he goes on to father 7 of her children, a few of whom he took back to the outside world, gave them to his real life wife (the mother of the victim) and claimed that their daughter had run away to join a cult and left those 3 on their doorstep. Of the remaining few kids, 1 or 2 died and were incinerated, and the others were living in the dungeon. This is just so twisted and sordid. What kind of sick animal of a man is that? To make things more baffling, how on earth could the stupid dumb moron of a mother not figure out, over 20 years, that her own missing daughter, was merely 2 storeys below? I mean…seriously, how stupid is she? And to make things more baffling, this guy rented out his ground floor to tenants, none of whom stumbled onto anything dodgy. If the fricking guy had died, for instance, the hidden daughter, and her kids, would have starved to death. This is a sick tale, and sometimes, fact is stranger than fiction.

In another sordid tale that speaks of the capacity for mankind to commit heinous acts on each other, we have this
tale of women (albeit mentally handicapped) in wards being abused and assaulted by other patients or even by hospital staff. The first tale tells of a man who coldly calculated and planned and perpetrated his crime. This tale tells of hospitals who are aware of the sordid goings on but do not take sufficient steps to prevent these things happening. Such a departure from their duty of care should cause them to be sued to high heaven. This tale reminds me of stories and photos I have seen of women in normal hospitals, who while sedated, were abused and assaulted, and even of young women in morgues who were subject to the same treatment. Male nurses should be restricted to handle male patients only.

And in other news, here is proof that
today’s children are becoming more stressed and burdened with higher expectations and tougher means of achieving these expectations. Life is no getting easier, inspite of the fact that we are materialistically better off than our parents. We might be materially better off, but we are increasingly stressed and under enormous amounts of pressure. We really should be doing what we can to give them a proper childhood, keep them happy, and not have them worrying over such adult bread and butter issues such as unemployment and housing affordability. I wonder what does it mean, when society evolves to this point. At which stage do we consider that there has been a breakdown in society, a failure on the part of adults to provide them with a comfortable, slower pace in which to grow up, one which we ourselves had.

This article confirms what we men have been feeling and saying for some years now: that the
pressure, expectations and demands on the modern male have led to abnormal physiological reactions. Apparently a new study confirms that men are just as baffled as to why their libido is on a steep downward spiral, and what is more baffling, is that they don’t seem particularly bothered. Now THAT is definitely cause for alarm.

And in this
bizarre occurrence, a large party of people were partying in a packed balcony area one night when 2 of them got to schmoozing, shuffled too near the edge, and fell off the balcony. The man was fine, but the woman is in critical condition. I wonder what kind of kiss that was.

Friday, May 09, 2008

1 week ago...

OK. I think I am nostalgic, sentimental etc to a fault. I have this habit of constantly thinking ok, what was I doing X days ago, X weeks ago, X months ago, X years ago. Exactly on this date. Then I find myself wandering back to whatever it is I was doing.

But fault or not fault...I nostalgically look back upon a week ago. And I was at this very spot, looking at this sight.

After paying shitloads for a wonderful spa experience, I think this is my favourite part: on a hot day, going for a cold dip. Definitely didnt harm my fertility ahem.

The landing platform. Good to take a dive off of. Reminds me of the jetty at Cairns, where I saw a large sea turtle.

Ahh...come, it's the weekend now. Time to go off work and... make more memories!

[Hello again, it's you and me...- Bon Jovi, Make a memory]

Latest [dumb] trend

Apparently, the latest trend to hit the streets is for girlfriends to bite their boyfriends.

What the heck?

After going for lunch with my bunch of colleagues, that is what I have gathered. I am the ‘elder’ among them, like the Eldars of Elvandar. That’s coz these guys are really young and have just a couple months experience. So apparently among these 23-25 year olds and their friends, it is quite a common practice for girlfriends to vent their negative emotions on their boyfriends by biting them.

Some even drew blood! Some have blue black. Actually, it is not just among 23-25 year olds. Word, and evidence, has it that even 27 year olds do it.

I don’t really quite understand how biting helps. I mean it is not like biting removing the source of the negative emotions, so after biting, you still got to face whatever it is that bugged the heck out of you.

Perhaps they get an ego boost by thinking that their boyfriends love them enough to put themselves through this kind of experience. If that’s the case, it is really dumb. I can appreciate gentle gnawing, can even understand if one gets suddenly very ‘yook kan’ and bites slightly harder. But to bite til you draw blood for the sake of feeling better is just plain childish, selfish and not facing full on your main issue.

Which could be a need for psychiatric help.

Thursday, May 08, 2008


The place is magnificent. This is the infinity pool, which is supposed to give the illusion that the pool and sea is joined, as one, and when you swim towards the horizon...it is infinity.

And that is me, Joanne, and our room.

And this is out in front of my room, with a splendid view by virtue of the fact that our villa is situated at the highest on the island.

What a wonderful holiday. Raring to go again! And learnt many new things too during our jungle walk with the resident professional naturalist. Did you know, for instance, that male cicadas stay dormant for 7 months, underground, appear, make a shitload of noise over the next 2 weeks, breed like crazy, and then drop dead? Did you know that when they emerge, they leave behind a plastic like brown shell, moulded into an exact replica of a cicada itself.
Actually it is a weird existence. You basically hibernate for 7 months, show up, breed like mad, and then die. WTF?!
OK..enough about this hols...Got to run! Maybe more next time.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Playground of the rich & famous

Ladies and gentleman, please take a good look.

Welcome to Pangkor Laut Resort - Playground of the Rich and Famous, though I am neither rich nor famous. So last Friday, having taken leave, I was instructed to get meself blindfolded, fold my long muscular frame (I am in a good mood, please do not burst my bubble, you realist you) into the car, and instructed me to go to sleep. After drifting in and out of a forced/induced sleep (which troubled me because I kept feeling the car swerve, followed by a loud vicious and angry horning sound from other cars) while my Joanne drove, suddenly I was instructed to get out of the car. So, ok I removed my (muscular and long) frame from the car, and, still in blindfolds, was led protestingly to...somewhere. After various pleadings, bleatings and protestations of feeling really silly, I was finally allowed to remove the blindfold on the condition that I can only look down. Well...here I was, at the office and departure point to the privately owned PLR!

A few sips of something really nice later, and the both of us were on the ferry, happily blasting our way through the choppy seas to the private island. Upon arrival, it was paradise itself. The scenery was first class, the vaunted Emerald Bay (though falling a bit short of the hype) was fantastic, the whole operations of the place fell into place like tumblers of a giant gear mechanism. The service and people were fantastic. The rooms were great, and we got the highest rooms, the Hill Villas, where we were just a (albeit very very strong) stone's throw away from the sea eagles' nests. The bathtub in there was first rate, the deco was excellent, and they even had Astro, where I, for the first time in years, watched a basketball game (though only for half a quarter, which makes it roughly 10 minutes). The bed was inviting, the lighting classy, the aircond just right.

There was a free shuttle service (i.e. your personal van) taking you to and from. I was really touched by Joanne's initiative, to surprise me and drive me all the way there. To top it off, she paid for it too, and I know it cost her a bomb. To even things up, I paid for our spa, which cost me close to an arm, a leg, and a couple of hairs.

The whole holiday was really really nice...I enjoyed our swims together on the 'horizon pool' (or so that's what my Jo told me!) and the spa and the food and the nature walks and we even saw a snake (no, not the type who works in Marketing/Banking).

There's so much more to say...nvm, in posts to come, shall stick on photos, including of Vietnam. My my, you readers are in for a treat. I am jealous already. How come other blogs don't tease me like this? Btw...the spa is really REALLY cool. Just wait for the pics...

Friday, May 02, 2008

Where is this place?

It seems like I've been working hard and playing even harder lately. Holidays, trips, excursions..it seems like before one is barely over, I am planning for another one.

Having just returned from Vietnam, I am already planning a major road trip with the scholars in June that will take us to 3 different countries.

But this is getting too much! Now, it has gotten to the point where I am on holiday without even realizing it.

This morning was awakened rudely by an alarm clock at 6 30am, chucked into the shower, bundled into the car, blindfolded, ordered to "keep quiet and don't move" for an indefinite amount of time (which later turned out to be 3 hours), and then was ushered out of the car, still blindfolded, and now I am standing at the reception lobby of some spa like place, and I hear people talking about ferries, islands and whatnot...I have packed for 2 nights and 3 days and I still don't know where I am or what is happening.

We shall find out.