Monday, December 27, 2010

你以前怎么活?

For you who think that you have lost everything. 以前你没有这些东西,都能好好的活。 现在没有这些东西, 一定也能活得好好的。你没有了钱,但你有双手, 有经验。 你没有了老公, 但你有孩子, 有家人有朋友。 好好的活吧。。




Bed Bugs Attack !

Came back from Borobudur with a body full of bed bug bites. My friend who shared the room with me got the bites on the first day but i did not get any symptom. The second night though was horrible and i woke up with many bites. The itchiness and unsightly bumps from the bites really bugged me and it got worst this morning i had to go and see a doc to get a jab to stop the itchiness. How i hate bed bugs!!

On the flight back, my friend had nothing to do and took some photos of the bites. 


My little finger which was swollen. More bites surface on this finger later that day and the finger swelled even more.

Near the neck. There are worst pics but i shall spare the readers from the awful sights.


I googled a little on bed bug bites and found some interesting information. 

Here's a link to some recommendation on how to get rid of bed bugs and treat the bites. And there's another  nice article on how to treat bed bugs bites and getting rid of the bugs. On the bites, it says that

" ...the bites prove to be very itchy to many that get them, but recent studies show that many people are not allergic to the bites and will not feel any discomfort. That being said, many may have bed bugs and not even know about it. The bites itch because of a numbing agent the bugs use to keep you from feeling the bites, this agent causes an allergic reaction for many. These bites are not life threatening, but are not fun to have. The best remedy is to use a topical antihistamine such as calamine lotion or Aveeno followed by some Benadryl taken orally. Bathing is Epson salts have been seen by many to help soothe the itchiness. The important thing is to try and not scratch the bites as this will only make them worse and could lead to scaring.

The itchiness and redness will go away on it’s own within a few days and they do not carry any diseases, so these is little to worry about. "

I guess at least it's consoling to know that the itchiness and redness will go away on it's own within a few days.

Do also check out the following video from the Emmy winning documentary, Bed Bugs! Attack!




Dun let the bed bugs bite!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Riverkids Gala Dinner

Me with other volunteers at the Riverkids gala dinner. :)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Morning at Nursing Home

The Kidsread program has ended for the year so i have my saturday mornings more freed up to join some other volunteering activities. Spent some meaningful time this morning playing Bingo with the elderly folks at the Man Fut Tong nursing home. The two old ladies whom i was helping with during the Bingo game was smiling broadly at the end of the game as they had won a few times during the game and had amassed a plastic bagful each of prizes. :)

While helping an old lady to her bed after lunch, we striked up a conversation. It was a nice interesting chat and she started to tell me about her late husband who had passed away a few years ago. The old lady started weeping uncontrollably when she relate how well her late husband had treated her when he was alive. It was tears of loss and I can feel my heart aching with her. Told old granny that she is the lucky one. Because, not everyone is fortunate like her to have someone who loved her deeply and treat her that well like her late husband.

We chatted more and moved on to other lighter topics before i have got to go. The old lady thanked me for coming to see them and spending time with them and telling me her name again. I walked away thinking that if only i have more time, i'll really like to come back to volunteer more.

I wish there is less heartaches and sufferings in this world.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Importance of a Compassionate Attitude




Such wise words from the Dalai Lama. I wish more on-paper-leaders such as someone i know, can have enlightenment on the values of such attitude, instead of just focusing and glorifying on their hard skills.

Sometimes i wonder, how can someone who doesn't motivate nor empower his people, someone with no consistency in his actions and words, no integrity, makes disrespectful, sexually discriminatory and bullying remarks, someone who looks at things through telescopic lens, acts secretive instead of being open and above board, likes bossing people around and generally having no EQ be made a leader. It greatly appalls me. It is dangerous when people who lack character, wisdom and leadership qualities are given powers to lead.

Anyway, i am just thankful that i don't have to work for such people and my past few bosses had generally been great bosses to work for. :)

Friday, November 5, 2010

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Fluid


If feelings can be fluid,
i wish mine for you 
will just flow away. 
It's been so very long
and still i feel like
i'm stuck in stagnant water
while everything and everyone else
just flows and passes me by


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Further and further apart


slowly
but surely
we just grew
further 
and further
apart

one step
at a time
slowly
i say
goodbye


Thursday, September 30, 2010

A nice old song - Beautiful Girl

Found the high society CD my friend gave me inside my French for Travellers cd cover in my car today. This cd was given to me some time back when we didn't talk much, mainly cos i was avoiding him. So he gave me the cd and asked me to listen to the songs.I didn't know how we should communicate and it was quite a while before we slowly loosen up and be friends again. How could i let our friendship go? He has been such a dear loyal friend all these years...


Clarke Quay at night

Passed by Clarke Quay tonight and stopped for a while to admire the charming night.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Springcleaning

Found this note while spring cleaning my stuff the other day. The fun thing about spring cleaning is that sometimes you'll come across items that bring you down the memory lanes, or remind you of certain state of mind at certain period of time which you could have otherwise forgotten...

Monday, September 27, 2010

Postcard from Mongolia - Reflections

What better place to do some reflections than this tranquil lake in Mongolia? Where our earthly images are softly reflected back to us, where time seems to stand still, the expanse of the sky and land as our loyal companions.

Singapore F1 Night Race 2010

Was at the Singapore F1 night race tonight at the kind invitation of an ex customer. The atmosphere was awesome just like last year and we had access to all the zones. :)


  video


 And here's me. Hello from the circuit park. :)
video


The view from the esplanade is beautiful isn't it? J'aime Singapore!



Mariah Carey's post race concert. 




Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A little chat with mom

Went over to my sister's place to keep my mom company the other day when my sister's family went out for some event.


I was chatting with my mom and teasing her that ain't she fortunate to have such a good daughter like i was when she commented out of the blue that "having a family is good", that she'll be happy if i can settle down. It was rather off angle from what we were originally chatting about but anyway i just replied that it's good only with the right person.

 
Normally, i do not like to talk about it and would usually appear slightly irritated and change topic. But that day, i decided to explain further to my mother what i think.


In my opinion, what's more important is whether i'm happy. And i was/ am. I'm happy and very much appreciative and contented with my life at this stage of my life. ( I should use "rather" but i felt "very", probably cos i'm taking a career break now. hehe) Happiness to me is not determined by some status or life milestone. It's not when one made that big paycheck, drove that big car or attained that married status. It's that general sense of happiness that one feels. And i feel that now. Of course, occasionally i may fall into moments of lows or sadness, but in a general sense, i am happy. :)


Sure, it would be great if i have someone to settle down with and i am not (i assured her) resisting either. But it would only be great with the right person and i would not be shortchanged even if i do not ever get married. I cited to her examples of people who were married but were not happy. People who in the end decided to divorce afterall, or those who stay married but miserable. Ultimately, what's important is how you feel inside, not whether you are this or not. So with that, i told her not to worry and ended the side track she brought up.


Indeed, i have instances of friends and my sister commenting how they envy me. The exciting lifestyle of a single gal, with all the possibilities and freedom to pursue all that she dreams of. Not having to deal with the demands as a mother or wife, or the mundaneness of family life. There's always two sides to a coin huh?


When we have this, we lose that (or some of that). We can't have it all. But it doesn't mean that we will be unhappy if we don't have this or that. We can look at the bright side and appreciate what we have instead of lamenting what we have missed (or think we missed). I believe that there is no one path to happiness.



Me and friends trying out "sister" dress for a friend's wedding. 
Hope everyone will find their own happiness. :D

Monday, September 20, 2010

Postcard from Mongolia


Loved the blue skies and the white clouds and the splendour of mother nature on this beautiful land.

Doggie trampled oil painting.

There's a chinese idiom, 塞翁失马 焉知非福, which roughly means blessing in disguise. The idiom comes from a story that goes like this:

A man who lived on the northern frontier of China was skilled in interpreting events. One day for no reason, his horse ran away to the nomads across the border. Everyone tried to console him, but his father said, "What makes you so sure this isn't a blessing?" Some months later his horse returned, bringing a splendid nomad stallion. Everyone congratulated him, but his father said, "What makes you so sure this isn't a disaster?" Their household was richer by a fine horse, which the son loved to ride. One day he fell and broke his hip. Everyone tried to console him, but his father said, "What makes you so sure this isn't a blessing?"


A year later the nomads came in force across the border, and every able-bodied man took his bow and went into battle. The Chinese frontiersmen lost nine of every ten men. Only because the son was lame did father and son survive to take care of each other. Truly, blessing turns to disaster, and disaster to blessing: the changes have no end, nor can the mystery be fathomed.





I have the mood to do some oil painting today and wondered for a while if i should continue the half-finish painting our doggie had trampled over 2 months back when i had left the painting on the floor to dry. The more i looked at it, the more interesting it looked(back) to me. Indeed, I had posted and lamented about the damaged work back then on my facebook and some friends had commended the damage as actually a plus point, like a finishing touch, an interesting twist to the painting.






And as i sat there studying the painting today, i found myself smiling at it. The painting with it's funny paw prints somehow just evoked a smile to me. Then and there, i decided to leave it alone as it was. It was as complete as it could be! Many things in life has a way of emerging better or worst than we think huh. Some seemingly unfortunate events can turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Likewise for good things... That's a good reminder isn't it? When things seem bleak, the thought of it as being a potential blessing in disguise helps us to look at the bright side of things. And when good things are going good, while we are riding on it, we can try to be mindful and not let overt optimism blind us to potential tripping. :)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Independent


He asked, Why are you so independent? 

I replied, I learnt.


I'd rather not...actually, i am not. I've learnt alright. But it's better to have a choice to be dependent. Sometimes, I feel like in some ways i'm like Lisbeth Salander in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Not that extreme kind like her but surviving in this world in her own way, fending for herself by herself.

You've Got Mail


You've Got Mail



Ponggol Park on Oil

Painted this couple of weeks back, which depicts a scene of the the park near my place where i most frequently go for my jog. I like oil painting. I'm an amateur but it doesn't matter. I like the fun of mixing the colors, the flow you get when you are in the midst of the creation and the satisfaction of creating an image from a blank canvas. If i have more leisure time, I'll like to paint more. And paint for people around me. :)


Ponggol Park on Oil



Sunday, May 23, 2010

我們沒有在一起 by 劉若英

Like this song.



我們沒有在一起
詞:黃婷 曲:陳韋伶

你一直說的那個公園已經拆了
還記得盪著鞦韆日子就飛起來
漫漫的下午陽光都在臉上撒野
你那傻氣 我真是想念

那時候小小的你還沒學會嘆氣
誰又會想到他們現在喊我女王
你哈哈笑的樣子倒是一點沒變
時間走了 誰還在等呢

這杯咖啡忘了加糖
真不是我那麼傷感
世界太複雜 你說單純很難 我當然都明白

可是呀只有你曾陪我在最初的地方
只有你才能了解我要的夢從來不大
我們沒有在一起至少還像情侶一樣
我痛的瘋的傷的在你面前哭得最慘

我知道你也不能帶我回到那個地方
你說你現在很好而且喜歡回憶很長
我們沒有在一起至少還像家人一樣
總是遠遠關心遠遠分享

那條路走呀走呀走呀總要回家
兩隻手握著晃呀晃呀捨不得放
你不知道吧後來後來我都在想
跟你走吧 管它去哪呀

我們沒有在一起至少還像朋友一樣
你遠遠的關心其實更長

Friday, May 21, 2010

The long drive home

The long drive home alone, my tear drops seemed to have assumed a mind of their own... they just wouldn't stop rolling down the cheeks.

Why does my heart ache?

I just cried and cried and cried
the long drive home alone
i dunno why i cried
it had been a good evening
but the heart just felt so aching bad
and the teardrops won't stop rolling

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The (my) idle life


While driving the long way to work the other day, i have this thought, if only our work load is within reasonable level, there won't be such terms as work-life balance, which every other people i know these days are talking about. Nor does one needs to take extended long leave from work, in order to pursue other life interests, if our daily life already allows us to.

Why must we work all the time or risk not being able to survive in the corporate world? Why do the emails keep streaming in, or the phone keeps ringing non stop and the to-do list you created each morning never can gets completed although you already tried to be as efficient as possible? Why do people assume their email recipient is on 7-24 standby to wait for their email with answer on hand to reply to them immediately?

Why do people scream why they couldn't reach you, when they have no idea that they are just one of the many many people who wanted a piece of you but you only have limited time, that even just answering 40 over phone calls telling people that you will get back to them is a demand on your time, a drain to your mental wellness and is non value adding to getting the real job done,

why do people make a request and expected it be completed immediately, as if resources are unlimited and someone else is just standby-ing to address their needs? Why are people getting rude, impatient and disrespectful to others. Why is it that when things doesn't go accordingly to plan, some people threaten and scream and create so much negativity, instead of just being cool and resolve issues via rational discussions and and good problem solving skills, why does a lost phone prototype causes one to commit suicide, why ? It's like every one losses patience and grace under this time crunch environment, such that everything gotta be fast, cramped, high pressured, stressed, reactive, explosive. 

I had a pretty good work review the other day and my boss was happy with my performance. I happen to like my boss and think i couldn't ask for a better boss in this organization, and i enjoyed my colleagues very much as well. But the the job is shitty. And it seems like nothing much can be changed - the workload and the shits (i couldn't find another more polite word to replace this) was supposed to be expected. So anyway, at the back of my mind, all i was thinking was, i need a life.



There are things in life where, while you are capable to do something, it may not necessary be what you want to do. There are times in life when at some point, monetary returns, or the pretty conventional success images, are not as important as pursuing success more intrinsic and closer to heart, not determined by what the outside world views.

Anyway, i am thinking of taking a sabbatical. After 10 years of hectic life(of work), it's time for some idleness, not from life, but idleness from work. To learn a language, do some painting, start a project, read a book, write a poem, relax, be in the present, do something creative and meaningful. :) nice.

I'll draw inspirations from those ancient Chinese high minded scholars, the ones who valued their characters more than achievements, soul more than wealth , poor in worldly possessions but rich in sentiments. Lin Yutang mentioned about these great men in his book, The importance of Living, one of my favorite books for a long time. In one excerpt, he wrote,

" great men of letters of this class, T'ao Yuanming, Sun Tungp'o, Po Chuyi ..." were generally " enticed into a short term of official life, did a wonderful job of it, and then got exasperated with its eternal kowtow and receiving and sending off of fellow officials, and gladly laying down the burdens of an official life, returned wisely to the life of retirement." " Yuan Chung Lang wrote seven successive petitions to his superior, when he was magistrate of Soochow, complaining of eternal kowtow-ings and beggings to be allowed to return to the life of the free and careless individual"

So me too, in modern day Singapore, I'm gonna lay down the burdens of official life and return wisely to the life of retirement. Hmm, life of retirement would be a luxury and i can't afford it anyway. But i think a mini retirement of a year or so would sound great! I'm looking forward to this carefree, 逍遥 life, even if it's for a short duration. :)


Sabbatical - Things to do - Volunteering

There's so much things running in my head on the things i can do and pursue during my personal sabbatical from work it sometimes gets me really excited. I would be driving and suddenly would have some bright ideas on a business plan, or i would be lying on my bed imagining all the things i can do and learn that my mind gets so active i couldn't sleep. Just yesterday, i woke up from bed in the middle of the night googling on volunteering and charity. 

When i was 17, i wanted to be a social worker. After completing my JC studies, my plan was to enroll in the university to be trained in social science.  However, a teacher dissuaded me and convinced me that it was better for me that i go get a traditional professional degree which is a safer bet for a better income job, unless i have a rich dad. I can always do volunteering work or engaged more in charity at any later point in life. I gathered the advice was pretty practical and makes a lot of sense and  hence dropped the idea to be a social worker as my first career.

Since i graduated, work has been relentless and it just gets heavier over the years as i get more entrenched in the working world. I tried to do some charity here and there but time and work demand always work against this wish. This is one of the reasons why i have been having ideas to stop working in the corporate, to start a business or something, to one day have time on my hand,( the new rich (NR) to borrow Timothy Ferriss), so that i can spend time on meaningful things, such on charity, and on things i have interest in.

Anyway, to side track a bit, i recently bought this book, The 4-hour work week from borders, which talks about escaping the 9-5 and it has been a really inspiring read. At least, it provides some hope that this kind of lifestyle is possible.According to the author, the New Rich (NR) are those who abandon the deferred-life plan and create luxury lifestyles in the present using the currency of the New Rich: time and mobility. This is an art and a science we will refer to as Lifestyle Design.

Back to my volunteering. I'm considering this or a residential Zen training in my potential to-do -list plans. It's a residential volunteering opportunity where you get to live in the study institute, work on charity and non-for profit projects, study on Buddhism and spend time learning on personal development.Volunteers will live at the Nyingma Institute in Berkeley in shared rooms and receive vegetarian meals, a small living expense stipend, and a full scholarship for Institute classes and workshops


I think it's quite meaningful as i can get to do meaningful charity work (i'm thinking of working on Tibetan Aid Project ) and gets to improve on my knowledge on Buddhism. But as i have other plans to consider, i do need to seriously plan my schedule a bit to see if it works. Otherwise, i will explore other options.



Life is great when you have time on hand! :)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

In Praise of Slowing Down

Came across this video on TED and it so resonates with what i had been feeling for quite some time, and which i finally took charge recently to do something about it. This is a video by Carl Honore arguing why slowing down is good for us.





In my opinion, there's a place for both slowness and speed. The key is keeping a balance for both. Unfortunately, in our modern society today, most of us are stuck in a rat race, constantly being pressed for time, and relentlessly being expected to achieve more and even more, within less and lesser time.


For me, my speedy rabbit has been let loose for too long. It's time for my inner tortoise to take his turn, to go for a slow leisure walk, smell the flowers and savour another side of life my rabbit has missed. :)


In Praise of Slowness: Challenging the Cult of Speed (Plus) 

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Run for Water 2010

Participated in the DOW LIVE EARTH Run for Water today. This is the first running event i took part since i took up running few months ago and it feels great when i completed it. It's a 6km run, which is the average distance women and children in developing countries walk every day to have access to drinking water.




The run route was quite scenic, starting from the F1 track towards Marina bay and passing by the Singapore Flyer, the Kallang river etc. I rather enjoyed myself, listening to my ipod, taking in the beautiful morning scene and just running at my own pace without stopping. :)


Here's me at the end of the run with my finisher medallion. :)




I tried to lift this water container, I think it's about 2.5Kg, i couldn't carry it up! This is about the ave weight of the water people carry to collect drinking water.





The water village.



Participants resting by the water after the race.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Back from Cambodia

I'm back from Cambodia. Just downloaded my photos and realised that i had took nearly 400 pictures in this 5 days trip in Siam Reap and Phnom Phen!

Angkor was fascinating with its architectures and mythology and all the beautiful rustic sights, with the highlights being Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, Ta Prohm and the Bayon. Ah, words and photos can't really describe the real thing. You just gotta pay Angkor a visit.

And in Phnom Phen, what really registered with me even now back in Singapore was the depressing visits at the Tuol Sleng Genocide Muesum and the Choeung Ek Killing Field. I only vaguely heard of Pol Pol and the Khmer Rouge and their altrocities before the visit but i really get to learn more and felt the sadness for the victims and the country during this trip. Even when just casually talking to our old tour guide who grew up during this period, i can somehow sense his sadness, disappointment and 伤感. It can feel really heavy at times.. Bought a book on The Pol Pot Regime after that so that i can understand more.

And here's some photos of me with my friends from the trip. :)











And some photos of sights and scenes from the trip.