Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Little things :)

  • While at work this afternoon, nephew called to tell me that he had excavated the complete T-Rex skeleton from the archaeological kit i got for him. :) It was a quick phone chat but it brought a sunshiny break to a quiet day at work. :)
  • It was raining when i left office earlier and i kindda like that feeling. The air was chill, the night was quiet and you can hear the rain softly falling onto the ground.. What a nice peaceful mood.. no clutters..bliss. :)

  • And JS msn me to check my emails just now before she went to bed. Choices for our Christmas gathering to choose from. So nice and comes with restaurant background links. We only need to decide. hee. :p.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Music's in the Air. :)


Friday, December 2, 2011

Love You Like A Love Song

While catching up over the previous weekend, KY told me that every time she heard of this song by Selena Gomez, she would think of me. Hee.. it's nice to know when people thinks of you. :) She said that she didn't know why but somehow the song always reminded her of me. And today, i dunno why but this song kept playing in my head as i was driving home earlier.

And as we chatted away that day, i remember my dear friend telling me. " You know, we always wanted to be safe and very sure before we open our heart to someone else. But maybe it's like playing cards... to draw a card, to draw our king eventually, we need to first throw a card..."

I thought the way she put across was really impressive. She said she heard that from some celebrity on a talk show. Anyway, that's so true isn't it? When we were young, we don't consider nor think too much. When you like a person, you just like a person. And yet, as we grow older, we consider and worry over too many things.

I remember this guy i was dating once telling me that i was really aloof. That would be the last thing my friends and colleagues would say of me. And yet, that was what he said after i told him that i think his character was too lousy for us to continue trying. He said he had acted tough and rude as he felt insecure and i was rather aloof. Okay, that was bad excuse to be mean to me. But then perhaps, there were some pinches of truth there...

And often time, it's indeed true that i find myself fleeing..whenever feelings start to make me feel vulnerable. I guess it had became an automatic self defense mechanism... That which can't touch you, can't hurt you. So it was fun for a while. And one day, when you realize the potential of someone to even remotely hurt you, you immediately put on your shield..

I think i am my own real serious problem.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Walk Away

I should just disengage and walk away. Shouldn't be bitchy and grumpy myself. I think i have much to improve myself as a zen student.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Fair Weather Friend(s)

I've been thinking why i have been feeling bothered by the fact that a girlfriend had not celebrated my birthday with me. I mean i have friends who also only just text me birthday wishes during my birthday and i was already very happy to just receive the text messages.

Yet, why do i feel weird/disappointed (i am not sure what's the right emotion...disappointed? hurt? pissed?) when this particular friend doesn't seem to bother that it was my birthday, only sending me a text and messaging me on fb at the END of the day of my birthday. When she doesn't bother to sign a birthday card someone else had prepared and ask her to signed on, did not initiate to go celebrate together, nor was free when another tried to fix a dinner session, yet at the same time, can ask you out to accompany her to go blading, a late night drink and hang out together overnight to study etc....all the while making no special mention about your birthday.. As if it's something invisible and insignificant.. And yet, true to heart, you know you have always been there or at least tried to be there when she needed help or a listening ear.

Then it dawned on me that, despite appearances to others, she is just treating me as a second tier friend. I'm just a friend to be used, not to be valued and I guess there will always be people who collect friends and people who make friends. My friends told me not to be bothered by this, that we can't control how others treat us and that i felt this way because friendship has to be reciprocal and especially since i get nothing out of the relationship, i should just walk away. I guess they are right.. Anyway, i have many other dear friends who had touched me and demonstrated through actions that they valued me and will be there for me. So actually, i am already very blessed. :)

I have thought it through and i realized that there's nothing you can do about how others treat you. However, you do have a choice to spend your time rightly with people who deserves it. Hence, i shall categorized my friendships accordingly as well - Close friends, dear friends, good friends, old friends, hanging out friends, fb friends and fair weather friends..

"Friendship is mutual reciprocity of affection and purpose."----Aristotle.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

A Conversation with Wolverine.

      A conversation with Wolverine on the status of my single hood.. 

Friday, June 17, 2011

A Nice Catch Up

A was in town and initiated for a catch up. We finally fixed on a date cos GY had a really tight schedule and so i postponed the date i made with a friend since it's not everyday that A's in town and rarer still that he initiated to catch up. So we had a gathering, just the three of us. And i was glad we made the effort to meet. For the evening turned out to be fun, and we chatted and joked and jabbed like the good old days... those days when the three of us would hang out together. And of course we took the opportunity to catch up with what's going on in one another's life.

While driving to our dinner venue, A revealed that he had not kept in touch as his wife felt really sensitive about me cos she knew that he used to go after me. I told him i thought he didn't want to be my friend anymore. Actually, i had been rather disappointed with him when he just simply avoided us after he got attached to his girlfriend(now wife). And i wasn't the only one who felt it. He explained that it was simply stressful trying to rationalize with his gf then. Hence, he took the easiest way out which was to avoid me.

Anyway, i'm glad he cleared this. It's nice to catch up with old friends who had been part of a certain phase in your life. And it's nice to know that we can still chat and joked like the old times.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Just a feeling that comes over me.

睡 不 着 ,但 心 里 确 是暖 暖 的 。  :D

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A Sweet Scene

While waiting for the traffic light to turn green earlier this evening, i witness a scene that puts a smile to me. :) I saw this young man pulling his female partner to stop just when they were about to cross the road. Apparently, the lady's shoe lace had came off for the young man squatted down and started tying her shoe lace for her. Such a sweet gesture...it just warms your heart looking at the scene.  :)

Monday, May 23, 2011

The little things

The walking sticks
The track shoes
The power socks
The energy snacks
The dry fit top
The back pack
They quietly slip in
It just strike on me
The little things

Listen to Your Heart - Thomas L. Friedman

While chatting with a friend over the weekend, we spoke about how fortunate one of his friends is, to have a job he loves, and how important it is, that we have jobs that challenge and expose us to new learning experiences. We were fresh grads once before, and i remember my friend as one of the most passionate, smart and purposeful person i ever knew. But life demands and reality sets in and sometimes, we have trade-offs to make, considerations to make... There is never a best perfect situation for everyone.

Anyway, somehow i was reminded of this commencement address by Thomas Friedman which made an impression on me a few years ago, when i was at a point where i was wondering about the job i had and the kind of life i had wanted which will be affected by my career choice.

Thomas L. Friedman
“Listen to Your Heart.”

Commencement address at Williams College
Williamstown, Massachusetts USA
June 5, 2005
Tom Friedman is an award-winning author and foreign affairs columnist of The New York Times.
It is an honor to stand before you this morning -- you the class of 2005. I've been a journalist all my life. It's been a great ride. And what I thought I would talk with you about today is not the stories I've covered but some of the lessons I accidentally learned along the way about getting through life. As Yogi Berra once said, "You can see a lot by just listening," or maybe it was "You can hear a lot just by watching." Either way, the reporter's life has allowed me to do a lot of both, and for the past few months I've been jotting down a few of the things that might be relevant advice to you all on graduation day.

Lesson #1 is very simple. As the writer Dan Pink noted in New York Times just yesterday, it is a piece of advice that graduation speakers all over the land will be giving to graduates today, and it goes like this: Do what you love. But the reason that advice is no longer, what Pink called "warm and gooey career advice’" but actually a very "hard-headed’" survival strategy, is because, as I like to put it, the world is getting flat. Yes, mom and dad, you have paid tens of thousands of dollars to have your child get a Williams education only to have their graduation speaker declare on their last day on campus that the world is flat.

What is flattening the world is our ability to automate more work with computers and software and to transmit that work anywhere in the world that it can be done more efficiently or cheaply thanks to the new global fiber optic network. The flatter the world gets, the more essential it is that you do what you love, because, as Pink notes, all the boring, repetitive jobs are going to be automated or outsourced in a flat world. The good jobs that will remain will be those that cannot be automated or outsourced; they will be the jobs that demand or encourage some uniquely human creative flair, passion and imagination. In other words, jobs that can only be done by people who love what they do.

You see, when the world gets flat everyone should want to be an untouchable. Untouchables in my lexicon are people whose jobs cannot be outsourced or automated. They cannot be shipped to India or done by a machine. So who are the untouchables? Well, first they are people who are really special -- Michael Jordan or Barbra Streisand. Their talents can never be automated or outsourced. Second are people who are really specialized -- brain surgeons, designers, consultants or artists. Third are people who are anchored and whose jobs have to be done in a specific location -- from nurses to hairdressers to chefs -- and lastly, and this is going to apply to many of us, people who are really adaptable -- people can change with changing times and changing industries.

There is a much better chance that you will make yourself special, specialized or adaptable, a much better chance that you will bring that something extra, what Dan Pink called "a sense of curiosity, aesthetics, and joyfulness’" to your work, if do you what you love and love what you do.

I learned that quite by accident by becoming a journalist. It all started when I was in 10th grade. First, I took a journalism class from a legendary teacher at my high school, named Hattie Steinberg, who had more influence on me than any adult other than my parents. Under Hattie's inspiration, journalism just grabbed my imagination. Hattie was a single woman nearing 60 years old by the time I had her as a teacher. She was the polar opposite of cool. But she sure got us all excited about writing, and we hung around her classroom like it was the malt shop and she was the disc jockey "Wolfman Jack." To this day, her 10th grade journalism class in Room 313 was the only journalism class I have ever taken. The other thing that happened to me in 10th grade, though, was that my parents took me to Israel over the Christmas break. And from that moment on I fell in love with the Middle East. One of the first articles I ever published in my Minnesota high school paper was in 10th grade, in 1969. It was an interview with an Israeli general who had been a major figure in the '67 war. He had come to give a lecture at the University of Minnesota; his name was Ariel Sharon. Little did I know how many times our paths would cross in the years to come.

Anyway, by the time 10th grade was over, I still wasn't quite sure what career I wanted, but I sure knew what I loved: I loved journalism and I loved the Middle East. Now growing up in Minnesota at that time, in a middle-class household, I never thought about going away to college. Like all my friends, I enrolled at the University of Minnesota. But unlike my friends, I decided to major in Arabic and Middle Eastern studies. There were not a lot of kids at the University of Minnesota studying Arabic back then. Norwegian, yes; Swedish, yes; Arabic, no. But I loved it; my parents didn't mind; they could see I enjoyed it. But if I had a dime for every time one of my parents' friends said to me, "Say Tom, your Dad says you're studying Arabic; what are you going to do with that?" Well, frankly, it beat the heck out of me. But this was what I loved and it just seemed that that was what college was for.

I eventually graduated from Brandeis with a degree in Mediterranean studies and went onto graduate school at Oxford. During my first year in England -- this was 1975 -- I was walking down the street with my then-girlfriend and now-wife, Ann, and I noticed a front-page headline from the Evening Standard tabloid. It said, "President Carter to Jews: If Elected I Promise to Fire Dr. K." I thought, "Isn't that interesting?" Jimmy Carter is running against Gerald Ford for president, and in order to get elected, he's trying to win Jewish votes by promising to fire the first-ever Jewish Secretary of State. I thought about how odd that was and what might be behind it. And for some reason, I went back to my dorm room in London and wrote a short essay about it. No one asked me to, I just did it. Well, my then-girlfriend, now-wife's family knew the editorial-page editor of the Des Moines Register, and my then-girlfriend, now-wife brought the article over to him when she was home for spring break. He liked it, printed it, and paid me $50 for it. And I thought that was the coolest thing in the whole world. I was walking down the street, I had an idea, I wrote it down, and someone gave me $50. I've been hooked ever since. A journalist was born and I never looked back.

So whatever you plan to do, whether you plan to travel the world next year, go to graduate school, join the workforce, or take some time off to think, don't just listen to your head. Listen to your heart. It's the best career counselor there is. Do what you really love to do and if you don't know quite what that is yet, well, keep searching, because if you find it, you'll bring that something extra to your work that will help ensure you will not be automated or outsourced. It help make you an untouchable radiologist, an untouchable engineer, or an untouchable teacher.

Indeed, let me close this point with a toned down version of a poem that was written by the slam poet Taylor Mali. A friend sent it to my wife, who's a schoolteacher. It is called: "What Teachers Make." It contains some wisdom that I think belongs in every graduation speech. It goes like this: "The dinner guests were sitting around the table discussing life. One man, a CEO, decided to explain the problem with education. He argued this way. 'What's a kid going to learn from someone who decided his best option in life was to become a teacher? You know, it's true what they say about teachers: 'Those who can do, do; those who can't do, teach.' To corroborate his statement he said to another guest, 'Hey, Susan, you're a teacher. Be honest, what do you make?'

"Susan, who had a reputation for honesty and frankness, replied, 'You want to know what I make? I make kids work harder than they ever thought they could and I can make kids sit through 40 minutes of study hall in absolute silence. I can make a C-plus feel like the Congressional Medal of Honor and an A feel like a slap in the face if the student didn't do his or her very best.' Susan continued, 'I can make parents tremble when I call home or feel almost like they won the lottery when I tell them how well their child is progressing.' Gaining speed, she went on: 'You want to know what I make? I make kids wonder, I make them question, I make them criticize, I make them apologize and mean it, I make them write and I make them read, read, read. I make them show all their work in math and hide it all on their final drafts in English.' Susan then stopped and cleared her throat. 'I make them understand that if you have the brains, then follow your heart. And if someone ever tries to judge you by what you make in money, you pay them no attention.' Susan then paused. 'You want to know what I make?' she said. 'I make a difference. What about you?'"

Lesson #2. The second lesson I learned from journalim is that being a good listener is one of the great keys to life. My friend and colleague, Bob Schieffer of CBS News used to say to me, "The biggest stories I missed as a journalist happened because I was talking when I should have been listening." The ability to be a good listener is one of the most under-appreciated talents a person or a country can have. People often ask me how I, an American Jew, have been able operate in the Arab/Muslim world for 20 years, and my answer to them is always the same. The secret is to be a good listener. It has never failed me. You can get away with really disagreeing with people as long as you show them the respect of really listening to what they have to say and taking it into account when and if it makes sense. Indeed, the most important part of listening is that it is a sign of respect. It's not just what you hear by listening that is important. It is what you say by listening that is important. It's amazing how you can diffuse a whole roomful of angry people by just starting your answer to a question with the phrase, "You're making a legitimate point" or "I hear what you say" and really meaning it. Never underestimate how much people just want to feel that they have been heard, and once you have given them that chance they will hear you.

I went to Saudi Arabia after 9/11 after having written a series of extremely critical columns about the Saudi regime. And I was always struck by how Saudis received me, Saudis who weren't prepped to receive me. The encounter would often go something like this:
"Hi, I'm Tom Friedman."
"The Tom Friedman who writes for The New York Times?"
"Yes, that Tom Friedman."
"You're here?"
"Yes, I'm here."
"They gave you a visa?"
"Yes, I didn't come illegally."
"You know, I hate everything you write. Would you come to my house for dinner so I could get some friends together to talk to you?"

If you really want to get through to people as a journalist, you first have to open their ears, and the best way to open their ears is to first open your own -- show them the respect of listening, it's amazing what they will let you say after that, and it is amazing what you might learn.

Lesson #3 is that the most enduring skill you can bring to the workplace is also one of the most important skills you always had to bring to reporting -- and that is the ability to learn how to learn. I have always thought that the greatest thing about being a reporter was that you just get to keep getting Master's degrees. Each time I took a new beat, from Beirut to Jerusalem to Diplomacy to the White House to the Treasury I got to get the equivalent of a Master's degree in each of those subjects -- just by reporting on them for an extended period.

So while I hope that you all came out of here with some specialty, I hope even more that you came out of here having learned how to learn. That too is going to be really important if you want to be an untouchable, because jobs are going to change faster and faster in a flat world. Believe me, I know. You see, about 18 months ago I went to Bangalore, India to do a documentary about outsourcing. We shot about 60 hours of film in ten days, and across those ten days I got progressively sicker and sicker. Because somewhere between the Indian entrepreneur who wanted to do my taxes from Bangalore, and the one who wanted to write my new software from Bangalore and one who wanted to read my X-rays from Bangalore, and the one who wanted to trace my lost luggage on Delta airlines from Bangalore, I realized that people were doing things I could not explain or understand. I realized that my own intellectual software needed updating. I came home and told my editors I need to go on leave immediately. That is why I wrote "The World is Flat." I was retooling myself. None of us is immune from that.

Now, while I have been on book tour these few months talking about the flat world, several parents have come up to me and said, "Mr. Friedman, my daughter is studying Chinese, she's going to be OK, right?" As if this was going to be the new key to lifetime employment.

Well, not exactly. I think it is great to study Chinese, I told them, but the enduring skill you really need in a flat world is an ability to learn how to learn. The ability to learn how to learn is what enables you to adapt and stay special or specialized. Well then, a ninth grader in St. Paul asked me, how do you learn how to learn?

"Wow," I said to him, "that's a really good question." I told him that I think the best way to learn how to learn is to go around and ask all your friends who are the best teachers in your school and then just take their classes, whether it is Greek Mythology or physics. Because I think probably the best way to learn how to learn is to love learning. When I think back on my favorite teachers, I am not sure I remember much anymore of what they taught me, but I sure remember enjoying learning it.

Lesson #4 is: Don't get carried away with the gadgets. I started as a reporter in Beirut working on an Adler manual typewriter. I can tell you that the stories I wrote for the New York Times on that manual typewriter are still some of my favorites. Ladies and gentlemen, it is not about the skis. In this age of laptops and PDAs, the Internet and Google, mp3s and iPods, remember one thing: all these tools might make you smarter, but they sure won't make you smart, they might extend your reach, but they will never tell you what to say to your neighbor over the fence, or how to comfort a friend in need, or how to write a lead that sings or how to imagine a breakthrough in science or literature. You cannot download passion, imagination, zest and creativity -- all that stuff that will make you untouchable. You have to upload it, the old fashioned way, under the olive tree, with reading, writing and arithmetic, travel, study, reflection, museum visits and human interaction.

Look, no one is more interested in technology than I am, but the rumor is true: I was the last person in my family and on my block to get a mobile phone, and I still only use it for outgoing calls. Otherwise, as my daughters will tell you, I never keep it on. And don't leave me a message, because I still don't know how to retrieve them and I have no intention of learning. Because I can't concentrate if people are constantly pinging me. You may also have noticed, I do not put my email address on my column. Unless readers go through all the trouble to call the paper to get my web address, if they want to communicate with me, they have to sit down and write me a letter. That is mail without an "e." And yes, I only converted to Microsoft Word when I started my latest book a year ago and that is because Xywrite, the stone-age writing program I have been using since the 1980s, just couldn't interface anymore with my new laptop. I am not a Luddite, per se, but I am a deliberately late adopter. I prefer to keep my tools simple, so I focus as much of my energy on the listening, writing and problem solving -- not on the gadgets. That is also why if I had one fervent wish it would be that every modem sold in America would come with a warning label from the surgeon general, and that warning would simply say: "Judgment Not Included."

Lesson #5 is this: Always remember, there is a difference between skepticism and cynicism. Too many journalists, and too many of our politicians, have lost sight of that boundary line. I learned that lesson very early in my career. In 1982, I was working in the Business section of The Times and was befriended by a young editor there named Nathaniel Nash. Nathaniel was a gentle soul and a born again Christian. He liked to come by and talk to me about Israel and the Holyland. In April 1982, The Times assigned me to cover the Lebanese civil war, and at my office goodbye party Nathaniel whispered to me: "I'm going to pray for your safety." I never forgot that. I always considered his prayers my good luck charm, and when I walked out of Beirut in one piece three years later, one of the first things I did was thank Nathaniel for keeping watch over me. He liked that a lot.

I only wish I could have returned the favor. You see a few years later Nathaniel gave up editing and became a reporter himself, first in Argentina and then later as the Times business reporter in Europe, based in Germany. Nathaniel was a wonderful reporter, who was one of the most un-cynical people I ever knew. Indeed, the book on Nathaniel as a reporter was that he was too nice. His colleagues always doubted that anyone that nice could ever succeed in journalism, but somehow he triumphed over this handicap and went from one successful assignment to another. It was because Nathaniel intuitively understood that there was a big difference between skepticism and cynicism. Skepticism is about asking questions, being dubious, being wary, not being gullible, but always being open to being persuaded of a new fact or angle. Cynicism is about already having the answers -- or thinking you do -- answers about a person or an event. The skeptic says, "I don't think that's true; I'm going to check it out." The cynic says: "I know that's not true. It couldn't be. I'm going to slam him." Nathaniel always honored that line.

Unfortunately, Nathaniel Nash, at age 44, was the sole American reporter traveling on U.S. Commerce Secretary Ron Brown's airplane when it crashed into a Croatian hillside in 1996. Always remember, real journalists are not those loud mouth talking heads you see on cable television. Real journalists are reporters, like Nathaniel Nash, who go off to uncomfortable and often dangerous places like Croatia and get on a military plane to chase after a visiting dignitary, without giving it a second thought -- all to get a few fresh quotes, maybe a scoop, or even just a paragraph of color that no one else had. My prayers were too late for Nathaniel, but he was such a good soul, I am certain that right now he is sitting at God's elbow -- taking notes, with skepticism not cynicism. So be a skeptic, not a cynic. We have more than enough of those in our country already, and so much more creative juice comes from skepticism, not cynicism.

Lesson #6. Nathaniel's untimely death only reinforced for me the final lesson I am going to impart to you this afternoon. It's very brief. It's "Call Your Mama." For me, the most searing images and stories of 9/11 were the tales of all those people who managed to use a cell phone to call their loved ones to say a last goodbye from a hijacked airplane or a burning tower. But think of the hundreds of others who never got a chance to say goodbye or a final "I love you."

When you were just in elementary school there was a legendary football coach at the University of Alabama named Bear Bryant. And late in his career, after his mother had died, Bell South Telephone Company asked Bear Bryant to do a TV commercial. As best I can piece together from the news reports, the commercial was supposed to be very simple -- just a little music and Coach Bryant saying in his tough coach's voice, "Have you called your Mama today?" On the day of the filming, though, when it came time for Coach Bryant to recite his simple line, he decided to ad lib something. He looked into the camera and said, "Have you called your Mama today? I sure wish I could call mine." That was how the commercial ran, and it got a huge response from audiences. My father died when I was 19. He never got to see me do what I love. I sure wish I could call him. My mom is 86 years old and lives in a home for people with dementia. She doesn't remember so well anymore, but she still remembers that my column runs twice a week. She doesn't quite remember the days, so every day she goes through The New York Times, and if she finds my column, she often photocopies it and passes it out to the other dementia patients in her nursery home. If you think that isn’t important to me than you don’t know what is important.

Your parents love you more than you will ever know. So if you take one lesson away from this talk, take this one: Call your Mama, regularly. And your Papa. You will always be glad you did.

Well, class of 2005, that about does it for me. I'm fresh out of material. I guess what I have been trying to say here this afternoon can be summed up by the old adage that "happiness is a journey, not a destination." Bringing joy and passion and optimism to your work is not what you get to do when you get to the top. It is HOW you get to the top. If I have had any success as a journalist since I was sitting down there where you are 30 years ago, it's because I found a way to enjoy the journey as much as the destination. I had almost as much fun as a cub reporter doing the overnight shift at UPI, as I did traveling with Secretary of State Baker, as I do now as a columnist. Oh yes, I have had my dull moments and bad seasons -- believe me, I have. But more often than not I found ways to learn from, and enjoy, some part of each job. You can't bet your whole life on some destination. You've got to make the journey work too. And that is why I leave you with some wit and wisdom attributed to Mark Twain: 

Always work like you don't need the money. Always fall in love like you've never been hurt. Always dance like nobody is watching. And always -- always -- live like it's heaven on earth.

Thank you.
Thomas L. Friedman won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for commentary, his third Pulitzer for The New York Times. He became the paper's foreign-affairs columnist in 1995. Previously, he served as chief economic correspondent in the Washington bureau and before that he was the chief White House correspondent. In 2005, Mr. Friedman was elected as a member of the Pulitzer Prize Board.
Mr. Friedman joined The Times in 1981 and was appointed Beirut bureau chief in 1982. In 1984 Mr. Friedman was transferred from Beirut to Jerusalem, where he served as Israel bureau chief until 1988. Mr. Friedman was awarded the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for international reporting (from Lebanon) and the 1988 Pulitzer Prize for international reporting (from Israel).
Mr. Friedman's latest book, "The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century," was released in April 2005. His book, "From Beirut to Jerusalem" (1989), won the National Book Award for non-fiction in 1989 and "The Lexus and the Olive Tree" (2000) won the 2000 Overseas Press Club award for best nonfiction book on foreign policy and has been published in 27 languages. Mr. Friedman also wrote "Longitudes and Attitudes: The World in the Age of Terrorism" (2002) and the text accompanying Micha Bar-Am's book, "Israel: A Photobiography."
Born in Minneapolis on July 20, 1953, Mr. Friedman received a B.A. degree in Mediterranean studies from Brandeis University in 1975. In 1978 he received a Master of Philosophy degree in Modern Middle East studies from Oxford. Mr. Friedman is married and has two daughters.


While catching up over dinner yesterday, good friend asked me why i won't add him in my facebook. I told him i don't know why. It was not necessary at first and it doesn't seem necessary now either. If we are meant to be friends, facebook or not, we will remain as friends.


Some colors of blue i brought back from the island of Manukan in Sabah. For me, blue is the color of bliss, joy, peace and contentment. Hope the pictures warm everyone's hearts like they had warmed mine. :)

Friday, May 20, 2011

Blue Sky, blue sea..

Woke up this morning with a vivid image of the blue sky and blue sea in my dream last night. I can't remember the details of the dream..except for the the beautiful sea and sky...and i was feeling blissful. The sky was in a brilliant blue, in difference hues and shades of blue, with the soft white cloud gently floating by. The sea was a magnificent expanse that stretches to the horizon..there were graduations of turquoise blue and dark navy blue and stretches of streaks of light blue. Such interesting characters of blue...such beautiful sea...i could have just do nothing in the dream but admire the scene. haha! Perhaps i'm still having the after effect of my vacation from last week, the mt kk trip that ends with a day stay at the beautiful Manukan island...


Just realized that i had a pile of bills and administrative letters which i did not managed to clear before i went for my mount kk trip. Was reading the disclaimer fine print on my insurance renewal document when it crossed my mind about a disclaimer of another non-business/legal sort that i came across some time back.

Why do people issue disclaimer on things they do?
What if you are the receiving end of a disclaimer made?
What if a disclaimer was told to you only after an event/agreement/contract/ partnership had taken place?
What if the disclaimer was disclosed in third person to you only after an event had taken place?

I think there is nothing wrong with making disclaimer and most people who make disclaimers have no intention to harm, attack or take advantage of the other receiving end. Rather, i think it's more an act to protect oneself, to limit liability and obligation than any ill intention. Yet, it really doesn't feel good at all at the receiving end...especially for a disclaimer that is told in the aftermath of an agreement..and worst, in third person...But i have learned to brush it off... nobody can make you feel bad or small unless you allow them to. :)

Sigh.. I like to think that i've grown wiser over these few years but the truth perhaps, is that i have really grown older but still non the wiser. For deep down, i guess i'm still the the idealistic sort, even though there had been times i had fallen down due to my foolish beliefs. I still believe in things like integrity, honesty, true love, true friendship,  kindness, good intentions, compassion and sincerity...

Beautiful Moonlight Tonight

There's a beautiful full moon tonight. Couldn't help but to take a snapshot of the lovely moon on three occasions tonight. :)

The brightly lit moon overhanging the beautiful skyline at the esplanade.

While waiting for the traffic light to go green, i noticed it shinning brightly above. Ah.. it has been following me. :)

I saw it again when i reached home...just right above where a teenage couple was sitting at the bus stop.

孫燕姿 《當冬夜漸暖》

The radio was playing this song while driving to work this morning and it just touches me. It's like the singer was singing to me, it's like the singer was singing my song.


詞: 藤井樹,曲:饒善強

很多事情 不是誰說了就算
即使傷心 結果還是自己擔
事實證明 幸福很難

我們之間 不是誰說了就算
拉扯的愛 徒增結局的難堪
下一次 會更勇敢

當冬夜漸暖 當大海也不再那麼藍

當冬夜漸暖 當夏夜的樹上不再有蟬
那只是因為悲傷從來 都不會有答案

當冬夜漸暖 當青春也都煙消雲散
重要的是 我們如何愛過那一段

Friday, April 1, 2011


Happy is when your ex teammates ask you to come back to lead the team and they will fully support you in the role. :)

It feels good even when you are not at all keen. :)


My colleague announced to everyone during his hole-in-one dinner treat this evening of the amount i have donated to our company employee Japan Tsunami Relief fund (the company had donated an amount separately) which just started yesterday. It was the highest among the collection so far. I was a little paiseh when asked to say something. I had actually prepared the cheques (my mother and mine )since 2 weeks ago for Singapore Red Cross but had been kept busy i always ended up postponing to the next day. So when the initiative and request came, i conveniently passed my cheques which had been sitting in my handbag to our department secretary. 

So i was asked if i have a boyfriend or relative in Japan or if i had any reason for the donation amount. I said cos i don't have a million dollar (like the rich girl in the newspaper headline) so i donated this amt which i am comfortable with. Actually, I just feel very sorry for the people of Japan and the state of destruction they have to witness and go through and live with. We are truly very fortunate not having to go through such disasters.. Really, 就是幸福..

And when you think about all the problems we face in our daily life, work stress, relationship problems, money problems etc, they all pale and seem so minute against the life and death disasters this nation has to go through.

I hope everyone can live in a peaceful world.

My 小红

A colleague commented recently that it's time i switch to a new car. " Buy a bigger nicer car.. and no red color..." he offered his well intended advice. "Thanks for the advice, but no thanks..", i countered.

I think my little red car has served me well for the past 5-6 years. It's really 麻雀虽小, 五脏俱全. For me, the purpose of a car is to transport me from point A to point B. I don't need help from the size and make of a car to tell the world how successful i am (not to mean that i am so successful though) or feed my ego further. Nor am i someone who is passionate about cars and will appreciate all the outstanding performance etc of a good car. My colleagues occasional lunch-time conversations on cars does still confuses me! haha!

But i love my 小红. It went through many ups and downs with me. It was an impromptu purchase..but nevertheless a purchase i have never regretted. It accompanied me through the period when i just returned Singapore from Europe, trying to start my life afresh, trying to move on with my life, healing a broken heart while having to smile hard at the world and pretended that i was happy.

It was a transition from times in the past when i was without car and enjoyed privileges of  ex or friends with cars coming to fetch me to a time of empowerment. Of being independent, and free and alone..

It was with me during the few occasions when despite myself, the tears would drop as i drove myself home and i  was grateful that no one was around...just me in my little red car. Times when i just sat with myself inside the car, not knowing where to go. It was there during times when i was dating hard (or trying to date hard), thinking that that was the best way to stop loving someone...

It was there too during the numerous happy times when i engaged in happy activities with my friends. Happy drives chatting with friends and driving towards activities i enjoyed that keep my life active and fulfilled. Funny adventures and mishaps i encountered, and the many traffic offences and stories i made along the way too. It was there too, at times when i suddenly have some bright enlightened thoughts while i was on the wheels. :)

These past few years had been a healing, growing and transformative period for me. I feel wiser, more contented and generally happier... and my 小红 had been there through it all, like a loyal steadfast friend..

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Quote to Remind Myself

Came across this quote from Marilyn Monroe while searching for something else. I think this is a good reminder to me so i shall give it the honor of appearance here. :)

"I believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they're right, you believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together."
— Marilyn Monroe

Monday, March 28, 2011

Some Recent Photos from iphone

Mike's daughter. Mike asked her if "jiejies" are pretty. She nodded when he pointed at me and shaked her head when he pointed to Angeline. Pissed Angel off i think.. even though i think Angeline's prettier and some more my face's so chubby..hehe..

A juicy orange i had 

Took a snapshot of this building while waiting for the traffic lights to turn green this afternoon.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

On the way to office

Rainy day
Long empty road
The mind's a blank
The heart's an unexplained ache..

Monday, January 31, 2011

Kranji Countryside outing with the Kids

Went to the Kranji Countryside with the children from Kidsread program on sat. It was quite an interesting visit and reminds me of my kampong days when we used to live so close to nature. Anyway, the Kranji countryside was supposed to have been named the world's first and best LOHAS (Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability)  region. Do check it out for something different to do in Singapore. :)


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Feed A Child

Why not start the new year doing something good? 

For every person who takes this short hunger quiz (it's like only 6 questions testing your general knowledge on world hunger), a child will receive a warm meal thanks to an anonymous donor to World Food Program. 


 Here's the links: 


Or if you are feeling generous and grateful with life and in the mood like i was a few months ago, you may like to make a difference with a donation to fight hunger. It takes just one US dollar to fill 4 cups of nutritious meals for four little children. I think simply for the fact that we are living in countries that allows us access to clean food and water, which i often take for granted, we should already be feeling grateful with life.

And below are some hunger stats you may be surprised to learn.

  • 925 million people do not have enough to eat - more than the populations of USA, Canada and the European Union;
    (Source: FAO news release, 14 September 2010)
  • 98 percent of the world's hungry live in developing countries;
    (Source: FAO news release, 2010)
  • Asia and the Pacific region is home to over half the world’s population and nearly two thirds of the world’s hungry people;
  • Women make up a little over half of the world's population, but they account for over 60 percent of the world’s hungry.
    (Source:  Strengthening efforts to eradicate hunger..., ECOSOC, 2007)
  • 65 percent  of the world's hungry live in only seven countries: India, China, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Pakistan and Ethiopia.
    (Source: FAO news release, 2010)
  • More than 70 percent of the world's 146 million underweight children under age five years live in just 10 countries, with more than 50 per cent located in South Asia alone;
    (Source: Progress for Children: A Report Card on Nutrition, UNICEF, 2006)
  • 10.9 million children under five die in developing countries each year. Malnutrition and hunger-related diseases cause 60 percent of the deaths;
    (Source: The State of the World's Children, UNICEF, 2007)
  • The cost of undernutrition to national economic development is estimated at US$20-30 billion per annum;
    (Source: Progress for Children: A Report Card on Nutrition, UNICEF, 2006)
  • One out of four children - roughly 146 million - in developing countries are underweight;
    (Source: The State of the World's Children, UNICEF, 2007)
  • Every year WFP feeds more than 20 million children in school feeding programmes in some 70 countries. In 2008, WFP fed a record 23 million children.
    (Source: WFP School Feeding Unit)
  • It is estimated that 684,000 child deaths worldwide could be prevented by increasing access to vitamin A and zinc
    (Source: WFP Annual Report 2007)
  • Undernutrition contributes to 53 percent of the 9.7 million deaths of children under five each year in developing countries.
    (Source: Under five deaths by cause, UNICEF, 2006)
  • Lack of Vitamin A kills a million infants a year
    (Source: Vitamin and Mineral Deficiency, A Global Progress Report, UNICEF)
  • Iron deficiency is the most prevalent form of malnutrition worldwide, affecting an estimated 2 billion people.6 Eradicating iron deficiency can improve national productivity levels by as much as 20 percent.
    (Source:  World Health Organization, WHO Global Database on Anaemia)
  • Iron deficiency is impairing the mental development of 40-60 percent children in developing countries
    (Source: Vitamin and Mineral Deficiency, A Global Progress Report, p2, UNICEF)
  • Iodine deficiency is the greatest single cause of mental retardation and brain damage. Worldwide, 1.9 billion people are at risk of iodine deficiency, which can easily be prevented by adding iodine to salt
    (Source:  UN Standing Committee on Nutrition. World Nutrition Situation 5th report. 2005)