Monday, May 31, 2004

Hello all

What a fortnight it has been! So much has happened that I hardly know where to start. I guess the best place to start is a snapshot of the most memorable moments (like the alliteration?). Then a drill down into a reflection of the vicissitudes of life ... without being too philosophical because I probably don't have the insight to be and wouldn't wanna come off as a try hard ;p So now that we have a structure, let's begin:

  • 2 weeks of conditions simulated to resemble hell. Okay, perhaps a bit too harsh of an evaluation of College but all I know is that I am now sick (and without a voice), mentally and physically drained, emotionally scarred and dreading going back in August.
    On the plus side, I think I passed (fingers crossed anyway), and have a better appreciation of the legal profession. Actually that statement should be qualified because some people there were absolute pr*cks! Example, on my last day of College, I had 2 hearings. My practice one earlier in the week was hunki dori so I wasn't expecting the horror that was awaiting me. Admittedly I was slightly apprehensive considering a few people had burst into tears after some friendly grilling from the pretend magistrate. Little was I to know that my problem would be my arrogant pr*ck opponent. He spent HALF AN HOUR objecting to my affidavit - bearing in mind that most people FINISHED their entire case in 20 minutes (we were there for 40 minutes). He objected to nearly every single paragraph in my affidavit. This behaviour would have been quasi-acceptable if his objections were valid, but here I was standing up, sitting down, standing up again, sitting down etc, trying to answer the impossible. What do you say to questions such as "Why are bananas yellow?". Okay, an analogy but you catch the drift. I was getting so pissed off! So afterwards I approached the pretend-magistrate and asked him whether I was the incompetent one, and thank gosh he told me that he too was getting pissed off at his "tenuous" objections.
    Moral of the story is that some people just become completely evil when put in an adversarial situation. We weren't marked on our objections, but noooooooo, he still chose to be an arrogant pr*ck. He didn't win the case anyway so suck crap ... justice was on my side - muahahahhahahaa

  • Watch out for yours truly in the 2005 College pamphlet. Too bad I looked like crap. I hope that do some airbrushing on me.

  • Realisation 1: I am terrible in stressful/pressure situations. Realisation 2: I must work on public speaking. Realisation 3: I have a speech impediment when I get nervous, "may it prease the clort" (i.e. may it please the court). Realisation 4: Classical music saved me during the fortnight ... thank you ABC FM. Realisation 5: Computers ALWAYS break down at the MOST inopportune times (thanks heaps Gregan ... again).

  • Spent Saturday revisiting childhood games. A few of us were at Hyde Park and it was exactly what I needed after a tough fortnight. So there we were, a bunch of 20ish year olds playing brandings and all sorts of games involving tennis balls. We must have looked like idiots! Especially when we were playing that 'spin 10 times around on 1 spot and 1st person to grab the tennis can wins' game. Oh my gawd ... I was in TEARS watching Sharlene do it. I'm talking about tears streaming down my fat cheeks laughter. Haven't laughed that long in ages!
    Anyway, went for a run around Hyde Park and stopped off @ St Marys because I had never been in there before. It's an absolutely amazing place. Very majestic! Then it was on to CRAB for Bec's bday. Hope you had enough claw to last you the rest of the year Bex :)

  • Today I heard some bad news from a friend. Okay let's cut to the chase, Duane will be leaving our fair shores in a matter of weeks. Not such great news to woken up to. Funny how things can happen so suddenly but I guess this is where my reflection of vicissitudes bit comes in. The word 'vicissitudes' always reminds me of the 'business cycle' in macroeconomics (ooo Keynesian Theory), but I digress.

    I guess it sucks seeing a door shut in front of your face, but as that lovely bell hop says to Julia Roberts in "My Best Friend's Wedding" (excellent movie that) - "When one door shuts, another door always opens". So I guess that's the angle that you have to approach the business cycle. When you are in the lower region of the business cycle, you should take comfort in the fact that the upper region is around the corner. Or even better, let's look at the Butterfly Theory: "The Flap of a Butterfly’s Wings in Brazil set off a Tornado in Texas". Drawing from that, I guess that means for you Duane that you will be creating chaos in Singapore! :) So don't be too dejected, you still own the best interpretation of a pink diamond ring ;p

    So it's back to work for me and since the most of the group in my next rotation have been retrenched, it should be interesting times ahead. Plus the fact that Samantha Jones has shingles does not help, considering I haven't had the pox yet.

    PS: Easy kill, Cannon Fodder ;p
  • Friday, May 21, 2004

    Stupidity just doesn't cut it, at the best of times. And at the worse of times, it is just unequivocally (har reminds me of Dawson's Creek) abominable.

    Failing to look at the prescribed timetable, I naturally assumed that my 100% trust and accounting exam begins at 9am. This meant that I got up at 6:30am and rocked in St Leonards by 8:30am. This is until I realised that nobody bothered to turn up for the exam (bargain). But really, the reality is that it actually starts at 10am. So my caffeine adrenaline has now gone to waste, and I have had the past hour to stress about how little I know. At least I got to do my morning dump (ok too much information). Very very angry and annoyed at the moment.

    Anyway, should go prep myself for the impending doom.

    PS: Happy bday Bex for yesterday *hugs* - hope you enjoyed the non x-rated version of de la guarde.

    Wednesday, May 19, 2004

    Day 3 of College On Site coincides with Day 3 of Insomnia and general mental instability.

    Sleeping has been a mental battle since Sunday night - a contradiction really - expending effort to get some winks.
    College has been a bastard, I so wish with all my might that I don't have to be here. Just went through a mock trust and office accounting exam and I lost it after page 3. Another contradiction as I have a major in accounting. I have always maintained that accounting is the crappiest subject in the whole wide world. I don't get this man-made crap and 3 years of studying it has not provided any sort of enlightenment or appreciation of it.

    Am suffering from extreme levels of stress and hoping that I will be able to get a good night of rest sometime in the near future. The coughing fits at night are not helping with my cause. 20 minutes of spewing my guts out and what does my mother do? Come in my room with ONE fisherman's friend! Before I leave you with this sad account of my life, can I just share with everybody what I found extremely funny on Saturday night. I was watching "Indecent Proposal" (no that's not the funny bit) and there was a scene in the movie that went like this:

    *Demi Moore is teaching a citizenship class*
    Demi Moore: Where do you come from?
    Foreigner: Kuba
    Demi Moore: OK, now say that in American like this ... cuba.

    CAN YOU BELIEVE IT? The audacity! The movie really is an indecent proposal if they think they can get away with that.

    On other news, welcome to the 9-5 world Mindy, and congratulations to all those buff paddlers who will escape potential terrorist threats in Athens but nevertheless still get the glory and privilege of representing their country in China.

    Monday, May 17, 2004

    Quick update:

    Day 1 of College On Site and it didn't get off to a very good start. Was on the train (stupid City Rail) for 1hr 10mins (standing for 1 hour), and staggered late into the room with messy hair, bags/folders everywhere, coffee in one hand threatening to spill, escargot in another threatening to soak through the paper bag, and mega ching-chong eyes. And if that didn't win me any friends, I'm sure splurting phlegm in everybody's direction will do the trick.

    Anyway, it's been pretty intense. I can't wait til 4:30pm rolls around so I can go into work and print out more stuff for tomorrow's edition of College On Site.

    Friday, May 14, 2004

    Qantas Lounge is Cool! and I am sick!

    Here is my week in review - pictorially

    Picture 1 - (Last Friday)
    A try hard black & white shot of Hyde Park en route to Sydney Uni law library. Although the usyd library has the priviledge of being located in close proximity to the judicial end of town, I must say that I found it a bit disappointing. Oh yeah, someone was getting married in a blue wedding dress that day - what was she thinking?!? I think they were Canterbury supporters in light of the blue and white theme, and the ethnic background (I know ... generalisation).

    Picture 2 - (Last Sunday)
    Mother's Day dinner. Spent a considerable amount of time learning how to hold my chopsticks properly. How can I label myself an Asian if I insist on 'crossing' my chopsticks. It's so shameful! But the stomach vetoed the shame when the food was disappearing and I was still trying to hold those sticks in a parallel fashion. It's painful to watch people dig at the fish whilst you are paralysed in the non-parallel chopstick mode! I look like a sped in that photo, either that or I look like I have braces.

    Picture 3 - (Wednesday)
    Mindy's graduation. Nice affair with an impassioned speech by the lady who is representing Australia @ the Robo-Dog Soccer World Cup. Funny how all the Asians line up at the food table, just like it was a buffet. At least you didn't have to use chopsticks in the correct parallel manner, or else I would have missed out.

    Picture 4 - (Wednesday to Thursday)
    Picture of the Novotel @ St Kilda.
    I had a very fulfilling coupla days in Melbourne - bar for the fact that I am now stricken with the flu. This is disastrous in light of the fact that I have a fortnight's worth of exams coming up. Who am I kiddin' ... it would be disastrous regardless. Ack! Feeling all delirious and non-mentally stable.

    So yeah, I had lots of fun this trip, largely due to the following:

  • Samantha Jones
    Even though I'm pretty damn sure she was the disease carrier, she is one of the most left-field characters I have ever encountered in my life. She doesn't conform to any notions of normal or professional, and neither does she give a damn about that. She talks about sex incessantly, draws pictures of 'mushroom patches' (think phallic because she does), makes passes at any eligible guy between 17-60 (she was ACTUALLY flirting with one of our N.Z colleagues who was no doubt married), asks my manager whether he got some on his wife's birthday, flashes her belly button to get an upgrade to business class, claims Morticia Adams as her role model (because she is the perfect 'corporate' wife and has her every whim attended to by Gomez), makes bras out of tissue/napkins, misses out on work christmas dinner because she has to get some ... oh the list goes on and on. I really think that a lot of the men in this office are completely flummoxed by her and just don't know how to handle her. All I can say is that I am never sitting next to her for an extended period of time because she is TOO distracting. I should mention that she is equally as intelligent and capable as well as crass and shocking.

  • My Restaurant Rules
    As mentioned in the comments, I was actually in the same lift as Simon (the Brisbane guy from My Restaurant Rules). And to answer your hard hitting questions Rebecca:
    * He looks far better in real life - he is SOOOOO blonde!
    * Yes I think he was visiting the Melb restaurant - we were at a pub literally 10m away.
    * Gobsmacked because I am a sucker for any celeb ranging from A to Z class.
    * I was paralysed in the lift for at least 3 seconds too long - my work colleague was motioning me to get out but I was too awestruck to move. I must have looked like such an idiot. Reminds me of the time I met Penny Taylor - so exciting!
    And Chad - we were across the road from Toppolina's but didn't get a chance to go in for a bite ... maybe next time.

  • Qantas Lounge
    How cool is the Qantas Lounge? Answer: very cool! Albeit there seems to be more people in the lounge compared to the departure Lobby (phenomena reminiscent of the MBA conundrum - i.e. the more ppl the less prestigious it seems). Nevertheless, you still get FREEEEEEEE wine, beer, soft drinks, coffee/tea, food (buffet style), massages, showers, wireless, magazines, TV. Although I was too scared to scam a free massage because they may have figured out that I'm a phoney!

  • Small fish in Big Pond (no intended reference to Telstra)
    Sometimes it's good to be out of your element, other times it's just completely overwhelming. I realised the following over the past 2 days: I am hopelessly knowledge/skills deficient; no matter how hard you try and be mature, people just don't respect you when you are the youngest in the mob; big boys club is alive and kicking in corporations; presentation/public speaking skills is the key to providing that extra edge. So what do you do when faced with all that AND having to introduce yourself to the room - rely on self deprecating comments of course, specifically: "My name is blah blah and I started last October. I guess you could call me the pleb of the group". At least I got a chuckle.

    PS: New photos added - more to come due to FTP suckage on the part of fotopic.
    PPS: Anyone think of a nice getup to hold a 21st - please leave suggestions in comments. You may even get an invite ... though there is probably a disclaimer to that offer.

  • Tuesday, May 11, 2004

    News Flash: Short break extending to a possible lengthy time-out from blogging ...

    Heading down to Melbourne tomorrow for a "planning conference" after Mindy's graduation (congrats Mindy) @ UTS. Shall be back on Thursday but cannot promise updates due to College exams/assessments for the next fortnight.

    Well the realities of working in the corporate world finally hit home today after 1/8 of our department was made redundant. I guess you have to go through atrocities like this once in your career. It has made uncertain times even more uncertain, and really hammers home the fickleness of the business world. Something else it really highlights is the value of education and a wide ranging experience, because it seems that only those with limited expertise were made redundant. I should thank my parents for making me endure secondary/tertiary education. Anyway, it's all been too daunting and I am feeling sufficiently lifeless. I am lucky I have an awesome manager that is looking out for me, but it goes to show that nothing is ever engraved in stone.

    Ack my brain is all mushy and confused. I shall leave you with the wise words of Steve Martin in "The Man with Two Brains" (excellent movie):

    "Point Birds"
    O pointy birds, o pointy pointy,
    Anoint my head, anointy-nointy.

    Wish me luck ...

    Monday, May 10, 2004

    News Flash: New Photos Posted - Click on "My Photos" in Side Nav Bar

    Just another Manic Monday - right on Bangles!
    To celebrate the start of another working week, here is a picture of my office. See the artwork on the walls - NOT MY CHOICE! Perhaps I will bring in my 2 Grant Hill posters and blue-tack them up. I'm sure that will go down well. It will match nicely with the incoming tackarama bball ring and my Golden State Warriors mini basketball (thanks Michelle).

    Hmmm, not particularly in the mood to divulge about my weekend today - purely because it was a crappy shit weekend. Intentions to study for exams (which are looming ominously) were thwarted, but only by assignment deadlines. What kind of existence is this? Makes you want to pull your hair out really - but maybe only the grey ones.

    I have an insight as to WHY I have recurring 'teeth falling out and choking on them' dreams. One interpretation is that teeth decaying/falling out symbolises the death of childhood/innocence (cf. milk teeth) and the onset of responsibility/accountability/quarter-life century crisis. Though I am not too sure what the 'choking' bit is an allegory for - perhaps that I don't chew my food properly, which is entirely true. Ahhh ... the vicissitudes of life, it's bumming me out at the moment.

    Anyway, watched a few movies on the weekend starting with:

  • Harvey Crumpet (on recommendation by Dr Yan Dan Goh)
    I found it thoroughly entertaining and extremely humorous. 40 minutes worth of dry humour involving subject matters that are not entirely savoury but still manages to end on a positive note.

  • Love Actually
    I have a violent objection to this movie. In fact, it borders on being an insult to my intelligence. For a movie purportedly about "love", it failed miserably to deal with the subject matter. They kinda just figured they could chuck a whole bunch of storylines together, not bothering to develop ANY of it and just brand it as a generic LOVE story to lure the masses in. Pssshhhhh. What's even worse is that they failed to even take care of the simple things like when that guy visits Keira Knightley's character with the cardboard messages, what if Keira's husband had answered the doorbell?? What would happen then?? Only saving grace was DARCY!

  • Intolerable Cruelty
    I loved the witty banter between George Clooney (he's handsome!) and Catherine Zeta Jones (she's beautiful!) - it was refreshing. And with character names like Rex Rexroth and Heinz the Baron Krauss von Espy - you really can't go wrong.

  • Honey
    Oh the dodgy homey talk was sooooo lame: "Your flava is HOT" *spew spew* Only saving grace were the bball references namely: inclusion of a cross-over dance move; Jessica Alba dating a baller; getting inspiration from basketball. Even all that was slightly lame too. At least she looked hot in it.

    Anyway, shall end here but before I go, I was told by our office version of Samantha Jones to "be a brazen hussy". Anything for professional advancement I say!
  • Friday, May 07, 2004

    Alright let's get the blogging out of the system so I can get down to business.

    Well it's been a cleansing week. Managed to clear everything out of my in-tray and finally rotate to my next group with no loose ends (and those loose ends were really starting to fray). For those that are innately cat-like, I will spare you the impending curiosity-induced death by noting that my next rotation will be with the 'technical regulation' group (and yes I will be the main source of estrogen).

    It's been a fiery morning, as reflected in the comments left on my previous blog. Notwithstanding the fact that Terence Koo BARRED me this morning (someone get me Dr Phil), today has gotten off to a decent start.

    Updates since Wednesday:
    Tried studying last night as I realised that exams are coming up in 2 weeks! (eeeeek!). But as luck may have it, the College site was down - damn I so wanted to study. The only time I have sat down to study, and the forces of nature conspired to work against me. Oh well, I will have to use the 'act of God' excuse on my 'special consideration' application.
    So instead of studying, I ended up watching on my compy episode 7, 8 and 9 of the current season of Alias (while trying to look up on the Internet whether Jennifer Garner and Michael Vartan are still going out ... jury is still out on that one). Climbed into bed at 1am after promising myself I would sleep early - that's just sad when you lie to yourself.

    We won basketball on Wednesday, albeit it was against a team called "The Fourty-Somethings". You almost feel like you shouldn't be playing hard since it could be your mother that you are elbowing/kneeing. Apparently one of them was breast-feeding on the sidelines, then promptly sub'd herself back on after tucking her boobies back into her sports bra. What is this? My restaurant rules?

    Went to yum cha @ Market City yesterday. Why is it that they fail to mention all the 'good stuff' like tripe and scallop dumplings when they are squawking out all the other 'common' dishes? And their demeanour is so scary that you are afraid to ask what else they have in their little trolley. Apparently yum cha trolley pushers now have to sit a pseudo-driver's test to be an eligible trolley-pusher (this is what Shar tells me). Failure rate will no doubt be very high considering all the candidates are Asian ;p (ooo I'm not being very P.C today)

    WNBA season is about to start *so excited* Penny Taylor has been drafted to Phoenix along with the first draft rookie Diana Taurasi. Looks like I will be supporting Phoenix & Seattle this year, and hoping yet again for the downfall of the 'Bulldogs' of the WNBA: LA Sparks.

    I must say that herein our office exists a real life version of Samantha Jones (Sex in the City). Oh the stories I have about her are absolutely fantastic. Shall save these for another day ...

    Wednesday, May 05, 2004

    News Flash: YAY! Back on Blogger!

    Hello Blog-ders! (as in Blog Readers)

    I realise that I failed to meet the self imposed 3rd May blog-target, but it's been a case of 'I am so busy I could be a bee' (obviously not a Queen-Bee though ... *sigh*).

    Where do I begin (from the very beginning insists Julie Andrews).
    Well I was down in Melbourne last week for 3 days, and it looks like I will be back there next week (which means I will miss out on basketball AGAIN! *sob*). Melbourne is a very classy city. Just walking through the CBD you realise a few things, namely: buildings are FAR nicer, transport system is much more efficient (but then you can't possibly imagine anything worse than City Rail ... don't get me started!), people are much better dressed, people seem to be better looking (though quite possibly an illusion effected by the better dress-sense), there are more inter-racial couples, it's a fantastic place to shop! Moreover, you realise the inherent EVILNESS of big coffee chains such as Starbucks and Gloria Jeans (sorry Joe). Melbourne is littered with wonderful cafes and bars. You can't walk 3 steps without bumping into one. Demonic things such as Starbucks really take away the personality and character that you find in these cafes/bars - and each one is so different. Plus the coffee is so much cheaper than the sub-standard crap you get @ Starbucks (except when you're the coffee-master Joe of course).

    Anyway, I was actually half-entertaining the thought of migrating to Melbourne until I realised that I enjoy the bogan-ness of Sydney too. Walking down the streets of Melbourne with a pair of tracky-dacks would probably be a violation of all sorts of standards, whereas I would be quasi-comfortable sporting my trackies down George St (maybe).
    There were a few horror stories during my stay. First I got lock INSIDE my hotel room. And what made it even more dire was that I was running late for a bus. Had to ring up concierge TWICE and once someone came to rescue me, I didn't even have time to check out whether he was cute ;p Fully bolted through the CBD - thank gosh it was cold or else I would have had sweat patches all over my clothes. Second, I went gambling alone - and yes Fiona didn't fail to remind me the sadness of that sight. Third, I was the only one that turned up in 'Sydney casual gear'. Obviously Melbournites have a different standard of 'casual', and that involve something more than jeans and an abecrombie top!

    Moving on, work has been hectic lately. Been average 3.5 hrs sleep for the past couple of days, and coupled with deadlines for College assignments ... well it's a perfect formula for nose bleeds. My nose began bleeding in bed 2 nights ago and you know, it is really the acme of laziness/tiredness when you decide that you're going to swallow your blood rather than the expend energy to grab a tissue.

    I have been working on a presentation which my manager was due to give to a bunch of masters students. It becomes a whole different ball game when your work is to be displayed and critiqued publicly on transparencies - and the worst bit is that I had to account for myself by being at this presentation last night. Anyway 52 transparencies later, and with all my reputation, dignity and self worth at stake, what should happen??! The FIRST SLIDE HAD AN ERROR! For the love of everything sacred! WHY WHY WHY! And on the FIRST SLIDE?!? Could not have been a worse start! I had repeated the word "estimated" twice - admittedly one was in parenthesis, and the other wasn't. But when it's magnified times 1000 on a transparency, there was no saving to be done. Oh the shame and horror! So BAD!!!!! This is something you only read about! Gradually I began to sink lower into my chair until the next whammy - someone decided to question of my slides. Feeling far too incompetent to verbalise anything, I decided to let my manager handle the situation. And that folks is how to manage to appear completely incapable in front of your superior. Excellent work! *sigh*

    Should mention that we had our end of season party for dragon boat on Saturday. All I have to say is that I am henceforth vindicated of my shameful Bar Ace incident. Stepping in to take my place is Sharlene Wong, whom although spewed somewhat gracefully, still managed to hurl in excess of 7 times throughout the night. Twas a good night - movie was great, music was good and company was happy.

    I realised something earlier today. If you track through all the truly 'strong' female characters that have appeared on the movie screen, their motivation stems from the love they had for their children - think Ripley and Newt (Aliens), think Sarah and John Connor (T2), think Black Mumba/The Bride and her child (Kill Bill). So my point is that perhaps I will never be 'strong' because I don't desire to have kids? Speaking of which, didn't you love the way Quentin Tarantino managed to squeeze in 10 minutes all the different stages of grief in that coffin scene. And they were visually so succinct and distinguishable: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance. I guess moving past that last hurdle was the true sign of Black Mumba's strength. Because if it was me, I would probably reach the acceptance stage but just kinda be content with lying in the coffin thinking of the best way to breathe my last gulp of air - quite possibly because I don't have a child you see ;p

    Anyway, it has been a long diatribe so I shall stop here. Happy birthday to Gregan for last Wednesday! More photos to come soon so stay tuned.