Saturday, December 19, 2009

Cities of hope and dreams.

Jay Z & Alicia Keys - Empire State of Mind


in New York, concrete jungle where dreams are made of,
Theres nothing you can’t do,
Now you’re in New York,
These streets will make you feel brand new,
The lights will inspire you,
Lets here it for New York, New York, New York


After watching the video, I can't help but ask what would I become if I had taken my pick of NYU. Then again, the exchange rate was sky high. Defenceless on my own without a trust fund (NYC is expensive). I would have been there during 9/11. My parents would be so worried. And my dear friend moved back to NJ because it was too stressful to live and make it in the world of NYC.

Then again, that's not saying that I wouldn't want to give it a shot if an opportunity presents itself.

There are very few cities in the world that earn the undying love of their dwellers. There's something mesmerizing about them and you wouldn't want to live anywhere else.

I believe there are a few places in the world where you feel like you can achieve something. You could be an aspiring graffiti artist or fashion designer or you are the most amazing chef waiting to be discovered. You could be whatever you want to be.

Sydney is one of the places I feel this way. I felt... hopeful. I could be someone. I could achieve something.

I wish I could feel that way again.




Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Parenting, home and we are still children.

Work had been an utter pain (as usual) and since my annual leave will be forfeited if I don't use them, I decided to just eff work and run home with J. We stayed at my parents' for almost a week and it was strangely nice and comforting.


I was always a little iffy if my parents will ever get used to an Australian son-in-law as they are not confident in English. "Eat, eat." as mom pushed more food towards J.



My parents fed us nonstop when we were home. We woke up to different store bought brekkie everyday, and lunches and dinners at their favourite haunts. When J wanted to buy new sandals, we went to 3 different malls just to get the best price. J was horrified. He felt he had imposed on them.

I mean, taking care of us in every little thing isn't what J is used to.

J thinks we are so lucky that my (our?) parents pamper us like this. I think we're very lucky too. :D

I guess it's a very Asian parenting thing to mother us. Even though our combined age is over 50, we are still helpless little children to them.


FTJ and updating monster.com

When life throws you lemons, make lemonade.

-- that actually looks inviting

That's optimistic.

What if, what if, life throws you mouldy lemons? What next? You can't make mouldy lemonade. All you get is a splotch of green mould on your clothes because you were trying to shield your face from the bunch of mouldy squishy lemons.

The company gives out cards to staff every December to compliment them on their hard work for the year. Each staff receives a voucher of $20 because the company feels that all the weekends and overtime we work for free for the ENTIRE YEAR is only worth $20.

I don't care about the $20 because I don't know what that can buy from the store. It's like giving me $20 Apple store voucher. I can't even buy an iPhone cover for that.



All I want is some sort of acknowledgment for my work. Even the gentlest pat on the back will be a decent gesture.

Anyhoo I just spotted the card on my colleague's table, for the hard work he has put in for working over weekends on our project.

I didn't get one.

Waaaaaaaaaaait.
Wasn't those the weekends we were on shift to cover OUR project?

The weekends when we were in office shivering from the bitter cold and humidity away from our family?

AWAY FROM MY NEWLYWED HUSBAND?


I have never felt more overlooked in my entire life.

F8ck this job. (FTJ.)

I'm updating Monster.com this very instant.


Puppy wuppy for me.

Isn't he adorable????



After the total cuteness that is the peekaboo kitten, I'm in full pet mode.

I want a beagle puppy wuppy!!


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Muppet strikes again1




Money, waste and the lifestyle we lead.

Perhaps I have become more sensible, I no longer shop to feel better.

Woe to the malls, I know.

For the better part of the last decade, shopping makes me happy. There is something about the feel and smell of new clothes and bags. The moment you unwrapped it from the tissue the saleslady lovingly wrapped around your purchase, the crisp sharp edges of the paper bags and the tiny ribbons they tie around the handles instead of using generic tape to seal the bag.

-- Not mine but ooooooh how I wish

It was a present from me to me. And I got lots of presents everytime I hit the shopping stretch on this tiny island.

Expanding my collection of clothes and bags was not a problem, especially after I started working. I had income, and I justified the purchases.

"Oh I need it for work"
"You dress for success!"
"I know it is expensive but I'm going to use it a gazillion times so the average cost per use is low! It's affordable"


Now, I can't. I look at them, and with a sad knowing smile I peel myself away from the shops. I no longer have room nor money for any purchases. I recently found old clothes I haven't worn in years (!) and they are in great condition. Probably from the lack of wear and tear anyway.



I feel shame, and mostly guilt towards myself for wasting thousands of dollars that are now newly folded or hung in my closet.



I am self centered, yes. People would say, "Oh you could have donated all the things you don't need anymore, or just donated the money you spent."

But I am a hoarder. I still love my purchases, I just didn't use them as frequently as I should. And I'm in no financial state to donate hundreds of dollars every month to the charities. It should have gone towards some investment for my future. I am the charity case.




I guess these are just some things I realise now. Have you ever felt like you're not earning enough for the lifestyle you want to have?


Thursday, December 03, 2009

I heart fluffy kittens.

OMG this is just too adorable. My insides are instantly transformed into a warm fuzzy mess when I lay eyes on it.



Cute kittens can end wars.


Tuesday, December 01, 2009

It has been 1 month.

I was reading Heart of Light when I came across this.


-- image from Heart of Light

Oops I should really sit down with J and start writing our thank you cards to everyone. And maybe write our Christmas ones at the same time too.

Oh, today's our 1 month wedding anniversary! Yay for us!


I heart bunnies on notepads.

My love for bunnies run deep. And this is just the thing to brighten my day!



I came across this lovely download from A Print A Day and it beats scribbling on pieces of scrap paper on my desk.

Available for download here.

Thanks A Print A Day!


Link:
Cute bunnies - link
Bunnies and cardboard - link


Monday, November 30, 2009

I will not turn into a sad sack.

Just after posting the last entry, I switched to look at all my posting and I realised this, there hasn't been anything joyous in my life recently except my wedding and post-wedding trip (it wasn't our honeymoon).

Oh gawd I'm turning into a sad sack!!!!!

I'll post something cheery to counter all the negative vibes. Be gone I say!


Of work and soul.

I have been utterly swamped after the wedding with work and family. I guess I've returned to earth and responsibilities.

Work has been mentally crippling. Deadlines, impossible requests with very very limited manpower, i.e. only me have made things difficult. I am becoming the person who is forced to sacrifice time with her family because she got tasked to spend weekends at work for free that the company gets paid for.


It is the end of the year and with new HR rules, the company only allows half of our annual leave to be brought forward till June next year and any unused leave will be forfeited. Since every month since the beginning of the year has been "peak season" for all sorts of projects, no one had the time nor approval to go on leave.



Which led the team to where we are now. My team has been reduced to 4 people and 2 of them will leave after lunch because they are on morning shift.

Sigh.

It's not the workload. It's the whole vibe at work. It's trudging along and perhaps the "we'll make do" attitude that is killing me.



Nothing is planned around here. Succession planning, resource allocation etc. are alien to people here. Huh, she says. We'll just hire someone and he/she will know exactly what happened for the last couple of years and the transition will be seamless.

"We'll get to it (and freak out) IF the situation arises."

- Does not apply.

I feel less and less alive as I stay here. I can literally feel my soul dying.


Link:
All images from nataliedee.com


Sunday, November 22, 2009

How to not treat your staff - Post 1.

The best wedding gift a company can give to its newlywed staff?

A weekend where she gets to work till wee hours in the morning, and complimentary "Will she or won't she make it in time to the airport to pick up her newlywed husband".

Sometimes I wish I'm lucky enough to be a lady of leisure. Just pottering around the home. I'm easily contented.

I'm even happy to work on a veggie garden.

I just don't want to work on weekends, is that so hard? If God had to a rest on Sunday, how come we poor minions don't?


Friday, November 20, 2009

I am now a Mrs.

It's been ages since I posted anything... because I was busy getting married.

Between getting flowers for everyone and anyone, and juggling 2.5 sets of parents and who got how much face time with the happy couple, I barely had time to sleep.

All the champagne has been drunk and the evening of merriment now well over, I'm back at work and missing all the wedding-y fun.

More pics to come once I get them from all my photographers!

xoxo,
Rach

Thursday, October 22, 2009

I want to scream at stupidity and incompetence.

There are so many times this week that I just want to stand up, push my rolly chair aside, scream "EFF YOU" in all their incompetent faces, walk out with a big smile plastered on my face and sail off into the sunset.

Or something like that.

Sometimes I think I can be very snappy to people. Rolling my eyes at them or saying really sarcastic thing in their faces. Thing is, some of them don't get my sarcasm. Then I feel really bad because maybe they didn't mean to be stupid slow because we all have our momentary lapse of sanity.


To a co-worker, "oh wow you have such a high score! Bet you must have been practising lots."

But gawd, some people are just asking for it.


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Apple users' faces get viruses too.

I guess I'm acknowledging the geekness that's seeping outta my pores. But wow, some folks had time on their hands!



"Your face gets viruses."

pwnage.exe!


I think Disney is back.

I just watched The Little Mermaid and I'm proud of it.

I have always been a fan of Disney. I grew up watching Disney classics, Mickey Mouse and Ducktales. And at one phase in my life, a recent one at that, I wanted to be an animator.


There was always something about the early Disney classics that were so captivating and enchanting. Perhaps I'm a girly girl and I always fall for fairytales, but I'd like to think that it's the drawings that kept reeling me back after all these years.


Snow White and the Seven Dwarves was utterly beautiful. Snow White was cherubic and innocent, and pretty much a child as she should be.

But the later cartoons put more emphasis on CGI and I stopped watching Disney cartoons totally. The characters were so... angular. They became utterly unfamiliar to me.

Then this came back.



OMG.

Too beautiful. The thought of Rococo in Disney just makes me wish it's 2010 now and this movie is out tomorrow and I'm in Disneyland with front row tickets to watch it.

Now I wanna be an animator all over again. This is what I'm talking about. Beautiful drawings and a story with heart.



Friday, October 16, 2009

Why I love Gossip Girl - Reason #87214

Bree: "We're southern so family loyalty is really big down there."
Blair: "Like slavery."




Awesome. Just pure awesomeness.


Thursday, October 15, 2009

Flowers and lackthereof.

What I missed most about life outside of this tiny island?

The unassuming flower stalls along the roads of Sydney.



I can't seem to get cheap fresh flowers on this tiny island.

Oh, and the carefree life I used to lead before this infuriating behemoth of a thing called "job" ruined everything.

Sigh.


Thursday, October 08, 2009

Beautiful wedding banners do exist.

This is just too pretty.

-- From Martha Stewart Weddings

I am not going to decorate my wedding car because I abhor of all things tacky, cheesy and over the top.

But a little banner declaring to the world that we're on our way to getting hitched will be cute, right?

The good Martha Stewart website doesn't have the exact banner for download so I'm just going to fire up Microsoft Word, install beautiful fonts and type "Getting Married!". Press print.



Chopin Script is free to download from here.

I know this adds to my DIY list but mmmmmm.... printing a banner shouldn't take THAT long.

23 more days to go. OMG OMG OMG.


Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I'm in the office and there's an earthquake right now.

I'm sitting on my chair in the office and it's trembling because there's a effin earthquake.

I'm on the 16th floor. I'll never make it even if I run.

F*ck.

iPhone designer, common sense, please meet.

Now that I have my phone, I can't believe how lacking the stupid phone is in common features found on EVERY OTHER PHONE ON THE PLANET.

I bought it because it's pretty. Just pure aesthetics.



It's pretty alright. It's also pretty useless sometimes.

1) You can't hang up on an incoming call.

You can let it ring out, or press a button to stop the incessant chiming so it doesn't drive you up the wall. But the caller will STILL be on the line waiting for someone to pick up the phone.


Where's the little red button / feature when you can just hang up without having the poor guy on the other side wait till kingdom come?

2) You can't delete individual call entry.

I call J, I call my mom or I could be calling a certain telco's customer service center because they were messing with me. Sometimes I call them A LOT on 1 day and I kinda not want to keep these entries on my phone.



I can't delete THAT specific entry. I could do it on my Samsung, I could do it on my RAZR, I could do it on Nokia. I can't do it on the iPhone. Why should my call logs be cluttered with numbers of customer service centers? I don't want to keep them!

3) 3MP camera

When the world is moving towards 12MP camera on a phone, Apple came up with 3MP and tried to convince the world that their phone is a breakthough. Pfffft.

Enough said.

4) Wifi VS GPRS

I buy a phone. I want full control of how it accesses the internet and whatever nonsense. I was on free wifi yesterday and for some reason, the signal went out for a few seconds.

iPhone, being the smartass that it is, connected to the net on GPRS, clocked 2MB on data usage and god knows how much the telco is going to charge.


Cost of (362 MB + 15.9MB) = My first born child.

I know people are going to ask me to buy a data plan for "just in case" situations like this. But I buy it to use the free wifi available island wide. I'm a cheapo. Why should I feel coerce into buying a data plan just because the phone doesn't allow me to fully override its settings?

If I buy a phone, I want full control over usage. If the stupid phone wants to switch to GPRS, the least it can do is to NOTIFY/ PROMPT ME. How hard can that be!?

All these gripes just after 2 days of use.

Apple, up your game man.



Saturday, September 26, 2009

Table numbers - revamp.

I may have gone a little over the edge after mmmm the "Oops I'm sorry I can't make it to your wedding and I forgot to tell you till you called" fiasco.

I'm revamping my table numbers because I will not stand for Times New Roman at a wedding.

It went from this.


To this.


-- Available at TimelessPaper's Etsy shop

But since I'm crazy and I think I have heaps of time, I'm going to do this.



To be honest, I was a little miffed when I found out I could actually BUY cut butterflies on Etsy. So the time I spent slaving over 100 tiny butterflies could have gone towards something else, say, spa treats to make me look radiant.

*Shakes fist in anger*

And when I saw the wedding I've planned in my head on MOST of the bridal magazines this month, I exploded in anger. Carnage everywhere.

Me: Omg they are stealing my ideas! OMG!!!

J: I'm sure they didn't? It's just a coincidence.

Me: Yeah right. I'm sure my shade of purpl... OMFG THEY ARE EVERYWHERE! MY WEDDING ISN'T SPECIAL ANYMORE!!!


Kaboom.



So yeah. I'm irritated and frustrated as hell that everything I thought was special, is now mainstream. There isn't enough tears in the world for this shocker.


Friday, September 25, 2009

Mini silver lining for today.

The only silver lining for this Friday, is that I've managed to exert enough pressure on some telco company to FINALLY give me my effin phone.

Yes!!

More exciting news to follow when I have said phone in hand. I'll clutch it with my ninja grip!


I made J watched Gossip Girl.

I got J to watch Season 3 Episode 1 of Gossip Girl with me. By watch, I mean getting his attention when I laughed like a mad woman at ingenious bits and repeated the lines to emphasize how awesome they were.

I'm going to take this as a victory. He did make me watch 5 seasons of NCIS so we're even.
J: But she's (Blair) so mean!
Me: That's why I love her.


With lines like,
Blair: "I know what you did this summer, and who. Cristiano Ronaldo? I hope you got your shots."

• Vanessa:: "Even Frodo eventually gave in to the power of the Ring."
What's not to love?

Honestly, Gossip Girl is awesome. It does not have an embarrassing name. It's not part of Satan's plan to take over the world and it's sooooooooo much more than high school drama.

It's life, people. It's real.

Time to put on my headband.


Thursday, September 24, 2009

Statement necklaces are not for everyone.

I love all things pretty. Things like flowers, shoes, homewares, clothes and accessories such as statement necklaces.

Rise and Shine Necklace



Available at myrakim's Etsy shop

It's too sweet!

I can't pull it off. Not with my specs and office dress code. Well, not in my off time anyway as well. I'll look like a tourist at a tropical island with floral garlands round my neck.



Or worse, a growth of some kind around my neck/chest region.

I can look at them from afar, but I'll never be cool or purrrrty enough to carry them off. Sigh.


Bunnies and cardboard.

Remember these?



From Flowers & Bunny Love.

I've snipped and slaved over 20 rabbits only to realise I need to glue 2 of them back to back so they have eyes on BOTH sides. *Faints*

-- Just print and cut.

Just wondering if 2 normal A4 is thick enough, or should I just find some cardboard to make the bunnies 'sturdier'.

Update: I just taped 2 bunnies back to back with an ice cream stick between. Done!


I want to shop.

I've been trying my very best to stop shopping.

With all the payment due after the wedding, J and I have been frantically saving. At least I have, unlike *cough*someone*cough* who suddenly has a new hobby and needs a SLR camera. Someone who now inundates most of our conversation with camera speak that I don't understand. I don't know who that is. *cough*

My year old clothes are still in great condition. I can wear them to work. I don't need new clothes, right?
Valentino Satin Diamante Bow Pumps will set you back USD$710.22 Available on Net-a-Porter.

:(

The soft supple leather. The luscious sheen and sexy curves. It's so timeless it's an investment.

I swear I'll buy timeless items. Something to last forever.

I want to shop till I drop! Stat!!!


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Chuck and Blair forever.

"Are you ok?"

"I am now."

Just forward to 1.05 of the clip. There's a reason why they rock. And this is one of them.



OMFGossip Girl!!!

Dan, you lousy suddenly-popular-kid-who-turns-on-the-one-person-who-saved-you-from-Georgina, you actually forgot she was a demon whom you needed Blair's help to exorcise.

Vanessa, the hippie hobo who always secretly wished she's one of the It girls despite her obvious fake disdain towards them, is now one. And she's now behaving just as mean as the It girls. I hope her mangy hair extensions get caught in the revolving doors to the library.

(I'm mean but she's a fictional character so I'm allowed.)

Seriously, Dan, Georgina and Vanessa need to burn. Go Team Waldorf!


Stationery can be very swoonsome.

I swooned (and almost died fainted) when I saw these.



-- From Grey Likes Weddings

They are perfectly cute and quirky!


Many moons ago I was so inspired by all the goodies I saw online, I decided to embark on an ambitious DIY journey to make my wedding more personal and sugarcoat the event in utter cuteness. I DIY-ed my Save The Dates with little 'tickets' for the guests to use as bookmarks.



Many moons later, and many DIY projects still incomplete with the wedding looming closer and closer, I still think I made the right decision. :)


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Time is running out.

I may be losing my marbles any time now.



  • Out of town guests called to cancel due to hiccups at the last minute

  • Which meant we may have overbooked on hotel rooms.

  • Empty seats we need to fill

  • And I'm not sure if we have enough invitations for "new" guests.

  • Are "new" guests going to feel offended because they are on List B?

  • No news from the photographer since our pre-wedding shoot, does that mean we look so fugly he needs this much time to photoshop us?

  • More diy decoration to finish


All that on top of the things (work, life, finances etc.) that drive me insane daily.

I'm not stressed, just... very bummed out. I can't believe there are only about 5 more weeks to go and people who promised to be part of the bridal party called up NOW to tell us they can't make it. How on earth am I going to find a replacement now?


Just where and how am I going to fill those seats? I don't want to do what J suggested, "rent a friend". We're not THAT desperate, right?

Sobs.


The birds are not chirping right.

Perhaps the birds are not chirping right, or the haze from the forest fire is getting to me, I'm feeling really snappy lately.


Wedding planning is going ok. Some guests are not coming, I may run out of invitations and I think I may have over-booked hotel rooms since some out of town guests are not coming.

Work has multiplied. My new project is going to roll out soon, and apparently I'm not just handling 1 financial project but ALL FINANCIAL RELATED projects.

This was not my job scope when the management first informed me that they were forcefully taking me out of my old project and giving it to 3 person because it was "resource-intensive" and giving me ONE new one.

Well.

Anyhoo all exasperation aside, I'm just going to pick on the English language and grammar today.

Things that bother me:

1) Irregardless
This word does not exist, yet the Management uses it because it's long and it makes them look smart when they use it.

"Irregardless of the snafu, we must deliver."

Regardless = In spite of; without regard to drawback
So "Irregardless" is to REGARD to drawback?

2) Revert
For some reason that escapes me, "revert" is used in official correspondence in place of "reply".

"Going to do something. Please revert asap on any concern."

So is the recipent going to restore to former state/condition?

3) Their

Their /= They are. End of story.

4) Your

Your /= You are. End of story.

5) "Correct me if I'm wrong"

"Correct me if I'm wrong, I think the earth is flat and we should fire a rocket into space to tell all aliens to stay out!"

Why should I? Will you listen? Because obviously the person using the phrase thinks he's right. "Correct me if I'm wrong" makes an awesome name for a comic strip that explores the angst of the average worker. Much like Dilbert.


Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Fresh or fake.

I am terrible with plants.

As much as I love blooms, I have absolutely given up on buying fresh flowers for home. I somehow just kill them just by staring at them adoringly.

Then I saw a pretty bouquet of green ranunculus.



It's plastic. It's cute. They are flowers, albeit very very fake ones.

Should I just give up and stick to plastic flowers, or just keep buying real ones till they stop dying? Decisions decisions.

I need cheering up.


Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Gossip Girl and J return.

2 weeks to go before Gossip Girl returns to my life.



And 1 week to go before J comes home from work! I'm so excited


Monday, August 24, 2009

Pon de Lion and maple syrup love.

My brother came back from Taiwan bearing gifts from faraway.

Gifts like doughnuts. He packed me 2 doughnuts to bring to work for brekkie and I must say, that was a first. :D

Pon de Tofu Honey.



At first bite, I thought "this doughnut isn't special enough to hand carry all this way home". I didn't taste the tofu. What tofu? It's not as soft and fluffy as a Krispy Kreme Original recipe, and a little heavier.

But the Maple Flocky Chou?



I'd hand carry them by the dozens if I ever visit Taiwan. Fresh cream and maple syrup on a doughnut? Why didn't anyone think of that!? It's delicious. Plus the shop's mascots are uber cute.


Isn't Pon de Lion cute?!???? Doesn't that remind you of something?



I can't wait to try every doughnut they have!


Links:
Mister Donut - Official site (in japanese)



Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Unhappy listlessness - Population 1.

I find myself, apathetic towards almost everything these days. I used to be passionate about politics, rights, travel and what life has to offer. I remember I wanted to do something creative, maybe draw, create or being a part of something fun. Make special effects or throw myself into animation.

I have no idea where that person has gone to.



Now I'm part of the shuffling shadow in the busy train station that is life. I go home, go to work. Repeat. I am miserable and I don't quite know what to do about it.

I can't say if work has finally got me down. It is depressing and perhaps at the most opposite end of the creative spectrum. Let's be honest. I don't want to sugarcoat how I feel even if people at work are reading this. I'll still give my 100% at work but it still doesn't mean this is my dream job if you get what I mean.

I buy joy. Every time I feel depressed I go out and look at everything that's pretty. They are beautifully packaged, smells nice and the shops are always clean and bright. I feel like my life is in control every time I buy something. You see, I have a choice.



Life, however, doesn't present itself with that many choices. And even if there are choices, you keep looking for the option that's not on the table. "To put up with inane requests, or stand up and take whatever retort for refusing" Are those the only choices I have?

dol·drums (dōl'drəmz', dôl'-, dŏl'-)
pl.n. (used with a sing. or pl. verb)
1. A period of stagnation or slump.
2. A period of depression or unhappy listlessness.
3. A region of the ocean near the equator, characterized by calms, light winds, or squalls.
4. The weather conditions characteristic of these regions of the ocean.

(from reference.com)

I guess, 2?

I hope I'll snap out of this soon. I want to feel strongly about things again.


My brief escape.

In 1 week's time, I'll wake on on a different continent in one of the most remote regions in the world.



J and I explored the area once in 2005, but this time I'll return without him. J will be at work, and maybe within 1000 miles from where I'll be. I wonder if I can radio him and embarass him since the entire southern hemisphere is probably listening.

Anyhoo, hello sharks and sea turtles!



Can't wait to escape the city.


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