Friday, February 27, 2004

Discrimination dicks

First, I was singled out for night assignments simply cause I'm the only one in my team who is not married. Plus I think the Ed thinks I the kind of person who simply lurrrve clubbing. Clubbing my ass.

Night assignments is actually glamourous, but that does not mean they are pleasant all the way. Just wait till you arrive and find out that all they're serving are alcoholic beverages and the organizing company's PR gals are already tipsy they can't even get us press who don't drink plain water. Besides, three night assignments in a row can make some writers very very cranky.

It's worse when they drag the likes of Siti Nurhaliza, Sarimah, Raihan and such to be their spokesperson and give you that look that says "Hey you're the reporter right, why aren't you asking our product ambassador here questions and is that digital camera of yours rosak ah?"

Some of them are just there to demonstrate a couple of things you can do with the gadget, then pose with it, and that's it. Beyond that, the PR gals whispers "Why don't you shoot me an email later?" Please, if we have to do that, what's the point of have a press conference in the first place?

It's worst when they have some newcomer like Nic Teo (who?) or some artist with pet names like Rabbit (oh?) onboard - most of them just let their PR talk on their behalf, mostly pushing their maiden album or EP than talking about the product they endorse anyway.

Now they've singled me out again. The thing is, some companies who invites the press for an event at a location outside KL wants to save money by squeezing two writers in one hotel room - this is really stupid and rarely done, but whaddaya know, some people can stoop that low. Simply cause the other team from my Co is sending a female writer, I had to be the one representing my team cause I'm the only girl who is single.

"You singles have more freedom right. Besides you're from out of town, I bet you've not been to Genting Highlands yet right? So this assigment should be fun." says the Ed.

Fun my ass. Genting Highland my ass. But well, who said life's fair?

Thursday, February 19, 2004

Does anyone know the recipe for rajinness?

Gosh, I am sooo lazy. I know it is my relax week, but all I did was back up my stories for last month and that's it. As for the press conferences (PCs) that I have been attending, I let the intern do all the writing - isn't that cruel?

Well, she is here to learn, and I'm just gonna let her. In the meantime I got two smartphones waiting to be reviewed, but I don't think I'm in the mood for gadgets either (besides, since there are two of them, I'm afraid I'll be too comparative in my comments - ooh, what a good excuse!)

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

The past haunts

The past that haunted me was a guy I used to like... Chap Chung
Chap Chung is a guy I once almost dated - well we went out about three times, and all the times we did, I dragged my friends along for company. Man, he must be quite pissed each time.

But he was a gentleman so he said he didn't mind. So much so he went on to date other girls, and on one fine day I bumped into him on a date with a girl, an older girl, so bright and funny you wished you could hate her but you couldn't.

Yet we kept in touch once in a while.

Recently, right on Valentine's Day I got an SMS from him. Not that he was wishing me anything, he was just wondering how am I doing and all that shit.

The sucker in me somehow managed to propel me into replying with Happy V wish, all bright and happy and very platonic-friendly mannered "Howru" followed, plus a smug note saying that I am having fun in Pangkor island with some friends.

He didn't reply me SMS quickly (later I found out that he was occupied) and that deflated my euphoria effectively. Hours later he replied, but by then I had lost interest already and replied his replies very coolly.

After all things are not the same now - he has someone (I think he still does) but I don't. I have to move on.

The past that haunted me was a guy I still despise... Lintut
Lintut is the fella I used to date before ChapChung, and he is such a pain in the neck. Forget about him being quite cute and tall enough to suit my standards, he can be such a dick sometimes, and other times he's just boring.

I find him most annoying when he insisted that I should meet him every day after work (totally ignoring prayer times on top of that!), and that he always point out that he has called me 4x times that week while I have called him 4x - 1 times, in other words he is the berkira sort.

Since he seems to mengungkit a lot, I dropped him slowly by telling him that we should be friends. After that he only called/SMSed me a few times a year, not even bothering to ask how am I doing but went straight into "Can you do me a favour?" Yup, he contacts me only when he needed something. I retaliated by not replying any of his SMS and rejecting his calls.

So when he SMSed me yesterday saying that he saw me in front of my office and that I looked totally "sombong", busy talking on the phone and totally "buat derk" ignoring his honk.

I was sooo tempted to immediately delete that SMS. But I was in a good mood (after all this is my "relax week"), told myself I shan't be too rude this time and told him that a honk barely resemble the sound of someone calling my name, so catch me next time.

His reply: "Next time I catch you pakai pukat tunda." Hahaha. Hihihi. Huhuhu. Puh-lease! That'll teach me not to reply his SMSes/calls ever again!

The past that haunted me was a guy I still have a crush on... D
D is a photographer/videographer whom I met about a year ago. But then he had his eyes on my pretty colleague, so I didn't get to talk to him much.

But what intrigues me most was the way he wisely handled my pretty friend's rude comment to him. At that time he was only being civil when he excused himself from our table, saying he had to rush to another event. And my pretty friend went "Go lah, who's stoppin ye?"

To that he just smiled and said, "There are other people sitting at this table you know..." And right after he left his namecard to me, and shook hands with the other two guys who were at the table. I told him I'll look out for him in other events, and he signalled me to just call him instead.

Today when I saw him for the second time, he was still that cute, youthful looking guy, tall and darker (bet her went for a beach holiday recently too!). He smiled at me, but not cause he recognised me, rather cause he wants to shoot a footage of us press attending the PC.

For a split second I wished I was prettier, or had worn make-up, or had dressed to kill this morning, anything, as long as I can attract his attention.

I quickly repented, returned his smile and concentrated on tho going ons in front of me. After all, I do have an intern tagging along that I need to impress here!

And before I knew it, the PC was over, everyone packed up and headed for the refreshment table, and my colleagues were ready to leave! Bye bye gorgeous!

Sigh, sigh, sigh.

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Something to chew on

Here's something someone forwarded to me last week, I thought I should share it with you all. It's something to think about...

Palo Alto High School Baccalaureate Speech 6/11/95 "Hindsight" by Guy Kawasaki

"Speaking to you today marks a milestone in my life. I am 40 years old.

22 years ago, when I was in your seat, I never, ever thought I would be 40
years old.

The implications of being your speaker frightens me. For one thing, when a 40 year old geeser spoke at my baccalaureate ceremony, he was about the last person I'd believe. I have no intention of giving you the boring speech that you are reading. This speech will be short, sweet, and not boring.

I am going to talk about hindsights today. Hindsights that I've accumulated in the 20 years from where you are to where I am. Don't blindly believe me. Don't take what I say as "truth." Just listen. Perhaps my experience can help you out a tiny bit.

I will present them ala David Letterman. Yes, 40-year old people can still stay up past 11.

#10: Live off your parents as long as possible.
When I spoke at this ceremony two years ago, this was the most popular hindsight-except from the point of view of the parents. Thus, I knew I was on the right track. I was a diligent Oriental in high school and college.

I took college-level classes and earned college-level credits. I rushed through college in 3 1/2 years. I never traveled or took time off because I thought it wouldn't prepare me for work and it would delay my graduation.

Frankly, I blew it. You are going to work the rest of your lives, so don't
be in a rush to start. Stretch out your college education. Now is the time to suck life into your lungs-before you have a mortgage, kids, and car payments.

Take whole semester off to travel overseas. Take jobs and internships that pay less money or no money. Investigate your passions on your parent's nickel. Or dime. Or quarter. Or dollar.

Your goal should be to extend college to at least six years. Delay, as long as possible, the inevitable entry into the workplace and a lifetime of servitude to bozos who know less than you do, but who make more money. Also, you shouldn't deprive your parents of the pleasure of supporting you.

#9: Pursue joy, not happiness.
This is probably the hardest lesson of all to learn. It probably seems to you that the goal in life is to be "happy." Oh, you maybe have to sacrifice and study and work hard, but, by and large, happiness should be predictable. Nice house. Nice car. Nice material things. Take my word for it, happiness is temporary and fleeting.

Joy, by contrast, is unpredictable. It comes from pursuing interests and passions that do not obviously result in happiness. Pursuing joy, not happiness will translate into one thing over the next few years for you: Study what you love. This may also not be popular with parents.

When I went to college, I was "marketing driven." It's also an Oriental thing. I looked at what fields had the greatest job opportunities and prepared myself for them. This was brain dead. There are so many ways to make a living in the world, it doesn't matter that you've taken all the "right" courses. I don't think one person on the original Macintosh team had a classic "computer science" degree.

You parents have a responsibility in this area. Don't force your kids to follow in your footsteps or to live your dreams. My father was a senator in Hawaii. His dream was to be a lawyer, but he only had a high school education. He wanted me to be a lawyer.

For him, I went to law school. For me, I quit after two weeks. I view this a terrific validation of my inherent intelligence.

#8: Challenge the known and embrace the unknown.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make in life is to accept the known and
resist the unknown. You should, in fact, do exactly the opposite: challenge the known and embrace the unknown.

Let me tell you a short story about ice. In the late 1800s there was a thriving ice industry in the Northeast. Companies would cut blocks of ice from frozen lakes and ponds and sell them around the world. The largest single shipment was 200 tons that was shipped to India. 100 tons got there unmelted, but this was enough to make a profit.

These ice harvesters, however, were put out of business by companies that
invented mechanical ice makers. It was no longer necessary to cut and ship
ice because companies could make it in any city during any season.

These ice makers, however, were put out of business by refrigerator companies. If it was convenient to make ice at a manufacturing plant, imagine how much better it was to make ice and create cold storage in everyone's home.

You would think that the ice harvesters would see the advantages of ice making and adopt this technology. However, all they could think about was
the known: better saws, better storage, better transportation.

Then you would think that the ice makers would see the advantages of refrigerators and adopt this technology. The truth is that the ice harvesters couldn't embrace the unknown and jump their curve to the next curve.

Challenge the known and embrace the unknown, or you'll be like the ice harvester and ice makers.

#7: Learn to speak a foreign language, play a musical instrument, and play non-contact sports.
Learn a foreign language. I studied Latin in high school because I thought
it would help me increase my vocabulary. It did, but trust me when I tell
you it's very difficult to have a conversation in Latin today other than at
the Vatican. And despite all my efforts, the Pope has yet to call for my advice.

Learn to play a musical instrument. My only connection to music today is that I was named after Guy Lombardo. Trust me: it's better than being named after Guy's brother, Carmen. Playing a musical instrument could be with me now and stay with me forever. Instead, I have to buy CDs at Tower.
I played football. I loved football. Football is macho. I was a middle
linebacker--arguably, one of the most macho positions in a macho game.

But you should also learn to play a non-contact sport like basketball or
tennis. That is, a sport you can play when you're over the hill.

It will be as difficult when you're 40 to get twenty two guys together in a stadium to play football as it is to have a conversation in Latin, but all the people who wore cute, white tennis outfits can still play tennis. And
all the macho football players are sitting around watching television and drinking beer.

#6: Continue to learn.
Learning is a process not an event. I thought learning would be over when I
got my degree. It's not true. You should never stop learning. Indeed, it
gets easier to learn once you're out of school because it's easier to see
the relevance of why you need to learn.

You're learning in a structured, dedicated environment right now. On your
parent's nickel. But don't confuse school and learning. You can go to school and not learn a thing. You can also learn a tremendous amount without school.

#5: Learn to like yourself or change yourself until you can like yourself.
I know a forty year old woman who was a drug addict. She is a mother of
three. She traced the start of her drug addiction to smoking dope in high

I'm not going to lecture you about not taking drugs. Hey, I smoked dope in
high school. Unlike Bill Clinton, I inhaled. Also unlike Bill Clinton, I exhaled.

This woman told me that she started taking drugs because she hated herself
when she was sober. She did not like drugs so much as much as she hated
herself. Drugs were not the cause though she thought they were the solution.

She turned her life around only after she realized that she was in a downward spiral. Fix your problem. Fix your life. Then you won't need to take drugs. Drugs are neither the solution nor the problem.

Frankly, smoking, drugs, alcohol--and using an IBM PC--are signs of stupidity. End of discussion.

#4: Don't get married too soon.
I got married when I was 32. That's about the right age. Until you're about that age, you may not know who you are. You also may not know who you're marrying.

I don't know one person who got married too late. I know many people who
got married too young. If you do decide to get married, just keep in mind
that you need to accept the person for what he or she is right now.

#3: Play to win and win to play.
Playing to win is one of the finest things you can do. It enables you to fulfill your potential. It enables you to improve the world and, conveniently, develop high expectations for everyone else too.

And what if you lose? Just make sure you lose while trying something grand. Avinash Dixit, an economics professor at Princeton, and Barry Nalebuff, an economics and management professor at the Yale School of Organization and Management, say it this way: "If you are going to fail, you might as well fail at a difficult task. Failure causes others to downgrade their expectations of you in the future. The seriousness of this problem depends on what you attempt."

In its purest form, winning becomes a means, not an end, to improve yourself and your competition.

Winning is also a means to play again. The unexamined life may not be worth living, but the unlived life is not worth examining. The rewards of winning--money, power, satisfaction, and self-confidence--should not be squandered.

Thus, in addition to playing to win, you have a second, more important obligation: To compete again to the depth and breadth and height that your
soul can reach. Ultimately, your greatest competition is yourself.

#2: Obey the absolutes.
Playing to win, however, does not mean playing dirty. As you grow older and older, you will find that things change from absolute to relative. When you were very young, it was absolutely wrong to lie, cheat, or steal.

As you get older, and particularly when you enter the workforce, you will be tempted by the "system" to think in relative terms. "I made more money."
"I have a nicer car." "I went on a better vacation."

Worse, "I didn't cheat as much on my taxes as my partner." "I just have a few drinks. I don't take cocaine." "I don't pad my expense reports as much
as others."

This is completely wrong. Preserve and obey the absolutes as much as you
can. If you never lie, cheat, or steal, you will never have to remember who you lied to, how you cheated, and what you stole.

There absolutely are absolute rights and wrongs.

#1: Enjoy your family and friends before they are gone.
This is the most important hindsight. It doesn't need much explanation. I'll just repeat it: Enjoy your family and friends before they are gone.

Nothing-not money, power, or fame-can replace your family and friends or
bring them back once they are gone. Our greatest joy has been our baby, and I predict that children will bring you the greatest joy in your lives--especially if they graduate from college in four years.

And now, I'm going to give you one extra hindsight because I've probably cost your parents thousands of dollars today. It's something that I hate to admit to.

By and large, the older you get, the more you're going to realize that your
parents were right. More and more-until finally, you become your parents. I
know you're all saying, "Yeah, right." Mark my words.

Remember these ten things: if just one of them helps you helps just one of
you, this speech will have been a success:

#10: Live off your parents as long as possible.
#9: Pursue joy, not happiness.
#8: Challenge the known and embrace the unknown.
#7: Learn to speak a foreign language, play a musical instrument, and play non-contact sports.
#6: Continue to learn.
#5: Learn to like yourself or change yourself until you can like yourself.
#4: Don't get married too soon.
#3: Play to win and win to play.
#2: Obey the absolutes.
#1: Enjoy your family and friends before they are gone."

*Guy Kawasaki is former chief evangelist of Apple Computer.

Thursday, February 05, 2004

Show me the money, not breasts!

A lot of people are still talking about that Janet Jackson - Justin Timberlake "nipple-gate" booboo. Ugh!

A couple of guys in the Coop were saying they would not mind paying if they knew they'l get to watch sport and breast with one ticket! Whadda..!

If I have money I wouldn't waste it on Janet's boobs nor Justin's whatever. I'd catch:

1] Search's Konsert Evolusi Lagenda Rock, Feb 7 (tix: RM27, 37, 57)
2] Faridah Merican's Life... Sdn Bhd, Feb 5 - 8 (tix: RM42/32, student RM21/16)
3] VE Sunday Night Live at Planet Hollywood on Feb 8 / 15 (entry: RM35)
2] Sunetra Fernando's Rythm in Bronze on Feb 15 - 16 (cheapest tix: RM50)
3] Mariah Carey's concert on Feb 22 (cheapest tix: RM68.. and what can we see?)

Man, I wish I do have the dough to catch all these shows. These organiser dudes obviously overlooked the fact that the mass public (that's me! me! and me!) need some time to recover from the overspending that occured during last Xmas, Aidilfitri, CNY and Aidiladha hols!

And why can't they make things a bit more affordable? I mean the last play I saw, Dejavu with stars like Ogy and Juhara Ayob playing main characters still had tickets priced very very reasonably: RM10. The house was packed, I tell you!