Monday, February 28, 2011

reason for leaving?

This is a question I always ask, on a daily basis, to the people I help find a better opportunity.

May I know your reason for leaving your current employment?

Some are honest and open, and they share, indepth, on how unhappy they are with their current situation. Others are just seeking better opportunities, or are bored with their job scope. There are SO many reasons people want to change their jobs, money being one of them. I have to say that in our island, it's still pretty okay to do a mid-career switch to do something you are passionate about. We judge ourselves and our comrades far too harshly if they were to move into a different industry. Yet, it's been said that most of us take about 10 years since we graduate from college, to find our true vocation. So, just go for it, I say. The salary difference is not that huge to make money the main concern...

But more than that, often the 'reason for leaving' is human relationships.

I'm sure almost all of us have been in situations that really makes us drag our feet to work. These are the strongest push factors I've seen.

And always surprisingly to me, it's not the dude who's the smartest, best, and brightest that often lands the role. It's the one who most desires a move.

Hence, I would sum it up this way:

DESIRE (several push factors making them very unhappy in current role) = being more OPEN = PERFORMING better at interviews = getting the OPPORTUNITY (aceing the interview) = ATTITUDE to succeed, because, they treasure the opportunity, more so than the others who are 'just looking for a change'.

I've seen this happen again and again and again, and I cease to be amazed why the person that I think can ace the role, my 'favorite' candidate so to speak, always never gets in. It's the one who wants the job the most and would fight tooth and nail to get it who succeeds.

In life, if we don't have strong reasons for doing something, we almost always never have the right attitude to do it right. It's often a half-hearted attempt that often fails to reach up to expectations. Then we wonder why we are disheartened and disconsolate. Perhaps we never really really REALLY wanted it in the first place. Some people talk about wanting to do things for so long. But I've hardly seen any action and sometimes, the opportunity that had existed would be gone when you least expect it.

Anyway, this is just something for all of us to think about. Despite what others may think or say about my reasons, I have always tried to keep a pure heart, and I believe obedience brings blessings.

Me in Aceh, tsunami rebuilding efforts. I hope I can make a trip like this, this year.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Modern Love: Plucked

We had planned to meet for ice-cream, a form of his apology to me, after a misunderstanding between two people who meant well but in reality, the words just came out wrong.

"It's a hot date", he said.
"It's not a date. Just a neighborly meeting at the nearby ice-cream shop."
"Still a date", he insisted.

I told him that a date would consist of giving advance notice; a nice dress worn, receiving a flower, and sending the lady home to her doorstep. He immediately loped over to the nearest frangipani-like tree and plucked a flower for me.

And promised me he'd send me home. (It was within walking distance.)

I told him the flower dripped sap on my finger and he let me brush it on his palm.
"Can I throw it away now?" I asked, after admiring it for a while.

The red frangipani bloom was gingerly placed in the lush grass amongst its other fallen sisters and brothers. Stop plucking more flowers for me, I told him, as he cast his gaze around and looked as though he would come back with an armful just so it could be a date. No more plucking flowers, I chastised.

Then he asked me for a date next week.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

you make me...

via littlemisscomplicated.tumblr

Strangely I can relate to this because only when I'm really myself and comfortable with a person, I tend to spout aphorisms that people cannot understand (truly sorry to make them feel less intelligent but English is the only language I excel in).

But they should be thankful that I'm sharing my goodly knowledge of archaic and seldom-used words with them only because I'm so open and relaxed. At least I don't say words with more than 5 syllables... "atherosclerosis"... "infinitesimally"..."verisimilitude"...

Friday, February 18, 2011

scrapbooking: Love Theme envelope album

I was so charmed by using brown envelopes to create an accordion album that I decided to do one more! This round a 6 page album! I had in mind a love-theme, vintage mini-photo album for my lady friend's birthday!

For basic steps on how to join the envelopes together, please click here:

Also, if you are looking for ideas there is the right hand column (click! click!) of previous scrapbooking projects posts.

Color theme: Pink hues, vintage yellowed print papers, gold glitter, turquoise and green highlights.

Materials: 6 small brown envelopes (the smallest size), laces, glitter ribbon, wooden numbers, thicker alphabets, tag, diamantes, cutouts, rosettes, pearl elements, bubble sticker.

Here are the blank pages without embellishments. First 2: Vintage newsprint and floral paper; Vintage print and math-book print. Vintage is tricky, once you have the 'yellowed' paper theme you have to make sure the rest fits in.

Before embellishments are added.
The front which I decided not to cover up with paper but add cutouts to it. Pasted nice papers on it and used a gold glitter ribbon to 'hold it down, creating the effect that everything's being held together by it.
Took a really long time to decide the layout... here it is almost complete.

The turquoise card can be removed and I've added a 'pocket' of flowers (can put a small note inside) and some jewels thrifted from a past necklace. Seems to just go together so well!

How it looks like completed with embellishments.

I love the shiny gold ribbon! I only bought one yard to test, but so far looks like it will be featured in several projects.

Cut out the flowers from a theme set paper and used glossy elements which reflects in the other photos with artificial light!

Top view, spy the word 'remember'
My sister says this is her favorite page and I also like the clean and sweet feel of it. Again, used glossy elements on the flower petals and glued on diamantes and the tag.

Back view. I only covered the back page with scrap paper.

This time round, I spent a really long time working on this project due to the busyness in Jan-Feb period. You can say I took my own sweet time!

Also wanted to print out the photos, it's printed at Shalom Colorlab at the ground floor of Bras Basah Complex. They have great service and I love the quality and the colors of the printout (waiting time varies on the crowded-ness, anytime from 2 hours to next day collection), my photos were all low-res photos clipped from fb and phone cam, so I'm really pleased with the way it turned out. Also happened to have some interesting caption stickers, so wittily sarcastic and hilarious!

Here are the pages with photos.
Hope you enjoyed this step by step scrapbooking an envelope-accordion mini photo album project. I am a really impatient person, so am quite surprised that I can actually sit down and enjoy doing something like this. And I have a high standard for craft too, so usually I'd not attempt it for fear of it looking too rudimentary and lacking spatial design nice-ness. But baby steps, I'm really keen on making this hobby a longer lasting one.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Even if you are a member of the Wallflower club

One of my dear guy friends used to love to wear a hawaii-print shirt. (Please gasp loudly now...)

Each time I saw the hapless chap in his hawaii-shirt, army crewcut, and jeans, I secretly wanted to rip it apart and burn it.

I think hawaii shirts should only be worn in Hawaii.

Of course, its more about the essence of the man and not the clothes he wears, but the floral print immediately blinds most chic ladies to his flawless beauty within. Don't get me started on Hawaii pants...perhaps only ladies can carry such big blooms...? Please banish those hawaii shirt to 90s' fashion history, or risk looking like dinosaurs...

Prehistoric drinks.

And almost every modelesque woman can look good in a sack or the androgynous ensemble of gray sequinned tank, harem pants and tailored jacket, but what about the rest of us? Fashion seems almost cruel to the majority whom I'm sure, are not a (US) size 2. (Lucky me!)

But take heart, hapless creatures.
Though my brain prefers to engage itself in esoteric topics and lately I favor the monochrome outfits of black skirt and white shirt in callback to my banquet waitressing days, I have stepped out of the neutrals/black slouchy bag mode and into Spring.

I've bought a Marc Jacobs bag in burgundy and a Raoul envelope clutch in lovely lovely rose gold. To add to this cheerful collection, meet Ms Kate Spade tote in yummy yummy orange!
My new 'partner'... love love love!

You may ask why women need so many bags. I don't have the answer! Hahaha! But it sure makes us feel happy! Maybe we just have a fetish for 'the smell of new bags', like the 'new car' smell. Plus, women of all sizes and shapes can buy and carry off almost any style of bag or shoe!

I can very safely say that these key pieces will be safe for anyone to wear, even for members of the Wallflower club.

People will say that you look oh-so-pretty, perhaps for the very first time.

Alex perry feather earrings from Diva (still in stores!)
Rose gold skinny belt from Raoul (Also in stores...)
Mustard yellow sunnies from Prada
Croc cuff - not available here
Vionnet nude and black toga
High waisted shorts, Raoul has for Cruise collection 2011
Miu miu bow pumps
Yellow vintage shift dress with sheer cutout stripes
And the orange Kate Spade bag.

choose wisely

The topics of adults most often veer towards love, especially those who are hoping and seeking. Then, what else can we talk about, right?
But it seems that everyone has been offering me (unsolicited) advice also, almost to the effect that I feel that everyone is inundated with thoughts of love, love, love. Is that all we can think about and all we can speak about? Perhaps that's why the tabloid reports of new/scandalous romances always sell so well.

"Have I ever considered X.... (friend of mine who happened to be hovering nearby)"
"Any updates? *winkss (when said friend is standing next to me)"

It seems a miracle to me that we can remain good friends when we have such friends to 'help' us.
Of course I'm sure they meant well and who asked him to be single for so long...

I do wish that all the questions would stop, though. I mean, I feel it is rather insensitive to both me and said hapless male friend who happened to be by my side/accompany me for dining events.

It would be callous of me to start anything at this point of time. Would people prefer then that I am still sobbing alone? It seems to be a crime to be happy, but I do need to have some cheer after the gloom and doom of yesteryear.

Not only should the looming question be, 'have I recovered from the past love event...'; instead of 'is there any guy I'm interested in'... I do wish people would focus on the fact that there are good friends who are helping me through this instead of doubting their/our intentions.

Of course, mostly everyone wants to settle down one day, but it seems that most singles have close-fisted mindsets. In a nutshell, not everyone is open to consider several possibilities to mingle or even to know more random people of the opposite gender. To each his own, I say. If we do not wish to choose to mingle, then we should not condone those who went offshore fishing in search of his true love. For those who only have same friends of the same gender, they should not condone us who are 'ladies' man; or me, the opposite of ladies' man... For we just happen to be successful and awesome in making friendships with the opposite gender, not that we purposely choose to do so or do so for selfish reasons. It just IS.

I know they (all the single ladies, all the single ladies) just-don't-get-it but if you seriously think about it, if I choose to unwisely have romantic notions about my male pals, then, through the years, I would be left with very few friends, wouldn't I?

In fact, I have many female friends too, just that they like to keep a low profile in our friendship, hee so touched that they will call me and ask me out to cheer me up as well...

For the record, the only thing that is happening is happening in unwise romantic notions in other womens' minds. I have been kept sane by the writings of Elisabeth Elliot and other spiritual writers and I suggest they do the same while waiting for their prince charming. Life doesn't need to be all about love. Sometimes we need to focus on growing and learning and being a better self. I read somewhere, 'don't be a woman who needs a man. be a woman a man needs.' It stuck with me for a long time.

Likewise, I gave my male friend this advice: Don't choose someone you can live with, choose someone you can't live without.

And I think my single-lady godly friend gave me the best advice of all. She told me, he will come when it's time. It's that simple. It just IS.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

she's me.

Most girls have always found it difficult to 'clique' or even communicate with the guys I count as buddies, those longtime friends. Well, I don't blame them. I've witnessed firsthand how they become as quiet as a clam when faced with a specimen from Venus. I'm perhaps the ONLY Venutian buddy they have for the longest time. And I also don't know why I can be 'one of the guys' without losing my femininity. I really hope that some sisters would be keen on those chaps because I've seen the sweet and awesome side of them. But really, sometimes I feel like the girl from 'big bang theory'. She's me!
For the more introverted Martians, they usually behave like bumbling, woodenish or mouselike robotic drones because... They are just too shy and nervous. Just having eye contact with Venusians gives them the jitters. As women goes, we become alert and questioning at the sight of martians, and lively! We ask them questions with shining eyes which is undechiperable and scary to them, unchartered waters... They need time to process! Well I usually do what I do best, sit back and wait. Wait for them to initiate. They would, eventually.Just lean back, smile a small encouraging smile and appear doll-like. Soon enough, they will be decently chatty and less weird.

I enjoy esoteric conversations about engineering and metaphysics so perhaps I make it a little easier for the 'big bang theory' category of martians.But so much has been written about the 'battle of the sexes' and we keep misreading each other, feeling upset and whatnot. An open and honest dialogue is always best if both care for each other and are willing to learn more about the other party! Afterall, you will eventually be spending your life in an interplanetary state should you decide to reproduce and coexist in shared worlds, so keeping an open mind about how to improve communication and social interaction is always something commendable. I read an article about surviving your 25ish years, and it mentioned that the disparity is vast between those who spent their early 20s improving themselves - growing, getting therapy for childhood issues, learning etc. I do see the difference between those who are mature and those who don't want to grow up and out of their naivete.

And I've been wiser too, I hope. Knowing that some situations are potentially dangerous for my heart in a 'time spent together will develop uncalled-for feelings' mode, I should turn the other way.

Above all, may we guard each other's hearts as we grow and learn together, how to live in this strange world. Happy Valentine's!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

we are all citizens ot eternity

Every man has some reminiscences which he would not tell to everyone, but only to his friends.
He has others which he would not reveal even to his friends, but only to himself, and that in secret. But finally there are still others which a man is even afraid to tell himself, and every decent man has a considerable number of such things stored away.
That is, one can even say that the more decent he is, the greater the number of such things in his mind

-Fyodor Dostoevsky

Some things shall remain secrets to be kept within my heart and only revealed to the ones who love me, because what for do we reveal the things in our hearts to those who do not?

God, help me to quell my emotions and also my thoughts. May it center on You.

Monday, February 07, 2011

dearly departed

Attended a wake of a friend's mom who passed. She was young, only 45. I thought deeply about life and death today. Death always seems unfair to those who are left behind. And we often forget about the nearest and dearest until they are gone from our lives.

Not too many years ago, some small incidents happened that caused me to lose the friendship of 2 of my dearest friends. As friendship goes, some are intense but are not meant to last; some are deeply meaningful and will go the distance. He was a friend for me, not just a friend, but someone to guide me along, almost a hero, yet humbly and gently deigned to spend time leisurely, with me, with whomever was near and dear to me. We attended courses, a year of prayer meetings, camps, watched movies and theatre shows, I supported his marathons, we prayed daily for each other, had many, many meals together.

It's nearly 10 years now since the teenager me was acquainted with this guy friend, and I guess he set a pretty high standard for the ones that followed. Everyone knows he's a godly and super 'zhai' guy, just being in his presence makes me feel wiser, stronger, kinder, lovelier.

So, it was quite an emotional and vulnerable moment for me when we met up again after such a long time. He's changed, I've changed. In ways, we seem to be mirrors of each other, he being a more lively, cheekier version, me being a quieter and serious one. Yet, there is still that familiarity, the familiar essence of each other's smell, voice, vibe, that just makes me utterly relaxed, utterly comfortable, without need for guise. I am really glad that those past issues can be forgotten and we can make good, for now, and I hope, me, the frivolous one, would not throw away what's important to me this time round. There's still so many years to go as friends.

And I've never really thought of him or considered him as my 'best' (male) friend, but in so many ways, he really is.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

cheerful bags

Finally, out of the black/neutral colors bag mode and into cheery color bags.

This month's is the Raoul cheryl envelope clutch in rose gold. I love it!

Two recent buys in stunningly bright colors, trying to match them with what I already have in my wardrobe - a depiction.
And, I must try to wear my scarves more often!!!

Thursday, February 03, 2011

scrapbooking: Really Simple Birthday Cards in 5 minutes

I just wanted to make some really quick and simple (yet classy, of course) birthday cards with the scrap material I have on-hand.

So here is a really simple and in my opinion quite nice, birthday card you can make in 5 minutes.
I kid you not!

Color Theme: Black and White, Vintage, Dark Maroon, Silver

Materials: 2 types of ribbons - 1 about 1 cm thick, the other one really thin, scrap scrapbook paper, small alphabet stickers, glue

I had just these 2 pieces of beautiful vintage black-and-white paper I've been dying to use. I usually throw away scrap papers that are not of a decent size...The bigger card is postcard-sized and the other one is about two times of a regular namecard.

Here, the relative sizes.

So in really easy steps: Fold the paper, try to tie a nice ribbon with the smaller ribbon on top, paste down the super glittery ribbon below, paste the alphabet stickers and there you have a really nice birthday card. The more complicated the background is, the better!

Here's another version. The paper doesn't really pop, too bland! And I was trying to use up the pesky alphabets 'x,v,w,y,q'! I did another version at the back with the gingham ribbon and other ribbons but I think the first two I did were so much nicer due to the choice of papers.
For other scrapbook projects, please click on the links at the right column. Coming up next, I've finished another scrapbook envelope accordion album! I'm just waiting for the photos to be ready!

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

meant to be

It was one of my secretly uttered prayers to rekindle a lost friendship with a fellow brother-in-arms. The hardships of young adulthood and my petulant nature had caused it to end abruptly, forced a lifelong camaderie into wilt. I had not given much thought about it, absorbed in my own self-centred issues till recently.

Well, we have all grown up and enough years has passed to relinquish the awkwardness. I do hope for the posterity of a renewed connection. And, happy birthday, dear friend.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

somebunny somebunny somebunny

Here are some cute photos of bunnies.
Somehow bunnies are sooooo adorable. I hope those abandoned ones (silly consumeristic people who just buy them because they are cute and let them go when they become fat...) find a good home...and get rescued in time... fingers crossed!

Random cat. And I would buy this mullberry shirt if not for the pricetag.

Oops, I don't know how those few photos got in here.... Mushroom does like to camwhore...! All bunnies are vain that way!