Tuesday, March 31, 2009

It's all uphill after marriage

Today, amidst the busy Monday activities my close friends all started doing group emails again. Why? Because someone is getting married in Dec.

So emails were flying around, discussing about venues, photographers, 'chi-mui', MC, organ playing (I meant the instrument!!!), drunk brides and wedding dresses.

Wedding dresses, ah, so many different types...... there are the simple elegant types, the oh-so-in-your-face-i'm-so-getting-married types, the 80s fluffy types and the what-were-you-thinking types. But today, I am not here to discuss about types of wedding dresses. Nope, the subject matter of the day is...... weight and size.

I remember a few of my friends who got married, and the girls who did went on this amazing weight losing run just to fit into the perfect dress on that perfect day. It's amazing when you set your mind onto something, what you can really achieve!

So to the tribute of these amazing women, here is a graph to depict the journey of weight over time before and after marriage. It's all the way up after that special day!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

MunY Movies: Watchmen

First let me just say, there are so many versions of Watchmen movie posters out there I had to plow through them and make a decision on which one to use.

The one I picked is this....

Alright, another superhero movie. But this is not your papa and mama's superhero. Well, they could be if your papa or mama were born in the late 70s or early 80s and are fans of Alan Moore.

Although I am the comic dork, I have actually not read watchmen before. And watching the movie will be my way of 'reading' it. So I could not really tell how true director Zack Snyder stayed to the comic version.

Just a brief introduction to the story, it is set in a different reality, where Nixon has been elected for a 3rd term and heroes are outlawed. The cold war is still ongoing between the USSR and USA, and the 3rd world war is about to happen, Nuclear style.

The plot of the story starts with the murder of the comedian, played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan (who was on Grey's anatomy as Izzy Steven's dead lover, Denny Duquette). And the movie reels into a series of flashbacks on other heroes, Dr Manhattan ( The blue naked man with god like powers), The Owl II (Batman wannabe), Silk Specter II (Latex Lingerie wearing wonder woman type), Ozymandias (The brains behind the operation) and Rorschach (Psycho superhero with a cloth as a face).

Story is too long for me to write it here, if you want to know more. Read it here .

Alot of people found the movie weird and boring, and not to mention long. (it's almost 3 hours. 162 minutes accordingly to IMDB). So visit the toilet before you head into the cineplex.

I personally like the movie. (Yes, no surprise since I am a dork) It's different, and thought provoking. The background sets you back to the 80s(good times?), and the plot unravels quite well. And there are quite a few 'easter eggs' in the movie.

What are easter eggs? They are cleverly placed items for you to catch. I saw the Twin Towers still standing, Apple's first TV commercial that is a cult classic now was playing on one of the tv screens and I'm sure there are more that I missed.

I'm glad I caught this in the cinema because most likely I'll be falling asleep if this was playing at home while I'm slouched on my bed/couch.

My rating: Not bad, Not bad at all....

Watch it if
Your boyfriend is a dork like me, and just accompany him to score some points
You read the comic, or have not read the comic
You want to see superheroes have sex on the big screen (yes, they do that. Not sure if it's censored in Malaysia)

Saturday, March 28, 2009

The fairest of them all?

'Mirror, Mirror on the wall.... Who is the fairest of them all?'

I can not believe the amount of whitening cream ads that is popping up on the TV here in India.

Almost every major brand is in on it, and it's whitening cream for both men and women!

Ok, I can understand the psyche of wanting to get fairer. It is after all an obsession with the Asian community because of the importance we place on skin tones.

This has no research basis, because I have not done any. It is purely based on anecdotal experiences and observations.

In the Asian community, the fairer skin tone would place you on the higher hierarchy of society. Symbolizing that you have good shelter,proper diet and care. While a darker skin tone is tied to the working class of farmers and laborers, the type of people that needs to be out in the sun the whole day.

You can also see the same obsession with Mr M Jackson, but his change is driven by a totally different reason.

So back to whitening creams in India...  Must be huge opportunities here, since probably 90% of the population is dark skinned? But why the need here?  In the land of Darlie?

My take is that it's also driven by social perception.... If you ask anyone in Malaysia, alot of people are familiar with the stars of bollywood. Stars like Katrina Kaif, Ashwarya Rai, Kareena Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra are all fair skinned. And the perception by alot of people, at least the ones back in Malaysia is that North Indians or the ones from Bollywood are fair and hot!

So can you blame the average Indian girl wanting to have a fairer skin tone? It links to glamor, of course they want it. Even girls back in Malaysia who are already quite fair, are trying hard to be like Michael Jackson.

But Indian men who wants to get fairer, that point I'm not too sure of........

As  for me, I thought to myself.... Do I need to 'whiten' myself up? If I do, this is probably how I'll look like....

Yes guys, the 'dot' is always there.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Talent Acquisition

First, Have a look at Dilbert's version of Talent acquisition.

Ever felt the same way before?

I know alot of people feel the same way where I worked, and it's also the main grouse I have towards my company.

But if you come from the business background, you will know that it is the right thing to do for the company. You need to inject new blood into the stream, stir up the pot, keep the mojo going. A fresh perspective is always good.

Thing that irks me is when some dimwit gets paid double your salary and does half your work. Yes, that is either called stupid manager hiring or super bullshit skills during interview.

And staying loyal to a company can suck at times, talk to my sis and she'll convince you that you should never stay with one single company too long. The only way to keep on getting your pay increase is to jump around, loyalty does not pay in the corporate world unless you are recognized.

Some people jump around because they can't stay in a place too long, they get exposed. But some can stay longer if the management are just as dumb.

Quoting a friend, 'The guys that are taking 5 figure pay are piling up the shit, coming in at 9am and leaving a 6pm sharp. While guys like me who cleans up their shit, works late, gets paid in peanuts.'

It is sad, but the truth. So before you go into the corporate world, hone your skills and always make yourself a 'talent' so you can get acquired more easily.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Earth Hour 2009

Last Friday evening, someone asked me to write something about Earth Hour to increase awareness of it.

What is Earth Hour? Visit www.earthhour.org to find out more.

As a summary for those of you too lazy to click on a link above, Earth hour started in 2007 in Sydney when 2.2 million people turned off their lights for 1 hour. In 2008, the activity went global as an initiative against global warming.

Famous landmarks around the world went dark for 1 hour, between 8:30pm - 9:30pm local time. This year, Earth hour is an election. on the 28th of March, between 830pm to 930pm local time. You choose, your vote for or against mother Earth.

1 Billion people are expected to be part of this landmark election, and you can be part of it. Just turn off the lights between 830pm till 930pm local time, doesn't matter where you are, just 1 hour of total darkness.

You can go moon tanning if that makes you feel better, or just light up a candle and share a romantic moment with your better half, or use the hour to be 'productive' for all you lovers out there. It's all for mother earth.

For me, with the Bangalore's electricity cuts happening once every day for 1 hour. I can argue that I've done my part of mother earth but I won't. I am making a commitment to have the lights off for 1 hour from 830pm till 930pm IST. (need to get my house mate's agreement of course, but I am sure they will be in)

And if you blog or write, spread this out there and get more people to participate. Remember, 28th March 2009, 830pm till 930pm Local time! 

So, see you all in the dark. :)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

You Are (not) always on my mind

Recently this song floated back to mind again, why? Because I watched AI and Anoop Desai did such a good rendition of it I decided to 'acquire' a copy of the song for entertainment purposes.

The song was first made famous by The King, Elvis. Then a version by Willie Nelson in the early 80s and later on by the Pet Shop Boys near the late 80s.

Ok, that's all the background info I have on the song.

But let me tell you the reason for this post. So like I said, I 'acquired' the song for my listening pleasure. And on this nice Sunday morning I am listening to it while chatting on IM with my gf.

Here's how the conversation went...

Me: I'm listening to 'Always on my mind'
GF: Ish
Me: What Ish?
GF: Nothing
Me: You are always on my mind?
GF: I so don't believe
Me: WHAT????
GF: When you have football nights, football on your mind
Me: NOooooo
GF: When you are playing your games, games are on your mind
Me: .............
GF: That's such a stupid song
GF: They should change the name and lyrics of that song
Me: When did you become so cynical?
GF: Your fault lah...
Me: ............
GF: It should be changed to something like, 'you are mostly on my mind,' not always
GF: Lau Gi Na (bluffing children)
Me: ..................

I have finally done it, turning my once optimistic and cheerful better half to a cynical non-believer of romance.


Saturday, March 21, 2009

MunY Movies: Confessions of a SHOPAHOLIC

Confessions of a SHOPAHOLIC is a chick flick no matter how you fold it. And yes, I watched it.

I know guys who would do anything to avoid chick flicks with their better half, may it be making up fake meetings, fake illnesses or even actually doing some house chores to avoid going for chick flicks.

Me, I just enjoy any simple mindless movie that comes my way. Noooo, I'm not saying chick flicks are mindless and am not implying what so ever to people who watches them. Because that would make me mindless too, right? RIGHT??? Bah. It's 2 hours of escapism whichever way I look at it.

Confessions of a SHOPAHOLIC is ANOTHER adaptation from the book by Sophie Kinsella. The movie stars Isla Fisher (Wedding Crashers, Definitely Maybe) as Rebecca Bloomwood, the main character of this movie, who is but what else? A Shopaholic.

Mannequin talks to her, persuades her to buy stuff she does not really need. The word sale triggers an effect in her brain that overrides all other capabilities. And to top it all off, she is a serial liar.

I wonder if all women have that going through their brains? Ladies, maybe you can tell us and shed a little light that we men can never understand about shopping?

Story is quite straight forward, Rebecca is a journalist trying to get into one of the top fashion magazines in New York. Failing to do so, she settles for a financial magazine under the same corporate umbrella hoping to find her way up to the trendy fashion mag.

She uses her 'awesome' ability to tie personal financial to shopping, and winds up being a celebrity. At the same time, she falls for her boss who is both handsome and rich. But she fails to tell him the truth about herself, thus causing a rift when she was exposed as a woman in big financial debt by the 'stalker' debt collector.

She realizes life is more than just shopping, and turns over a new leaf and lives happily ever after......

yes..... that's the story ladies and gent. What did you expect? read the book, i'm sure it'll be better.

Isla Fisher's performance was agonizing to watch in this movie, I liked her in 'Definitely, Maybe', but this movie is one she can forget. I cringed during the scene when she was trying to be funny doing some funny dance moves.

The movie's editing also didn't come out right, leaving me feeling disconnected at times between scenes.

My Rating: Ok only.....

Watch it if
You do not intend to read the book but still wants to know the story
You are faced between the choice of this movie or Punisher:Warzone
You have read the book and just want a visual aid

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Separation Anxiety

Moms have separation anxiety when they go back to work after 3 months of maternity, game Geeks have separation anxiety when they leave their PSP at home and boyfriends/girlfriends in their first 3 months of dating would probably get the same type of feeling.

But would you get separation anxiety when you are staying away from your job? Probably not right? The longer the break, the better. I guess.

So when do you get separation anxiety when it comes to your job? During times like these I guess.

Would you voluntarily separate from your job now not knowing if you will find one out there? It sure is something to think about right?

What if you are offered 1.5 months of pay for every year of service? And on top of that, 3 months pay for severance? Would you feel better separating from your job? I guess that depends on how many years you have been working in the company right? and how much commitment you have? And how much you hate your job and boss? The list goes on.....

I know that just the talk of job separation is causing anxiety these day, but if you already hate your job or your fat manager why not take it right? What's the worst that could happen right? Oh, right. Not finding a job after.

But what if you do? What if you get like 12 months pay to separate from your job, do you think you could find a job within 6-9 months? Then you have like a 3 month bonus!!! And you might even get a raise from your previous job! Now that is what I call a double bonus!

That of course is the rosy scenario, but I know some people who are thinking hard about it. And why wouldn't they? It's a golden opportunity to get out of the rat race and maybe look at doing something they really want to do. If it was me, I'd go learn how to cook! (yes, I don't cook too well. OK OK, I don't cook at all!!! Bah)

But things could go south as well, if you don't find a job and decides not to be enterprising. The commitments like car, house and children will quickly bog you down. But if you don't have any commitment, separation ain't that bad.... You might get hired back after a year and get higher pay! (which btw, happened in the past)

So let's hope people who are thinking of VSS make the decision wisely. Remember, I alway say there is no right or wrong..... just consequences we have to live with.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

I found Starbucks in a bottle!!!

A bottle Starbucks drink, what's the big deal right? It sure is when you are in India.

Hell, it is when you do not get starbucks coffee here at all.

Yes, Starbucks is a company in descension. Some of you don't even like it. For me, I remember the time when I was making a decision to move to India I googled up 'starbucks India'. No results turned up. Why? Because there is NO Starbucks here in India. Booooo.....

So after 2 years here, you can imagine my excite me when I saw this sitting on a shelve selling for Rs175.(rougly around USD $3.5)
It is Frappucino in the bottle yo! Wonder if a genie will pop up if I rub it......

And it's my fav flav, Mocha!!!

I have not tried it yet, I will probably do so sometime during the week.

Do they not have good coffee here? Of course they do, but I'm just a sucker for the brand. And I always had this idea that the coffee in Starbucks taste better. :P

It's been a good weekend, ontop of finding Starbucks, the mauling of Man U at Old Trafford by Liverpool is SWEET! Just like icing on a cake. Yumz. *grin*

Friday, March 13, 2009

DEAR Friday, you are finally here.....

How I wish every Friday can be DEAR. Yes yes, It is already dear as it is. But I am talking about D.E.A.R.

Drop Everything and Run!

I learned this from my colleagues back in Penang, every last Friday of the month, by 4:30pm, it's mandated that no matter what you are doing, you just DEAR! That's a cool concept.

Today again is Friday the 13th, the 2nd such day in 2009. I wrote about it a month back here . Last month it was the day before Valentine day, this month.... it's just another Friday. Nothing bad happened...... not to me anyway.

However, more people around the world are getting laid off. And I heard about some lay offs that was very near to me. It's scary, so during times like these, we gotta find some way to survive....

Here's a tip from Dilbert.

So if you are a sales person, maybe can try pasar malam? So if I am in marketing, what do I do in the black 'market'? hmmmm.......

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

It's a Holi day!

It is a Holi day, and it's also a holiday... for some parts of India.

Holi is the festival of colors, a popular Hindu spring festival. I'm surprised it's not hugely celebrated in Malaysia, but it sure is here in India.

On this day of Holi-ness, people go out and throw colored powder or water onto each other. You will see people of multi-colors walking around. Did not manage to get any pictures today cause it was not a holiday for me.....

I remember my first year here in Bangalore and my first encounter with Holi. I was walking along the streets of Koramangala on a Sunday morning, around 11am or so I believe, and I saw a man, a purple colored man with very white teeth, smiling and walking. Then after a few more meters,  I saw a group of rainbow colored ladies walking along. It was a sight that stuck, and I eventually found out that it was Holi that day, and not an alien invasion.

Caution be warned, colors do get thrown at innocent by standers on the road. So if you do not want to get your best shirt/suit/tie mixed up with colors, dress down on Holi. The colors will dress you up nicely. :)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

My Mom got mugged!

My mom got robbed yesterday, found out via my sister. Bad economic times bring out the bad in people.

My mom was coming home, and was opening the gate. Upon seeing a bike with 2 suspicious looking individual she quickly ran into her car and locked the door, thinking that she would be safe. How wrong can she be..... 1 of the 2 guys smashed the window, reached into the car and grabbed her bag and handphone!

Fortunately she was unharmed, and that is the most important in my opinion. She was too shocked when the glass shattered, that's why she did not put the car into a moving state and run the 2 robbers over. Same thing happened 25 years ago in front of our house too, that time I was with her. It can be a very shocking experience.

So to all the people out there, carry smaller or less eye catching bags. Keep your laptops in the boot while driving, remove it when you are parked in any public area..... or you can just install bullet proof enforced glass on your car.

On a totally unrelated note, my PC got fixed today. I am so relieved.

The IT guy that fixed my PC, his name is Guru! Now, how cool a name is that! You get to have people call you Guru everyday, like some wise saint. In Japan it'll be like someone calling you sensei all day long, but that would happened anyway if your occupation is a teacher. x_x

So now I'm transferring all my data back onto the PC, and on a not so bright side catch up on 2 days worth of email. FARGO!

P/S Guys, I think a good gift nowadays for your partner would be pepper spray... just make sure it's not used onto you when there's an argument.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Handicapped by Technology....

We have seen it in cartoons, fictional movies, books..... one day the human civilization will plunge into darkness because either technology builds super powerful robots to kill us all or we do not know how to survive when technology goes away.

Today I felt helpless when my laptop refuses to work, everytime I connect to the network and start up outlook my whole system freezes.

My system has been giving me problems for quite some time now, but I've persevered and kept on using it because I love it so much.

No, not true. I want to change to a new system but my IT dept will not let me. Why? Because our finance director gave a directive, any system less than 5 years old can not be replaced. All options must be explored before a replacement can be issued.


The productivity I've wasted on this work PC would have probably saved more money for the company if a new machine got issued! But maybe my productivity not worth that much lah, if I am some important fella they would have been scampering to change a new system for me. Bah!

So I thought to myself, the work I am doing now,  I am nothing without my laptop! OMG! It's like starsky and hutch, Timon and Pumba, Cow and Chicken..... ermm..... you get the point. My laptop, I am nothing without you!!!! *kaw-tow*

Tools of the trade, and mine happens to be a 3 year old laptop with a 12.1" screen that bluescreens me whenever I put too much load onto it(don't have any wrong ideas here, or did I just put one into your head?)

I had some diabolical plan to just throw it out of an airplane or drown it, or set it on fire.... but that if found out would make me a felon and I might lose my job. And during times like these, I love my Job! So I skipped those ideas.....

For now, I am transferring 50GB of data onto my external HDD and hoping that my IT Dept will be able to fix it tomorrow morning.

Grr..... stupid technology......

Recession Vs Depression?

The other day on IM, a friend and colleague of mine back in Penang had this to say.

'Recession is when my neighbour loses his job, Depression is when I lose mine'

In my previous entry, Increment Nada, I paraphrased 'The best time to have a job is during a recession' from someone.

So what's the objective of this post today? Well, it's a Sunday evening, and in a few hours time I'll be dragging myself out of bed for work. I use the word 'drag', because work has become draggy.... and it's the worst time to have this feeling.

Work used to be all about learning something new everyday, it was not monotonous, it was an adventure. What happened? I don't know, maybe the passion got lost somewhere, maybe I'm home sick, or maybe, just maybe, I'm depressed.

If during a recession, having a job is the best thing; then having a depression is the worst.

It makes you unmotivated, sloppy, moody, temperamental, uneasy..... (name any other unpleasant feeling in the dictionary and it'll fit in with depression)

It also weighs you down like invisible weights on your shoulders, you feel like sandbags tied to your legs and hands. You feel like there's an old man of the sea hanging onto your back....... sinking you ever deeper into the sand of unending misery.

And as we all know it, misery loves company. The more you whine and complain, the worse it will get. So why am I doing it here? Well, cause I can, that's why.

Actually, that's not true. The reason I  am writing this is because I know some people feel the same, and I hope it does not get to them as much as it did me this evening. Some people ask me how I stay motivated, and I tell them I'm just dense. 'Stupid is as stupid does' said Forest.

But the truth is you have to keep on looking and keep an open mind, every NEW day is a gift, not an entitlement. So always stay curious, and always stay hungry. It will save your life during times like these.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

A dilbert moment...

I have been thinking about this post for a while, and also about the appropriate title for it. It's been hovering over my head for a few days but still very little inspiration.

As I type this now, the title is left empy. I'm sure I'll come up with something in between or the end.

So what is this 'idea' that has been lingering in my head for a past few days that I just could not put 'pen' to 'paper'?

It is actually something to do with my work. It's no secret to my family, friends and colleague that I'm planning to move back home from India imminently. As for the exact date, I still do not have a confirmation on that.

My boss of course knows this too, since we have been discussing about this since October of last year. And in order for me to move on from my current work, he has to find someone to 'backfill' me.

Backfill, for those of you who are not familiar with corporate jargons, is just a fancy word for replacement. Yes, everyone in the corporate world is expandable and replaceable.

So last week, my 'backfill' got hired and he is now 'onboard' with us. So that means, I can move on anytime I want. Provided I find a new job and I give the proper training to this new person. Unfortunately, I do not have a new job, and I have like 1000 things to do, and training this person will become the 1001th thing on my long and unending to-do list.

Screw me! I don't have a job and here I'm training a new person to take over my current job! It's a total dilbert moment! I'm so screwed! (the screw me part was a shout out to Megan Fox btw.... if she ever stumbles unto my humble page)

According to the Dilbert's Guide to corporate world survival, I should be teaching this new person all the wrong things, or withold information so he/she will screw up. Thus making me look superior and irreplaceable. Muahahahahha........

Although I am firm disciple of the Dilbert school, I won't be following Guru D's teachings this time round. I think it's going to be a challenge by itself trying to understand the corporate culture, and add the India business in the mix and this person is in for a roller coaster ride!

I've been quite burned out the past 2 months because a colleague of mine who works closely with me went on maternity. And just FYI, Maternity leave here in India is 3 months! So 1 more month to go until she returns..... if I survive that long..

So this post is really going no where, that's the problem when you start to write something without an objective or topic in mind. You just go all over the place.

I guess, the summary is that I'm burned out and now I get an added responsibility to train a totally new person. And I am expected to train this person and have him do what I have been doing for the last 2 years in 6 weeks time. Yeah, talk about making myself look incompetent.

Anyway, I'm going to do what I need to. And hopefully find that job back home soon, so I can move back.

P/S I just could not think of a proper title, so what you see up there is just my lame attempt to lable this post...

Friday, March 6, 2009

Increment Nada

So it's official, no increment at work this year.

Company made the announcement actually 2 days back, but I didn't bother writing about it. Guess the economic meltdown has finally hit my door.

Initially the company said the increment will only be delayed to 2nd half of the year, but with no light to the end of the tunnel in terms of how bad things will be, the working rats that we are must take the hit for the team.

I guess some people will say it's better than losing a job or getting a decrement.

Recession has definitely set in, and it's setting in hard. Times like these you gotta think twice before spending moolah. But you only live once, plan carefully and spend wisely and we should be able to make it through.

I saw a facebook message the other day that went, 'I love my job, I love my Job, I love my job'. Well, we all know what the real meaning is. But if there was ever a time to self-hypnotize, it is definitely now.

I leave you with some wise words today...... 'The best time to have a job is during a recession'

Chin up, and suck it in my friends. We're in for a rough ride. But let's all do it with a smile, after all, what's life without a little bit of laughter?

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Art of CYA

In the corporate world, there is an Art that you must master in order to survive. You will always see this art practiced perfectly by cowardly individuals, because in the corporate world, 'heroes die first'

So what is CYA? No, it's not the friendly parting word you say to your friend after coffe, c'Ya! It's actually short for 'Cover Your Ass'.

Today, a colleague and friend of mine got really bummed at work because her boss is the CYA bastard.

How to identify a CYA bastard?

The individual is always trying to look good and always the first one to take initiative to do stuff, but in the end chuck it to someone else to do it. And if something goes wrong, the person's ass is covered by pointing the finger in a different direction.

Or the Individual is the type who sends out an email and never follows up on the particular matter, and when something goes wrong will always refer back to said email to cover his/her ass.

Or he/she/shim (trying to be politically correct to CMA) always champions an idea but always add to that idea with the words 'but' or 'can also'.

Actually, CYA is not a bad thing. It is part of survival in the corporate jungle. But like the ying and the yang, there is a good side and a bad side to CYA.

Positive ways is always do the right follow ups, do your due dilligence, ask the right questions and keep all emails send to you! Yes, I have my work email dating back to 2003. :P

Negative ones are the ones I mentioned earlier.

So if you're new to the working environment, look out for CYA bastards, and practice it to stay alive and never become a CYAB!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Beer is the cure to AIDs

As the world's brightest minds and pharmaceutical companies are still cracking their heads to find the cure to AIDS, I have accidentally stumbled upon it.

Where? Here....

What? This....

Don't believe..... See this....
What? cannot see properly? ok..... 
Huh? says nothing about curing AIDS? You're right..... see below

Now do you believe me? Regression and ELIMINATION of AIDS virus ok?

Don't play play, Drink more beer Today!

P/S I did not drink 1/2 pint of beer, because I am not suppose to......