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the simple life

"One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words." Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Job interviews

The Electric New Paper :

PERSONNEL directors from 100 corporations were asked to describe their most unusual interviews with prospective employees.

A job applicant challenged the interviewer to arm-wrestle.

Candidate explained that she could listen to the interviewer and music at the same time.

Applicant fell and broke arm during interview.

Candidate ate her lunch during the interview.

Applicant said her long-term goal was to replace the interviewer.

Candidate said he did not finish school because he was kidnapped.

Balding candidate excused himself and returned to the office a few minutes later wearing a wig.

Applicant said if he was hired, he would tattoo the corporate logo on his forearm.

Applicant interrupted interview to phone her therapist for advice on how to answer questions.

Candidate slept during interview.

- Spotted by Maureen Koh

Thursday, October 27, 2005


I moved my blog from cometopapa on the 21st Oct 2005.

The reason I moved - to remove the pressure of getting people to read or rather to get away from the disappointment of people not reading.

Why do I need that so much - probably the blog is the only way I'm connecting with people. It's talk, hang out, socialise all in one bag.

I feel like this is a new beginning. I sense myself moving in a new direction. I am yet to be exhilarated. I like to think I'm quietly confident. But words are meaningless at this stage.

I'm sleeping now. I hope to wake up -I can't say that everyday. I like to die peaceful, in my sleep. I feel like I've left nothing undone. Maybe except to bring my mom travel a bit more and for her to be a believer. Of course, I now have Milou- that naughty dog. Horny like hell.

New direction. Better, stronger, faster. Come quickly. Make haste. Bring love.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Think outside the box

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Alexandros Evangelou Xenopouloudakis

They will declare: Every journey has been taken.
You shall respond: I have not been to see myself.

They will insist: Everything has been spoken.
You shall reply: I have not had my say.

They will tell you: Everything has been done.
You shall reply: My way is not complete.

You are warned: Any way is long, any way is hard
Fear not. You are the gate- you, the gatekeeper.
And you shall go through and on...

--Alexandros Evangelou Xenopouloudakis

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Age of Intensity

We're in the age of intensity, according to Sally Hogshead.

What that means I don't know yet cos I haven't read her Radical Careering. But her ideas are found here if you want to read.

I did a career test at http://www.age-of-intensity.com/. Got a score of 120 and was told:

1) Beware average
2) Pull rabbits out of hats, even when there are no rabbits and no hats
3) Jump, and a net will appear

Good radical career advice, don't you think?

Want to be a radical careerist? Consider this, from the author:

"Think back to those times in your career when you've performed at your absolute best, when you blew past expectations and quite simply kicked ass. That's when you were a careerist. A careerist is somebody who takes action to become the most powerful, valuable, and fulfilled version of themselves. Careerists want to kickstart momentum, attack bigger possibilities, and get excited about Monday mornings. When you put that kind of action into your career, it becomes a verb: "careering." Hence the name of the book, Radical Careering. "

Time all-time 100 Novels

Time magazine released their list of the best 100 novels.

Out of the 100, I have read only 7.

Was surprised to see Watchmen on the list, the only graphic novel to do so.

Saw the Absolute version which cost like $120 at Kinokuniya last weekend.

I find another list, with a more international flavor, more authoritative:

The Top 100 books of all time

Out of that 100, I have 6.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Local telly

I came home early because my mother had a sudden craving for pizza.

She doesn't want to call and she couldn't finish anyway which was why she needed me.

Apart from fufilling my duties as a filial son, I wanted to come home to catch Extreme Japan and Tiramisu.

Actually, I came home early to see Erica Lee in a white bikini.

Anyway, Extreme Japan wasn't extreme at all. It was more like Boring Tame Japan. I still don't understand why they can't be at Yoyogi Park when they were at Shinjuku. (Probably because they were there during weekdays)

Tiramisu was not much better. Looked pretty and all that (all our local shows seemed to have the same DP and colorist who only use the same warm tones) but the script and story wasn't any good. One moment that spoilt it all for me was when the aunt was scolding her nephew for not paying enough attention to his restaurant. She was implying that the reason was due to his father (probably dead). That was really clumsy and reminds me of all the bad Channel 8 shit.

At the end of the story, we see Sharon Au asleep on the male lead's shoulder. Thought I saw the same thing in Chase (at least in the trailer).

Maybe we have the same scriptwriter writing our scripts. Isn't that brilliant?

Mediacorp is really a strange animal. As I blog, it's showing ABC's Eyes. A strange decision considering the network cancelled the series and only showed 5 episodes in the US. Hmm, unless they managed to get their hands on the rest of the season's episodes, which some would have been shot. Of course, I have seen all 5 episodes already in April and it's good.

I hope Erica and her white bikini appear soon before I experience more Stay Home And Cry Tuesdays.

(Added: Also, check out the tasteless, horrible product placement for Marigold HL milk in Tiramisu. Ugh! )

Monday, October 17, 2005

Television is so yesterday

Television is so yesterday.

Last week was the release of the video iPod.

Nothing new except the deal to make available episodes of Desperate Housewives and Lost the next day after broadcast.

Creative has been able to play video on their portable devices. Problem was the content wasn't too attractive. And as they say, content is king.

With BitTorrent, many of us have been watching current episodes of US television instead of waiting like 6 months later or never for them to hit the local airwaves.

This is kind of bad as well as it means I'm watching more television than I should.

As I blog, the television is tuned to a special recap episode of America's Top Model. Other programmes like Lost and Desperate Housewives also have something like that before their season finale. So you can watch the recap and the finale and won't miss much.

Plus you can always read Television Without Pity's detailed recaps of each of the episode.

Advertising on television is in danger, which explains why product placement is plain crazy nowadays.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Prata Woman

Just the other day, I was drafting an email (which is really an important part of my work, if email wasn't invented, many of us will be out of work) to my Australian colleague.

I wrote "him" in the email and then I realized it could be construed (a strange word) as sexist. So I had to change to "her".

I was reading my previous post and I realized it said "Prata Man".

Do Prata Women exist?

In this day and age (I have to be really careful here), where it's openly understood that a woman can do a man's job (equally well or better but never worse), I have not seen a single Prata Woman.

There's an Assistant Prata Woman at Suntec City's Congress cafe. She takes your coupon, puts your prata on the plate and smiles when she feels like it. But no doughing, no flippin', no greasy hands.

In other words- not an authentic Prata Woman.

I think I'll like to marry a Prata Woman - someone who don't mind getting her hands dirty, who's good with her hands and who can make me 2 extra crispy kosong pratas in the morning (only when she feels like it, of course).

If it's not too much, I hope she makes a smashing curry.

Interns R Nuts

The International Producer told me today about her Digital Media Intern.

This 3rd year Digital Media Intern studies Avid (editing software) and Photoshop. Very cool. Very industry-standard. Great.

So International Producer ask Digital Media Intern to take a file and create an Alpha Channel.

What's that? Digital Media Intern is clueless.

What's that? International Producer is helpless.

I am very amused.

Digital Media Intern not knowing what an Alpha Channel is like a doctor not knowing how to give an injection, prata man not knowing how to flip and Milou (soon to be castrated) not knowing how to get it on with Miss Watsons.

Digital Media Intern goes out to shoot footage of an advertising signboard at the bus stop.

She comes back. International Producer watches footage. She sees Digital Media Intern's reflection. Asks why?

Digital Media Intern's brief answer - Purposely one.

Digital Media Intern also pulled off another amazing feat. She shoots with the video camera turned 90 degrees sideways.

Purposely one.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005


Annalakshmi, the vegetarian restaurant is a great concept.

It's pay what you like. In fact, it's "Eat what you like & give as you feel".

I pay $10 everytime. Some day I might try $2, just to see the reaction of the cashier but I'm sure he won't even blink.

They have been around for a while, so I'm sure it works, even with funding from The Temple of Fine Arts.

Run like a charity, it doesn't feel like a charity. The ambience is cozy and almost lavish. The food is always very delicious. It's also one of those buffets that keep replendishing their food. I was there till 2 and the food kept flowing.

They are advocates of vegetarianism. But they are very easygoing and so you don't feel like they are pushing an agenda. But definitely not easygoing enough to serve chicken masala.

They also promote Indian fine culture, with scheduled dance performances in the evening.

Some of the staff may look a bit ruffled when they find out you don't have a reservation but otherwise they are quite helpful.

There are many lessons we can learn here that can be applied in our organizations:

  • Values-driven
  • Soft advocacy
  • Motivated staff (volunteers)
  • Non-profit doesn't mean cheap
  • Non-profit doesn't mean low quality
I love to see their bottom line.

Monday, October 10, 2005

No cuts

This is probably the coolest thing any film producer ever did.

You might know Hayao Miyazaki, or at least his films - Howl's Moving Castle, Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke.

From the Guardian:

"In 1997 the director signed a distribution deal with Disney... His refusal to grant merchandising rights means that there is no chance of any Nausicaa happy meals or Spirited Away video games. Furthermore, Disney wields no creative control. There is a rumour that when Harvey Weinstein was charged with handling the US release of Princess Mononoke, Miyazaki sent him a samurai sword in the post. Attached to the blade was a stark message: "No cuts."

The director chortles. "Actually, my producer did that. Although I did go to New York to meet this man, this Harvey Weinstein, and I was bombarded with this aggressive attack, all these demands for cuts." He smiles. "I defeated him."

Harvey Weinstein is a fiercesome, powerful man. To send him a samurai sword with "No cuts" is just bloody brilliant.

I'm proud to be Asian.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Milou the happy dog

Milou pulled off a Houdini yesterday. He found a way to slip off his choker and merrily went about tearing my house apart.

I came home to find a very messed up pee tray and mothballs in the shoe cabinet missing.

You don't have to be a CSI to figure out the dog ate them. Since then, Milou has been excreting great balls of shit instead of the usual tubular turds.

Other than that, he looks fine.

Lately, Milou has taken to licking big time. He licks everything - furniture, crate, people, penises (his and mine when he's on my lap).

Of course, I stop him, you clowns.

I find it disgusting when he licks me cos his thing comes out. It's very strange.

But come to think of it, if I were to start licking a girl, my thing would react.

Of course, this means Milou is gay.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Stanford Institute of Design

I've been extremely keen on design thinking recently.

The Stanford Institute of Design or d.school seems like a great place to study design thinking. I see it mentioned many times while researching on the Internet.

Go see the napkin manifesto found on the bottom of the main page.

I found a reading list here. Someone added Gerald Zaltman's How Customers Think which I enjoyed tremendously.

Next on my list is Daniel Pink's A Whole New Mind. Check out a podcast with him here.