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Monday, December 27, 2010

Marcus

I met this awesome guy at Banff, Alberta.  He used to work as companion of the blind.  But because he's super friendly,  he's been promoted as the Director of Pet Relations.  And so,  Marcus has his own post at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise...

If he can make a difference, so can we

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

I jumpstart a car with my hands!

A week ago, I was invited by a friend to watch a christmas singing tree show at  a local church.  Before that night, we went shopping in the morning. It was just me, my girlfriend and her little boy.  We used the old car that they just purchased.  It was a 19-something model ford mercury.  Since she's a novice driver, and her husband was at work that morning,  I was tasked to drive the car. 

First, I was hesistant because they told me that the car broke down one time while on the road and that they had to call BCAA (British Columbia Autmobile Association) to jumpstart their car.  Then later, they found out that the car's battery was old and weak.

That's the very reason why I was having second thoughts driving the car.  But since my friend assured me that she's a BCAA member as well, I finally gave-in and trust my technical ability to deal with it -  If and when it broke down on me.

So before leaving, I warmed-up the car for a few minutes. On start, I didn't have problem with the ignition.  The engine started at once. But when we were all settled down, buckled up and ready to go, the engine wouldn't start.  I tried, and tried four times, and still wouldn't start. We looked at each other. Then before I almost gave up, I instinctively jumped off the car and opened the hood.  I  was positive, it was the battery.

I clamped my fingers on the posts of the two terminals and tried winding it.  It looked tight and secure.  So I tried slightly tipping the battery off and clinching back to place (just imagining how my dad would do it in the same situation) After pretending that I knew what I was doing,  I went back the driver's seat, and re-started the engine.  Wah-lah!  It worked!  I was completely stunned. My friend was also amazed and said, she didn't have a clue whatever I did that make it work.  And for the whole morning we went shopping, the car was smooth running till we got to the show.

But later that night after the two-hour show, in the frigid parking spot, the car weaselled out on us again. Being successful with my first endeavor in the morning,  I did exactly the same thing, and once again, it worked.

I really don't know if it's just coincidence or real science.  But I'm puzzled myself.

So here's what I gathered:

"...When we scuff our shoes upon a rug on a dry winter day, our bodies typically charge up to a potential of several thousand volts with respect to the ground. In physics this is a well-known fact, and is easily verified by meter measurements. Touch a grounded object, and a spark will leap between the object and your fingertip. This kind of electric spark can only exist when a high voltage is present. The tiniest spark requires about 500 volts. Big, nasty, painful sparks require lots more voltage, up to several thousand volts. But even when no sparks are jumping, there is still a high voltage between your charged body and the ground, and your charged body is surrounded with an invisible electric field..." - http://amasci.com/emotor/voltmeas.html


An Amazing Fact

According to the scientists, in 15 per cent fat in a human body, it is possible to generate 11,000 watts of electricity per hour. In fact, different yielded energy levels are 81 watts from a sleeping person, 128 watts from a soldier standing at ease, 163 watts from a walking person, 407 watts from a briskly walking person, 1,048 watts from a long-distance runner, and 1,630 watts from a sprinter.  http://hubpages.com/hub/Generating-Electricity-From-Body-Heat




So next time your car battery dies down on you, try using your hands to jumpstart...But scuff your shoes first on a rug.  Who knows?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Christmas cards: E or P

I know December is the busiest season of the year for everyone. Apparently for me, it's the most engulfing moments at work. Because besides my usual tons of to-do things, I have this big project to complete for the holidays --- the christmas cards and annual calendars. I'm not talking about just 50 christmas cards to send out here, but normally 250-300 pieces of cards and 100-200 calendars. And all these have to go out before the third week of December.

I've been doing this for the past 4 years, so working on this project should just be a walk in the
park for me. But for some reasons, I find this particular task always exasperating when the the holiday season steps in. So I'm glad that the management have decided to make changes in the christmas-card giving this year...From the traditional christmas cards, we're now switching to E-cards. I'm so relieved.

Looking for the right media wasn't difficult to do. It took me only about 3 weeks, including the waiting time, to find one and had it approved by our president. And I did it all online without the hustle of tucking in envelopes...So when I showed the finish product for everyone to see, their reaction was, "E-card??"...I don't know what that means. But it seems to me, they are surprise.


And why not E-card? Technologies change overnight. Just the 10" HP netbook model I've purchased a couple of months ago is now off the shelf, and for sure, that model will find its way to archives by next year. So the decision to switch to e-card shouldn't be a surprise to everyone, but rather, it's an expected transformation in line to this quick-changing time. Besides, I'm glad we've saved 75% cost of the traditional christmas cards, which I'm hoping will go to our bonuses this year instead. And most important benefit to me is that my work load has been reduced to almost half for the holiday season. Leaving me stress-free and pleasant-looking for the coming holidays.


So just as I'm excited to send the e-card next week with the click of the mouse, I've learned from my co-worker that my bosses are reluctant to send e-cards to our overseas Koreans and Japanese contacts. The reason for this, as relayed to me, is they won't be appreciated.


How ironic. Why wouldn't the e-cards be appreciated? It is a known fact across the globe that the Japanese and Koreans are the pioneer in advanced technologies we have today. They are the brain to the newest sony 3D television; the dynamic HD canon cameras; the most technologically advanced car--the Lexus? (according to answers.com); and other many modern gadgets and machines that I'm probably not aware of, or that we thought doesn't exist but are actually being used in their own backyards already. So why wouldn't they appreciate an e-card? Isn't this a by-product of their brilliant inventions?


Is the world torn between traditional and New technology? That sometimes people are getting confuse of who they are and what their choices would be, because there is a dilemma between the present and the past. And if they choose the one from the other, their life, work, belief and culture will be affected.

I wonder how many more people still consider themselves traditional. I know my parents are. But my dad (at age 66), if money is not an issue, will definitely grab the newest and most versatile vehicle out in the market. Me too, as much as I'm not very techy, is also indulging and drooling over the modern gadgets. And eventhough I have all the advanced gadgets I need, I'm still not contented. However, when it comes to other aspect of my life, I'm still strongly a traditionalist. I can't live without pen and paper.


The only people I know for sure who's still stuck in traditional ways are those living in the remote area of Asia and Africa. Those who doesn't have access to television or other media. As a matter of fact, even access to clean water is still a major concern that the modern world has left behind them. And digging water from the well with a bucket is probably their latest and only known technology so far. Their traditional life is merely predestined that they don't have a choice but to live with it. So, do you think they'll care if it's an e-card or paper card for christmas?


After what I heard, I told my co-worker that probably it would be good to go back to the traditional christmas cards next year if they have anxieties. I don't mind at all. But what bothers me is-- Why is it a big deal? E-cards or P-cards, it`s the sincerest gesture of passing-on good cheers for the christmas season that matters. So when they say it won`t be appreciated? I think they're missing the whole point.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

My rude awakening

There are few things I get excited about this holiday season. One, there's the work bonus that I'll be receiving in the coming days, and two, there's the holiday tour I'll be having with my friends. (giddy, giddy up!)


But on the other end of the table, there's also that one thing that I fret about -- the annual work review. I'm not worried because I've performed bad this year, but I'm worried that I don't know what to put on my own evaluation again. Yes, again. I've had the same problem last year. Because, honestly, for four years I've worked here, my job specs has not changed. There were some added task, but as always, I believe I've delivered exceptionally well.


Sounds cocky? Not really. I just thought that for the last four years in this company, I've already master the art of efficiency ---That even my co-workers wonder how I get to be very organized and spot-on with my work.


My answer is simple. If you do a crossword puzzle everyday in four years, wouldn't you think that you could be an expert puzzle solver over the four years? Same goes with a meadow maze. If you visit and walk through it everyday, in four years you'll definitely figure out how to get out of it in no time. And that's exactly what has happened to me. I watched. I learned. I conquered.


So now my big question is what would I write on my review sheet --"what in my job needs improvement?" or "how do I make my work better?"...Better? How can you make something perfect already to even better?


When I met up with my boss last Friday for the review, she was wondering why I put the word "better" on the performance review sheet, and what do I meant by "better". Because even she was also convinced that I was doing great with my job already. So her question left me reeling for hard answers. Then after forty-five minutes chatting and exchanging our views, opinions and situation about my work, we were able to disect and botch the word "better" to come up with an appropriate description for my work. As it turned out, I wasn't really perfect after all.


I found flaws in my work. She helped me realized that my filing wasn't efficient enough as I believed to be, because she had some difficult time looking for files she needed. My shipping and purchasing as well, was not cost-savings as I thought of. And in the end, we were able to find some objectives that needed to be accomplished next year for my work to really be "better"...And so the perfect job performance that I thought it was, was actually overrated by myself.


Is it true to say that there's really no perfect world; no perfect worker;no perfect partner; no perfect life..? That those who use the word "perfect" is trying to be in denial? Or optimistic? Or unrealistic?...Because if you come to think of it -- if this world is perfect to begin with, then we wouldn't have to work hard to make all things right. Right?


My workstation before 9AM and after 5PM..."Show me your workstation, and I'll tell you who you are"



Monday, November 15, 2010

A place that reminds me of Happiness

I've been feeling terribly disheartened these past few days. And the only way I know how to cope is to remember happy memories...

So while I was unearthing old stuff, I found these wonderful photos.

Four years ago, I was brought to this place. Not by my own will, but my heart lead me.... A place I call -- The city of my many happy thoughts.

I wish I can re-live this moment, and feel special again...






Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Mother's Touch

It's flu season again. Last week, I felt the symptoms. And eventually that weekend, I found myself in bed and nursing a flu... Having learned independence for long, I know I can deal with this seasonal flu just like before. But one phone call from my mom has made my flu-weekend different.

My mom is in town for a few months holiday, and she stays at my sister's. Her vacation is an extra special occasion to us. It's a once in every year or two that she visits us. So inspite of our hectic life we ensure that her presence be valued everyday. And since I live far from my sister's and don't get to be with my mom this whole time, I always call her from work in the morning. So when I've received a call from her that day I'm terribly ill, I'm so surprised. I wonder how she sense that I'm sick. Then I've realized that her razor-sharp maternal instinct hasn't changed a bit through all these years.

As promised, she came by with my sister the following Sunday morning. As soon as she walked in the door, she prepared soup for me; extracted some lemonade juice; and, tidied up my messy kitchen while we were busy chatting. And all I did was slumped on the chair and watched her incessantly as she was juggling around the kitchen. I was sentimental. It seemed like ages since I last felt this kind of motherly care from her. Although I knew I could take care of these things, I let her be in-charge of my life that weekend. And for a rare moment, I let myself feel like a little girl again...

This is what my mom loves most --taking care of her loved ones, including friends and relatives close to her. In a few weeks she'll be turning 67, but her maternal touch has never wavered through all these years. That same utmost caringness she had when her three daughters were 7, 12, 16, 21 and 25 years old is still and remain unaltered; Very much same as how it was many years ago.

When I was living with my family, I recalled how my cousins, my aunts and even her friends would come to her and seek maternal attention. And she would spare them that same care that she gave to her family unconditionally.

I remember asking her one time, "Who do you think among your daughters will be like you when they become mothers?", and she said, "No one." I just grin and look at her, because she doesn't know that one of her girls has been closely watching her while growing up, and slowly inheriting her motherly qualities.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Kooky or Spooky

Have you ever been in an uncertain situation before? Where you wondered and tried to figure-out which came first, the chicken or the egg.

I found myself in one last week. I called it, a conversation-mishap. And I blamed it on the cloudy day.

One of my usual routine at work is to go to the bank after my lunch hour. Sometimes, if I need to do an extra errand, I take the full hour doing this. So on this particular day, I'm trailing from one errand to another. And my last stop is the bank.

It wasn't a busy day at the bank, and so the tellers were apparently pleasant. As I handed out the deposit slips to the teller guy, he asked me, "Is it still raining?"

I answered him doubtedly, "Why? Was it raining?", then I added unconciously, "I was busy at work. I didn't notice", with a slight chuckle...Trying to recall how my morning went, I knew my hands were really tied at work that I didn't realize the time at all.

He paused for a moment and replied back, "It was raining awhile ago..." Then the rest of the sentence faded. Halted me to make another reponse.

As he was about to finish the transaction, I realized I was clutching my umbrella.

So I didn't notice that it was raining? What's with the umbrella then? - I mumbled inside.

After he handed me back my slip-copies, I thrust my handbag towards my left hand where my umbrella was clutched. Then shielding my back from the teller's window, I headed out the door hastily.

When I trod down the sidewalk, I looked up, and saw that a few dark clouds were still hovering around. Then I looked down the ground, and noticed that it was clearly wet. I looked at my umbrella for a few seconds, and put it in my handbag...What has just happened there?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Unfathomable?

I have to get this out of my chest.

I just couldn't comprehend this...I couldn't comprehend.

I've been deprived of something that's meant for me in this lifetime
because of someone's biggest mistake in the past.


How could you comprehend that? How?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Re-posting - "One True Thing"

A friend messaged me about an old "note" I wrote on facebook. Though that was written months ago, I was surprised that she noticed it and got inspired by it. So when I went back to my old blogs on another blogsite to check-out some worth-sharing notes, I found a write-up that meant so much to me at that time.

Here's one I wrote in 2006. (It's also one of those that carved my writing skills)

I hope someone can find inspiration in this piece as much as I do when I first wrote this. (Though it's been modified a bit to fit the present day)


One True Thing

I miss watching “Sex and the City." Because besides the chic fashion statements and the “quote and unquote” dialogues, every episodes relate to our everyday life. It can be struggle at work; fitting-in with a crowd; working-out a relationship; trying to stay young; or the very subject of the show that is hidden behind the walls of New York --that is “searching for destiny"

Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte and Samantha are the four characters with different personalities we meet everyday. Carrie, the sassy outgoing beauty, who rationalize her and her friends every relationship then later discover her greatest fear in commitment. Miranda, the career-minded smart city lawyer, who inspite of being tough and independent end-up a single-mom but later married her son's father . Charlotte, the hopeful dreamer, who never gave up finding her soulmate and unexpectedly fell in love with his divorce-lawyer. And lastly, playful socialite Samantha, whose vain and promiscuous character makes everybody wondering all the time.


As I watch the re-runs over and over again, including some episodes that I've been keeping on my shelf, I realize that there is a true reality existing --Relationship in this modern world is complicated. Everybody seems to be looking for that sense of acceptance and belonging, either with someone or something. No one gets satisfied and contented with the simple life anymore. Maybe because there are million of choices out there, and freedom is a good excuse for change.


Is this really how the 21st century should be? Variety and change? If I've been given a chance to choose between time, I’d go back to my grandparents' time.


I envy my grandparents, because they didn’t experience living in this over-indulging modern world. They got married at an early age, sort of a pre-approved marriage since they lived in the same circle of family and friends. Perhaps, there wasn’t much choices during those times that's why they stuck together and worked it out. In time, their relationship grew and blossomed. They raised 6 lovely children, and the best part was love endured and lasted till the day my grandfather passed away.


Though I was not there during those mourning days, but I heard that grandma bore so much grief from her partner’s death. And knowing her all my life made me realize how much their relationship meant to her that altered her well-being, from an amiable person to an indifferent woman when grandpa died. This struck me deeply. Because ever since, I’d been a huge fan of unwavering and enduring love. And putting myself in her shoes would probably crash my world apart.


However, this is the age I’m born into -- Caught-up in this dissatisfied, quick-changing, liberated society where relationship and love is an item; a commodity that wears out fast and the next thing you know, there’s a new replacement.


This is not being cynical. I know that there are some people out there, who still know the true meaning of love and commitment. And inspite of all the failed relationships; disappointments in love; miserable break-ups; or tragic death of a partner, there's still one out of there who believes in second chances. The question is, “How will you know if that person and relationship is the one true thing for you?”


I know a few people who are really lucky in love. Who has never experienced disappointments and failures in this area, but has found that one true thing with no effort to put up with. I wonder why? Perhaps they've been created as a model in society? Or maybe,just the few people who's been born with luck.


I have a good friend in high school who met the only man in her life after college. They have had 10 years steadfast relationship with no record of fights, only an attempted break-up because of a third party trying to test their commitment. Unfortunately, the third party has failed and the couple walked down the aisle eventually.

Some people will say this is too good to be true. But I am a witness to this perfect couple. One that I can say ‘meant to be forever’ - both partner and relationship. An exact example of the “one true thing”

I wonder how they've known that their significant person at that time is their one and only lifetime partner? Is it a certain feeling? Or a divine wisdom that speaks? Or, is it something that has to be worked on until it grows?


I have another friend who got married at age 24 and after 12 long years of being together has called it quits. I remember him saying, “I thought she was the one for me". And that has made me ponder to this day -- Isn’t this sad to know that after 12 long years together, you realize that you have the wrong person in your life? And what if during those years, that one true person has come a long way looking for you, but there’s no more room for her in your life. Or what if one day in that 12 years, you have bumped into this person, but you just let her go by because you thought that the person you have right then is the one…


There was this movie, “Sliding doors”. In this movie, two scenarios of stories were told and both of the stories had to do with a lady missing the train for a few seconds. One story showed that if she didn't miss the train, she'd probably catch her husband sleeping with another woman and that would be the end of their marriage. The other story was -- if she missed the train and waited for few minutes she wouldn’t catch her husband with that woman and she would never know about their affair, then it would still be them forever.

I wonder how true this story could be, that missing a second or minute of your time could completely change your life. I myself have missed the train many times. Sometimes, instead of getting off at my home station, I find myself lost 2 stations away. Funny though, but I wonder? What if those minutes I've missed, my destiny unfolded without my presence? Will I still have a second chance? Or just be sorry that I screw-up?

I have also my ups and downs in this modern world relationship, but I don’t regret that unfortunate things happened (I only regret the stupid things I did for love). Perhaps this is part of the uniqueness that my Creator has designed for me to draw me closer to my other half.

I believe that everything comes in pair even from the beginning of time (pair of eyes, ears, legs, hands, etc) So I know that I have a better half. Sometimes it's just the stubborness of our free-will that alters our destiny.

With all the metaphors in life, how could this be possibly true?

Don't trust the heart alone because it is fleeting and impulsive, neither is your mind, because it is critical and judgemental. Better yet, listen to that persistent little voice inside of you. Because if it's bugging you all the time, then it's sending you a message. And who knows, it could be your one true thing.
















Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Beautiful or Woman

When Eve, the mother of all living, was created, she altered the destiny of human race by defying the big Boss. Either good or bad. But that moment, she played a powerful force in the history of the world.

When we talk about women, there are so many significant figures that comes to mind. To name a few;

Mary the Mother of Jesus
Mary Magdalene
Cleopatra
Joan of Arc
Queen Elizabeth
Queen Victoria
Marie Curie
Coco Chanel
Eleanor Roosevelt
Mother Theresa
Princess Diana
Audrey Hepburn
Oprah

They were advocates,warriors, healers, inventors, leaders, poets, actors, artist, missionaries,saints and more. Each of them marked a spot in their field and had been an icon throughout society.

I wonder what the earth would have been without women. Probably we wouldn't call "earth" as "mother earth" without the significant role of women as sustainers, nurturers, caregivers, homemakers, lovers, allies, etc.

How about the word "love"? Would we ever define it esoterically without women? And the word "beautiful", would it ever exist figuratively without the very subject of it?

Women in every lifetime are expected to transform drastically to where they're needed most. But nonetheless, they'll always be an epitome of beauty...

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

What, If

Time really flies. I haven't even worn my sassy summer dress, and now, summer has come to an end.

I thought this summer was the best summer ever, but sadly, it ended in a bad note.
A bittersweet one...

I wish as the season bid goodbye,
the unpleasant memories follow behind,
and my thoughts will finally rest at night...

Then,

Fall will paint the sky with orange, yellow and gold,
Winter with its chill, will brazen the ground in white,
Spring will blossom in rainbow with scent of honey dew,
And summer, oh yes summer... will pick up again, where it left-off...

If only everyday is a bed of roses, orchids, lilies, daisies, dahlias, lilacs, sweet peas...

If only, if only these...





Friday, August 20, 2010

Say the ABC (only when you're out of words)

I was digging in my old blog stuff few days ago, and I found this... I wrote this awhile back while nursing a boredom. So if you find this an applesauce, please discontinue reading. But if this seems amusing and funny, please go ahead. I hope it entertains your friday. Happy Friday!



Do you feel sometimes that you want to say something outrageous, specially at the peak of your emotions, but you thought it might not be appropriate? On some occasions, you just wish you can blurt out that “word” and that person in front of you will be puzzled, but still think that you’re cute... And then you can go on with your life without feeling so guilty...

Say you’re having a fight with your SO (significant other), and you’re sizzling mad all over. All you want to do is just say it -- without thinking. But you love him and your words will surely hurt. If your brain keeps telling you, “YSWYS (yea, sure whatever you say) !” Then go ahead why not say, “IDGAS(I don’t give a s***)...FOAD(f*** off and die) ...YSS(you suck severely) !”, as many times you want. Definitely, if he hasn’t heard these words before he’ll stare at you empty, and say, “WTH(what the heck)?”... Now you have a choice, either to continue saying these or OWTTE(or words to that effect); or just walk away –EOD(end of discussion)...Somehow you’ll feel better...

Most of the time, your workplace is where you desperately need lots of letters to drive away annoying people around you ASAFP(as soon as freakin’ possible). So if you’re really serious saying KMA(kiss my a**) but still want to sound TIC(tongue-in-cheek), then you can start saying, “MYOB(mind your own business)” with a smile. If still they insist to annoy while you're busy working on a deadline, you can tell them to “LMTFA(leave me the f*** alone)!”and “GTFOOMF(get the f*** out of my face)!” And TM(trust me), they”ll surely walk away OOSOOM(out of sight, out of mind) with their face looking like this “???????”...and you’ll be ROFLOL(rolling on floor laughing out loud) because you're not really serious after all...

Now you are approached by your PITA(pain in the a**) boss, who you imagine sometimes to be SBCN(sitting behind the computer naked). NTL(nevertheless), you have to deal with him in OARS(on a related subject), or sometimes OATUS (on a totally unrelated subject). You just have to pretend that you’re TCOB(taking care of business). If you’re having a hard time figuring out, remember the FAQ(frequently asked questions). Then you can tell him, “ILIWTPCT(I love it when the plan comes together) and rest assured there’s FM (fine magic) on the project!” For sure, he’ll be happy to hear that. Specially, if you tell him that you TGAL(think globally, act locally) first. Probably, he’ll say, “TIA(thanks in advance)”, and thinks that you’re really smart enough for a promotion. But don’t get so excited soon because he might be thinking that ROTBA(reality on the blink again) too...Probably, IAC(in any case) he thinks it’s IBM(inadequate but marketable) still. At least you’ve taken chances...

What if the annoying co-worker is your boss? OC(of course) you can’t say “GASP(go away silly person)!” or “KISS(keep it simple stupid)!”, because you’re afraid he knows these words. But then, you’re totally pissed-off because what he’s asking from you need SAR(some assembly required) and that you’re getting SOE(silly/stupid operator error) . After several try you’re SOL(still out of luck) . So now you feel that you’re FUBAR(fouled up beyond all recognition)! Or maybe, C&B (crash and burn) ! Then let it all out, say “GOMF(get outta my face) !" or “KMA(kiss my a**) !” again...

Don't worry. I think it’s NBD(no big deal) ! You're just having fun. And it’s just letters of the alphabet anyway. LOL
______________________________________

ACRONYMS – abbreviated coded rendition of name yielding meaning

http://www.magicpub.com/netprimer/acronyms.html

Friday, August 13, 2010

Perseid 2010




It's two AM on a friday marked the thirteen,
my misty eyes driven to skip a night routine,
feeling the summer night's breeze nipping to my skin,
but i wont quit the yearning to see meteor gleam.

once as a child dreaming, seeking a shooting star,
that a wish ascends to the heavens fast and far,
truth or myth maybe, it wont hurt to try somehow,
so i'll take my chances not tomorrow but now,

slouch on this wobbling, flimsy chair my face up high,
and a headphone tuck-in with songs from a Wi-Fi,
while my iris fixate giddily through the sky,
waiting even just one sweep of the meteorites.

at past two forty-five, drowsy and still a no show,
though the vast midnight sky, seemed calm and unshallow,
even the constellation rigidly in tow,
yet not a dashing star snaps at a glance to soar.

wonder if i miss it, with its speed in a blink
or the wish i long to say is not mine to think,
but this rare moment is simply self uplifting,
that needless of shooting stars, i live to believe.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Amazing, amazing grace

I've known this song since I was a kid. I've sung it million times in school, at church; but it's never been this transcendent. And when I've heard it from this 7 year girl wonder, I've realized how meaningful a song could be. This much, is amazing as amazing grace itself...



Friday, July 23, 2010

Brilliant mind that comes in handy

My co-worker shared these few home tricks this morning. I'm amazed. Now I'm sharing this. Hope you will too. Happy Friday


video
video
video

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

There's a story in 15 minutes

I came across a section on the website of a leading Philippine newspaper one day. It was a section where stories of filipinos living abroad were shared. Since I was once an immigrant, I thought I could contribute an interesting story. And since I wanted to indulge myself with a new project, I entertained this idea with excitement. Evenmore encouraging was the contributor's fee, and all stories would be included for a grand prize at the end of each year. Lovely!

Sadly, I don't have any worth writing for at the time I learn of this section. So I put that thought aside and hoping that a brilliant idea will pop up soon.

In one of my morning commute to work, I met a filipino on the skytrain. I chatted with him the whole time on the train for about 15 minutes. And at the end of the ride, I was moved by his story.

As soon as arrived at work, I opened my note pad and started writing. First, I wanted to share his story in my Facebook account under "Notes". Then later my fickle mind urged me to post it on my blogsite.

While I was halfway through it (juggling from my day's work to my writing), I realized that this was the perfect story to share on the section of the newspaper I learned couple of months ago. So I re-visited the website, followed the instructions and moved on to my writing. Though not confident with my composition, I still dared myself to see how far my writing would go. Feeling uncertain if it would even pass the section's standard criteria and editor's impeccable judgement.

I finished my story in a day inspite disruption at work. But it took me a few days before deciding to forward it to the editor, because I thought my piece was raw and amateurish. I thought that if I kept it for a few more days, it might probably end up in my blog. And if this story was good enough, then it would miss all that chances of getting to the paper. So I decided to gamble on it.

After a few days, I didn't hear from the newspaper editors. Few more weeks had passed, still no reply. I then got tired of waiting and gave up on my chances. Thought maybe it wasn't really worth publishing, and besides, I wasn't even confident that my write-up was as good as the other contributors, or even better. All I know was that I had a story worth telling.

After four weeks of keeping my story limbo in my computer and not sure of what to do with it now, I was surprised to get an email from the editor saying that my story was chosen for publishing. Really? I was stunned.

Right on, I scampered to the website and read my published story. There it was with a little editing but still contained the same essence I was trying to depict. I was a bit proud of myself for making another remarkable piece of work. It was also apparent how my writing grew through these years since my last work in 1999 on another leading newspaper.

If there's anybody I want to give credit to for this story is absolutely not me, but the man I met on the train one thurday morning. I was just the instrument - the keyboard and computer screen. The passionate writer who was inspired to write and believed the significance of the man's story.

Every facets of the day is a story awaiting to be told. The challenge is how to capture a piece that will stir the reader's enthusiasm and imagination.

In that 15 minutes ride on the train, I was a lucky recipient of a narrative meant to be written.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Why not take the long way?

I was very anxious and edgy when I came home yesterday evening. I realized that my fridge was not working.

Since I'm a new house owner, I'm not an expert on dealing with this kind of problem. I know I can troubleshoot minor works at home, like; changing the doorknob; fixing the shower valve, or simple carpentry works. But to understand how and why my fridge suddenly stop working is way out of my homegrown skill.

I had some repairs done in my suite from the time I moved in, and this was courtesy of our wonderful caretaker, Mr. Kumar. So since I had no clue whatsoever how to deal with this fridge problem, I called him again to ask for assistance.

This morning, a big guy name Dave came by to fix my fridge. To my unuttered surprise, it was nothing serious. He said that it was just the timer that went off.

He didn't know that there was a deep sigh of relief inside of me. I was glad that I don't have to buy a new fridge or go into that trouble of pulling out the fridge from my apartment for major repair.

So he changed the timer without further ado. Alas! My fridge was up and cooling again.

Then came the most tricky part of the deal. When I asked him how much I owed him, he said, "110 plus tax." Woh! That much in 15 mins? And there was another catch. He accidentally mumbled, (I guessed) "If Mr. Kumar is paying, it'll be a different price." There was a sudden buzzer in my ear. "Really?!" I murmured inside. So I thought of another way to bargain out, or better yet, swerved the deal in my favor. I told him that I might need to talk to Mr. Kumar regarding the payment because he was also a part of this, and that I might need to pay him as well. So after a long pause and few moments of chatting, we agreed that as soon as I talked to Mr. Kumar, I'd call him and he'd come back for the money.

When he left, I was thinking. What if I just gave him the cheq, then all was done and we could both moved on. On the otherhand, I wanted to know how much money I'd save if Mr. Kumar would be involved in this transaction. So I waited til I got hold of Mr. Kumar.

In the end, it paid off. I did the right thing. Mr. Kumar told me that he'd talk to the guy, and I'd just pay him 100 bucks in cash. So in 30 minutes, I ran to the bank quickly and deal was over. I saved around $20. I was happy.

Sometimes, it's worth delaying things and taking the long way, instead of the usual
shortcut. Because you'll never know what the long way has in stored for you. It can be a new discovery or a better deal. You'll never know...

Friday, June 4, 2010

Interesting thoughts about Leadership

I got these quotes about leadership from a friend via email. He wanted to know our thoughts.

I think leadership is a gift. No matter how much training you get in school or experience you gain from a group, if you don't possess this special gift, then you may not see successful leadership. Even if you try hundred folds to lead.

Everyone is born with a special gift. A gift to teach; to heal; to lead; to preach; to write; and more. The important thing is to know that innate gift that is truly just for you alone.

I believe that success in life is not what you've gained in this world, but with how you use and share your gift for the good of all...

Excerpt from - The Right to Lead, by John Maxwell

What gives a man or woman the right to lead?
It certainly isn't gained by election or appointment. Having position, title, rank or degrees doesn't qualify anyone to lead other people. And the ability doesn't come automatically from age or experience, either.
No, it would be accurate to say that no one can be given the right to lead. The right to lead can only be earned. And that takes time.

The Kind of Leader Others Want to Follow
The key to becoming an effective leader is not to focus on making other people follow, but on making yourself the kind of person they want to follow. You must become someone others can trust to take them where they want to go.
As you prepare yourself to become a better leader, use the following guidelines to help you grow:

Let go of your ego.
The truly great leaders are not in leadership for personal gain. They lead in order to serve other people. Perhaps that is why Lawrence D. Bell remarked, "Show me a man who cannot bother to do little things, and I'll show you a man who cannot be trusted to do big things."

Become a good follower first.
Rare is the effective leader who didn't learn to become a good follower first. That is why a leadership institution such as the United States Military Academy teaches its officers to become effective followers first - and why West Point has produced more leaders than the Harvard Business School.

Build positive relationships.
Leadership is influence, nothing more, nothing less. That means it is by nature relational. Today's generation of leaders seem particularly aware of this because title and position mean so little to them. They know intuitively that people go along with people they get along with.

Work with excellence.
No one respects and follows mediocrity. Leaders who earn the right to lead give their all to what they do. They bring into play not only their skills and talents, but also great passion and hard work. They perform on the highest level of which they are capable.

Rely on discipline, not emotion.
Leadership is often easy during the good times. It's when everything seems to be against you - when you're out of energy, and you don't want to lead - that you earn your place as a leader. During every season of life, leaders face crucial moments when they must choose between gearing up or giving up. To make it through those times, rely on the rock of discipline, not the shifting sand of emotion.

Make adding value your goal.
When you look at the leaders whose names are revered long after they have finished leading, you find that they were men and women who helped people to live better lives and reach their potential. That is the highest calling of leadership - and its highest value.

Give your power away.
One of the ironies of leadership is that you become a better leader by sharing whatever power you have, not by saving it all for yourself. You're meant to be a river, not a reservoir. If you use your power to empower others, your leadership will extend far beyond your grasp.

In The Right to Lead, you will hear from and read about people who have done these same things and earned the right to lead others. Because of the courage they found and the character they displayed, other people recognized their admirable qualities and felt compelled to follow them.
The followers who looked to these leaders learned from them, and so can we. As you explore their worlds and words, remember that
it takes time to become worthy of followers.
Leadership isn't learned or earned in a moment.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Do you believe in angels?

Was it fair to me that after running like crazy to catch the bus, the bus driver drove away from me? This was exactly what happened to me yesterday morning. And I was disgruntled with anger because I was a few yards from the bus; and he should have waited for me. What was he thinking?!...Good thing, I calmed down in a few. Then waited for another 20 minutes for the next bus to come, inspite of the evenmore annoying drizzling-rain and frigid wind.

As I was brushing off the not-so-good event at the bus stop and in the office that morning, my bitter-sweet past came haunting at me again in the afternoon; which I thought added more to my already hapless day.

As soon as I got home, I felt all these weighed down on me, so I couldn't help sobbing profusely last night...

But this morning was a different story...

I left early for work today just to make sure that the bus driver wouldn't have any excuse to runaway
from me. At the bus stop, as I was about to tuck my umbrella into its tiny fabric cover, a gentle breeze wafted the tiny fabric away... I tried to run after it. Two, three, four times and more I tried to catch it wrestling with the wind, but no luck... Then I realized that I was in the middle of the road. As I looked back, I noticed that I was almost a block away from the bus stop, leaving behind my open handbag on the bench; which I was grateful that nobody stole it... And as I looked up, I was surprise to see a white van halted in front of my track. The driver didn't blow his horns, or even yelled at me. Yet I guessed he was there for awhile. But he was so kind enough to wait for me get out of the road; Even shielding me safely from the oncoming vehicles.

Finally, I decided to let go the fabric cover, as it still continued to drift over the other side of the road. As I was gazing steadfast on it; feeling sorry for the little piece. I was surprise to see a a white male jogger crossed the road and picked it up. Then he came running towards me and handed me the umbrella cover.

I was flabbergasted! I didn't have a slightest clue where that man came from.

...I remember an instance from my trip in New york...As we were heading back home to catch our flight, my friend and I couldn't find the bus stop that would take us to La guardia airport. We were lost on the street of Uptown Manhattan in an early Sunday morning. Then suddenly, a lady just popped up from nowhere and asked what we were looking for...She then walked us through to the bus stop just in time for our ride to the airport...

Yeah, I was so so silly today for running after the umbrella cover that was worth nothing. And I felt
embarrassed for making a scene on the road; Causing concern from the drivers. But what was puzzling to me, was the fact that on a quiet early morning; with only less than 5 people on the street; and with the fast approaching vehicles, I was spared from an accident. Who were these people who showed up? The driver who stopped at my track, and the white male jogger who ran all the way to the other side to pick up that piece of crap. Why did they bother to, or care about me?

Oh, I love this city! This may not be the city of angels, but I believe angels live here too. Why not, if this is one of the livable cities in the world...

Or on another thought... Am I just a vulnerable-looking human being that I keep angels working all the time?

Friday, May 21, 2010

A night with 80s A-ha

The 80s decade was the best years ever to me.  It was where all the beautiful memories sprung...I was in high school where I was getting to know myself.  They said that the best things in a person's life was during adolescent years.  I believed that to be true.  Because of all the fun and wonderful moments that I'd remember and worth-going back memory lane, it was definitely my high school life.

There are hits during those years that really  has influenced music today.  IMHO, some of the best songs been revived lately are from the 80s band/singers.  And whenever those songs are played on the radio, I get to be overly sentimental.  In fact, sometimes I want to avoid listening to them because I become so lethargic.

So when my best pal in college broke the news about A-ha's farewell concert in New York,  I jumped in joy.  Besides the chance to peek at the interesting city, I got to really see one of the bands that painted one my beautiful  past--and of course - see them live on stage! Evenmore, up-close and personal.  Who wouldn't grab that opportunity?

I envy my friend for re-living her utmost dream.   She has been an A-ha fan since the time I've known her---a truly passionate, die-hard fan.  I've never been an avid follower of any bands, singers or celebrities.  I admire them at a distance, but not so crazy to get entangle with their lives.  I guess I describe myself as a reserve-type of fan.  But she, is the person I've seen so devoted through all these years to A-ha band.  Play one A-ha song and she'll name it in a sec.  Name the concert, the record, and the year.  She knows it. Ask anything about the band and she'd tell you a complete info and history of it.  That's how loyal & adeptnbsp;she's been with them!  And I'm truly amazed, because I know I couldn't be that kind of fan.

The A-ha concert was held last May 6-7, 2010 at Nokia theatre, NY...I didn't realize that there were other loyal fans we met out there who truly love them til this day.   Surprisingly, even the men followed them around, in and out of the backstage...And concert was an absolute stand-out.  The music; the gigantic LCD screen showing the evolution of their group, made me teary-eyed.  I almost couldn't contain my emotions.   I realized that eventhough I wasn't a fan, A-ha left an indelible mark in my heart.  Specially, when they sung the "Take On Me" song at the end of the show.  It was like I wouldn't want them to say goodbye, and couldn't believe that this was a farewell concert. Why? Now that I have an immense liking of them and their music after all these years.

Why is it that when one says goodbye, you realize how significant that one is.  Then you regret why you let the years slip by without taking time out to appreciate them...

As to my best pal,  she said,  " I'm so happy! Now I can move on..."

video

Friday, April 30, 2010

INSPIRATION

Couple of years ago, I wrote a blog about inspiration.  How and where to find it, and why it seemed hard to find...As time passed, I found some.  But as fast as I found it, the faster it slipped away too.  I realized those ones were superficial inspirations.  Not real inspirations that last a lifetime, and could be life-changing.

There's an interesting movie I've watched recently that I can relate to this, and that's the INVICTUS movie by Morgan Freeman --  A snapshot story of Nelson Mandela during his leadership years in South Africa where he saves a rugby team from losing the world cup through an inspirational poetry by the same title..This is the same poem that pulls him through life while he's incarcerated.  Being amaze by the movie, I search for this piece and here's what I've got:



INVICTUS (it's a latin word for "unconquered")
by William Ernest Henley

Out of the night that covers me,

Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.


How this poem have inspired the team and lead to their victory is one of many life mysteries that will leave us wondering.  How can a piece of writing be an inspiration?

Contemplating on this, I realize that there's this little piece of poetry that's stash in my head since I'm in grade school - DESIDERATA.   Through all these years, it has been there buggling me from time to time specially during tough times and tragedies.  I believe it's been my invisible stronghold, and the reason why I survive all difficulties.

I think INSPIRATION is a significant universal force that keeps us believing, dreaming, hoping and winning...

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Words I like

I met this word again - shenanigans.  The first time I heard this was in the movie "Juno", where Ellen Page delivered an interesting dialogue about this word.  Something like, "...what other kind of shenanigans can I get into"  Then the movie was a hit.

I wonder if this word exists ages ago, or is it just me -- A late bloomer.

Then again, I come across this shenanigan word in one of the newspaper article, "The automation project has been a sideshow to the ongoing shenanigans of sitting President.."  Not interesting way of using the word.  However, one or the other, it means the same thing.

So since this word smithens me, I'm flagging it.

                   Shenanigans  -  n., A deceitful trick or mischievous act; a prank.  Usually use in plural 

  (Source: Answers.com)


Etymology


Of unknown origin

Etymologists aren't sure of the origin of this word, but if you go by how many  Irish pubs are named Shenanigans or Shenanigan's, the word is probably of Irish origin.

The Oxford English Dictionary shows the very first citation of the word from an 1855 San Francisco publication. The California Gold Rush began in 1849 and there were plenty of Irishmen panning for gold there.

But it's still only a hypothesis and until we're sure, we'll have to quote Mark Twain who once said, "I was gratified to be able to answer promptly, and I did. I said I didn't know."
Usage

"Germany's constitution sets a very high bar for dissolving parliament in order to avoid a repeat of Weimar Republic-era shenanigans that helped Adolf Hitler come to power." — Germany Paves the Way for Elections; Der Spiegel (Hamburg, Germany); Jul 22, 2005.



So if someone is showing too much decitful trick, it can be referred to as shenaniganful, or shenaniganfully.  If too less, then - shenaniganless.  Or maybe, how about shenaniganly - "describing deceitful/playful tricks"...

Just like my other favorite word - Juxtapose (juxtaposition, juxtaposing or juxtaposes). I've learned this word in my Business English Review Course. And out of the many words that's been introduced to us, this is the one that stands out to me.

Juxtapose - tr.v., To place side by side, especially for comparison or contrast.
(Source: Answers.com)


No ethymology. So I guess, it just pops out of nowhere.

Anyhow, learning new words is fun.  It can buggle mind or become a powerful political statement.  But, what if they don't understand it.  Well, just make sure you remember what it means, and be ready to tackle it anytime they ask you to elaborate.

Being a language smart wouldn't require you to do shenanigans.  You just have to juxtapose what you mean, so they wouldn't think that you're too wordy or weird.


Monday, April 19, 2010

Excellent Customer Service

It was a very lovely Sunday yesterday.  The weather was perfect. It was sunny with clear skies and  a swift of gentle breeze.  I was definite that spring season had finally arrived.  And since I thought it was a perfect day to do a little spring cleaning, I decided to put away my winter shoes back into their boxes.  So I could clear my shoe rack and pave way to my favorite flats and sneakers of the season...

...And speaking of sneakers, I know need a new one for my New York trip. My friend, whom I'll be meeting up there, has told me to wear something comfortable because we'll be walking most of the time.  Since this is my first time, I've trusted the advice of someone who's more familiar with the place.

Actually, it's been weeks now that I'm  contemplating on what footwear to get.   A flat shoes? A running shoes? Or a simple sneakers.  After window shopping many times, I've decided to get sneakers -- A good quality one that can withstand plenty of walking...Meaning -- something more expensive than my regular footwear.

In the afternoon I found myself in the skechers store.  The only one in Vancouver that I know of, and in fact a walking distance from my place... There was a nice asian lady who approached  me while I was scrutinizing the sneakers I wanted.   And after talking with her for a few minutes, I was convinced that I wanted to go for it. So she helped out with my purchase.  But  before she actually rung it, she introduced herself; shook  my hand and pleasantly asked for my first name.  And I thought that was a very nice gesture of a sales person... So for the whole time we were chatting, she didn't miss to call me with my first.  I was floored by the way I was handled as a customer.  So before I left the store, I made sure I said "thank you" without leaving behind her first name as well.

I'm so thrilled.  I really don't know if it's just a pleasant day or it's the weather that makes people cheerful.  Because for me, what has happened in that store is a rare excellent customer service.  I don't get that all the time.  And being treated with utmost courtesy makes you want to remember the sales person and even go back to that store again.

 I like it when people you're dealing with call you by your first name.  Instead of just saying--- "Thank you" or "Sorry" abruptly.  Because I think, calling a person by their first name is the most distinguished way of showing courtesy to that person.  Even if you are not sure how to address them.  One doesn't have to be over zealous or cocky because it can sometimes be misunderstood as being so pretentious.   It's simply -- the first name...

I have a lot of shopping experience in every places, and this is by far one of a kind customer service to me.  I have also been in sales once, that's why I know what a good customer service should be.  And this one is surely a thumbs up.  Something that will stick to my mind.  And definitely, will make me remember the store.

This is my first time at Skechers store. My first time to buy an expensive sneaker.  My first time to meet an excellent customer service person.  And most of all, my first time to feel that I get what I pay for

Maybe it's time for me to change my buying habit.  I should go for quality and expensive stuff next time, so then I can get a stress-free excellent customer service all the time...

Friday, April 16, 2010

Remember SATC?

I have been weary lately.  I figure that it could be the heartbreak; the boring work; the unforseen expenses; or just perhaps the winter blues still lingering behind.   As much as I want to control these things, I couldn't. Because I know they're kaleidoscope of the universe.  The forces of nature that you just have to deal with until they eventually pass away...So for now, I'm hanging on and waiting for the dry spell to be over.

Last Saturday, as I was skimming over my personal stuff.  I came across old DVD episodes of Sex and the City - season 6.  I thought it was awhile since I last watched SATC.  Yeah, It was 2008 when the SATC movie was shown, and I realized how I loved the movie enormously.  I cried;  I laughed; I envied; I dreamed; while watching it.  It was the only movie that stuck to my head until now, and the only DVD original movie that I wanted to own no matter how expensive.  So when I saw the old DVD series, I galloped with joy to watch it.  And for hours, I glued myself to the tube, and almost forgot about my grocery schedule.

I loved SATC forever.  I was not the very expressive fanatic fan like the others,  but I was a real fan by heart.  While I was living in Toronto for a few months in 2003,  SATC was my escape from the vicious circumstances I was in at that time.  Everytime I watched it, I felt really good.  There was something about the show that uplifted my spirit, and I was sure others found themselves in the same shoes.  The sassiness. The humor.  The naughtiness.  The quotes and unquotes.  These were the ones that comprised the incomparably unique storyline of the series; And of course, the delightful backdraft of the city.  When the series ended in the early 2004, I missed the final episode. It was the same time as I was heading back to Vancouver to start a new life again.

To those who really don't get the series will wonder --  What's in SATC that has become the frenzy and icon to all women?  The shallow audience would think that there's a lot of non sense going on in there, as what the title itself conjures.  But for me, there's a lot of meaningful content in each episodes.  I see love, honesty, sincerity, loyalty, hope and faith...If one would just read between the lines, they can see and feel what I feel.  If a show makes me feel depress after watching, I'd switch it away.  But SATC has made me always feel up and great.  That's why I believe that it's full of positivity.  It's sad that the show has to end.

There's a good news though.  I learn  that the SATC 2 movie is coming to the theatres soon.  I'm so glad and excited again.  It's another retrospect of the series good old days. And I can't wait.  I'll surely won't miss this.

So that one saturday getting glued on the re-runs of SATC has made my week a whole lot better.  I feel beautiful again.  It's like I've never aged.  That's probably why women can't get enough of SATC, because it makes them feel young, at least at heart.

Incidentally, I'll be in New York this first week of May.  My first time in that city. And what I look forward to is getting the feel of SATC.  Woo Hoo!




Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A Lenten Reflection: Does the Christian Church have a soul? - INQUIRER.net, Philippine News for Filipinos

Does the Christian Church have a soul? - INQUIRER.net, Philippine News for Filipinos

An article that I thought make so much sense.

I've read some inscription on the gnostic bible, particularly the gospels of Mary Magdalene, Thomas and Peter. I may or may not believe entirely what is written, but I respect the content. It's an eye opener, and houses another school of thought. To someone who is liberal-minded and believes in the mystery of God, will regard this article to be viable.

Faith itself is a mystery. Have you ever wonder why there's a pool of different religions around the world? Because I think we don't choose our faith, but it comes to us personally as a manifestation of our creator. So there should be no right or wrong religion. In the same way, that we have no right to judge or condemn someone's faith. It's how our faith is created to suit our uniqueness.

I am a Catholic my whole life, but there are teachings of the church that I believe otherwise. I've also joined several "converted" Christian group, and have had been almost converted.  But I resist, because of the doctrines that I reckon to be premature.  However, from the influences of these two faith, I live-by with the ones that I strongly discern; According to my personal relationship with my Heavenly Father, my creator.

I have a Russian couple friends that I consider a family here in Canada. They mention once that they're Orthodox. We never chat about our religion and faith, because I know that's a very sensitive subject to some.  I've never seen them practicing their faith either, or maybe, they're not to showy.  But I believe through their actions that they're  Christians.  At one instance, my Russian girlfriend utter, "We just leave everything to Him." Just that for me is a unequivocal expression of a faithful person.  Of someone who believes in a Higher Being; And whatever her description or definition of "Him" doesn't matter.

How our Creator manifest Himself to us is the greatest mystery this world would never know. Just like what's quoted on this article, "The kingdom of heaven is within us"

Faith conceives the soul...That's just what I thought.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Sharing a piece of me

As a newbie on this blogsite, I'd like to share the beauty of the place I'm living in now.

For 8 years, this has been my home.  And there's no other place I'd wanna be now but here...But of course, I'd always treasure my birthplace - Metro Manila, Philippines