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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!