Interesting Week

It's been interesting.

I found a new exciting job. I'm serving my notice for the old one (my 3rd in 8 years of working). We had our first meeting at Dream Factory, which was really insightful and rewarding.

In all my jobs, I see God's provision. He certainly works in mysterious ways. My present job, it took me 7 months from the 1st interview to secure it. My next one took 7 days.

For all my jobs I had to face huge transitions. My first – jumping from an assistant editor to a writer/director. Second – working in a church to working in a big MNC. Third – working as a producer to working as an analyst in a totally new field.

It's very challenging days ahead. But I have more confidence in God's grace than my own abilities. What that means is I can jolly well lose my job, reputation, livelihood but God continues to guide me in my life. It's a huge risk: I might lose my job if my boss isn't happy with me and really, it's a risk for him as well.

But I'm hopeful. I will need a lot of self-belief. A lot of hard work. Many changes to my present lifestyle. But more importantly, I need to focus on God. Not for his blessings, not for the ability to do my job well but to focus on Him because He was, He is and Is To Come.

Glory to God in the Highest and Peace to All Man. 

Bring on your crap

I've been rebuked.

In my last entry, I mentioned I was frustrated by rude and ungrateful behavior of some lady friends.

I did not realize how much they bring to my life until I read this yesterday:

A teaspoonful of healthy soil contains over 5bn living organisms from some 10,000 different species. As well as the earthworms that eat many times their own weight in soil each day and the dung beetles that drag little balls of nutrient-rich animal droppings down shallow tunnels where plants' roots can tap them, there are thousands of species that are invisible to the naked eye. Biologists have known of their existence for over a century, although some have only been fully understood recently. Take the thread-like fungi or microrrhizae that form intricate links with plant roots: they feed on the sap of the plant but in return they increase a plant's ability to take up minerals from the soil, and thereby become good food for us. But it is reductionist chemistry rather than biology that has ruled our industrial agriculture for more than half a century.

In today's competitive environment, farmers take an industrial approach. They abandon traditional ways and use chemicals instead in growing their crops. According to research, this has resulted in vegetables losing "a quarter of their magnesium, more than a quarter of their iron and nearly half of their calcium". This means food is no longer as nutritious and also causes sick animals that eat these vegetables including humans.

Graham Harvey's We Want Real Food and Felicity Lawrence's Not on the Label should make for fascinating reading but I already learnt something important today.

If you want to grow, you must be prepared to take shit. Sure, you can make your life better by staying clear of lousy shitty behavior. But you're not going to develop as a person.

So bring on your crap, my friends.

You must be right

Some people are always asking for help – directions, recommendations, contacts, and all sorts of little useful things.

That's fine.

Sometimes, they ask questions they can easily find solutions to, for example, by Goggling it. Instead, they choose to ask others.

That's a bit irritating.

Sometimes, they msg you asking for help. You answer them and they don't even bother thanking you in reply.

That's unacceptable.

I'm slowly adding to my blacklist, rude and ungrateful people, whom I have decided not to entertain their future telecommunication queries. It has 2 names now, both women. I assume it's because women are more forthcoming in asking for help.

Some will think me petty, ungracious and small-minded. I will gladly agree with you and this will be my answer:

You must be right.

I find it easier in life to accept your own flaws and not accept stupid behavior from people.

Good Friday Stories

I love stories, even sad ones.

Even on a good Friday.

I saw my colleague at Starbucks today. She sat beside me, oblivious of my person.

I had to greet her, shook hands with her husband, who then left us alone.

Her first story was about her friend's dog. One day, the dog wasn't feeling well. Her friend had to cancel her dinner appointment to stay home. The dog was by her side all evening. Even when it was time for bed, the dog refused to leave her. The dog woke up in the middle of the night and started barking. She held him in her arms and then he died. He was 20 years old.

Wah lau.

I said that many times. Aloud, nosily, in front of all the genteel ang mos.

Her second story was about another friend's cat. The cat was also quite old and in a poor physical shape. One day, he dragged himself across the living room into his owner's room. He looked up at her and died.

I've been thinking about the dog, the cat and their owners since.

I didn't get any names.

That's a good thing.

Delegate or Die

delegate

I feel assaulted. By ideas, by ambition, by invisible things. There's so much going on in my head that it feels it's going to explode anytime.

Blame it on the pile of unread books surrounding me. Blame it on the media sitting on my computer unheard, unread. Blame it on my appetite for ideas. Blame it all on the internet.

I'm starting implementing ANOTHER idea – a slide a day for my blog. It's great advice today – delegate invisible things to invisible people.

Tomorrow's slide maybe "Quit complaining".

Aliens

Thanks to Tom Peters, I got to know this quote from Captain Kirk himself, William Shatner:

“We meet aliens every day who have something to give us. They come in the form of people with different opinions.”

There are friends – people who read Murakami/Hornby/Ishiguro and there are aliens.

My understanding of aliens is best explained by giving you a real example.

The Tank, frankly drives me mad, sometimes. Her thinking/logic/tastes is so alien to me that the words “evil twin” and “doppleganger” come to mind.

But you need people like that in your life – to stop you from taking yourself too seriously, to question your actions and motives, as an alternative to exercise for cardiovascular benefits.

You get the idea.

I think aliens are good to have in your life. But like real ones (???), meeting them too often is simply asking for over radiation, insanity and a short life.

3/20

You will know, by now, faithful reader, that I am boring.

So when it comes to meeting people for the first time, I don’t talk about cool things, being uncool myself.

I talk about books.

What do your read? Like Borders or Kinokuniya? Favourite book/author?

That kind of thing.

Unfortunately, many people (’tis unfair since I make like 3 new friends a year) don’t read and when they tell you that, your aspirations for everlasting friendship and brotherly/sisterly love are somewhat diminished.

Many who read, you get excited at first and then you ask them whether they read Murakami/Hornby/Ishiguro.

Specifically Wind-up Bird/High Fidelity/The Remains of the Day.

If they heard of those names but have not read them, sure, they can be friends but hey, friends don’t last forever.

If they read them, I almost immediately expect an unyielding torrent of praise, adoration and really the Hallelujah chorus. If this doesn’t happen, I start thinking whether I want friends with such poor judgment and no soul whatsoever to speak of.

So there you have it. Now you know why I make 3 friends and drop 20 every year.

The will to communicate

“Unless we have the will to communicate, there’s no connection”
Dance Dance Dance, Haruki Murakami

My mom was telling me how Milou lacks the language to communicate with us.

That is true.

However, there’s a will to communicate here. He wants us to know that he’s hungry, wants to play, wants to pee and poo, wants a treat and wants a good rub. We want him to behave, stop chewing furniture and clothes and pee and poo in selected spots.

Communication is more difficult than I imagine but the will is there. I just have to hang in there.

There are friends and people around me that I have no will to communicate with. Yes, we have common languages, sms, email, chat and all sorts of useful technology. But absolutely no will to communicate.

Life is ironic.

Bored / Busy

Now that football is having its break, I’m bored.

And what timing too – television is also getting stale.

Num3rs and Lost have breaks before Season 2. Everybody Loves Raymond has ended. CSI just finished its season finale (directed by Quentin Tarantino). There is only Simpsons then (the last one was great – Homer and Bart turned to Catholicism). And I have waited endlessly for Battlestar Galactica.

There’s only books then and there’s a pile of them.

Just finished The Winter Queen (Erast Fandorin Mysteries) by Boris Akunin (Great, didn’t seem translated at all).

Probably 100 pages into Out : A Novel by Natsuo Kirino.

Just got my hands on The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Vintage Contemporaries) by Mark Haddon (Glad it’s thin, with the amount of books I have) from a friend who borrowed from the library.

Bought 2 books from the last Kinokuniya sale: A Random Walk Down Wall Street: Completely Revised and Updated Eighth Edition by Burton G. Malkiel

and Bull’s Eye Investing: Targeting Real Returns in a Smoke and Mirrors Market by John Mauldin (thought I support John since I received his free newsletter every Saturday).

And I just reserved Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro at the library.

Oh yeah, picked up again, from the library – The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle : A Novel by Haruki Murakami – S Tan’s recommendation.

That’s a lot.