Monthly Archives: November 2009

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The Joy of Being Organised At Work

Few people I know hum with efficiency at work without the help of tools of some sort. I don’t know about you, but I swear by Excel.

I heart Spreadsheet

You see, I have this customised Excel spreadsheet at work elegantly named as “Tracking List” which I open first thing every morning, and save last at the end of a work day. Sorted by dates, current tasks are highlighted in yellow, overdue ones are in a shade of non-alarming pink, and important ones are bold in red.

In theory, what I need to do is:
1) Clear out items bold in red and highlighted in pink
2) Clear out items bold in red and highlighted in yellow
3) Clear out items highlighted in pink
4) Clear out items highlighted in yellow

I am rather impartial to the sequence I do (3) and (4), and with any luck I might even get to tackle rows not in bold, not highlighted (i.e. future tasks, my logic-challenged readers).

That, my friends, happens only in the parallel universe called “in theory”. Reality is I have too many pink tasks I care to look at, and the multitude of red bold rows sent me into a state of disorganised panic every time I open the damn file.

So I did the next best thing and check emails from my boss. Afterall, whatever the boss wants gotta be the most urgent, isn’t it?

Efficiency is really not my cup of tea.

(Photo Credit: Rufus Leonard)

The Ironic (Online) Encounter with Jason Hahn

"Asking for Trouble" by Jason Hahn

I was looking for a lunchtime read from my trove of books, and out of randomness I pulled out “Asking for Trouble”. Blame it on the cute illustration in pastel color on the cover. I am always a sucker for those.

So I was reading it over breakfast and, God, I was laughing away in the canteen. Jason really has a way with words. His description of his “moment” of meeting Saffy (which was the inspiration for this tweet) made me miss Singapore so much, it felt like a persistent toothache that won’t go away.

So I tried to find Mr. Hahn on Facebook to express my thanks… but to no avail. So I Google-d him, and see what I found! A blog by Jason Hahn!

And the latest posting is on… why he is not on Facebook. OMG, the irony. And that got me crackling too.

My lunch time is going to be very interesting from now on.

The Warmth In My Life

Winter has truly arrived in Hong Kong. The temperature drops to around 10 degrees Celcius at night, and I am loving it.

My very first mini oil heater

I bought my very first mini oil heater. Apparently I would be grateful that I got it now before the stock runs out. As the warmth radiates out of its coils, I feel the warmth in my limbs. It is a nice feeling.

But do you know what is a nicer feeling? To feel the warmth in my tummy. Today, a friend brought me a tumbler of home-cooked sweet soup. I must have looked very contended, as she asked, “doesn’t that remind you of mommy?”. Perhaps not my mom per se, but it sure reminds me of family life. A life I have left more than ten years ago.

Then again, do you know what is an even nicer feeling? To feel the warmth in your heart. It is nice not to talk about yourself, but to be asked how I am doing. It is nice not to expect concern, but to receive caring words without needing to fish for it. It is nice, for once, to be the one cared for, and not the one who do the caring.

This winter is going to be an interesting one.

Blogging Connection

My Google Reader

It has been more than a month since I last read my Google Reader. That felt like an abandoned inbox with tonnes of unread emails.

The folder I opened first? Blog updates from my friends.

Suddenly I felt as if I am still part of their world. Emotions, experiences and hopes from wherever they are at overwhelmed me as I read through the feeds, one after another.

It dawned on me that at this time and age, Internet is the one way for me to stay connected with the people I know in life. Yeah, Facebook is the de facto platform, but blogging shows much more depth on how your friends are doing and feeling.

So if you have not been updating your blog, please do. For I miss you and I want to know how you are doing.

The Meaning of Life

Funny how a lunch-time reading got me clicking and pondering of the biggest question in one’s life.

What, exactly, is the meaning of life?

There are many junctures in my life when I am faced with this question. As I age, I realise I always come back to the same answer. The meaning of life is to find ways how to be happier. The search for happiness is an everlasting journey. The grass is always greener at whatever age you are at. Even in deathbed, you might think, oh, people in heaven must have life all sussed out. (After) life would be better, then.

And in the quest to be happier, men strive to define happiness. They buy not one, not two, but multiple cars. Same goes for properties. Every additional zeroes in their bank account equates to more contentment.

How about me? The last car I had was a 19-year-old relic of a Honda (I was 18 then) courtesy of my mum, and ever since I moved to Singapore, it had become old, scrapped metal. I have no house to my name, as I rent my way through my adult life. I detest checking my bank balance because, according to the men I describe in the previous paragraph, I should be a very sad individual indeed.

And yet, I thrive. I thrive in a way that few people will feel secure of. I take risks. I travel the world. I play my weekends. Hard. At work, I trod the paths less traveled. I challenge authorities, I debate traditional wisdoms.

And God knows I love my friends. My life, if nothing else, revolves around them. Making my friends happy make me happy. And that, my friend, is a chicken and egg question. Which comes first? No matter, because you gotta start somewhere. Either make yourself happy and double the joy by spreading it to your friends, or be the best friend a man can be to your friends and make them happier, and open your heart to their extended friendship.

The Meaning of Life

I won’t be such a pompous ass to think that my definition of happiness should be yours too. Each person defines his or her values differently. Just don’t shoot me if you think I am a silly sod who is too idealistic for his own good.

At least I am happy. Are you?

(Image Credit)

Winter in Hong Kong

Did you miss me? I miss blogging. No, unlike bears, I don’t hibernate during winter time. That’s because I am no bear. And I don’t care if you think I look like one.

Winter in Hong Kong

Winter time is fast approaching in Hong Kong. It gets dark by 5 p.m., so it’s always good news for night owls like me. In the blink of an eye, I have been in Hong Kong for half a year. That’s six months. Six months of roller coaster rides, of successes and failures, of ruined plans and shocking surprises.

Just like the weather, when it gets cold, you keep your singlets and berms, and take out the jackets and scarves. So when life threw you lemons, you roll with the punches, keep living and be happy.

At the end of it all, a sweet life is made out of moments like these.