Archive for June, 2007

‘Cheong-ing’ at Casa LNW

June 30, 2007

Realisation No. 1: I ABHOR puking
Realisation No. 2: I HATE liquor

Of course, 1 led to 2, but I must say tonight’s gathering was one of the most enjoyable ever since I left The Job. We (Mrs PT, CHS, TML, BAW, LLQ, LT, NPL, AF, Mrs AF and myself) had gathered for a traditional Chinese dinner to celebrate (belatedly) Mr PT’s birthday, and I must say getting updated on what’s happened and what’s new, I was in for quite a surprise at what for me seemed to be really unexpected changes. But that’s life I guess. The other thing was that I found myself behaving quite differently with my ex co-workers once I am now longer part of the organisation. I was definitely happier, more at ease with myself and, strangely, more polite and collegial than in the past. I suppose it’s the whole ‘outside looking in’ mentality kicking in. Once you’re no longer a part of something, you tend to view it with other kinds of filters.

After dinner, LT invited us over for a night-cap (if you can call it that), and we didn’t leave until 2 am. I felt kinda embarassed when they were all gawking and my certs and everything, as I didn’t feel particularly meritorious or having really acheived something worth mentioning. But if they were trying to make me feel better and look on the positive side of things, it was really nice of them. But it was a good way to end a day of interviews.

And speaking of interviews, I learned never to trust shuttle buses. Splurge on cabs instead. You’ll feel much better and more prepared without beads of sweat on your clothes. Other than that, things went ok. The first and the last one lasted about an hour, while the middle one took only about 35 minutes. And I was really banking on making a good impression to the panel of the second one. It was also the most harrowing of interviews so far, because the panel was made up of really accomplished people with credentials that made me feel a little intimidated. Anyways, all of them told me there would be a second round (or more), and I would hear from them latest in two weeks about whether I am still, to use a Survivor term, ‘on the island’. Then CNP called and scheduled one for next Monday, so I guess that’s a good thing. But all in all, it looks like July will be another month of waiting and hoping.

Hearing what IBN had to say made me realise that I really have to decide between going back to corp comms or staying a member of The Job. On the one hand, I feel that I have more success in corp comms, have definitely greater competencies in doing the work, and would probably face a shorter learning curve if I need to hit the ground running (most definitely). On the other hand, I feel like I should give myself a chance again on The Job because with a new environment, who knows what I can acheive? But somehow it feels like I have something to prove to myself and to my ex-bosses, which I know is a ridiculous thing cos they of all people don’t really matter to me anymore. The smart money says go with corp comms, probabilities of success are higher there, but something in my head tells me I’m not done with The Job yet.

It really feels like a crossroads in my life, where taking one path means foregoing all others forever. Scary, isn’t it? What’s scarier is that when I talk to people about this to get a second, third and fourth opinion, they’ll all end up saying, “It’s your life. You have to decide.”

Okay, I really have to stop here and try to sleep off this hangover or else I’ll be stoning throughout Transformers tomorrow.

Can’t Sleep (also the title of the massive massive Above & Beyond hit)

June 29, 2007

Can’t Sleep (Above and Beyond)

can’t sleep original mix

Four thirty A.M, I’m awake again
Singing to the dark through open eyes
While dreaming I see only you and me
Stuck between desire and compromise

If I said I want you back I’d be a liar
There’s nothing left of us to long for anymore
But inside the ashes burns an endless fire
And every night I can’t help reaching out for more

And I can’t sleep… You’re so far away from me
And I can’t sleep… And I can’t sleep
And I can’t sleep… You’re so far away from me
And I can’t sleep… And I can’t sleep

You’re leaving me scars scattered in my heart
A road map of all the places you have been
And I can’t escape, can’t wash this away
Love has burned your mark so deep within

If I said I want you back I’d be a liar
There’s nothing left of us to long for anymore
But inside the ashes burns an endless fire
And every night I can’t help reachïng out for more

And I can’t sleep… You’re so far away from me
And I can’t sleep… And I can’t sleep
And I can’t sleep… You’re so far away from me
And I can’t sleep… And I can’t sleep

And I can’t sleep… You’re so far away from me
And I can’t sleep… And I can’t sleep
And I can’t sleep… You’re so far away from me
And I can’t sleep… And I can’t sleep

Ok in my case it’s just nerves about tomorrow. IBN called me at 5 for a 5 o’clock tomorrow. Of all days! That makes it 3 in a row! And the lady said she would be sending me some stuff over to fill up and take note of, but she never did. Well, I’m out pretty early tomorrow (or should I say later today), so it either comes in before I go or not at all. Spent the last couple of hours reading about nanobiotechnology and microsutures or some such thing and boy I hope I don’t have to recite any of it. The most interesting part of it all was I guess the collaborations they have with the kids to draw them early towards a career in research.

It’s funny how I’ve waited almost the whole month without a peep from anyone and here I’m meeting 3 organisations in one day. Well, I guess it’s true what they say about good things.

Fingers. Tightly. Crossed.

Gotta force myself to go to bed now.

It was a ‘I need a Double Botak’ kind of night

June 28, 2007

I finally found out what the track playing over the end credits of Nancy Drew is – When Did Your Heart Go Missing? by Rooney, the first single from their forthcoming new album in July.

when did you heart go missing?

It’s got quite a catchy hook and an infectious melody – check it out here.

Didn’t manage to do up any FAQs or answers properly yesterday. Don’t know why I’m dragging my feet over them. Is it because I dread coming up with the answers or not having faith in their ability to work? In any case, I need to do them within the next few hours cos I’m meeting Jack for tea to go over them.

On the bright side though, I decided to head down to Botak Jones at Clementi last night for dinner. It was one of those “I need a Double Botak” kinda nights. Anyway, I got there at about 9 and the place was still buzzing with college jocks and exec couples just coming off work. Normally the wait time is really between 30 to 45 minutes, but this time I was lucky to get off with 20. They screwed up the order – bringing me a set when I didn’t order one – but the server was cool with the mistake they had also made with the cost so I ended up having more for less, literally. Nothing like a hunk o’ meat to wind down a long day. I’ve always wanted to try their U-Crazy-What – a three-patty burger – but I didn’t want to get Crazy when the interviews are so close.

And speaking of interviews, RJ wants to see me too. Again, Friday. Guess I’ll have to tell them about HCI and go with their alternative date next week. I hope I’m not over-reaching but what if things turn out too well and I have to decide between them? Not to mention SJI. Ok, thinking too far down the road already. Let’s take this one step at a time, prepare the FAQs and their answers, give it my best shot, and see how it goes. Unnecessarily worrying about it won’t help.

Ok, gotta do those FAQs now.

got 102 minutes?: Hispanic dustvoices tackle tragedy & redemption

June 27, 2007

Dust?
Another word
for scattered dreams
in the streets.

Just finished the last of the 3 books I borrowed two Saturdays ago at Central Library – Cinnamon Girl by award-winning Hispanic poet and author of children’s stories Juan Felipe Herrera.

Cinnamon Girl

I found this book a refreshing read, not least because it takes the form of a quasi-narrative of poetry and letters that document the Cinnamon Girl’s attempts to keep her manda – promise, or more accurately, solemn oath – that she makes in exchange for her uncle’s waking up from his coma suffered while helping people escape from the WTC. Reading it made me realise how little I am aware of Hispanic literature and culture. The university introduced me to Ralph Ellision, Maxine Hong Kingston and V S Naipaul, but I don’t remember us looking at any Hispanic writers or poets. Herrera’s fidelity to his roots and his preponderance of Spanish lexicon can sometimes be an alien and alien-ating experience, but it is nevertheless a commendable attempt to represent the Latino experience of 9/11. More such works, please.

Trance Around My Blog #1

June 27, 2007

Was re-listening to the Anjunabeats Volume 2 compilation and this track (No. 2) just sent me all a tizzy:

i kill for u

Yes, people, it’s the Probspot remix of Endre’s I Kill For You. Usually I’m more an uplifting fan, but recently there have been lots and lots of good progressive sounds and this is one of them. Chunky and the synths do great great things. Check it out and you’ll see what I mean.

Also, taken from the Anjunabeats Online forum, Trance Around the World will shift its broadcast day to Fridays from Tuesdays currently. The ostensible reason, as Above and Beyond’s Tony McGuinness puts it, is that “[w]ith so many of the show’s listeners now tuning in on Friday, we wanted to be in a weekend mood when we make the show, which is full of weekend music in any case.”

It doesn’t really affect me either way, since I usually listen to the replays, but it does feel a bit of a bummer cos I now have to wait till Fridays to track down the playlisted choons. Ah well.

got 102 minutes?: over-wrought teen diary falls to The Toddler’s Book That Could

June 27, 2007

Yesterday, I popped into JE library and leafed through 2 more books, juvenile fiction this time.  One was September Roses by Jeanette Winter:

september roses

This is a book for toddlers.  In 40 pages, it tells a supposedly true story of 2 African women who spent lots of time in their homeland growing and preparing over 2000 roses for an important flower show in New York, only to be left stranded at LaGuardia on that day.  Some kind soul leads them to Union Square park where they garland the impromptu memorial there with their roses.

With simple, almost poetic words and short sentences, this is a commendable effort to begin explaining 9/11 to very young children.  Like Commander Adama says in the pilot of the reimagined Battlestar Galactica, “Who, why, doesn’t really matter now.”  What matters is that these two foreign women donate their life’s work (so-called) to a city deep in grief, and in reading/listening to it, children are encouraged to spread garlands of generosity, that giving is the beginning of healing.  I like the pictures too.

 In contrast, I did not like Baker’s Dozen all that much:

baker’s dozen

I didn’t bother to complete this autobiography of an American teenager; I just read the 2 chapters on 9/11 and it was enough. For one thing, it didn’t have enough nuanced reflection about the event, just teenage angsty questioning and the Christianity references just irritated me to hell. But I suppose what really annoyed me was that, published in 2005, two years after the 2nd war in Iraq, the author includes in his foreword his unbending conviction in George Bush’s leadership to the extent that “I’ll give a penny to any man that says different”, or something like that.  Hello, FYI, your brothers are dying from IEDs over there, Mr “George Bush, Greatest President”.  Read the news lately?

goodbye white strands, hello perky trim

June 27, 2007

Things feel like they’re looking up.  ITE and RJC called to ask for basic info; no promises or anything, but a call’s a call, right? 

Anyway, so I finally dragged myself out to do my hair today.  Was kinda surprised when the lady told me I hadn’t stepped into the salon since 2004.  Now that’s long.  And here I thought it was more like 2005. Goodbye white strands and hello neat trim as well.  Leafed through the Maxim they placed in front of me and hello, here’s an unlikely article about who’s the Main Man in Al-Qaeda now.  Come on.  In Maxim?  You think guys who buy (notice I didn’t say read) Maxim give a frakkin’ shit about fundamentalist plans to outlaw the ogling of scantily-clad babes behind the covers of a magazine?  Oh wait a minute maybe…

Honestly, what I really don’t care for at salons is how they keep pushing to buy their stuff and re-sign with them for more good years of haircare.  Let’s face it – it can be a turn-off and can potentially backfire on you if your clients aren’t about to make impulse decisions.  I’d say let’s stick with the professional hair-messin’ and maybe, just maybe, they’ll like your service so much they’d consider.  But of course what do I know about the cut-throat ways out there today to make a mere buck?  Hell, I’d probably do the same if I wasn’t so natty with a pair of styling scissors and a dye bath.

I’d also picked up the Nancy Drew soundtrack today.  (What’s up with me and little blonde sleuth anyway?) It was ok but I was only really impressed with the song they played in the penultimate scene, ‘Like A Star’ by Corinne Bailey Rae.  ‘Kids in America’ by The Donnas had a nice rock feel to it, though I can swear it’s a cover from somewhere.  The Flunk cover of ‘Blue Monday’ is a refreshing change but I’d have to listen to it more to really give an informed opinion.  I was really hoping they had included the end credits track but hell no.  Now I need to find out what the title is.

I finally found and bought a B4 file for my laminated certs. From JE Popular, no less. It’s amazing what you can find in the heartlands that Orchard Road just gives a miss. 

Gonna end off with the call that came in this afternoon while I was napping from some of the members of The Job.  They were raggin’ me about going to lunch, which brought back some memories cos we always used to go for lunch at the end of a long, hard day at work.  That’s something that we never used to do back in PR – well, not in the last year.  We’d be so busy rushing DB or something that we’d just race to the cafeteria, packet the first type of bad food there was and rush back up, eating at our tables while waiting for our submissions to come back.  No more going out in Z’s car to the old hawker centre at Botanic Gardens for some nice roti john and teh alia, followed by lots of ooh-ah-ing while taking a slow tour of the grand houses along Tanglin and Dempsey Road.  I guess looking back, that was partly why I had to go too.  But on a positive note, things apparently are better there now.  People are taking turns to buy breakfast for their buddies.  Not much of that happening in my day.  Anyway, I also got to speak to CPK some and he talked about how’s it going and what about heading out for a trance party when things are up? I’m all up for that.  Now it’s all about the wait till Friday.  The PR genes even had me cooking up some neat possible FAQs and their possible replies.  Ran them by some people and so far, they seem ok.  Fingers crossed.

getting a clue from ‘Nancy Drew’

June 25, 2007

As it turned out, I stayed up till 5.40 am last night sending resumes. Ok, so it was more like 3.30 and the rest of the time was site surfing, but hey, cut me some slack, alright? Then I went to get my certs laminated, and I went to JE branch library to check out the 9/11 books they had. Leafed through 3 and read a chapter or two of one – more detailed thoughts about that at another time.

And then I thought, why not catch Nancy Drew? My take – Emma Roberts is cute. Also, there’s a dress that she wears at her birthday party in the movie that abs fabs. Here are just two shots of it but I wish I could show you the shot where she looks absolutely stunning doing some kinda retro dance – I forgot the name.

front shot of that cool dress

This one is from the side:

profile shot of the dress

Ok, I really gotta get myself a job cos I’m TALKING ABOUT DRESSES! How more gay can I get? No, don’t answer that.

Anyway, the opening scene was really stupid but the way they set up the mystery with a ‘haunted’ house, secret passageways, gruff caretaker, long-lost daughter, and discovering clues in dreams is pretty much just tolerable. Tip for the sequel – lose the fat kid, and give Drew some dark, brooding mystery man to slobber all over, not that nit of a Ned who tries too hard pretending to be retro SNAG.

And retro the movie does turn up – how everyone digs the roadster and penny loafers and vinyl. It’s not easy considering the original Drew series started way back in 1930, but it seems uncomfortable transplanting the Ingrid Bergman movie star diva type into 21st century Hollywood-rica. It’s like they decided to update the series but forgot which direction the vinyl groove was moving in, so in the end the movie seems stuck between two eras. One saving grace was the soundtrack – it wasn’t too bad. I would consider getting it if I wasn’t so, well, not crazy over it.

Still, there’s hope yet. Emma Roberts (did I mention she’s cute?) is signed on for a sequel, so if they’d just iron out the kinks, it should be another franchise disguising as brain food for female empowerment. Oh, and before I wrote this, I kinda thought Roberts has a young Audrey Hepburn kinda vibe, but I’m not sure now. Only time will tell.

After the movie, DS called so we met up for a while at Holland V. I had the chance to taste the famous Katong laksa again:

signboard

And then I got to thinking how sad it is that places and, indeed, many experiences in Singapore get delocalised so quickly and easily. But perhaps the ‘Katong’ in Katong laksa is more a brand than a location, evoking at the mere mention the culinary traditions so famously associated with that area. Then there was that controversy a few years back about which stall really sells ‘authentic’ Katong laksa. Judging by the PRCs that were cooking and serving up the stuff, I guess it’s really a moot point at this point.

Going to do my hair (god that IS so gay saying it) tommorow for Friday. Have to make a good impression on SJI and HCI right? I wish they wouldn’t all take place on Friday, but then again, it’s the shortest day of the week for members of The Job after all.

`send in your documents via email’ = PDF them (duh me!)

June 24, 2007

Another thing learnt during job hunting online. Something they NEVER tell you in the ads, just ‘send in this application form, together with all relevant documents, via email to [email addy]”. Hello, wouldn’t hurt to add ‘we accept docs in PDF format’, right? Luckily, I stumbled on the idea from NP’s online application website, and so I’m going over to WS’ place later to scan every single scrap of document deemed important by the HR Powers That Be so that I can attach them to my applications. I just hope her scanner can PDF stuff or else I’m screwed, because certain sites have a file upload limit, and Word docs just look so…uncool.

Sniffed quite a number of corp comms openings in this weekend’s papers – ok, not that many, but a few that, fingers crossed, look promising. I’m waiting on HCL’s callback next week. Meanwhile, members of The Job restart everything tommorow, but it’ll be the first time in 3 years that I won’t be. At first I thought it would seem a big deal to me, but I guess not. It’s not tommorow yet, anyway, so there’s still plenty of time to get nostalgic, in between buying stamps and getting certificates laminated. Oh and by the way, my sinuses’re giving me hell cos of handling those dusty certs. I swear that and moving house and spring-cleaning are mortal enemies of my nose.

lament for my lost Anjunabeats tees

June 24, 2007

Just surfed Cdjshop and found that they have this in stock:

anjuna tee dark navy men's

Which reminds me – they still owe me 2 tees and the Anjunabeats Worldwide CD first ordered – yes – in December!  I’ve emailed them a million times about it and the last communique from them was that they had re-sent everything – which is nothing but a stark lie, because I did not receive anything so far.  V says the stuff probably landed in the hairy laps of some Burmese drug lord who’s too high listening to the music and wearing the tees to give them up, but I have a better explanation: Unregistered Postage.  Next time – if I do order anything from them again – I’ll spend the extra money so that what’s mine rightfully arrives.  Not that I’ve become a Luddite when it comes to online purchases. I just don’t like not getting my stuff is all.