Saturday, May 30, 2009

Of family and friends...

Read 2 interest articles in 我报 papers recently. One was this lady writing about her family, and the other was a (presumably younger) woman writing about her friends.

The first article made me smile as I read it. The second one made me sigh and even felt a little sad. But both articles made me nod my head in agreement - "how true..", I thought as I read them.

About family

The woman wrote about how her 3 year old son made her nice-guy "Good cop" husband go mad with fury, while she, who is usually the "Bad cop" mum, had to for once, play the good cop. For those who are unfamilar with such parenting terms (or ploy, as some would say), this is simply the usual er... deployment of a parent as the discipline keeper (ie. the Bad cop), while the other parent naturally takes over the role of the comforter for the weeping baby (ie. the Good cop).

For friends who know me, it should be clear who's the Bad cop and who's the Good one. :P

Well, the article wrote that there would be occasions where her usually mild-tempered husband can get driven up the wall by the toddler, such that he scolds the kid with raise voice and when this happens, the poor tot would really frighten. Since when did the Good cop turn evil??? The tot's mum (writer) would then "transform" into the shoulder for the tot to cry on.
This type of scenarios happened once VERY occasionally, but it has happened before in my family too! haha.. that's was why I was nodding my head in appreciation, as I read the article - also because it was quite well written in a humorous way.

About friendships

The second article was written by this lady who recounted how her brother was feeling "betrayed" by his friends who had 'forgotten' to invite him to their wedding, even those he was their 媒人, just over a year ago. To make matters worse, the couple getting married had invited other common friends to their wedding, but had left him out.

The writer then spoke about her own experiences in "maintaining" friendships. She had been the one organising the annual gatherings for old classmates, but it had become increasingly difficult to organise these as people started working, got married, and basically got so busy with their own lives that they could not even find time to meet up with old friends.

A good point she mentioned was the "common interest". As each of us get on with our own hectic lives, there is only this little pockets of time that we can allocate to our friends and interests. For example, I love to play the classical guitar - so in my little free time, I teach the guitar in schools and I meet up regularly with my quartet buddies to rehearse and put up regular performances.
In this way, this small group of us friends- all of whom have graduated many years ago from the same university - constantly keep in touch with each others' lives.

But what about those once-close friends who did NOT share such common interests with us? As time goes by, and with everyone struggling to find time for themselves - outside of raising their own kids, and visiting their parents -, these "friends" will slowly but surely transform into mere "acquintances".

This reminds me of a blog entry I'd written some time ago (i think it must've been years back), about the effort it takes to maintain friendships.


Facebook is simply an electronic means of making us feel less guilty about not getting in touch with some of our friends. It creates an illusion that we still know (and care) what's going on in their lives... when sometimes, we simply don't anymore.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Learning on the job

It's been just over a week since I've joined my new company, working as a technology consultant in a bank.

There's a "whole new world" of knowledge and stuff I need to learn and pick up, (obviously) as quickly as possible - so that I can become a useful part of the entire working team.

My first impressions of my new workplace is rather positive one. After years of NOT having my own desk to work on (you see, my previous job was onto this concept known as "hot-desking".... which many of us simply didnt like. It wasnt that "hot" after all), I now finally had a desk and a "space" to call my own. I can bring my own photos to decorate the place, bring my own mug to get my own drinks (without using those yucky plastic/disposable cups); and basically make the place feel more "friendly" and conducive for working in.

The general environment is not so unlike the TR (ORQ) office, where I've spent the last 3+ years in. Clean, rather new looking, bright, and generally spacious. The one main difference is my new workplace seems to be a much quieter office, compared to the ORQ one - well, to be fair, in ORQ, the CT team (ie. the noise-polluters = us ) has typically been the one contributing to most of the rah-rah in the office.

Hmm.. perhaps given some time, after I am more settled in, one of the things I will attempt is to "convert" some of these nice, quiet-loving people in my new workplace to become more noise-loving, huh? hhahahaaa..

Ops... must 保持形象! At least for now... =P

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Rio Ferdinand and Frank Lampard

Rob, who's one of the Business Managers in Thomson Reuters sent me this photo of him, with Rio & Frank! He is a West Ham fan, so I guess this photo must've been taken when these guys were still with the Hammers? :)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A new job

As I am typing this, we moved into 14th May 2009.

My last day as a Thomson Reuters Client trainer.

Why am I typing this blog entry so late into the night (or so early in the morning, depending on how you want to see it)? It's becos I can't sleep....

Have been rolling on the bed for the past half hour, with the stupid breathing device attached to my nose I find myself gasping for breath every minute. Yeah, it's been 2 weeks since I've started using this device, which supposedly was to help people with sleep apnea cope with the lack of oxygen intake during deep sleep, so that the patient could achieve a better quality rest and feel more energised the following day. So far, results have been mixed, i must say. On some nights, i've managed to sleep without much of a problem, and true enough, I wake up feeling better (than usual) the next day! But other nights... well, I guess today's just of those "not-so-good" nights.

So I find myself blogging about my last day at TR...

Gosh.. didnt realised I'd miss my (current) job already. No - actually, I'd miss my current colleagues more than my job. They are the people who make my day at office interesting. All that bitching - about the job, the politics, the gossips - really makes my day. Sometimes, the day passes by so quickly, all I remember are the bits and pieces of our gossip topics, gathered through the lunch and CB (no, not what you're thinking! CB refers to "Coffee break" ) sessions.

天下无不散之宴席 - as they say, all good things must come to an end, at some time. That's why good memories are so treasured.

I am pretty excited about my new job though. While I'm confident I will stand up to the new job challenges and demands, I wish my new colleagues will be as helpful and nice as those in TR. And of course, I hope my new manager is a fair one. That's really all you can ask for in a leader - to be fair in his/her treatment of their subordinates.

Many people have expressed surprised that I'm changing job, with the economic crisis and all. First, they'd be surprised I'd managed to find a job (what's more - in the banking sector!), then secondly, they'd be surprised I WANT to change job in a time like this - in a sense, giving up a relatively secured job to venture into the unknown.

I dont know if this is a good thing for me or not. Only time will tell, I guess. But I do know that you gotta grab some opportunities when they come your way. At least I'd know that I've tried. I just don't want to feel any regrets later on, thinking of "what could've been".

Cheers to my new job!

And cheers to my great colleagues at TR for making the past 3 years such memorable ones. Thank you, my friends!~

Monday, May 04, 2009

Band of Brothers

Recently, I did a revisit of the Band of Brothers mini-series (as I've acquired the Blu Ray version. Yay!) and was left feeling inspired, moved, glad and..sad - all over again.

It really is a great series, depicting a company of American soldiers (Easy Company from the 101st Airbourne Unit) as they try to survive the war (WWII) while fighting in Europe.

Usually by the time I reached the 7 or 8th part (out of the 10 part series), I would already feel rather "exhausted" by watching the heriocs and sacrifice of these men, as they labour to last the war to go home in 1 piece (literally!). Can't help but feel strong emotions and kinship for some of these guys, seeing how they fight not just for their own lives, but sometimes more for the lives of their "brothers". For us who are fortunate enough to live in a time of relative peace and not having known war (pray that we never have to!), one can only imagine what it must been like to not only run around the battlefield with bullets flying pass your body; not knowing if the next one is gonna hit you in the head or worse - other parts of your body (after all, if it hits your head, you wont know anything else, I'd assume!).

Even more than that - what it must have felt to see your comrades; your friends; your brothers fall by your side or get blown up to pieces, or to hold him dying in your arms with his blood (and yours) all over you....

I must say also, that the soundtrack of the show really adds a whole new dimension to the show, without which it wouldnt have been so successful.

The main theme is beautifully written, and creates a mood of rousing determination, tampered with the sense of melancholy and sadness. I recently heard a version that had lyrics to it, and I went on to the web to search for its title. It is called Requim for a soldier , sung by some opera singers.
Here are its lyrics:

"Requiem For A Soldier"

You never lived to see
What you gave to me
One shining dream of hope and love
Life and liberty

With a host of brave unknown soldiers
For your company, you will live forever
Here in our memory

In fields of sacrifice
Heroes paid the price
Young men who died for old men's wars
Gone to paradise

We are all one great band of brothers
And one day you'll see we can live together
When all the world is free

I wish you'd lived to see
All you gave to me
Your shining dream of hope and love
Life and liberty

We are all one great band of brothers
And one day you'll see - we can live together
When all the world is free

What a great show...