Werk

It’s official, I am looking

After today’s entirely ridiculous episode based on a mindless and vicious complaint, I have decided that this company is not worth staying in.

I don’t think I am in any mood to tolerate the American Asshat’s nonsense and utterly childish motives. If he were to pick on me over something as stupid as this again, I am going to lodge a formal complaint against him, no matter the cost.

I am sick of his malicious manipulation and his tireless efforts to blacken my name, even when I am no longer working in his department. It’s just too bad for him that my direct supervisor likes me and thinks that I am doing a hell of a job, so much so that she has observed that I am capable of going beyond my current duties and is willing to train me to take on more. It’s just too bad that I had the chance to speak to his supervisor about his nasty behaviour as a manager.

I refuse to work in an environment where I have to constantly watch my back and wonder if what I am doing now can be used against me. Today, I am distracting the subs by talking to them over instant messaging (it was just ONE person in ONE day). Tomorrow I could be taking too many breaks and the day after, I could be laughing too loudly in office. It’s sick and I do not want to live this way.

This place is ill-managed and run poorly by people who may have once been good at what they did but are just not suitable to be managers. So much for being a multi-national news media.

So, if you know of any place that is looking for editorial, marketing or corporate communications staff, let me know.

Two of Us

My boyfriend, my occasional annoyance

“!(imgcenter)http://farm1.static.flickr.com/147/433624015_eec4c0507a_m.jpg!(My sometimes annoying boyfriend)”:http://www.flickr.com/photos/yannie/433624015/

There are days when he annoys/frustrates/pisses the hell out of me and I just want to stab him with my cutlery. Or strangle him. Or kick his family jewels.

But then, I remember how he makes me laugh, how he dotes on me, how he grounds me when I go on my tangential flights out of this world. And how he always cools down first and hands me the olive branch by calling me up and asking me, humbly and sweetly, if I could go out for a movie with him.

And then the anger subsides and we go back to being us again.

Until the next time he annoys/frustrates/pisses the hell out of me again.

Relationships can be such hard work.

Everything Else

The Lives of Others

It’s 3am now and I should be in bed but I need to pen these thoughts before they are dulled by sleep. I have just watched “The Lives of Others” (or “Das Leben der Anderen” in German) and it’s been really a while since I was so profoundly moved by a movie.

Set in the 1980s before the re-unification of Germany, East Germany was controlled by a Socialist regime that demanded the complete compliance of its citizens. This meant that any dissident was thrown into jail and artists were commonly blacklisted and forced to quit their craft.

Wiesler is a staunch member of the Stasi (the secret police) and quite a respectable one at that. He does not pursue glory or riches, and dedicates his entire life to his job because of his devotion to the Socialist cause.

He is a staid man who probably never smiles at anything. He lives life by a routine and has a home that’s functional but cannot be said to be cosy. He lives alone, seemingly has no friends, has built his life around his career and is practically emotionless.

Soon, he is tasked to spy on a suspected rebel, famed writer Georg Dreyman, by his inept boss and former classmate Grubitz. Initially, he performs this surveillance (complete with phone tapping and bugs) with steel-like discipline and distance. But as he observes the warm dynamics between Dreyman and his lover, actress Christa-Maria Siegland, he starts to thaw.

Like a tightly wound up flower bud that starts to bloom, the many layers of Wiesler peels off slowly, one by one. He feels compassion, and creates a situation in which Dreyman discovers the infidelity of his lover. After hearing sounds of sexual pleasure between Dreyman and Siegland, he finds himself yearning for it and, more importantly, the connection between two people. He cries when he hears a heartfelt and emotional rendition of Beethoven on the piano and goes as far as to steal Dreyman’s copy of Bertolt Brecht’s plays. While he never used to relax, he now reads Brecht’s plays.

In other words, he discovers the soul that has been dormant in him all this while. And in time, he becomes Dreyman’s protector instead of predator.

The transformation of Wiesler is quite subtle and done rather elegantly. He is always in tight control of his emotions and throughout the movie, his face is always set impassively. But it’s almost you could see through his stony expression into the gentle unfolding of his poetic, lyrical side. It’s almost beautiful to see that transformation and as a spectator, you can’t help but be moved by the sacrifices Wiesler makes to become the better person.

The movie moves along at a serene pace, never rushing to the denouement and certainly not dragging its feet in order to give its characters the depth that they possess.

It was truly a movie that deserved its Best Foreign Film win at the recent Oscars.

Little Miss Shopaholic

Wood Would

“!(imgcenter)http://farm1.static.flickr.com/154/430438560_ad7640f3a5_m.jpg!(Wood Would packaging)”:http://www.flickr.com/photos/yannie/430438560/

How much wood would a wood chuck chuck if a wood chuck could chuck wood?

I recently discovered this charming little shop located on the the third floor of The Cathay. It has the most interesting name: Wood Would.

I first stumbled upon it with the boyfriend after gym and immediately fell in love with it. It has a warm, cosy feel with shelves and displays of paper with gorgeous prints, cute retro tin toys and old Enid Blyton books which I used to own. There were vintage typewriters and cameras, as well as whimsical cards and notebooks. Eschewing those metallic display shelves that look so minimalist and feel so cold, the owners of the shop had used old wooden tables to showcase their products, which made the place feel homely and comforting.

As I was in need of a 2007 diary, the boyfriend got me one of those really funny and zany holographic ones:

“!(imgcenter)http://farm1.static.flickr.com/187/430447505_39518f9372_m.jpg!(My Wonder Years diary)”:http://www.flickr.com/photos/yannie/430447505/

Their packaging is also classy: everything that you buy goes into a maroon paper bag that’s so simple and chic, along with an elastic bookmark that ends in the wooden head of a clown.

One thing about the shop was that it was not posh and snooty. The salesgirl, a sweet young thing, was enthusiastic and you could see that she really enjoyed being in the shop. She was extremely helpful and share my mirth in watching those tin robots march across the glass display after being wound up. She didn’t even mind it when I glided around the shop more than three times and touched practically everything in sight, my tactile need rising inevitably in the presence of beautiful things.

If you happen to be at The Cathay, do pop down to Wood Would for some aesthetic pleasure.

“!(imgcenter)http://farm1.static.flickr.com/163/430438710_f900ad19c8_m.jpg!(Bookmark)”:http://www.flickr.com/photos/yannie/430438710/

Everything Else, The organised chaos

Gratitude

The boyfriend might be mildly mortified by this but the truth is, I am getting rather enthusiastic about East End and, in turn, the wedding. Maybe it’s because there really is nothing much to look forward in my life other than exciting events and travel plans but I am genuinely delighted at the fact that I am getting the chance to decorate my very own pad my way.

Sometimes, I look at my life and I say a little prayer of thanks to the big man above because things could have turned out so differently.

……

Reading last Saturday’s news report on the impact of divorces on children, my heart turned cold and I felt sorrowful for those who had to grow up with more than what their young souls could handle.

I know that compared to them, I am extremely lucky. Looking at it from a seemingly callous point of view, I think it was fortunate that I grew up in a family where one parent was robbed from my life by Death. Call it an act of fate or just nature taking its course, it was not a conscious choice made by my father to collapse on the basketball court and breathe his last.

In the case of a divorce, the reasons are always man-made and the beneficiaries of these decisions are not just the adults but also the children. I’d go as far as to say that it’s better to have a father buried six feet under than one who is irresponsible, abusive or violent.

Nonetheless, the pain of growing up with the loss of a parent is so deep that nobody can really understand. As a child, your understanding of the world and its issues are limited, you can only seek to see things through your childish eyes. Whether through death or divorce, all you see is that you are different from other children and it’s almost like a handicap – a lost limb or an eye.

Maybe that’s why most of us make up for it in other, more extreme ways. Some become single-minded in their studies, as if to prove that they can do it too. Some, like me, turn on the loudness and the toughness as a mask to prevent others from being able to hurt them. Others go down the path of depravity, simply because the world no longer seems sensible and correct anymore.

Yes, there were many paths that I could have walked down but through some stroke of miracle, I did not go down the wrong one.

I could have hung out with teen gangs or shoplifted or lost interest in my studies or slashed my wrists or shut myself into a world inhabited by nobody but myself.

But I didn’t. Instead, I hung on tightly, as lonely as it was.

I will never know why or how I did it. Maybe it was in the very core of my being, this sense of independence and willingness to walk in the darkness, certain that I will see the light soon. Maybe it was because I had a very strong kinship with my extended family members, who took me under their wings.

Reading the article made me realise, once again, that I am truly blessed. I hope that I can always look at things this way and be grateful for all that I have become.

“!(imgcenter)http://farm1.static.flickr.com/164/336855005_4fde3cdd8b_m.jpg!(Family)”:http://www.flickr.com/photos/yannie/336855005/

Everything Else

Cleo Eligible Bachelors….not

Dear Cleo Eligible Bachelors,

“!(imgcenter)http://farm1.static.flickr.com/146/425307634_05c5146732_m.jpg!(One of the bachelors posing)”:http://www.flickr.com/photos/yannie/425307634/

It’s that time of the year again where one of you gets crowned as Cleo Magazine’s Most Eligible Bachelor of 2007. The correct response following that statement ought to be some catcalling and wolf whistles but all the event could get out of me was…..yawn?

I’m sorry boys but you just ain’t making things better for all the single girls out there. If this is supposed to be the cream of the crop for the male species, all I can say is thanks but no thanks for I have seen better.

First of all, the majority of you seem to be terrific at mumbling. From my position at the bar (which really means “far from the stage”), all I can hear is: “Hi, my name is mmph mmph mmph and I mmph mmph mmph.” Some things don’t change, I can see that.

And then, when you spoke clearly and I rejoiced at hearing every syllable of your words, you had to spout lines like: “My friends call me Matt. But you can call me Tonight” and “I would make you swirl, if you would be my girl” and “I would like to be the meat between your sandwich”.

Another gem that made me throw back my head in fits of hysterical laughter was this: “I have three word for you girls tonight. Possibilities. (a very long pause) You. Me.” It made me wonder if you were merely suffering from stage fright or panicking silently and thinking if “possibilities” is actually three words in itself.

Many of you had longish hair dyed blonde, evidently inspired by the flowing tresses of the boys from F4. It’s not really that cool, by the way. The couple of dudes who had clean shaven heads were much more sexier than you are.

And when you sang, you were so out of tune that I was forced to shout at you to please get off the stage and let my boyfriend take over the microphone because his voice is infinitely better than yours.

You know something is wrong when we decided to walk out of the party just when the striptease was about to start. I was so perturbed by the standard of malehood out there that I had to leave.

I’m sorry. It’s not me, it’s you. Two years ago, there was actually some salvation. But this time, a grand total of perhaps two of you passed the test. It’s really quite tragic.

Sincerely,
yAnn