Saturday, December 26, 2009
I think the biggest thing I learnt this year was that you don't have to choose and you don't have to settle. There are so many choices and options, there is always the choice of not taking it.
Since my last year of high school, I always felt I had to choose between Marketing and Human Resources. This year, not only did I decide not to choose what one I like better, but I also added Psychology into the mix. The moment I came to this conclusion, my dream job landed in my lap. Working in the Change Management team at Unilever.
I also developed a new interest in sailing. I'm in the process of finding a comprehensive course to do in the new year. Cant wait!
I also realised that I am like Jerry Seinfeld. Everything just works out well for me and everything balances out. I am so lucky and grateful.
Thanks to my subscription to Psychology Today ... I am more self-aware. Now I just need to improve on some of these weaknesses that I uncovered.
I do more with my writing ... hence the blog and writing on issues that fire me up. I also have taken a keener interst in reading, following the literary world a bit more and sketched an outline for a (one-day) book.
It's been good. Here's to a bigger and better 2010!
Photos taken from:
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Saturday, December 12, 2009
As I watched the movie for the 3rd time, I started making a list of why I was attracted to Edwad Cullen.
- LOOKS GREAT IN A SUIT. (massive tick in my books!)
- Protective of Bella, but not in a stalker way.
- Chivalrous. Opens the car doors, lets Bella in through door was first, lets her keep the golden onion and check the microscope first.
- He has self-control and restraint. (I loved it how he could stop kissing her but she couldn't!)
- Comes from a good, supportive family.
- He's smart and bookish.
- Plays the piano. (in real life he sings and plays the guitar.)
- Great sense of dress and style. (I loved the grey winter jacket and the suit at the prom.)
- Has a great car that suits his style. (A Volvo, who would have thought!)
- Not violent, unless he is protecting you.
- He's sensitive. Writes in his journal, has self-esteem issues and keeps to himself.
- Humble. He doesn't have all the latest gadgets and gizmos. No Wii, iPhone or laptop.
- Sporty and athletic. He runs fast, plays baseball, climbs trees (when was the last time anyone did that!) and doesn't do it as a show pony.
- Is jealous. When Bella talks to Jacob, Edward says that he's away for 5 minutes and all the wolves come out.
- Wants to formally meet Bella's father before their date. (a must for a chivalrous boy!)
- HE CAN DANCE and moreover, he teaches Bella to dance.
- He is with you through sickness and in health. Stays at Bella's bedside when she is in hospital.
http://twilightguide.com/tg/wp-content/themes/Aspire/graphics/cat/twilight-movie-photos/bella-edward-prom-walk.jpg - Edward and Bella going to Prom.
Friday, November 27, 2009
- Regardless if you are on the side of believers or non-believers of climate change, there is a need to act sustainably. Using less water, going shopping with re-useable bags, shorter and colder showers, printing less and saving paper, reduce-reuse-recycle, yadda yadda yadda. Acting sustainably saves money and other resources. Its a no brainer.
- Malcolm Turnbull has done what any good leader should, that is to work with the government on addressing the legislation, fighting climate change and preventing a double dissolution. As you know, I am a Rudd fan but I do see the value and potential in Turnbull. It was admirable of him to step up to the task. He's made the tough calls, listened to voters and I dont think this should have damaged him the way it has.
- The legislation wont make anyone really happy. The Greenies are not happy with the Government taking small steps and the Libs are not happy because they are going to be out of pocket. What is the Government supposed to do? Operating greener does cost more money in the short and medium term.
- I want to see action taken on climate change but .... with produce already so high, how much higher will it go? Just this week bananas are $5 a kilo and petrol is $1.27/litre.
- Agriculture Carbon aka Animal Farts. I'm just glad this is now exempt from the legislation being passed. Next thing you know humans would be charged for farting! Its a normal and natural process. Reminds me of an episode from South Park. The community was told to abstain from farting in an effort to reduce pollution. The result? Some of the towns people exploded from pent up methane pressure. Spontaneous_Combustion (South Park episode)
- We'll feel that we are finally doing something more substantial for the environment. I don't want to see the Maldives swallowed up by the Indian Ocean!
- We walk into Copenhagen talks with a decision already made - taking a global leadership role (a sense of pride will ensue)
- Electricity will cost more over a certain point ... thus consumables will cost more if the producing company is a polluter.
- More "green " start up businesses and tenders will be given to those operating in a more environmentally friendly way
- Households will work harder to minimise costs, operate more efficiently, buy better more energy efficient electricals.
Its going to be a nerve wracking weekend long wait. Who will be the new Liberal leader? We'll find out Monday, fingers crossed its Malcolm!
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
The same people keep doing the ads and I feel that they are selling themselves out. Rebecca Gibney does Advil and Wii Fit. Snore. Mark Taylor, a cricketer promotes airconditioners in a boring way. I think there are about 3 Delta Goodrem ads right now. Sunsilk, Proactive, So Good Milk. I hate all of them.
Some of our Aussie ads are great, but none really come to mind that involve a celebrity except for the time Mark Philippoussis did the Longines and Pepsi ads.
Its always the foreign made ones that tickle my fancy. They just look like a million dollars, look good in the ad and really make me want to buy or aspire to have the product. Is it just me or do you also feel the same?
- http://i242.photobucket.com/albums/ff112/johnsonleung/oksunsilkad.jpg - Delta Goodrem for Sunsilk
- http://www.mparchives.com/gallery/ads/ad-longines1.jpg - Mark Philippoussis for Longines
- http://stylefrizz.com/img/sean-connery-louis-vuitton-core-values-ad-campaign-by-annie-leibovitz.jpg - Sean Connery for Louis Vuitton
- http://farm1.static.flickr.com/73/230406854_9ef2a751cd.jpg - David Beckam for Got Milk movement.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
I initially booked into a day long course but due to low enrolment numbers, plan B was to finding a 3hour hands-on taster. Maybe it was more suited to tourists but as long as I was on a yacht-like vessel and it was a hands-on experience, it didnt really matter.
Doing anything for the first time is a bit nerve racking and also doing it solo is even harder, knowing that others will be there in their small groups or couples. I was brave for that 5min longer, swallowed whatever issues of social exclusion/inclusion I had and booked myself in to board the Spirit.
On one of Sydney's hottest days, I was on Sydney Harbour. :-) I was assisting in tugging ropes, changing the sail direction and steering. Quite sweaty work but with the cool sea breeze you would hardly notice it.
The Spirit being an ex-America's Cup vessel is built for shealtered waters, not out in the ocean. I would be a bit afraid to go out sailing out in open water but am more than happy to do this again. (Memories of Sydney to Hobart yacht races come to mind quite quickly!)
The 3 hours went by very quickly. I have a greater appreciation for sailing now. There is quite a lot too it, not just sitting back and literally seeing where the wind takes you. You must work as a team, be aware of your surrondings (what are the threats and wind opportunities), be able to follow instructions, know what direction you are headed for and you need to be very agile to move from one side of the boat to the other.
Sounds a lot like running a business!
Anyway, the point is that I did something I wanted to and didn't let little obsticles get in my way. Plan B was found, courage was found, I was aware of my surroundings and networked with strangers. I was a fish out of water and I loved it!
Monday, November 16, 2009
1. Taken from the 7 Highly Effective Habits ... the Circle of Influence Vs Circle of Concern. Minimise your issues and areas of concern by working out what is it that you have control over and exploit them to overcome your concerns.
2. Be as positive as you can! A happy workers is a good worker (ofcourse within reason, if your boss is an ogre, its not going to make you very happy.) You have control over your own emotions and your reactions, if you have a good day or a bad day - the choice is yours. Your positive outlook will be infectious within the office and your collegues and clients will be infused with your happiness.
3. The NASA Idea. I love this one, it is my favourite.
Its the story of a very happy and smiling janitor cleaning the hallways of NASA HQ before man landed on the moon. When asked by the then US President, "what are you doing?" The janitor replied, "Putting a man on the moon!" His conviction, determination and optimism is inspiring. The high-ups in NASA are also to be congratulated for instilling the vision, drive and goal into their emloyees, regardless of how bottom-of-the-food-chain they are.
I hope that one day I can lead a team or an organisation and instill this NASA ideology with them.
Photos/Images taken from:
Monday, November 9, 2009
- $23 million has gone to the French Governement and not staying to stimulate the NSW/Australian economy.
- The property is now owned by Aussies and a great Aussie family if I may say so :-)
- The Murdoch Vs Packer tango is clearly won by the Murdochs this year.
- The Australian Women's Weekly Magazine is probably already salivating at the idea of being invited to cover "behind closed doors" to see how the family live in their new abode.
- If our frisbee lands next door, we can yell out "little help" instead of finding the French equivilant. (although I'm sure the French equivilant would sound more dainty)
- Me thinks they will need someone to mow the grass ... Jim's Mowing, kaching! kaching!
- A Gatsby-esque party or two? Ohh, I hope so and here's hoping I have moved up in the food chain to be invited! Or at least see it in the Social pages on Sunday.
- You're off to the US for a while? Something for Daddy dearest? Oh ... where will I find a housesitter for you?
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
The SFS is still the SFS, the MCG is still the MCG. But there are some other popular stadiums where I have no idea where they are or if its in the city or in the 'burbs.
There is (or is it was?) the Telstra Dome, Acer Arena, Etihad Stadium, ANZ Stadium ... its all so hard to know what is what! After a little research, I found out it's all over Australia! The Dairy Farmers Stadium, AAMI Stadium, Coopers Stadium, Medibank Stadium, Lexus Centre, St George Stadium.
This is the Telstra Dome ... when it was the Telstra Dome.
Would it be far fetched to see the NSWGovernment sell out our Sydney Harbour Bridge? Our Pylons are already abused during New Years Eve festivities, but it could be year round with a sign mounted on the top. Does the QANTAS Bridge go down well with you? Or how about the Pantene or Sunsilk Bridge?
Sunday, October 11, 2009
We generally keep them on the back of the fridge but once in a while, we just want to chuck them all out.
Well. I came across a really cool craft idea to recycle magnets and milk cartons! So today mum and I had a bonza day of making a whole bunch of these magents.
Saturday, October 10, 2009
NASA sent 2 spacecrafts crashing and slamming into the moon in the hope of finding water molecules. Nothing much came of it.
What if Russia, China, Nth Korea or India wanted to do simiar things to the moon or worse, actually blow parts of it up in order to research? Would the US and NASA stop them? Who has the right to draw the line?
I'm sure they are doing all their analysis on it but why also waste millions on doing something like this when their economy is in recession?
Friday, October 2, 2009
My latest project was wrapping presents. There is nothing better than a beautifully wrapped present, regardless of how much the paper and the ribbon cost. It was my sisters birthday a few days ago and this is how I wrapped her present ... using a recycled Franklins catalogue.
I found some solid colour strips so that is the "ribbon" and then with the rest of the sheet, I just wrapped it. As for the bow, I just made one of those floral things by looping long strips of the paper and then stapling it to hold in place. I did it twice, one big and one smaller so it looks fuller.
Its still uses sticky-tape and uses 2 staples, but I think I made it look presentable and am proud of it. After she unwrapped it, the paper then was put straight into the recycle bin. Saved me money and looked good.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
I thought that if it was worth the print, it was worth at least a flip-through.
It has provided me with lots of random information over the years. I find out about talks and festivals, whats happening, profiles of people etc. I still to this day pick up stuff that looks interesting. The Avant Card postcard racks are a goldmine for me with free or buy-one-get-one-free movie deals. I dont always find something useful, but sometimes there are coupons, 2-4-1 deals, programs to festials or just something really funky that I can re-use or give to someone who I know would like it.
There is so much random stuff out there and I find so many things interesting. I once heard the mayors of Mumbai and London speaking, there are secret sale, free perfume samples etc.
With everything now on the web and things done through Facebook, e-newsletters and RSS feeds there are volumes of new things to learn, great information and freebies!
Friday, September 11, 2009
It takes only 10 sec out of your day/what you are reading/ what you are talking about/while sleeping but can really alter your mood. Esp. if you are heading into the city, it really is the calm before the storm.
I now take heed from my dads advice and everytime i get on the bus I make sure I sit on the "correct"side of the bus so that as we cross the bridge, I am on the Opera House side.
Its something small but I dont like to take it for granted. Some people pay thousands of dollars just to get a glimpse of if and some poor others, well they will never get a glimpse of it at all!
Thursday, August 20, 2009
I can really relate to this! I love the flow chart.
- I am a self-proclaimed introvert.
- I don't like making small talk and wish I could jump straight in for a good wholesome discussion.
- My idea of fun is not always going out and drinking or hanging out in the city.
One of my biggest issues is comparing myself to others but at the same time I continually try and find out who I am in that situation and not let others of society dictate what I need to be and do.
One of the biggest things I am learning is that you cant keep doing the same thing and expect a different outcome.
So ... I have embarked on some small changes ones that are already affecting me and slowly changing for the better.
- Temp.ing. - One of the hardest things to do is to change your job. I now do it all the time! Continually meeting new people, learning their names, assimilating to their office culture, learning new procedures. I have found that I can build rapport with people, people do like me and can see the value in what I have to offer. Its reassuring in light of the fact that I don't hold down a "steady and important" job.
- Newsletter subscriptions - I get to know whats happening, who is involved and can rally others to come with me if I want company. Performances, talks, lectures, galleries and many other things.
- Greater online presence. Ok, most people have done this but by having a blog where I can talk freely without judgement is great! I am also building my online-presence through: Facebook, LinkedIn and Blogger.
- Solo Travel - Nothing forces you to be more friendly than being by yourself when you are surrounded by others who are also solo travellers. Youth hostels are the best way to meet people and to organise spontaneous trips and dinners.
- Working out what I want to do - Its intimidating knowing that for every search i do, i find another 10 leads of what I might possibly be interested in. When i do know something that I want to do, I will do it. So sailing course in spring, here I come!
The Shy Connector
Monday, August 17, 2009
I remember the day I was offered contract work with them, I was SO excited and pumped. I was going to be the Face of IBM Australia-New Zealand HQ for the next 2 weeks. A role where I can charm and be professional while being hospitable and welcoming. I pride myself on my customer servicing and when I can't offer exceptional service, I feel like I am letting myself down and feel slightly guilty.
With the prospect of the Global Financial Crisis, IBM A/NZ cut from their budget all tea, coffee, cups, stirrers and sugar. Now I can understand that when times are tough, you have to cut back, but I feel that time and time again, from what I hear in the business news that IBM is still making record profits and exceeding targets.
My question to the IBM exec's is this ... If you expect all your major clients to meet you at your office, why can't you offer them at least a cup of tea! I would feel mighty stupid asking someone to sit and wait 15min and all I could offer them was water in a non-existent cup!
To make things worse, a new vending machine has moved in. Not easy to access and really generic, no-name tea and coffee. I can offer someone tea and coffee now, either at the client or my expense but it will be a tepid slurry.
Its an unspoken courtesy to have basic tea/coffee/water for guests and clients, even if the rest of the staff have to go without.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
There are however, times that if it's pissing down outside and I know I am at home and not going anywhere, I love it. I also love to look outside my windows when there is a massive storm overhead. Its a bonus if its hailing or I am the first one to spot that its hailing!
Even though "the weather" is quite a boring topic, I still find myself talking about it and perpetuating conversation about it. When someone asks me how I am, I sometimes comment based on what I see or feel outside. I think about the weather and how it will affect me for the day, should I take an umbrella or a jacket or go to the beach?
It really is one of the best small-talk conversation topics! Sometimes though, I find that if a comment is delivered in a mundane way, it's really like someone is trying a bit too hard. I feel it's inevitable that if it looks like rain, someone will invariably mention 'looks like rain'. Quite a Captain Obvious comment. Same with when its a nice day. Someone will say 'Beaut' day isn't it?' What am I supposed to say apart from a 'yeah, it is'. Common! It's just too rhetorical.
I remember when I was young(er) and it was the lead-up to my birthday, I would hope and pray that my Birthday would be a glorious sunny day. The worst thing I could think of would be that it rained. Thankfully, I don't ever remember a birthday or a birthday party of mine where it rained, even in recent years.
Maybe the weather doesn't affect you as much as it does me, but as part of my quest for self-discovery, I realised just how important it is in my life! And you know what? Looking at the weather radar is increasing in popularity, so its not only me!
Radar - http://www.bom.gov.au/products/IDR033.loop.shtml
Files taken from -
http://thedestinationcenter.com/images/tourimages/12994200_1231543843.jpg - 11/08/09
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2213/2270268883_7507054706.jpg?v=0 - 11/08/09
Friday, July 31, 2009
Here is a link to all his most recent published SMH articles -
What I like most about his articles is how it is unpretentious and it's easy to understand. I feel smarter and better informed from reading his opinion articles rather than just reading a plain news item. It also helps that from whatever opinions I do hold, they are in alignment with mine (never a bad thing if you want an ego boost!)
I am currently reading his book, To the Bitter End. It chronicles the fall of Howard and rise of Rudd's Government. From what he writes, I'm prety sure to say that we are both biased towards Rudd. I guess it is this reason why I started to follow what he writes. I never thought I would read a political book, but then again, I never really saw myself as an opinionated political follower. Eeeek! I'm turning into my dad!
Monday, July 27, 2009
As the sub-heading concludes on my blog, I am "a Sydney-sider caught between Gen. X and Y ". I identify with many aspects of both but depending on who is interpreting the definitions. Some say Gen Y were born from 1980 onwards, others say from 1985. Well, one version includes me and the other doesn't.
In magazines, newspapers and spam from friends, there are a lot of the "You know you are Gen. X/Y/Z if you ... ". There is even a popular TV quiz show called "Talkin' 'bout Your Generation". To me, its like any other quiz show, you either know it or you don't and I don't think that just because you don't know who is Bob Dylan or Englebert Humperdink is means that you are excused from not knowing.
Gen Y currently has a bad reputation for overspending and not willing to buckle down and work hard. Gen Y is categorised to want to do it NOW and will be less likely to show respect for hierarchy. I just hope recruiters and public servants can see that we are not all bad eggs and that we do have our own personalities and are not just out to jump from job-to-job, getting higher and higher salaries.
I am more than happy sticking with a company if they show loyalty and respect to me, its a good environment to work in and that people don't just shut down my ideas just because I'm not a manager or partner. Don't judge me based on my birth year and don't assume all of us are the same.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
I pity the Americans so much because they are known to be limited to maximum 2 weeks. It's the prime reason why I would never work there. I really don't know how they cope especially if they have family living overseas.
I would give huge Brownie points if my employer gave me 5 weeks annual leave, plus the option of flex-time. I am a traveller and an adventurer. I cannot imagine anything worse than not thinking and looking forward to a holiday or an adventure!
Friday, July 10, 2009
There are so many groups, clubs, blogs, online communities out there, you'd think this would promote a more community feel. It doesn't. With an increasing reliance on the web, people are becoming lazier to meet new people and to go out of their comfort zone.
I see people who have such a huge dependency on being connected, knowing the latest news, constantly listening to their MP3/iPod and always being online. These people forget that there is a person right next to them!
I will take ownership and say I am one of these people but I do try and not become a hiding anonymous. I wait for my bus without my music playing. As I get off the bus, my earphones are pulled off and I say thanks to the driver. If I am in the aisle seat, I try to ask the person next to me if they get off here (here being Wynyard) I order and wait for my coffee without any technology in my hand.
I don't like shopping as I'm talking or listening to music. I like to channel all my senses into shopping and its useful when you want the assistants to be attentive. When having dinner with someone and they are late/in the bathroom, its a sign of anxiety and nervousness to be fiddling with your phone. Just enjoy the moment and smile at someone!
Monday, June 22, 2009
I love them so much! I have so many memories attached to them and I wish they would last forever. I should have been more selective when wearing them as they are now freying from over use. Ha! Listen to me. I bet you I will wear them again, I just hope no one else notices the state they are in.
Ahhh the memories!! I rememeber that I bought these jeans on a beautiful sunny day in Krakow, Poland. I call them my Krakow jeans. At first they were a squeeze but with time I knew they would give a little and fit me perfectly.
My Krakow jeans have given me the best fit of jeans I have ever worn! Better than the Sass & Bide, Levis, Jag's and other pocket emptying brands. If I ever want to feel better about myself, I wear these jeans. By doing them up means I havent gained any weight and I can feel at ease.
If ever I am in doubt, I wear these jeans. Daytime or night. They can be dressed up and down, worn to the movies or out for dancing.
It's surprising how one piece of clothing can mean so much to you and how it can influence your mood and behaviour. In the scheme of things, what really is a pair of jeans but beauty and value is in the eye of the beholder.
Friday, June 12, 2009
Now I am a sucker for advertising and buying things however I am not compelled at all to buy anything APPLE or "i" related. It's just not me. They are too trendy, too 'look at me', too everywhere and too mainstream. I am not mainstream and I am not someone who blindly accepts what society dictates.
If there is too much hype about something, I generally start to block it out, I don't want it and if I can help it, I don't want to be a part of it. I choose NO to being a victim of mass hysteria or publicity and don't want to be a number. That said, I am on Facebook, I have worked in a multi-national and unfortunately, CBA only recognises me as a client and account number.
From self psychoanalysis, I guess my rebellion against the bandwagon came down to my childhood and not fitting in at school. I didn't have light brown/blonde hair, I never had the right sports shoes and my name is funny sounding (yes, Barack and I have something in common!) I don't always suit what is fashionable and I can't afford to buy the latest phone every two months, but you know what? I (slowly) know who I am and what I want. I like being different and knowing what I do and do not like. I cherish my one-off pieces of jewellery, my slight ethnic style and love having a name that not everyone else has.
I have not read nor watched the Da Vinci Code/Angels and Demons. Never been to Bali, its not on my "must see" places. I have a blog but I don't publicise it too much. I didn't watch Sex In the City/Underbelly when everyone else watched and I didn't apply for a grad position after finishing uni. I'm taking the road less taken and that is making all the difference! (with apologies to R.Frost "the Road not Taken").
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Held office as Australia's 17th Prime Minister from January 1966 till December 1967.
Was PM for only 22 months.
Remembered for only 1 thing ... he went for a swim and never came back.
I don't know too much about historical Australian politics, just what was forced upon me in school and that just barely includes the name of our first PM, Sir Edmond Barton and that his term started 1st January, 1901. The only other fact we learnt, ok, the only fact that my memory retained was in regards to Harold Holt and his disappearance.
For some reason I have been thinking about him recently, maybe it's because it just seems so bizarre. It also sounds so very Aussie, he left parliament by going for a very long swim. I guess it sounds better than leaving with his tail between his legs at the loss of an election.
I started to think, what if he came back, albeit 42 years later? What if he came back to take back power as PM? What would he do to help steer our economy back? Which countries would he pursue trade relations with? Would the Liberal party welcome him back with open arms? And would K.Rudd step down without a fight?
I'm sure if he did return there would be lots of book deals brokered, political cartoonists and satirists would be working overtime and the rights to his movie would be sold. Holt would do the whole breakfast tv circuit thing (who wouldn't want to be on Kochie's couch?) He might even be a celebrity judge on Australian Idol or join the Dancing with the Stars troupe.
I'll tell you 1 thing Holt won't do, he won't start a swimming school!
Monday, May 18, 2009
I like to think of myself as an average (maybe even a centremetre below average). So why is it that the 3 sizes (regular, tall and x-tall) in women's hosiery are just so off? I'm not short and stocky nor am I tall and leggy, but I need the X-Tall so I can get into them and not ladder them while pulling them up!
I am sure the stockings/stay-ups/tights industry does really well. Women feel sexier in them and thus like to pay for designer ones with a good sheen. Its trendy to wear them in different patterns and designs, even different colours. However, I can say from experience, many more pairs of these are just thrown out after 1 use because the size was wrong or it laddered just as you put it on.
Speaking of these patterned and colourful tights, with all the marketing and promotion for these, you think I would be used to seeing them on women. Don't get me wrong, I love the idea of them but when I actually see a woman wearing blue opaques or black patterned tights, I just think it ruins their outfit.
When I was in Melbourne, I saw so many women looking good in them and I found it more normal. Bring the same concept to Sydney, it's a different story. I guess Melbournian women can get away with this sort of thing, after all it is colder there.
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_YPLSyaja5vU/SRyfHbSM1mI/AAAAAAAACaA/4QwTU3m0ZuA/s400/black+patterned+tights.jpeg - 19/05/2009
After I came back from living in the Czech Republic, I wanted to make sure I did things differently, that I took up opportunities and met more people. As a work in progress ... I'm pretty happy with what I have been doing, I could do more. However, I have set myself up for a wonderful few weeks to look forward to and thought I would share.
- Sydney Writers Festival - Seminars and lectures with groups of smart, bookish, political and opinionated people. I'm looking forward to so many of them!
- Sydney Theatre Company - The fact that I can get a discount for being under 30 is sweet! Already saw The Removalists, now I have my "20 for $20" tickets to see Elling.
- Talk, Eat, Drink - A foodie program put together by Simon Johnson (Mr Purveyor of Quality food). Food 'n' wine and talking with the celebrity chef!
- Luminous Festival - The Harbour will be coloured with beautiful lights and I have tickets to the Laughing Guru's workshop.
Friday, May 15, 2009
In that 1 hour, we saved on emitting x amount of green house gasses, we saved x amount of trees.
Why do we do this for 1 measly hour? I find it ridiculous that the whole of Sydney still has all their office lights on late at night. Are people really working hard? Or is it sheer laziness?
If we just switched off the lights as the last person leaves or the cleaners close it after their duties we wont have to waste so much money marketing Earth Hour and we would have saved truck loads from saving energy and electricity! Respect to those offices who have sensor lights!!
Friday, May 8, 2009
Colgate essentially have a monopoly operating in the toothpaste aisle. They have essentially cornered the market in visibility and in consumption of toothpaste in Australia. There are 39 listed Colgate products on their Australia website. 39!! Why? Shouldn't Colgate Total do everything? Evidently not.
Now, I wouldn't complain if they sold great products. The thing is, I get absolutely no satisfaction from using their toothpaste. No good taste, you need to use lots to get a foam happening and there is no satisfaction after you finish brushing.
As a toothpaste consumer, I measure toothpaste on the following.
- It cleans & protects my teeth
- Strong minty fresh taste
- The duration of that minty freshness
- Its foaming capabilities
Every time I need to buy a new toothbrush or tube, I will loudly complain, "Whats with all the Colgate? while picking up non-Colgate products.
Stats & Info
http://www.marketresearch.com/product/print/default.asp?g=1&productid=1804765 - 08/05/2009
http://www.posc.co.nz/libraries/images/Custom/colgate-sml.jpg - 08/05/2009
http://www.epharmacy.com.au/images/productimages/50369/150.jpg - 08/05/2009
http://www.colgate.com.au/app/Colgate/AU/OC/Products/Toothpastes/Type.cvsp - 08/05/2009
http://www.gsk.com.au/products_consumer-healthcare-products_product-listing.aspx?view=272 - 08/05/2009
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
I sometimes find that there is not enough time in the day to capture all the knowledge I want. I am constantly trying to keep up-to-date from reading the days bulging newspapers, reading my 5 novels concurrently, going through my emails, facebook and favourite blogs. Add on top of that work/family time/social time/sleeping/eating/showering.
People are flocking like there is no tomorrow to sign up for Twitter. People are going ga-ga over the SMS like update with 140 characters. There are polls and comparisons, who has more followers, how many times did you Tweet today?
Who cares how many people follow Ashton Kutcher. What has he got to say to make my life more interesting? Do people rate their popularity based on how many people follow them? I don't write on this blog to get people to subscribe, I am happy just knowing that I can write and publish my thoughts.
Sure, companies and celebrities can profit from something like this but if I followed my 400 odd Facebook friends + 10 or so celebrities, I would not have time to scratch myself! On a typical day, what can you really expect from someone to Tweet to all their followers? "OMG I just did the washing and accidentally put something red in with the whites?"
Sunday, April 19, 2009
I love seeing the (tasteful) patriotic lengths people go to for the love of their country. Hell, even I have tied a flag around my neck and used it as a cape. What annoys me though is when I see flags flying that are frayed and damaged. When the Australian flag is not flying tied up well or is not hoisted properly and you second guess if its at half mast or not.
So many times I have been out and about in this great city and I have seen sorry displays of our flag. Either show it looking great or don't show it at all! There should be no place for faded or torn flags. We have laws protecting the flag from being burnt or defamed, why are we so lax about the state it is in when we fly it?
I have seen flags faded flapping in the breeze from someones car. I have seen torn and frayed flags flying high on top of buildings. I have seen flags wrapped around flagpoles so tightly and all you see flapping is a little bit of blue. For shame!
From travelling throughout the likes of France and Italy, I can say that these 2 countries fly vibrant, new looking flags. They fly them high and proud and I felt really happy to be in a country where the people are proud who they are and what they represent. We do too, its just that if you are a visitor to our beautiful country you should look elsewhere to see our pride and spirit.
(http://farm1.static.flickr.com/186/391025722_1f67125d2c.jpg?v=0) All 10/04/09
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Lucky me, since returning from living in a land-locked European country I have tried to visit as many Sydney beaches as possible. So listen up & take my advice!
SBC - Sydney Beach Criteria.
- Clean & safe - no syringes, no pollution, no excess amount of washed up seaweed, no motor crafts, no jellyfish/bluebottles/stingers & would like to know there is a shark net.
- Cheerful & picturesque - There is no point in me driving far to see some average looking beach. I go to the beach also to refresh my love of Sydney beaches.
- Adequate & relatively cheap parking - Its the beach, not some money making scheme or a day out to frustrate me.
- Good range of dining & shopping - well I may as well make a day of it. Its not like I will just pop down for a swim.
The all-rounder, good swimming beach is Bondi.
Great looks, nice walk, shops, cafes and a truly great cosmopolitan atmosphere.
The beautiful bronzed bodies, the little kiddies, Indian ladies in their salvar's and the people who want to blend in with the crowds.
Nice little patch of grass for picnics, Bondi to Bronte beach walk, Sunday markets & really great coffee joints.
There are other good beaches for picnicking. I recommend Bronte beach, Shelley beach & Nielson Park. If you are lucky to have the arvo off, I would also throw in Balmoral beach.
Palm beach. Nice to look at & walk but don't swim. Sure they have the hammerhead headland but the sand is thick
and red, it gets stuck everywhere & they film
Home&Away there. Need I say more?
Clovelly beach to me is not really a beach. It reminds me of Croatian beaches cos there is no beach, its just concrete slabs. The little bit of sand they do have is mixed with dirt so its a horrible brown. Another minus for Clovelly is that there are rocks, seaweed, fish swimming around you. I don't want anything swimming where I cant see! The only plus is the cafe but I've had better.
Manly Beach is a good afternoon out. No trip is complete without a walk along the corso and to Shelley Beach. However, the reputation of swimmability at Manly is going down. Most recently a huge mass of seaweed washed up on the beach and literally caused a stink. The glamour is not there but its peaceful and pleasant at sunset.
Not much is said about the southern beaches, in fact they are generally excluded when people think of Sydney beaches. Don't ever swim at Brighton-le-Sands unless you want to grow extra fingers. That said, its great for plane watching cos Sydney Airport is directly across the bay and you can see the whole length of the runway. So pop into one of the areas nice cafes nearby to keep you entertained.
La Perouse is notorious for shark spotting so that's out but you can hire kayaks there.
Cronulla is quite nice for swimming, its family oriented, good parking, good for walking, nice beach front cafes, no show-offs but somehow is still tainted from the 2006 issues. Its only drawbacks for me is the time it takes to get there and the concrete wall up along the beach.
Remember that the Harbour beaches are different to the coastal beaches, biggest differences including waves and motor crafts. So happy trip to the beach or if you are not a Sydney sider, happy living vicariously through my photos. Something there for any occasion and any appetite. Aren't we lucky to live where we do?
(http://www.beach.org.au/Images/bondi.jpg - 18/04/09) & others taken by myself.
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Unsafe OH&S costs the Australian economy a lot, prevention is better than cure ... bla bla bla, it is still boring as shit to sit and listen to how to lift a box correctly or how good housekeeping is everybodys responsibility.
I have had lots of experience in starting new jobs, inducting new people, reading and knowing what are safe Vs unsafe practices. I have also been a fireward in one job that involved hours of training, learning and drills. From a young age, we are taught what to do in this situation and in others.
So why are people insulting my intelligence with making me regurgitate and sign off on all these forms? Why must I sit through 1 hour induction videos "learning" how to sit correctly at a PC, the dangers of RSI. There are only so many times you can listen and read these!
What is the worst thing? Seeing the diagram of the perfect posture, the dotted eye-to-PC line up. The legs sitting together at 90 degree angles, the wrists are supported. It's so stupid, not all companies pay for the extras like wrist supports or the foot wedge. Why cant the company sign off on it to ensure i get one? Why dont they make sure these is soap in the toilet? What about getting rid of the office idiot to stop my blood pressure rising? Buy a toaster that works so I dont have to stick the knife into it to get my piece of toast out?
I dont want to see these videos any more. I will bring in my own previously signed OH&S documents and show the new employer that I know it all, just shut up when I am reaching for something high up standing on my chair with wheels!
Thursday, March 26, 2009
In the yogurt aisle you see French Vanilla and Traditional Greek. Walking past the chocolates you get swayed by the Swiss Lindt. I need some olive oil and looks like its Extra Virgin Italian pressed. My choice of dip is French Onion and pasta is Italian style. Heading over to buy more coffee, its a choice of Brazilian or Colombian, Italian or French roast. My beef and bananas are Australian. Lastly, my Achilles heel has to be Swedish, Russian or Polish Vodka.
Need to buy clothes? Even in retail the trend is cropping up. Aussie Bum swimwear, French perfumes - Coco Mademoiselle, Michael Kors - Capri, Hawaii and Bermuda. Italian leather handbags and shoes, French knickers and Swedish or Danish designed furniture. Our cars should be with German or Italian engineering. We must tell the time with our Swiss made watches.
There is an obsession brewing here. Maybe due to our geographical isolation, our need to be seen moving in higher socially and financially and to want the best, but who says that really these are the best and as your average middle class Aussie, is this reality?
Lets now take a more realistic view of what we can buy in our local shops.
- Undies (namely Bonds) we now know are made in China.
- Leather producers (shoes, handbags, wallets) are biggest in China, Italy and India.
- Coffees largest producers are Brazil, Colombia and Indonesia.
- Global production of olive oil is generally from Spain, Italy, Greece and Tunisia.
- The top 5 cars that Australians privately own, 4 out of 5 are Japanese cars (Toyota, Mazda, Honda) with a Korean (Hyundai) thrown in too.
We may be faced with facts one day that all our clothes and shoes will come from China and India, our produce will probably be from China and India unless we keep our produce quotas and tariffs in place.
Imagine Japanese Bum swimwear, Singaporean ice Cream, Afghani made watches, Tongan made cars, olive oil from Brazil and Romanian designed furniture. Life would be so much more interesting!
(Stats and data used from
http://images.channeladvisor.com/Sell/SSProfiles/33000191/Images/1/Hawaii_Women_Retail_PH.JPG (image 2)
Monday, March 23, 2009
The bus pulls up and is relatively empty, I walk up the aisle and slide into a double vacant seat and sit next to the window (Opera House side to get the good view).
As more people get on the bus, I secretly hope that no one sits next to me. I like the freedom of space and can put my bags on the spare seat. Bus stops again. I know, I know, it is naive to think the bus won't fill. I decide to move my bags to my lap so someone can sit next to me. I'm now anxious to know, who will sit next to me. I can see the line of people getting on and I try to work out who is the one to sit next to me while avoiding direct eye contact.
Someone can only sit next to me if:
- They are relatively normal/good looking.
- They must also look awake. I don't want someone drifting off to sleep wanting to let their head rest on my shoulder or worse still, they don't wake up while I want to get out and off the bus.
- They must smell either neutral or nice. (no B.O., morning breath or overkill of perfume).
- No fatties! I choose not to be squashed up with my cheek pressed up against the window, entertaining those who drive or in other buses.
- Minimal baggage and not a broadsheet newspaper reader. (although if you're a good looking bloke, feel free to ignore this one.)
- Above the age of 18. No kiddies, no crying, no kicking the seats.
More stops, more people. However, it's now getting to a point where everyone around me is sitting next to someone else. I then suddenly realise that the seat next to me is vacant! A new anxiety has arrived.
"Why isn't someone sitting next to me?" "Am I the ugly person no one wants to sit next to?" "Is there something in my hair or teeth?" "What's wrong with me?"
I have been that girl who's seat is empty when the rest of the bus is full. I feel like an outcast and that I have some sort of deformity. I have also seen those on the bus sitting alone. I feel their pain but I still wonder what is wrong with them.
The bus lets more people on and finally someone sits next to me. I am de-stressing and oh Shiz! Whats with the doof-doof music? Time to add another rule.
Friday, March 20, 2009
I have never owned one but from my experience using this stupid mono-tonal, narrow-minded machines, I would have a better way of going to most places and would know the back way to by-pass our god-awful traffic.
I would seriously give any taxi-driver a run for their money if I was competing in the "Annual Best Way to get from A to B in Sydney Competition" (if there was such a competition).
Ok sure, I don't know the whole of Sydney like the back of my hand but I don't drive to way out Arcadia or Zetland too often so I am excused. I know where I need to go and I don't need some smart-ass machine telling me how to get home.
If I'm lost, I will ask or go via instinct. If I don't know where I am heading, I look it up on WhereIs.com.au and write down the address on a post-it note. I think the GPS was invented by men, for men. (The ones who don't have the balls to ask for directions! haha.)
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Contrast this with Europe (Central and Eastern Europe to be more precise) where stores and shops are generally closed from mid-day Saturday and all day Sunday. What do they do instead? Go for a bike trip, long walk, cook, spend time in their gardens, hiking, BBQs, tennis.
The lifestyle is based around enjoying the outdoors, being with family and it doenst always include shopping and submitting to consumerism like individuals and families do here.
I remember hanging out with friends at the local shopping centre, walking aimlessly around, buying fast food and buying clothes and accessories. What has changed these days? They now also look at the latest Xbox or Wii games.
The Europeans (well some of them) lead more healthier and organic lives and lack the obesity troubles other western countries have. They enjoy their country and don't spend every waking moment spending! So many of Australia's health and financial woes would be solved if people just spent a few hours enjoying the great outdoors!
(Photo from: http://footloosetravelguides.com/czechtours/Estergomr.JPG 17/03/09)
Monday, March 16, 2009
In a move to make travelling a little more tense, CityRail have come up with a campaign which mirrors the kiddies game, Eye-Spy. 8 types of annoying passenger behaviours have been identified from The (seat) Hogger to The (phone) Yeller. The (loud music) Blarer to the (litter bug) Rubbisher and my favourite, The Splutterer (infecting the whole carriage with their disease ridden antigens).
CityRail have come up with a competition about what should the 9th offence be. Start looking! Although, I hardly ever catch trains and I already have a list.
- The drunk and disorderly (especially Friday and Saturday nights)
- The vagrant yeller (as opposed to the phone yeller)
- The staring (potential) stalker
- The clown lady (putting on her makeup to and from work)
- The Stinker (either from B.O. or way too much perfume)
Will I win? Don't think so ... not too PC.
(Photos from: http://www.cityrail.info/training_rules/customer_courtesy.jsp 16/03/2009)
Sunday, March 8, 2009
(Nothing against the guy but really, doesnt he also just want to be left alone?)
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
The media play a HUGE role in this and I would essentially blame them for the way people are freaking out and band-wagon jumping. It does not help when people are told ohh its grim, its going to be a bad one, oh yes ... even K.Rudd is also to blame.
However. Consumer confidence is something that we voters have control over. We can either see the glass as half full or empty. We want out of this precarious position, so we need to think differently. Its not going to get worse before it gets better, its just going to get better! Think and do. Ever heard of a self-fulfilling prophecy? Recession? What recession?
Mac Bank shares? They're a bargain! Same with BHP and Woolies all our good Aussie Blue Chip shares. Go on, buy some! Buy your new LCD TV or that iPhone. You deserve it and you are helping the country to move into the black. I read somewhere that someone was donating all their cash handout to the victims of the Victorian Bushfires - yes, this money will be spent there.
Go on! Take that $900 and buy yourself something pretty!
Monday, March 2, 2009
I recall a funny yet resonable complaint in a Seinfeld episode. Kramer gave money, his time and participated in a walk for the families and friends of AIDS victims but why is he forced to wear the ribbon?
To remember those who passed away during our Feb 2009 Victorian state bush fires, people started to wear YELLOW ribbons. Everyone was wearing them. Spotlight was even giving away free yellow ribbons.
There are RED ribbons for AIDS awareness.
GREY ribbons for Ovarian cancer awareness.
PINK ribbons for Breast cancer awareness.
BLUE and WHITE ribbons to remember those Police personnel who have died on duty.
GREEN for mental health awareness.
A BLUE ribbon was worn last week by our politicians.
There is a PURPLE for bikers against Lupus, child abuse and for the neo-pagens.
YELLOW is also for showing support for our troops.
If an emblem needs to be worn to show your support - think differently but please, no more of those rubber wrist bands.
Its so much more refreshing seeing the more traditional ones for Rememberance day with a Red Poppy and ANZAC day with Rosemary.
Friday, February 20, 2009
Talent Banking is a new kind of recruitment being undertaken by some of the bigger companies that usually experience a higher turnover of their staff. Its a great idea if you are on the other side of finding a job. The premise is that they scout and sieve from the larger pool of the unemployed and find some back ups for when their employees resign.
Having been on the other side of it, I was unawares of it when it first reared its head to me. Phone interview went well and then bah-pow. Now as I am scouting seek.com.au or seeing some other job ads, I am seeing the phrase popping up here and there. I'm also staying clear of these.
High turnover job = Stress OR annoying boss OR repetitive work ... So I think I will bank elsewhere.
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Finally something for all school, developement and a focus on them. Our next generation, the future of our country and of the world is all dependant on the education they get from our schools.
Parents are also given money to help them through the textbooks, uniforms, supplies expense period.
The guy's a thinker, a do'er and someone I am proud of as my PM. I guess we're luckier than thoes in the US. We have Kev and they have to be satisfied with second best.
(photo from http://geoconger.files.wordpress.com/2008/02/kevin-rudd.jpg on 03/02/09)