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January 2010

Blogging

Use Your Strengths To The Max, And Leave The Rest To Fate

Lets face it, we all live in an imperfect world. And in an imperfect world nobody’s perfect. When nobody’s perfect, there is no such thing as equality, because we are all too different from one another.

That is, in fact, the beauty of nature.

And lets face it, we all have our strengths and weaknesses. It’s not just our strengths or talents that determine how successful are you. Opportunities come and go, it’s also a matter of how well you can utilize your talents when the opportunities come to you.

There is a Chinese saying, “to be successful you need the right time, the right place, and the right people”. To put it simply, if you want to be good, you need to do the right thing at the right time, right place and with the right people around you.

Here’s the catch. You have your strengths and weaknesses. The trick is to capitalize your strengths and talents to the max, find ways to fix your weaknesses, and when you’ve done your part, you can just leave the rest to fate.

Buddha Light Art


Image by felipebrito on Flickr

Always Be Prepared

As humans we can only control so much. We may try to meet the right people and source for the right place, but the right time is often out of our control. And who knows what Fate can bring you to, perhaps a better or worse state. You will never know when the opportunity will come to you, because fate weaves and interweaves in such manner that some of us manage to catch them on the spot, while some of us missed the opportunity because “we’re not ready yet”.

There’s also a Chinese saying, “you prepare off the stage for 10 years for a 3 minutes performance on stage”. If you don’t want to miss any opportunities because “you’re not ready”, then you have to prepare yourself for the war, for the stage.

There is nothing more important to be prepared mentally and physically when the opportunity comes. You may think that the war or the performance only lasts for a few minutes, but it is always the split second that you make your decisions, that you “do the right thing” that makes the difference.

Buddha Light Art


Image by felipebrito on Flickr

Be Really Good At What You’re Good At

You know what you are good at, and you know what you’re not. If you want to be recognized by what you are good at (and not the other way round), you have to be good at it. As in, really good. You read up books, you go for trainings, you research and learn, you do it again and again until you’re really good at it.

So that when the time comes, when fate presents you with the opportunity, you will not miss it and do a great performance, to fight a great war, so that it can launch you to another level of success.

Of course, if you want it the other way round, you can continue to sulk in what you’re bad at and be really good at what you’re bad at. Then you’re pretty much prepared for failure. 🙂

Or you can fix your weaknesses and reduce them to affect you as as little as possible. As you know that your weaknesses cannot be removed totally, you can focus on your strengths to make them better, but not let your weaknesses pull you down.

Capitalize your talents, then the time will come

Eventually, your time will come. As long as you keep yourself open to opportunities, and as long as you keep yourself prepared, you know that one day you will do a good show, fight a good war.

One thing God is great at, is that He always give us chances to succeed. It is up to us if we want to grip onto the chances and use it to the max to yield great success.

It doesn’t matter if others are better than you. What matters more is how good you’ve done your part when you’re supposed to be doing it. And that makes a difference between a good person, and a great person.

So, do you think that you’re always prepared for a good war or a good show? 🙂

As I said, fate weaves and interweaves in a manner out of our grasps. My life has been going up and down pretty much lately, so sorry guys if I haven’t been active on the blogosphere. I will be back on track real soon, I promise!

Blogging

My Three Little (Guinea) Pigs

I have three little pigs.

Well, guinea pigs, at least.

And aww, they pull my heart alright! Though I must admit all those squeeking and squeeling and running about during midnight can be an annoyance, but ooh, look at them!

Totally adorable. <3

My Three Guinea Pigs

The Grey one is getting a year plus old now. He used to partner with my old guinea pig, but that one died due to teeth complications. Guinea pig teeth can keep growing and growing, and if they are not properly structured they can grow into the jaws and locking up their mouth, making them not able to eat. That’s what happened to my last pig. Genetic problems, the doctor said. 🙁

Then Greyhead was lonely for a couple of months now. Like 4 months. And all he does is eat and sleep. That’s why you see that he’s so damn fat.

So a few weeks ago I went to buy Sasame (the darker grey one) and Latte (the coffee colored one) here to accompany Greyhead. At first they were pretty afraid… well for 15 minutes anyway. After a few hours they’re running about chasing each other and cuddling together. Awww.

Though Greyhead still eats the most between them all, but I am sure in time the other two will be just as fat. As fat as ME!

If you’re wondering, they are all Abyssinian guinea pigs. I used to have 2 Sheltie guinea pigs, but oh well, they left me. 🙁

Nevermind, I have Three Little (Guinea) Pigs to keep me company in my room all day and night!

My Three Guinea Pigs
My Three Guinea Pigs
My Three Guinea Pigs
My Three Guinea Pigs

Oh my love <3

Do you have any pets yourself? Guinea pigs lovers, anyone? :3…

Blogging

How much do you trust? Is it enough?

First of all, I have to apologize for my lack of updates and I have been slacking off at reading your blogs. Busy with work and life, my bad at that!! Sorry!

This morning I have heard from the radio station, there was this community message thing done by OneFM from time to time to promote different human values. This time it’s about trust.

The setting was pretty typical, a girl gives her friend something to do, and asks for the progress. The friend reassures that everything is in control, and the girl starts to worry that the details are not done well enough, things are that she must do everything right or they might lose the job and this and that.

The friend listens to her worries for a while and when she couldn’t take it, she interrupts, “You’ve passed the job to me, then you should trust me to do the job well!”

Exactly. Have you ever ask yourself, how much do you trust your friends, family or colleagues, and do you trust them enough?

Mother and Baby Underwater, Trust

Image @Denise Lamby on Flickr

I’m sure that a lot of us work in a team or together with other people a lot of times. Unless you’re a lone ranger then you might not have to deal with anyone else, but then there must be some time that you have to cooperate and work with others to get some things done.

It may be that project you want to pitch for the company, that daily admin job of the office, that wedding you’re going to organize, that Chinese New Year chores you want to start working on with your family, or that holiday trip you’re planning with your friends.

Humans are social animals. We can only get so much done by ourselves, that’s why we need the help of others. And when we need the help of others, we have to trust them to be able to help us.

Lack of confidence is annoying

There’s nothing more annoying than asking help from someone then not trust them enough to do the job. Well it doesn’t matter if you are forced to be in a team or if you asked them for help, but as long as you’re working together, you should trust them.

Because most of the time they know what they’re doing before even taking on the task. This shows that they’re confident to do the job, so why are you not confident in them?

If they’re professionals, you should trust them even more because they know what to do better than you.

If they’re just as clueless as you, you should trust them to be able to make good enough decisions.

If they’re not as competent as you, you should trust them to make some progress and guide them along the way, not doubting and dismissing their thoughts and actions.

Relationships are built on trust

Of course, being overly confident and trusting too much can sometimes lead to disappointment. But really, if you don’t give at least a minimum standard of trust and be an ass trying too hard to get things right your way, you will end up hurting the job and the relationship more than being any real help.

Relationships build on trust. It’s only through trusting someone that we be open to each other and form a great relationship, to be great friends or great family or great colleagues. To gain trust you need to prove yourself to be trustworthy, but you have to do the most basic thing first too.

Learn to trust. 🙂

Do you trust your friends and family enough? Or are you one of the worry-warts that think too much? 😉…

Blogging

Work efficiency isn’t that important, Working Style is

Well after pondering for a few days I’ve been thinking what else interesting can I write about after my Thailand trip. It was all shopping, food, night life, and everything is just as any other trip.

And I’m sure too much of food porn and shopping showoffs will make you think that I’m an asshole.

So instead of talking about those materialistic achievements and how my waist have grown three inches after my Bangkok trip, I looked back at my tweets during my time in Bangkok and I’ve found this:

I saw a secondary schoolboy doing maths homework with his iPhone, his girlfriend next to him at the foodcourt of Siam Paragon.

A companion of mine commented when he saw this during the trip,

It’s not just about the efficiency of the work, it’s also about the style of how you work!

So really, how true is that?

iPhone Braun Calculator

Yep, he’s a secondary school boy, 15, or 16 at most, flipping and tinkering around his iPhone while writing his maths answers onto the textbook. While his girlfriend is using her brains most of the time, she takes a peep whenever she gets a chance.

All in a high class shopping mall’s food court, Siam Paragon, which you can compare to our Kuala Lumpur’s Pavilion shopping mall.

That really leaves me pondering.

So you have a normal calculator and you have the iPhone at hand. If given the choice, most of us will choose the iPhone because it’s more efficient.

Or is it?

You can click on the buttons just as good as you click on a normal calculator. But clicking on an iPhone makes you feel better, doesn’t it? The eye candy, the swoosh and swirls and the scrolls and fades, and ooh not to mention the stares of jealousy and envy when people walk around you. That can make you feel real good.

So you can make phone calls and send sms with just any cheap handphone. Why choose an iPhone or Satio?

So you can cook just any dish just as good with a cheap Ikea non-stick pan. Why get a Buffalo Pan?

So you can always get the help of your brother or sister or your wife or husband to help you relieve the pain at your back with some good massage. Why get an Osim massage chair?

So you can just get a simple laptop at a cheap price at the store. Why get a Lenovo or HP or Dell?

Because really, no matter how much you want to deny it, style does play a role in your purchase decisions, because working with style and doing things with style makes you feel good.

So much for our rational decision making, hmm?

But then, this is what drives the consumerist society around. The need of luxury for self-realization and a reaffirmation of self values.

Do you agree that we not only strive to work efficiently, we want to work stylishly as well? And sometimes, even efficiency is compromised, we just plain wanna look stylish!

Hmm, excuse me while I go drool at the Google’s new phone Nexus One. Damn it’s so cool, I wanna get one!…

Blogging

Thai Lady Boys doing Wonder Girls “Nobody” Dance Cover

Well, I vowed that I will catch the lady boys this time at Bangkok, and I made it! Went to watch the Mambo Cabaret Show at Bangkok, Thailand, and to my pleasant surprise, they did a dance cover for the popular Korean group Wonder Girls’ “Nobody”!

Yep, they are the lady boys. Or you can call them the transvestite or the “agua”s, but whatever you call them, they did a pretty great job!

And I really mean, PRETTY! They’re hotter than many girls out there okay, you can’t find a trace of manliness in their performance!

Here’s a video of the performance. Don’t miss it, really!!

Well, consider that my souvenir gift and apology gift for you for being missing from this blog for so long, will ya?

But of course, there’s more! How can I leave you deprived with only one video and no extra pictures?

Taking a picture with Thai Lady Boy from Mambo Cabaret Show, Bangkok

Look at the boobs! They look oh so… squeezable! Do you have that, lady, hmm, hmmmmmm? >:)

Taking a picture with Thai Lady Boy from Mambo Cabaret Show, Bangkok

That’s my friend Nick with one of the princesses of the show. At first she took this pic, but thinking it’s probably too tame, she took this one after the shot!

Taking a picture with Thai Lady Boy from Mambo Cabaret Show, Bangkok

So huggable!

Of course, how can one princess be enough? It’s not every day you get to take picture with a pretty gal, you know!

So here’s more with another princess!

Taking a picture with Thai Lady Boy from Mambo Cabaret Show, Bangkok

Yep, she’s one of the “Wonder Girls” around in the video! The tallest with the prettiest hair and biggest boobs! Woohoo!

So how can I miss out the chance?!

Taking a picture with Thai Lady Boy from Mambo Cabaret Show, Bangkok

Of course have to take also lah!!

Actually, not to say anything but this princess winked at me and “electrocuted” me even before the show starts and throughout the show whenever she’s on stage, so I’ll be really sorry if I don’t take a pic with her, right? 😛

These “girls” are way too hot to think that they are once a guy. From the looks, at least. As well as all the moves, the way they stand, they way they put their arms around you, and on the warmth on the boobs. <3

But oh well, there’s always something that deceives them. When they started talking the coarse voice still reveals all truths. Who cares, the eye candy is more important, no? 😉

Well, I’m sure that’s not enough of pretty gals! Or lady boys, hmm. 😛

So here comes the killer pic!

This one is really the hottest of them all, no kidding!

Are you ready?

Here it comes!!

Fat Thai Lady Boy from Mambo Cabaret Show, Bangkok

Oh, sizzling indeed!!…

Blogging

Grey is taking a leave…

And going to Bangkok, Thailand.

The land where the guys are prettier than girls.

Well, the girl-guys, anyway. Ladyboys in another word. “Aqua”s, in Malaysian dialect.

I will definitely catch them this time!!

Well I’m not only going to Bangkok for the ladyboys. I’m going there for Chinese New Year shopping too. Clothes there are way cheap, okay!

So while I’m busy chasing ladyboys around in Thailand, if you happen to get bored on the net, why not take a look at my older posts?

Just keep scrolling down this page, I’m sure you’ll find something you’d like to read!

Stay tuned, Grey will be back by Wednesday, 13th Jan 2010!

Bangkok Ladyboy Show


Image @nttoan93 on Flickr…

Blogging

You’re Not As Rational When Making Decisions As You Think

How do you make your decisions?

Most of us would like to think that we are rational creatures that go through and speculate each of our choices as well as the chances and benefits before making our day to day decisions.

That includes which tomato to put into the basket, what to eat for lunch, where to watch the next movie, which car to buy, who to sell the house to and which company to buy over.

But, are we really that rational as we think we are, or are there other forces that pushes us to make our decisions otherwise that are actually irrational, yet we rationalize our decisions to make it seem rational?

Sounds confusing? Well watch this video by Dan Ariely, a world-famous behavioral economist and the author of Predictably Irrational, in this intereting TedTalk about “Are we in control of our decisions?”.

Really. Give this post 20 minutes, and perhaps you will make better decisions next time. Or maybe you think will be. 😉

Dan Ariely: Are we in control of our decisions?

How do you make your decisions?

Adidas Vs Nike

I’m looking for a pair of sport shoes. I’ve been looking around for quite some time now, going through stores and as usual, there are the usual Nike and Adidas fight. Why Nike and Adidas? Well because all the advertisements tell me that they’re probably have the best sport shoes out there. All the other brands rarely advertise to tell me how good their shoes are so I assume they’re not.

So I’ve went to both concept stores with a couple of friends. With each batch of friend I go with they will tell me different stories. Some tell me Adidas last longer because of the better quality, some tell me that Nike is better because it has the Nike+ function. Some go through the technology of Nike’s bouncy shoes while the other scrutinize the quality of Adidas shoes from tip to toe with me.

I looked through all the shoes and I listened to all the stories. I’ve nodded and kept all the advices in mind (or at least I’ve tried to).

Then I saw these pair of shoes at Nike on the shelf display. Lime green. Futuristic look. Mmm, I like that color.

“But Adidas shoes last longer! My friend got a Nike shoe and within a year it broke!”
“Uhm… But it’s the latest technology from Nike that promises it lasts forever.”
“But it doesn’t last! Adidas make longer-lasting shoes!”
“But it has the bouncy technology thingy and the Nike+ thingy!”
“But look at the price! It’s double the price of the Adidas shoe!”
“Higher price means better quality!”

I will find a hundred and one reasons to defend my decision. Actually I just happen to like the color and style of the shoe. All the advertisements gave me more excuse to buy the shoe that I have chose based on my irrational decision, so that I can rationalize my decision to my Adidas lover friends.

What, why do you think advertisements exist? They aid in making your irrational purchase decision rational so that you will buy their product, that’s why.

You’ve probably already made a decision before you think about it

As Dan Areily have probably got you convinced if you watched the above video, we make irrational decisions every day. Our decisions are affected by our limited cognitive abilities as well as the information that we’re bombarded every day.

And through our intuition our mind makes the first decision before you even think about it. As you speculate over the decision you might or might not deny the initial decision, but many intuitive decisions go through our mind are affected by the surrounding, not our rationale.

It may be at the time that the surroundings made the product stand out and look more prominent to you. It may because that you just happen to like something green that day. It may because that it smells like your bed thus you’re attracted to it. Well they aren’t really “valid” reasons if you come to look at it from a rational mind, but it happens.

Next time when you decide which chocolate to buy at the mart, well, stop and think about how do you think of the chocolate and why do you want to buy this chocolate.

You can come up with thousands of reasons why this chocolate is better than the others. Rational answers. Lower calories, more milk, more nuts maybe. But probably it has just attracted you under the right lighting conditions, placed in an eye catching position or it has your favorite color. All these things “nudge” our mind to make us choose that chocolate over the other.

And once we’ve made our decision we’ll probably stick with it, because we think that it’s a rational decision.

Same goes to “why I want to buy this car”, “why I want to buy this shirt”, “why I want to buy this laptop”, “why I want to get this drink”.

There, an irrational decision. 😉 Why do you think that chocolate companies pay so much to have “premium placement” at the supermarket?

Oh and that love-at-first-sight? It’s just the lighting, really.

So, how rational are you?

How much time do you spend to think about your everyday decisions, or do you just go with the first answer that come to your mind because you know that …

Blogging

The Story of A Transgender Pianist — Sara Davis Buechner

How do you judge someone? By the talent, or by the race or gender?

As much as we would like to think that we’re open-minded enough to judge people by their abilities rather than the gender or race, but the fact is when I tell you someone is an Indian women and you will have the stereotype of the person being a housewife at a remote village rather than a manager of a well known company.

And now, picture yourself a 50 years old transgender American. What came to your mind? Think about it for 5 seconds and picture that.

Now I am about to tell you that she was once a child prodigy, and now a very talented pianist that won numerous awards and performs over 60 concerts a year today. Did you see that coming?

But Sara Davis Buechner did have a time when she was discriminated and lost most of her jobs when she came out as a transgender during the height of her career as David Buechner.

This is a story of a transgender pianist that made her way back to the stage and proud of it. Read on.

Sex Changes Everything?

Before you go on, just click play on the video below. If this is what Sara Davis Buechner is capable of doing, what happened in the 5 years after she undergone sex change operation and came out as a transgender at the age of 39?


Sara Davis Buechner performs Kouji Taku’s Variations on a theme of Poulenc

Think about it. Sara Davis Buechner had established herself as a reputable pianist for the past 39 years. New York Times called her “an extraordinary young artist” when she made her debut as David Buechner in the New York City debut. She had awed the crowd with her impeccable technique and virtuosity back then, and it was no doubt that her talent shined through the globe as she was performing 50 concerts a year.

Until the sex change. Then it dropped to 5 concerts a year, she couldn’t get a job applying as a lecturer at over 35 universities, and she succumbed to teaching children in a conservatory.

“A nice lady said, ‘Why teach here?’ I lied. I said, ‘I want to teach kids.’ I needed work.” [Sara] earned a third of what David had made 10 years earlier. — Anything He Can Do, She Can Do, New York Times

Anything He Can Do, She Can Do

Sara Davis Buechner

Yes, it’s true. Whatever David Buechner can do, Sara Davis Buechner can do too. Her technique and skills did not miraculously drop as she undergone the sex change, so does her warmth and charm and stagecraft. They are all the same.

What had changed is the opinions of people towards her sexuality. What had changed is the double standards of people towards a man and a transgender. Well, I guess I don’t need to tell a long story about how the double standard works. You and I have all have all done it before, and I myself admit that I have been guilty of judging someone through their gender before as well.

Through The Help Of A Friend


Crossing The Concourse, a documentary of Sara Davis Buechner by New York Times

A friend of Sara, Carrie Feiner, started to manage her concerts and jobs in from August 2002. As Julliard classmates Carrie knew what Sara is capable of, and even as a mother of 4 kids she tried her best to help Sara get back on her feet. She encouraged Sara to apply for a job at University of British Columbia as a professor. After several interviews and master classes given, Sara had proven herself as being a capable educator and she got the job since, until now.

Carrie has also started to book Sara concerts. And she did well being a manager. As Sara began to perform around the world, critiques see the talent in Sara again. The reviews began to turn positive. Instead of judging Sara through the gender, they have recognized her virtuosity and skills, something she have never lost but only needed recognition.

“Buechner has it all — intelligence, integrity, and all-encompassing technical prowess.” (Tim Page, The New York Times)

“This was clearly pianist Sara Davis Buechner’s shining moment. She leapt and swayed and bobbed through this concerto as if riding a bucking bronco….an entertaining romp tailor-made for the virtuoso. The standing ovation for Buechner was well-earned.” (Peter Bates, Boston Fine Arts Reviews)

“Buechner’s performance had a beauty that might have taken even Mozart’s breath away.” (Joseph Banno, The Washington Post)

“This performance had everything – style, technique, taste and originality…each work was carefully chosen and struck a fine balance between accessibility and sophistication…Buechner made every phrase an event, placed every voice as if setting crystal on crushed velvet, and calculated every tempo fluctuation with keen dramatic timing.” (Philip Kennicott, New York Newsday)

As we end the story…

I can’t help but to ask the question again, do you judge someone by the talent, or the race or gender?

The story of Sara Davis Buechner had reminded me once again, not to judge by the latter, because real talent should not be bound by racial or gender stereotypes.

Stereotypes will only bind our mind, not talent.

Here’s more music from Sara Davis Buechner. And oh, they touch my heart oh so deeply.


My personal favorite! Must listen okay??


A showcase