Thursday, November 30, 2006

Some pictures of Natalie and Myself

A view just beside the work place

Isn't this pretty? I see this as I walk to office everyday.

By the way, it's freezing here. San Jose is recording an all time low in temperatures this period. Currently, the city is experiencing a cold wave of negative 7 degrees, basically lasting for only 5 hours.

Work in San Jose

It's 4am here in San Jose and I'm still not sleeping!! Brain is messed up..haha...

Anyhow, so far so good. I have been hanging out with Natalie in the evenings and during the day, at the client. All I can remember is gorging down huge portions of food for every meal. I've tried in-and-out burgers, local Singaporean food (which I have to say is pretty good), french cuisine and the typical steak, fries, and loads of cheese...oh yeah..and the morning bagels, love them! I am bursting..Gotta head to the gym when I return.
Just realised I look really tired....Christmas break is coming!

The pictures depicted above are my clients from Taiwan. They flew all the way here to kick off the training sessions..

26/11/06- Dawn and Nick's Wedding - Photos

This is my second time as a bridesmaid this year.....

Monday, November 27, 2006

San Jose

Currently in San Jose and am suffering from Jet Lag.
Woke up at 4.30am.
Will be going to the client's place later to begin my work of two weeks.
Wish me luck.
P.S. God. The US food portions are huge!
P.S.S. Really glad that Natalie is only 5 minutes drive away from me. Really nice of her to bring boss and I out to eat.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Sale of Warhol's Mao

Andy Warhol, an American from Pittsburgh and revered for his pop art, used popular subjects as part of his vocabulary. If you know, his popular paintings include the Campball's Soup (which he had for lunch for most of his life), Marilyn Monroe and China's Chairman Mao. This 1972 portrait of Mao recently was sold to Joseph Lau, a Hong Kong tycoon for 17.36M at Christie's in New York.Other sale include the Orange Marilyn, a 1962 picture, which took $16.2m, and Sixteen Jackies, which made $15.6m.

More food in Penang

If you have a chance to come to Penang, gotta try this drink. It sounds like "Umbra". This was a crazy dinner. I had a huge mug of that drink, a bowl of supposed shark's fins (in the picture) and noodles...

Newspapers and Work Travel

On Wednesday, I lugged my travel suitcase into the world’s “finest” airport early in the morning for my trip to Penang and I was surprised to see huge hoards of people queuing at the counters. Many of them carried only a laptop (I guess they were returning for the day). I felt like I was in a train station, eking to embark on the usual boring train ride. But somehow, this was a little different. I was enthralled bout the idea that I would be transported somewhere into a different environment and WORK.

What I love most is to read newspapers on the plane. Heck the droning sounds of the plane taking off. This activity is just pure joy. I mean at home, I hardly have a good read. And even if time permits, I’ll allow myself a quick browse, which subsequently, I would end up cracking my head with the daily Sudokus. Yes. Sudoku. I enjoy solving them although I used to think these puzzles were quite lame and a waste of time. I still think it’s a waste of time but I guess it’s the pleasure and satisfaction one gains from getting it right that really matters. On the plane, there are no outside distractions: no phone calls, no SMS, no bugging work emails. Just myself and my newspapers. I can give my utmost attention scrutinizing every word, every picture, every advertisement. One finds so much delight that I found my neighbour sitting beside me reading the newspapers OUT LOUD (hmmm…I guess he was from China and he was practicing his English).

Having the local newspapers at hand with a cup of coffee for breakfast is an enjoyment. There is no other way but to know a country or city better by interacting with the people or by reading their local newspapers. Well, for the one that I was reading for the past few days called the New Straits Times, the contents were mainly local politics (of which one was focusing on religious rights). By venturing into the colour supplements, one can imagine the lifestyle of the locals: what they like to eat, how they spend their money, what ticks the people. There is something about this that I feel privileged, almost illicit, like scouting through a person’s diary.

Newspapers and having a cup of coffee to start the day were nice. But subsequently, I’m back to the whole routine of having more work to be done. If there is a skill that I have learnt being a consultant, it’s the skill to remain calm even when I am flustered and worried all inside. Managing the client is a key. By showing your weakness is like admitting defeat and a total faux pas. I guess this is what many politicians may feel. Admitting to the fact that attacking Iraq may be a complete blunder and how the whole Iraq situation is mismanaged would be a disaster. How can the world’s most powerful person go all dog-eyed and seek for pardon? This is similar to the Shin-Corp scandal where it’s hard for the government-owned company to admit taking the wrong move. The Bangkok Post wrote: “What is most problematic in the Temasek-Shin Corp deal is a foreign government-owned company buying up assets, deemed as tainted by the Thai public, that are owned by the family of Thailand's most powerful person who is actively in the highest political office. As such, it is not a routine business transaction. The buyer is not an ordinary individual but ultimately a foreign government. The seller is not an ordinary corporate entity but ultimately a business domain of its prime minister. This is a deal where the buyer should have been mindful of the integrity of the product being offered. Few with respectable moral and ethical standards would want to come into ownership of a tarnished product, no matter how good a bargain it may seem.”

Oh well, enough about my ramblings. My eyes can carry bags so heavy now that they can win the weight lifting Olympics.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Waiting for Christmas

I thought it's the time of the year where work will slow down and everyone will be in a holiday mood. Doesn't seem to be the case. I seem to be working just as much. Anyways, Christmas will come soon.....waiting...Tis the season should be jolly!!

Off to Penang tomorrow.

Friday, November 10, 2006


Check out this restaurant in Amara Hotel if you want authentic, yummy korean cuisine. Went with some colleagues (my fellow Oom-pas). The highlight of the day: chewable ox tongue (look at picture above)!

$491 million record for auction

In just three hours on 8 Nov, 78 Impressionist and modern paintings, drawings and sculptures were at Christie's (New York) for $491 million!

This painting "Adele Bloch- Bauer II" dated 1912 by Gustave Klimt was sold for $87.93 million. Coincidentally, this painting is currently sitting on my wall of my study room. The restitution by the Austrian State in March 2006 of the Klimts and other works to the heirs of Ferdinand and Adele Bloch Bauer contributed to the stunning success of Chrsitie's sale. This was followed by the annoucement of a gigantic price of US $135 million reportely paid for the other portrait of Adele Bauer (I) which is now hanging in the Neue Galerie Musuem in New York. This painting paid by Ronald Lauder will be a centerpiece in the Gallarie. His collection has for years attempted to recover Jewish-owned art, mostly Germany and Austria, that had been confisticated or looted by the Nazi Government. Lauder's comment on the acquisition for his Neue Gallerie collection "this is our Mona Lisa".

Paintings above are Adele Bloch-Bauer I and II respectively.

Asian Poker Tour in Singapore

The Texas Holdem USD 5000 Buy in Event, with a guaranteed prize money of USD 1 million, will be held at the Meritus Mandarin Singapore. Anyone interested in accompanying me to see how these professionals play?

This reminds me of a mate in Perth, one person whose lifestyle opposed all social norms. Quit university and pursued his poker passion. Travelling the world and his current stop: Las Vegas. He's staying in one of those fanciful hotels, living a lavish, fulfilled lifestyle. Kudos to you, Panda!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Two Gila Ladies

Boo boo, wishing that you tie the knot soon. And Pearlene (background), stop grinning! You too....

Birthday Wishes

I wanna say a big thank you for all the well wishes and gifts, and of course, taking time off to spend time with me. Big hugs to all of you. May my birthday wishes come true in the coming year.

As for myself, I gotta make it a point to remember birthdays of close friends in the comin year. Very disappointed with myself for forgetting some...urgh!

Celebration with Dad

Dad's birthday is only a day apart from mine. Headed out to Sentosa for a lunch celebration at the Beaufort. See how my dad finds delight with the peacock.

Surprise at Office

Some of my colleagues surprised me with a birthday cake on Friday. Really really sweet gesture.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Older and Wiser year older. Hope my life continues the way it is. (But I wish for less stress and more rest.=)