Saturday, June 30, 2007

Page Views Going Up!

My page views are going up! Wow, I didn't think that I'll get around 100 visitors per day, but thanks to Google and some friends, I'm almost there... now, if I can get 10 times more visitors, I'll be just as popular as Mr. Brown!

Friday, June 29, 2007

Living Life

The thing about living life is that there are breaks but there are no short cuts.

You do get breaks in life, an audition works out, you get promoted. But there are no short cuts. You still have to work hard preparing for your concert, you still have to work hard in your new position. There is no “I’ve made it.”

It’s a paradox in the sense of I know that God has been leading and guiding me through my life, yet I know also that I have to work in life, to concentrate, to focus, to be disciplined.

It’s a paradox in the sense of I know that God has been leading and guiding me through my life, yet I know also that I have to work in life, to concentrate, to focus, to be disciplined.

There is no magic way of getting out of debt. No fairy tale godmother that came into my life and waved her magic wand and *poof* all of my debt is suddenly gone.

Another example is romance. Having a woman walk into your life isn’t enough. You’ve got to make it work. You’ve got to woo her.

It’s about saving money, and making it work. If you want to get a house, get a wife, raise kids. It’s all about work. But it can be satisfying when we keep our eye on the goal.

Think of it in another way, your life story will be a pretty bad story if things were to magically happen with deux ex machina popping up in your life regularly.

You as the hero have a journey to work out, there will be twists and turns, hard decisions to make, sacrifices to lay on the altar and you could create a plot twist to change things around.

Being Poor...

There are benefits and also dark sides to being poor:

1. You learn to manage scarce resources.
2. You know what is the most important things to spend your resources on.
3. You gain an eye to look for opportunities to extend your dollar or to get benefits for free.
4. You learn to appreciate the truly finer things in life without the distraction of materialism.
5. You stretch yourself further.
6. You learn to rely on things other than just money to get things done, persuasion, intellect.

The dark side of being poor:

1. You may start to believe no one wants to help you.
2. You may believe that being poor is your lot in life.
3. You may start hating those who are rich.
4. You can be so distracted looking for money that you forget that life is more than just money.
5. You may keep shortchanging yourself in career choices, life-partner choices.
6. You may learn to pinch pennies but not focus on earning bigger dollars.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

How To Respond To Criticism the Malaysian Way...

If a foreigner (diplomat, journalist, etc.) criticizes your country's policies:

"You should not interfere with our internal affairs."

If a citizen (journalist, activist, etc.) criticizes your country's policies:

"This is a sensitive issue. You should not raise it up."

If the issue is valid, use an irrelevant and worse example to contrast:

"If we are really (anti-Christian, anti-Chinese, etc..) you wouldn't see (churches, chinese) on the streets."

OR attack them back...

"You say we (ethnic/religious group) are bad??? Look at Hitler! That (Christian/German/Westerner) killed so many people." -- (Though they neglect to mention that there were also Christians, Anglo-Saxons and Westerners on the allied front fighting for freedom).

OR claim knowledge of harmful motives or lack of knowledge on the criticizer's part.

"The west is engaged in X-religion bashing." or "The west wants to (politically/economically) colonize us again." or "You don't know our country."

OR (Singapore way...)

"That point is irrelevant to the issue."

"You cannot compare (USA/Finland/etc...) president's salary with Singapore". (I see, then we shouldn't also look at world rankings for Best Airport, Least Corrupt Country, Most Competitive Country.)

Finally when all else fails... (and this is my favourite)...

"It's a Jewish conspiracy."

Monday, June 25, 2007

God Expects The Best From Us

I think that God expects the best from us.

Not to be the best but the best from ourselves.

"From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked." (Luke 12:48b)

Sunday, June 24, 2007

The Art of Gatecrashing


Originally uploaded by nicodemus_chan.

Here's a picture of a gatecrasher I met on the evening of the big premier of Ocean's 13 at Cannes.

He's not the only one, I saw like at least 20 over other people dressed in tuxedo's and dresses wishing to get in.

Actually gate crashing at the Cannes Film Festival isn't that bad--if you're interested in watching foreign films. Not blockbusters.

You can watch quite a few interesting films by hanging around the entrances of the theatres and unashamedly holding up a sign (like the gentleman pictured).

The problem is though that some need a badge as well. And that's harder to get. A Cannes entrance pass costs about €200.

If you do have a pass you don't need to beg for a ticket. Each pass gives you about 200 points to spend on getting tickets. Unknown films or rare ones are cheap, maybe 10 points or so. A movie like Ocean's 13 though... costa about 110 points. That's more than half your point allocation and it needs a privileged pass of a special colour.

I did wear a tux, but I didn't get to see Ocean's 13... no point watching it if you can watch it back home for S$9. I had a movie pitch anyway to go to.

Jogging along the French Riviera (25 May 2007)


Originally uploaded by nicodemus_chan.

Here's a picture of me (posed of course) jogging by the French Riviera.

It's actually along the coast of the town I was staying in for the Cannes Film Festival, Juan Les Pins.

The view is great but watch out for cars, there aren't any good jogging tracks there. But it's a nice view.

I understand how people in colder climates can exercise anytime of the day. It's unlike in Singapore or Malaysia when the only good times are in the early morning or evening.