Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Weird Facination with Foreign Songs

New Discovery!!

Raine doesn't ONLY have a weird facination with Korean and Japanese songs.

Yes, it's sad (that I'm not only attracted to Korean music), but yesterday when I was channel surfing during some boring advertisements (Please note the use of the word 'boring'. Some advertisements are worth mentioning, others are boring and as an aspiring advertiser, I have to make this clear distinction known to you.), the 'triangle' channel caught my 110% attention. The triangle channel shows international programmes from around the world and it just so happened that there was a German MTV playing on that channel. At that time, I had no idea that they were singing in German, but I was just so mesmorised by the voices.

It's sung by this female youth choir (or perhaps there were a couple of boys in the choir but I didn't notice them). But their voices, there was just something about it. The MTV wasn't particularly fantastic, or perhaps it was how the 30 odd choir members clad in black were all seated or standing in this big room, singing beautifully with straight faces that caught my attention. Nevertheless, their young soprano voices carried across this uplifting yet powerful ensemble. Fantastic!

Scala and Kolacny Brothers (choir name!!) presents 'Schrei nach Liebe' (good luck with the pronounciation).

So to add to my growing facination with foreign songs:
1) KOREAN SONGS - K-Pop to be exact.
2) JAP RAP and OTHER SONGS - something about 'em screaming girls and cute/catchy bounce to the songs.
3) CHINESE SONGS - not totally foreign, but some of 'em lyrics are gorgeous.
4) FRENCH RAP - classy yet street-smart, invincible combination.
NEW!!! 5) GERMAN YOUTH CHOIR - there's just an unexplanable 'UMPF' to it.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Like an overdressed, out-of-place DORK

Yes, that's how I feel. Like an over-dressed, out-of-place, insignificant dork wandering around aimlessly in a foreign country, knowing full well that I am out of place but still trying to act as if I could possibly fit it, perhaps maybe even a little bit.

It's weird. Just last year, I would have felt comfortable walking around in uni grounds, perhaps not so much with the city campus (that's still a maze to me with big scary buildings and a vast sea of people with agendas) but at least I would fit a little more - I would probably be dressed more appropriately, and carrying a much bigger and less flash bag. I would still have a lost look on my face whenever I'm in the city campus, but at least I felt confident in my appearance.

And here I am today, dressed more sophisticatedly than a lot of these uni students which perhaps suggests more confidence - BULLOCKS.

Half an hour DRAGS ON........

Moral of the story: don't be late, but NEVER be early - always be on time.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Butterflies, Booze, Boredom, and Bliss

I should have blogged about the butterflies yesterday, but I was far too tired last night - couldn't even stay awake in cell group *oopsy*.

Since Thursday last week, we've been running around at work, getting this Sping Feature up and running, I haven't had a breather! Monday was similar to Friday - a hectic, panic rush - and Tuesday likewise. However, Wednesday (yesterday) was the last of all this drama. That was the day everything needed to be done and sent away to production and that meant the end of stress, rushed lunches, and overtime.

To end the Spring Feature on Wednesday, I had an appointment at the Butterfly Creek to take pictures for their feature. I've never been to the Butterfly Creek - a butterfly enclosure, mini-scale farm and lots of other attractions. I was a little nervous at the start and I had all rights to be. If Raine was afraid of a tiny ladybug, imagine a big butterfly, correction, LOTS of butterflies. Any insect is a big no-no for me.

I met Chris Sanders at the Butterfly Creek and he took me on a free tour of the grounds. We had to pass the fish tanks to get to the butterfly enclosure, where Chris proudly introduced me to several of their fishes, including their 'Nemo and Dory' tank. Then we got to the butterfly enclosure. I wasn't sure what to expect with this being my frist time. The moment I stepped through the door into the enclosure, I was greeted by a big butterfly flying right across in front of me. That gave me a shock and I retreated with a tiny (I've got to maintain a reasonably professional image in front of the client) yelp "yymmmmyyymmmmmm". Right there in front of me were many different sizes of butterflies and moths flying around freely, interacting with all the tourists in the enclosure. There was a senior citizen group touring the enclosure. I could see they were having a blast. I, on the other hand, couldn't feel at ease. My whole body was tensed, fidgeting and shying away as a butterfly flew within a metre of me. An elderly couple smiled at my sillyness, assuring me that the butterflies were harmless. I still beg to differ. One scary image was when a butterfly landed on the goldenish white hair of a tourist. I DIDN'T, WOULDN'T, COULDN'T dare to think that, at that moment, a butterfly could be on my head.

I got star treatment though. Chris got a butterfly keeper to climb over the fence into the garden to retrieve a massive moth of palm size so that I could take a picture of it. He settled it nicely on a big palm leaf. Chris told me to move slowly towards it or else it might fly off - AND I WAS REALLY SLOW IN MY APPROACH - I'm not risking a massive moth flying in front of me. After several good shots, the 'actor' took a break, taking off. I was clear of his path when he did that - PHEW. Chris himself climbed over the fence to take a picture of a butterfly on a flower. We also spotted this moth which had landed on the back shoulder of a tourist. I didn't miss my opportunity to take a photo, and seeked permission from the lady afterwards to have her picture in the advertisement which she gladly agreed to.

Thankfully - MUCH TO MY RELIEF - we left the enclosure and headed over to the baby animal farm (very much harmless). There was a group of kindergarden children on a field trip and we managed to obtain permission from a parent to take a 'cutie' shot of her little girl and a baby lamb.

After I left the Butterfly Creek, I was feeling weird all around, flicking through my hair to make sure no butterfly was hiding underneath and I was thankful to be dressed appropriately in black that day - butterflies are attracted to bright colours.

I wonder if butterflies poo? Well, I got my answer when I got back to the office and asked my colleagues - YES

The rest of the afternoon was spent taking somemore photos and loading the last of the photos onto the computer. The 2 sales reps I take photos for surprised me with a bottle of wine and chocolates to thank me for the hard work. I guess all that 'suffering' in the butterfly enclosure paid off huh! But I felt a little bad receiving a gift. Afterall, it was my job to take photos of what they tell me to. But then I reasoned...if they were getting commission from selling all those ads, a bottle of wine and some chocs wouldn't severely harm their commission. It was really nice of them to get me something and it felt good to be appreciated, forgetting all about the chaos and stress I had in the past few days. To celebrate the close of the spring feature rush, Julie gave us an early end to the day.

Today was weird, and I wasn't the only one who felt that way. It was a little like going cold turkey. We didn't know what to do and everyone was drumming their fingers at their desk feeling all 'empty' in a way. It was weird, going from HECTIC HECTIC HECTIC to almost boredom. And our brains finally had a chance to process our hunger coz at noon sharp, we were all in the lunchroom scoffing down our lunch. I loved the boredom. I tried to look as busy as I could so that I could savour the boredom a little longer, praying hard that Trish and Mason wouldn't give me more work. We were finally able to re-adjust ourselves to our usual workload. The Spring Feature had thrown us completely off track and it was nice to have our workload return to normal.

After all that hard work, the spring feature that's coming out in the first week of October better look good OR ELSE.............

Sunday, September 18, 2005

A happy sort of boredom

I'm bored. Bored bored bored.

I don't know what I WANT to do.

I want to watch tv, but I don't know which show (the many vcds I have to choose from) to watch.

I want to sew, but I'm lazy to set up the sewing machine and I don't know what to sew.

I want to sleep, but it's a little too early.

I want to read, but I don't have a book I'm dying to read and I don't want to waste time reading anything.

I want to practice my Korean, but I can't really be bothered talking to myself. Same goes for French.

I want to stay on the computer, there's nothing compelling me to stay on further.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Double Whammy

Today, I went for a haircut. It was 'about time' according to my hair-stylist. When I came for my appointment, she joked that I came 'once every year' when in actual fact, the last time I went was only at the end of April, but according to her, having a haircut or trim should be once every 8-10 weeks. Anyway, I was getting a little bored with my hair (feeling a little heavy) and I wanted a change but yet keeping the length. It feels heaps lighter now and guess what? I got 'conned' into buying products. Coz she was complaining how my hair was much dryer than before and shooked her head when I told her what shampoo and conditioner I used. Haha...always happens, so I ended up spending another $103 on top of my haircut. Fantastic huh!

The end result? See for yourself!

This evening, we also rented 2 movies and watched it back-to-back from 6.30pm till 10pm. The first was 'The Pacifier'. It was quite a funny movie, it's strange seeing Vin Diesel as the Nanny, but it's a predictable plot, especially when Arnie has acted as a kindergarden teacher before. But the weirdest, and most wrong image in the movie was at the end when the hero kisses his object of affection: Vin Diesel and Lorelai Gilmore??? Okay, her real name is Lauren Graham but all I see is Lorelai and it's a totally wrong matchmake - URGH!!

But the second movie was fantastic!! Bride and Prejudice entertained me all night. Bollywood movies are hilarious, how they sing and run between trees and play peek-a-boo behind pillars. Bride and Prejudice had some classic Indian singing and dancing, but it was mixed with a little touch of American and British so it was really cool. I even replayed some scenes after the movie just for kicks. The double whammy?? Rory Gilmore (Alexis Bledel) was in the movie. She was the little sister of Will Darcy (the lead actor).

That made my day!! Lorelai in The Pacifier and Rory in Bride and Prejudice - and I didn't even need to see Gilmore Girls for this invincible combi. I applaud my choice of movies tonight!

Friday, September 16, 2005

S.O.S. for hugs

Laura...I need a hug!!
Nikiyoko...I need a hug!!

Today is one of those days where I come home, needy for hugs, but no one to give it to me. One, Laura - my usual hugging buddy - is all the way at Palmy. Nikiyoko - my occassional hugging buddy (remember, during the couple of months you stayed with us) - is obviously back at home and not within convenient reach. Mum and dad - my 'only home after 5.45pm' hugging buddies - were of course not home at 5.30pm when I most needed the hug. And my boyfriend - my completely non-existent hugging buddy - couldn't help me there. So there I was, standing at our front door staring into an empty home, panging for hugs...

It was a hectic, chaotic and stressful day at work today...not only did I start the day wrong with a bad choice of sandals which gave me blisters, stepping into a puddle of muddy water was uncalled for and I had appointments lined up back to back, giving me hardly any time to regain my composure before heading off to the next venue. It was insane and right now, I am completely exhausted, zombed out and I just want to curl up on bed and zzzzZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.

Why such a hectic day? Coz of this new one-off spring feature that the big big boss decided to SPRING upon all the suburban newspapers. Everyone has to sell into a spring feature for their specific region, i.e. Mangere will have their own spring feature, Manurewa will have one, so will Manukau city and etc. While the Sales Reps are busy selling the ads and the reporters are busy writing up the advertorials, we, the co-ordinators are busy running around taking pictures for the ads.

And all this is on top of what we usually have to do. Want some inside juice to my day as a photographer?

Work starts. Emailing clients with the proofs of their ads, loading pictures onto the computer.

First appointment to take photos at the Mangere Cosmopolitan Club.

Second appointment at Apex Cars (luckily it was next door to the previous appointment). It was at this fateful yard that I stepped into a puddle of muddy water, so after taking the photos, I had to rush to Mangere Town Centre and find myself a public toilet to wash my feet.

Third appointment at Hong Kong Canton Restaurant at Papakura. I also bought lunch from my client's place, but I didn't eat it just yet.

Went for my fourth appointment at Furniture Shack at Papatoetoe, taking more pictures. It was at this client's place that I discovered my camera was running out of battery. It was auto-shutting after every pic I took which was frustrating but also scary from the fear of it shutting down anytime - most probably at a terrible, most unfortunate time. The worst part...I HAD AN ANOTHER APPOINTMENT AT 12.30pm!!!

Rushed back to the office which was along the way from the Furniture Shack at Papatoetoe to my next appointment at Manurewa. There, I charged my camera battery for 10 minutes, making use of this 10 minutes to use the toilet -my morning 2 glasses of water bursting to get out and quench my thirst - forgot to take a bottle of water for the road.

I was at my next appointment in Manurewa, taking photos of this hair-dresser.

LUNCH!! Finally, a break.

Work work work!! I obviously had other work waiting for me at the office to do as well. This spring feature is additional work, on top of our usual workload and that's why it's been so stressful coz while everyone is going around and getting this spring feature up and running, we also have to maintain relationships with our usual clients.

I had to stop some work I was doing halfway to rush out for another photograph appointment all the way at Onehunga.

Finally, back at the office for the day and I had to rush finish the copy of an ad and then I had to load all the pics I took today and that just occupied all my time till it was 5pm - TO MY RELIEF!!

I was so stressed out after this whole day of running around, I decided to treat myself to an ice cream so I headed over to Manukau Westfield Shopping Mall after work and bought myself a New Zealand Natural ice cream cone. You know how when you are stressed and you want to indulge in sinful food to feel better, ...well...IT DIDN'T WORK!! How upsetting!! I even got 2 of my favourite flavours: Chocolate Fudge Brownie and Caffe Espresso!! POOOOZZZ!! Maybe if it was Moven Pic it could have done the trick, but I was disappointed. I still felt just as stressed and not even a slightest bit of bliss.

So ladies out there who uses stress as an excuse to eat junk - who are you fooling!!

Monday, September 12, 2005

Senior Coordinator

Today was the first day for the new co-ordinator. She didn't seem as enthusiastic as Julie, the assistant manager who interviewed her, had said she was, but I guess it's the first day jitters. Soon she'll feel totally comfy in our whacky environment.

The funny thing: I was introduced to her as the senior coordinator - AND I'VE ONLY BEEN HERE SINCE THE START OF FEB. There are several interpretations to that:

1) I'm OLD - seennniiiiooooorrr!!
2) I'm still stuck at this job - I never moved on while others did...loser!
3) I've got loads of experience - I would love it to be this, but loads of experience usually comes hand in hand with being OLD - see point one for further explanation.

Oh well...I don't have long to go...82 more days till I quit - ooh...that came out wrong, I sound very 'wang(4) en(1) fu(4) yi(4)' don't I? What I meant was that I can't wait *yea, quit was the right word* coz after that, I'll be in Singapore and hopefully with a job I enjoy more!! But of course, this one year of work experience as an advertising coordinator has taught me heaps too and geared me up for the working I'm being 'ying(2) shui(3) si(1) yuan(2)'.

Gosh...2 chinese proverbs in one paragraph? Is this really Raine talking??

Sunday, September 11, 2005

What is my calling?

Raine vs Times Square? Is this the path I choose to take, where lies become truth and wants become needs? Can I make it big in this dog-eat-dog universe, yet keeping my principles and morals preserved?

"Sometimes I wonder what lies ahead
How long till my hunger is fed
They say it's hard to make it in this part of town
So many people on this merry-go-round

Some folks try astrology
Some turn to crystal balls
To find an answer,
To get through it all
I just fall on my knees and I try to pray
In the silence I can hear Him say

The river runs and the river hides
Out to the ocean and under the sky
I promise you, the answer will come
Hold on to patience and watch for the sign
Everything in its time"
:: Everything In Its Time - Written by Corrinne May Ying Foo & Carole Bayer Sager ::

Clayderman Resurrected

Just the other day, I decided to touch our piano keyboard which has been neglected for ages and to my horror, I discovered that I had forgotten how to play the only piano piece I know - DISASTER!!

That's the ONLY piano piece I know (not including chopsticks, which I'm still a beginner at) - how could I possibly face the world?? At least when I knew that one piano piece, I could still hop on the piano and show off as if I knew how to play fantastically, but that day, I felt utterly hopeless, a disappointment to the music industry.

With the help of Laura and a lot of counting - counting the number of lines and spaces from the middle C to the little black dot that's sitting on the fence and then matching the keys on the keyboard to that number - and with a lot of noise pollution at 11pm at night, I finally managed to resurrect Richard Clayderman and his 'Ballade Pour Adeline'.

Now I can continue to fool the world with my 'brillant' piano skills.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Regret and Remorse

We just got back from the city. Tonight, we had dinner at The Orbit in the Sky Tower. The Orbit is a revolving restaurant at the top of Sky Tower and it has amazing views. We decided to use Father's Day as an excuse to treat ourselves to some posh dining - my kind of restaurant. I told myself that in future, if I ever do open a restaurant, it'll be one of those posh restaurants, which serves a miserable portion of food on a MASSIVE plate with elaborate decors, charging $30 for it.

Anyway...dinner was good. I had salmon, always a good choice. But dessert...ahhhh...

I was tossing between 2 and decided to go for the "Hazelnut and Fudge Chocolate Tartlet". The waiter told me it was a good choice, that I would not regret this decision. LIAR. The moment the plate of dessert came, I felt this immediate familar feeling - the feeling of greed, regret and remorse. Taking the first bite into the devine piece of tartlet proved to be worse...with each bite came "why did I let greed make the decision?", "why didn't I top after mains?" and "why couldn't I have chosen a slightly less sinful dessert?"

To relief my 'suffering', I offered daddy and mummy a share in my sinfulness.



Laura just came back from Palmy yesterday and in the evening, she played Kingdom Hearts and POOOOOOZ!!!!! She tagged that stupid star in less than 10 minutes and I can't believe there I was trying and trying and trying for almost an hour. Life is unfair! How come I suck so badly at Playstation?!?! POOOZ.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Winter and Summer

Have you ever been in a place, where there's winter and summer happening at the same time? Well...welcome to my lovely home.

While it's COLD downstairs (here I am, currently wrapped in a blanket in front of the computer)'s WARM upstairs (I could practically walk around in my short skirt)...WEIRD!

Today was a busy day at work. Usually on a Friday, I'm sitting at my desk, twidling my fingers and either reading a storybook or comic, doing Sudoku (a number placing game) or drawing some stickman figures (I've become quite a pro at drawing stickmen)...but today...AWWWW. I've learnt my lesson...when I have nothing to do, don't take out a comic to read or a pen to draw, always look busy and so that way your colleague wouldn't give you more work. But I know that's very sneaky. If I'm free, why not ay? Well I'll tell you why not...coz today, things started piling up...from what looked like a very relaxing Friday or one that kept me on my toes all the way till 5pm! I'm not complaining or anything, I need to start training myself up for the Singapore workforce which would probably be 10 times worse than today, EVERYDAY!!!

So anyway...I'm exhausted and almost dead! TGIF is such a fantastic saying...cheers to whoever came up with this phrase.