Friday, December 27, 2002

Looking at the Income-Expense graph on my Quicken this month was rough. Better rush the payments on the Malaysian side and chase up on some of the 'promised' jobs, else it's going to get uglier. Yes, I'm guilty of running a deficit. Time to fix.

Thursday, December 26, 2002

Put up some of the animation jobs I want done on Elance and got pretty decent bids. Not sure if they CAN do a good job but hopefully they can find someone with the skillset. Quite a lot of Indian and Ukranian bidders. Very on. Bid closes after the New Year and will examine the options then.
The path to Happiness
Happiness is found in friends and forgiveness

Want to be happy? Really happy?

It may be easier than you think.

According to exciting new studies, psychologists now know that it’s not great riches, but friends and forgiveness which lead to happiness.

In a front page article in Monday’s USA Today, Marilyn Elias reports, “The happiest people surround themselves with family and friends, don’t care about keeping up with the Joneses next door, lose themselves in daily activities and, most important, forgive easily.”

This being said, it should come as no surprise that “materialism is toxic to happiness.” Those are the words of Ed Diener, a University of Illinois psychologist quoted by the USA Today writer. In his research, Diener found that even the richest of materialists are not as happy as those who value family, friends and activities more than money.

In her report, Elias emphasizes that, “Life satisfaction occurs most often when people are engaged in absorbing activities that cause them to forget themselves, lose track of time and stop worrying.”

The exact nature of the activity is not what’s most important. Whether it’s sewing up a storm ... doing brain surgery ... playing a musical instrument ... or working a hard puzzle with a child, it’s the depth of the commitment and the activity that counts.

And once you are happy — through family, friends and meaningful activity — it’s important that you show it. “Gratitude has a lot to do with life satisfaction,” the psychologists say, pointing to new studies which reveal happiness is enhanced by talking and writing about it. Give a compliment. Send a nice note. It not only brightens the days of others, it helps you as well.

And, last, and most important of all, is forgiveness, the trait most strongly related to happiness.

“It’s the queen of all virtues and probably the hardest to come by,” says Christopher Peterson, a psychologist from the University of Michigan.

Down deep, we’ve known for years the secrets to success and serenity. Now, it’s nice to know that psychological research confirms our convictions. It’s not money and material possessions that matter. Instead, it’s family, friends, fulfilling activity and forgiveness.

Forgiveness... ok that one I've got to work on. ;)

Wednesday, December 25, 2002

Feeling rather flat these couple of days. Need more fizz... good friend leaving for Oz, a bit directionless for the new year. Rain is giving me cabin fever as well. I better list down the things I need to do for the coming year. And reading about ppl earning $150-$220 per HOUR makes me feel small. ;) Why can't I earn that much?

Maybe will go for a late workout later. Need the buzz.
Sexxxxy Beast
Oh we watched Sexy Beast at X'mas bash, and it's a really good heist film. Ben Kingsley plays this guy who just can't take no for an answer. Some parts were pretty hilarious. I thought it was much better than Ocean's 11, though the manner in which they pull off the heist in Beast is a lot less convincing and believable.

Tuesday, December 24, 2002

Had a quiet bash at my place. Thanks Tony for mixing the potent drinks... and Kevin for the presents and the rest for the food. Now I realise how underequipped my kitchen is. ;)

Monday, December 23, 2002

Gangs and Towers
Watched two ultra-long movies yesterday, The Two Towers and Gangs of New York. I enjoyed the former though it has departed quite a bit from the book, and some of the departures weaken the movie overall. For example, the elves suddenly appearing to fight at Helm's Deep, and the Arwen portion didn't gel too well. I loved the Ents though, as well as the Oliphants. Not too sure about the Wargs. Overall I prefer Fellowship but TTT had me craving for more. When the lights went out you know you couldn't wait until next year for the final instalment.

Gangs of New York wasn't too bad but it broke little new ground for Scorsese. It's very violent, though a lot of it happens off-camera. As per usual, it's about characters that attain their peak and then become outmoded before their time. I generally liked it but found it pretty conventional as well. There was a lot of imagery you can associate with Sept 11; the smoking ruins of the city and the ash covered heroes, for one. I can see why Miramax didn't want to release it last year. Daniel Day Lewis is pretty remarkable but Leonardo di Caprio and Cameron Diaz don't quite gel too well into the film. They look like they're from a different age altogether.

X'mas eve bash at my place. Anyone who wants to come over it's 730. A Merry Christmas to all. :)

Sunday, December 22, 2002

Blast site
Went to visit the blast site and there's nothing much there now. The buildings where the blasts occured have been stripped away in preparation for their own memorial. The bomb blast was next door to a surf shop and you can see a mannequin still peering out from the boards, as well as wreaths on the ground. Will be developing the pix tomorrow hope they turn out well. Should have enough material for the story.
Bad trips II
b) The company wasn't too good. I could go out with these people, but I can't travel with them. I guess in a woman-dominated group it's inevitable one ends up going shopping, but that was practically what we ended up doing on three days. I think I let my displeasure show on the 3rd day. We did go around on the 4th day but it was to places I've already been to on my first trip. Maybe I really should have just gone off and done my own thing. I had thought of just going somewhere else to stay before the trip, even if it meant higher costs, but tried to tahan. I didn't have an awful time; just that the travel goals of this group and my own don't match. I'm just boring and cheapo, especially when I travel.

Actually both my Bali trips have been quite bad experiences. I'll try to remember the sunsets but all I remember are the guys shoving stuff in your face and having to scold them off. It's demeaning to both sides.
Bad trips
Well back and not a good trip overall. So going to break it up in two parts. It was a bad trip because:
a) The place is quite beautiful and Kuta beach has one of the most beautiful sunsets. However, half the time, the locals are trying to scam or overcharge you. The overaggressive vendors are one thing, but the porter who claimed to be from the hotel who just grabbed at our luggage, the temple guides who asked where we were and who kept saying we couldn't pass a certain line without them, the money changer who tried to scam, the taxi drivers who took longer routes.. it just all added up to something I could have done without. It leaves a bad taste in the mouth.