Sunday, 31 July 2011

Amazing Grace

Courtesy Youtube
How precious did that grace appear, the hour I first believed! 

Saturday, 30 July 2011

A lazy day

...with The Lazy song by Bruno Mars. Enjoy!

Friday, 29 July 2011

Hello, anybody home?


Somewhere in Washington....

Summer time gets busy
As people go about their business
Some go off on holiday
And some just choose to chill

Things generally slow down
And everyone is happy
The only one not happy
Is this old blog right here

I've been feeling uninspired for a while
And now I know the reason why
It's been ages since I had any comments
No reaction, not a single word!

Feed me with your words, so I can grow
Send in your comments, so I can shine
If you do happen to stumble on my page
Drop a note, no matter how small

It's the little words that mean the most
Nothing too much, just a brief hello!
It's just a little something that says to me
Yep! Someone out there just read my stuff!

Have a fantastic Friday!

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Kencana Pradipa performing Jaipong

video


The Kencana Pradipa group of Indonesian traditional dancers from Jakarta visited Houston recently and I was very fortunate for the opportunity to watch them, at a Cultural Night event, organized by the Indonesian Consulate.

Here is a short clip of one of their performances - The Jaipong, I believe - compiled and edited by Melz2Belz productions.

Enjoy.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

I can do all things.

Drums Pendant image courtesy Christianbook.com
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.  Philippians 4:13

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

French maids, powerful men and psychics!

I read recently that the French maid who got involved with a famous public figure has now given an interview to the press, in a bid to tell her side of the story.

I must be psychic, because I wrote a simple poem on the 6th of April about a French maid, and a month later, a 'similar' story with some parallels fills up the airwaves.

Swap a few characters around and you have my poem - no? Maybe not quite...

Whilst the saga has not ended yet, I wonder if she'll have to leave town like the heroine in my poem!

Could I be psychic, I wonder? If I was psychic, what would I use my special skills for?

Monday, 25 July 2011

Facebook Etiquette for Grown-ups - 10 things you should know...

You learn something new everyday. I learnt 10 new things about Facebook recently.

Here's a list of Facebook Do's and Don'ts from a teenager's perspective.

  1. Never 'like' your own status updates
  2. Don't 'like' everything on everybody's page. Be selective.
  3. Don't comment on every picture on someone's album. Comment on a few only. 
  4. Don't feel compelled to respond to every comment in your album / on your wall. 
  5. Never comment immediately after someone has commented on your wall / picture. Wait at least 10 minutes, so it looks like you have a life! 
  6. Never comment or 'like' anything on your child's page. It is a privilege for you to be her friend on Facebook. Don't blow it! 
  7. If you happen to be a friend with your teenager's friend (not encouraged, but it happens sometimes), never 'like' or comment on the friend's page. 
  8. If you have less than 50 friends on Facebook, then you don't need Facebook to keep up with them. Stick to emails / telephone calls / letters or postcards instead. That's likely going to be easier for you to manage. 
  9. Don't be caught on Facebook all the time! 
  10. Never be on Facebook on your birthday, Friday night or Saturday night. It shows that you don't have a social life!  
Yay or Nay - what do you think?

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Lord, I lift your name on high!

Mysterious Love
Mysterious things keep happening
Many I cannot explain
Sometimes I think back and wonder
Why me, what makes me so special? 

It's the special grace of God
That has me here today
It's His kindness, love and care
That keeps me going each day

Sometimes I do get weary
And wonder where the light is
The tunnel seems so long and dark
The end seems so far away

But I must never forget
I was created for a purpose
Every single hair, every bit of me
Created to love and serve you , my Saviour! 


Hope you enjoy the song! Have a great Sunday!


Lord I life your name on high!  
Courtesy Youtube

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Who needs exercise?

I met a gym instructor yesterday and after introductions, we started chatting about how we spend our day. She starts her day pretty early and sometimes, depending on her schedule, ends the day pretty late.
All doing some form of exercise (spinning, aerobics, zumba...)

Most medical professionals recommend exercise as a surefire way for good health, longevity and general well-being.


So my muse for today is this:-
- Will she still need to 'get some exercise' after her workday?
- How does she unwind? 


Personally, I admire her and her career choice, because anything more than 60 minutes of strenuous exercise has me gasping for breath!

Friday, 22 July 2011

Blog or Reality TV

Sometimes, I wonder what type of people go on reality TV. What drives them? What is the ultimate goal? Purpose? Benefit?

What would it take to convince me to go on TV and air my - most oftentimes - dirty laundry? (You've got to agree that some of the programmes seen are quite graphic and leave you wondering....Why? Oh why?)

  • Is it the prospect of 5 minutes of fame?
  • Is it the prospect of some monetary benefit?
  • Is it a prospect of a possible career launch? (hoping the show will pivot you into something bigger and better?)
  • Is it a need to share some uniqueness about your specific situation? Share a compelling story?


One wonders....

Some might say that writing a personal blog is a bit like reality TV, because you are talking about things that happen to you, in a public space.

But isn't the major difference between a blog and reality TV the fact that with a personal blog, anonymity is controlled and you can choose exactly how much (or little) you want to share? Spilling vast amounts of personal details is not a pre-requisite to keeping an audience captivated, however 'voyeuristic' we might be becoming.

The absence of cameras and TV crews, as well as personal details - photos, names, places, gender even - helps to keep a blog anonymous.

In this blog, I have tried to be

  • genderless (sometimes I write in a male voice and other times in a female voice, but I'm sure if you read through you can guess where I belong!) 
  • semi-ageless (again, I'm sure you can tell where I belong!) 
  • nameless!

This helps me write - straight from the heart - without feeling I have to watch my words.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Famine in Somalia

Somalia is a country located in East Africa, right there in the horn of Africa, on the edge of the Indian Ocean.

Between the encroaching US debt ceiling deadline and the saga going on with the UK based News of the World newspaper, one might be forgiven for missing the news headlines about Somalia and the famine in that region.

One might also be forgiven for not paying attention (or even feeling inclined to help even), especially as Somalia is notorious for having a huge number of pirates operating off the coast of the country, hijacking boats and holding sailors, tourists and holiday makers hostage.

But we do need to keep things in perspective and remember the following:-

When famine occurs, this means there is a shortage of food for the general population. In Somalia's case, a combination of severe drought and increased strife within the country has led to this aggravated situation. (this country has been in strife since 1992, and also without effective leadership. Many of its citizens have fled to neighbouring countries, seeking safety and a better life).

So far, tens of thousands of people have died already as a result of this famine, and majority of these - poor helpless malnourished children.  (According to the report, in some regions, 6 in every 1000 children, under 5 years of age, die daily...)

How can we help? 
The volatile nature of the region, as well as the complicated political climate,  makes it extremely difficult to get into the area and help.  Here is a link to a web page that lists organisations, currently helping to alleviate the situation in that region through medical assistance, providing temporary refuge and food.

If you feel so inclined, please click on the link above to see how you can help.


Source:- Click here for the full story from Washington Post. 

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Bye-bye PC, Hello iMac

I'm afraid I have defected.

Defection is the act of giving up allegiance to one state or political entity in exchange for allegiance to another.

OK, I haven't done anything illegal, but it feels like that. You see, after a lifetime of being a devoted PC user, I finally bought my first iMac! Oh yes, I did.

It was a really difficult decision for me. Partly because I speak fluent IT and through the years, non-Apple converts have been brainwashed with reasons why the Apple suite is not ideal for everyone. Too expensive, so restrictive, not compatible with most software, they're difficult to use....and so on.

But in the past 3 years (35 months and 12 days to be exact), I had been through 3 very highly spec'ed Pcs and each one did exactly the same as the one before it  - crashing and dying on me, when all I really needed was a computer that would just ...work! At one stage, my PC would take at least 20 minutes to come up! 20 minutes!

So, I made up my mind to see if the grass is really greener on the other side. And I find that it is indeed greener on the other side!


It's sleek and it looks fabulous on the desk. With just one cable connecting everything, the study already looks like it had a make-over and certainly feels more professional! Programs load up much faster and so far, the iMac has worked with everything I have connected to it(!). My productivity is at an all-time high!

For software, I am using Apple iWork '08 for my word processing, spreadsheet and powerpoint needs.  Admittedly, it will take some getting used to, (and some of my pre-formatted Word 2007 documents are coming out pretty skewed right now), but this is a risk I'm willing to take.

Did I mention that I also absolutely love the fact that I no longer have to worry about expiry dates for any Anti-Virus software?

So, as at today, I'm not ashamed to admit my crime. I'm not sorry and I'm not in the least bit remorseful. My only regret is that I wish I had done it sooner!

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Words


What are words?


We all use words in different ways to communicate.
From the minute we open our mouths, our choice of words gives the listener an inkling into our inner personality and what type of person we could be.

Words as Encouragement - when used correctly, words can be a source of encouragement to souls needing succour or validation, helping them realise that the current situation is not a final destination, Bigger goals lie ahead, once we are able to pass through the current crisis.

Words as Self Expression - the words used to describe/express oneself,  your thinking, you. What words are you using to express yourself? Are you portraying the right image? Is that how you want to be seen, remembered?

Words as Pictures - the words used,  describe things. The manner in which some writers describe events and places in their novels is so vivid, that you, the reader, are immediately transported to that place in time with the writer, touching, experiencing the same things that he has just written about. The description is so good, so precise, that even the blind can visualize it.

Silent Words - sometimes words are not necessary. A simple touch, a look, a glance, a hug says it all. (I use this a lot with my children when in public spaces. Our silent means of communication)

Inspirational Words - the words used are enough to move mountains! Preachers, public figures and politicians are experts at this. Such words make people want to aspire to reach for the sky. When used in the right context, words become motivational tools for uplifting weary souls and firing up people to strive to achieve great results.

What types of words do you plan to use today?

Monday, 18 July 2011

The Emperor's New Clothes

Just like the tale 'The Emperor's New Clothes' by Hans Christian Andersen, here's my post for today! 













Interesting, huh? 
Have a great Monday.

Sunday, 17 July 2011

That's what I love about Sunday

Courtesy Youtube

Have a great Sunday!

Saturday, 16 July 2011

How would you describe yourself?

Corporate Gypsy
Executive Nomad
Globetrotting Executive
Third Culture Kid
Family in Transition
Local/Native



How would you describe yourself, if you are constantly on the move because of your job?

Friday, 15 July 2011

The end of the week

Am I the only stay-at-home mum who still looks forward to Fridays and the start of the weekend? I certainly hope not!

I had coffee this morning with a friend the conversation went like this.
'Happy Friday'  she said
'Oh yes, I can't wait for the weekend!' I answered, all excited
'But everyday is a weekend for you, isn't it?' she said
'Yes, it is' I admitted, 'but it still doesn't take away my excitement!' 
'You're lucky!' she said

And you know what? I guess she's right!
I am lucky and very fortunate that, for now, everyday is a weekend for me!

Hope you have a great Friday as you look forward to your weekend!

Thursday, 14 July 2011

My first car...

I remember my first ever car. 

It was a cream coloured beat up Volkswagen Beetle, previously owned by my sister. I had been borrowing it since I was an undergrad, but once I graduated, my sister let me have it for keeps. I've got a picture below, although frankly, the only thing the picture has in common with my car is the colour and even that is not exact. Mine had  more rusty brown areas than cream!

I was so proud of that car and felt extremely uber-cool driving it. Never mind the bodywork falling apart or the fact that there was no air-conditioning. My major pleasure came from the fact that it was mine and I could go anywhere I wanted, anytime! (The naivete that comes with youth!)
If I'm honest, my Beetle looked more like this one below. It was a panel beaters cash cow, but to me, it was the swankiest sports-car on the planet.

A couple of years later, it was sold to an auto-mechanic and I upgraded to a Toyota Tercel. That, became my new love. It was much newer than the Beetle. (I got the Beetle when it was 14 years old and the Tercel when it was 10 years old!). It was a lovely shade of red and I called it 'The fusion of man and machine!' It looked similar to this, but with 4 doors.
The Fusion of Man and Machine

I kept this car until we started the Globetrotting lifestyle and subsequently moved abroad. (We're pretty good at recycling cars in my country and I know those 2 cars were taken apart and sold as spare parts to other owners)

My teenager has started asking about which car she will get when she is old enough to drive and when she can have her first 'unofficial' driving lesson. (Because she is in the States, she will get to legally drive a car 1 or 2 years before her mates back in England). It scares me to listen to 'my baby' ask that question, even though I know we've still got a couple or more years to go! 

I know I am not alone as a parent to feel this way.....




Wednesday, 13 July 2011

How long is a piece of string?


Regular readers of this blog probably know that I am job-hunting. Here's the blog where I talked about it.

Whilst I am seriously hunting, I am also dealing with the personal issues - adjusting my routine to accommodate the expected schedule changes etc (This happens everytime we move and I decide to work, and as far as I can see, the kids are none the worse for it! They are very resilient and veteran GTE - GlobeTrotting Executive kids).

So my muse for today is - How long should a job search take?
It depends on quite a few things.

  • what kind of job do you want? (professional, full-time, part-time. some jobs are easier to get into than others, but are not as challenging or rewarding) 
  • have you got any relevant experience/education in that field?
  • is your skill set in a niche industry sector or one that has a high demand? (Niche means limited opportunities, high demand means lots of opportunities, but equally likely lots of competition.)
  • have you set realistic salary expectations? (be realistic about what you expect. Salary.com is a good place to start)
  • how distressed is the current economy? (a distressed economy means employers are not actively recruiting, resulting in fewer job opportunities) 
  • what time of the year is it? (things slow down over the summer months, and pick up in fall/autumn)
  • are the employers open to 'foreigners'? (some jobs have access to sensitive information and are reserved only for the local citizens)
  • are you flexible? (willing to volunteer or consider alternative - maybve lesser roles - until the real job comes through)
  • how big / wide is your professional network in that new location? (in terms of people who can connect you to available opportunities)

These are the things that come to mind as possible considerations during the job search, and therefore make the question difficult to answer.

Simply put, the question 'How long should a job search take?' could be para-phrased into 'How long is a piece of string - really?'

If pushed to give an answer, I'd say anything between a month to 6 months really (sometimes 12 months). I would advise though, if possible, to hold out for the right job and not just jump at the first available job.

Good luck to everyone out there who is searching for their dream role!


Tuesday, 12 July 2011

'Dangerous' locations...

Certain locations are seen as dangerous locations. Employees are reluctant to accept assignments to those areas. Sometimes, companies compensate employees by giving them additional incentives (monetary or otherwise) to convince them to accept offers in these locations. 

So what makes a location dangerous?
What we seem to forget is that countries are made of people and most people when pushed, tend to react the same basal (or near primitive) way. It is an intrinsic human characteristic.

Whilst certain geographic regions appear more volatile and unstable than others, such behaviour is never too far from the surface - anywhere in the world. (We have seen several instances in recent years where citizens of developed countries have resorted to demonstrations and rioting in order to have their voices heard, to cope with the pressure of living in their situation. This is no different from the underdeveloped countries). Such behaviour could be traced back to being a direct result of their specific circumstances or situation.

What could these circumstances be?

  • Lack of the basic amenities that make life durable (electricity, water, shelter)
  • Lack of the facilities that help promote good quality of life (schools, hospitals, libraries, churches/mosques)
  • Lack of the infrastructure which is the baseline of a stable economy (good roads and transportation network, trusted politicians and leaders (ok, this is far-fetched, because there is a scarcity, even in the most developed of locations!), good quality policing officers, good telecommunications, thriving and sustainable industries)

There are several other peripheral items that might seem trivial but also help immensely in providing a good quality of life (e.g movie theatres, restaurants, recreational parks). Sadly, because the basic needs have not been met, expanding commerce to include these items seems futile.

So, as a Globetrotting Executive, what do you do when posted to any of these locations?
  • Do as the locals advise and play it safe. 
  • Flashy displays of wealth and possessions only serve to make you a target. 
  • Try to blend as best as possible. 
  • Stick to the major centres. 
  • If you must go out at night, go with a local or someone who is very familiar with the region. 

Whilst it is encouraged to be adventurous and discover your new location, be cautious!



Monday, 11 July 2011

Don't be blasé...

I come from a country where the following things are fairly commonplace

Jerrycan
  • power generators are present in most homes to supply electricity when the national electricity providers fails
  • boreholes are dug into affluent premises to ensure steady supply of water, managed by the property owner. Alternatively, (or additionally), most homes have a plastic jerrycan or pot which is used to store water in case of outages
  • lovely homes are protected with tall high fences often topped with broken glass or barbed wire, to prevent intruders with malicious intent from scaling the wall (and sadly prevent any casual passerby from admiring the magnificent building) 
  • schools, where the electricity is not guaranteed and a lot of children pass through school without using computers or any of the modern technology trends, so ubiquitous in the Western world
  • the nightly ritual by the adults in the house to check that all the doors are locked and all the windows are shut, in a bid to protect against thieves

Anyone who stays long enough to have a conversation with me, will know that I am eternally grateful to God for the gift of the Globetrotting Executive lifestyle. I never forget.

But sometimes I take things for granted and forget to apply the skills I have learnt from my childhood.  Creativity. Resiliency. Survival - despite the odds....

Like when the electricity goes off as a result of a storm. When that happened to me recently, I panicked. The house was unnaturally quiet (no TV), it was hot, and I could not use the microwave. I guess I forgot the following - I do have a gas-fired barbeque which I could have used, I can make conversation without the TV, and I do have a backyard with some shade that I could sit in and enjoy the evening.

Like when the water goes off for about 30 minutes due to a burst pipe in the neighbourhood. Again, I panicked and that was when I realised that I do not have a single container for water in the house! I have one red bucket (for mopping) and my water filter in the fridge.

Like checking the doors each night to make sure they are locked. (No matter how safe a neighbourhood is - (gated or not), you really can't be too sure, can you?)

Now, I'm not advocating that everyone should go out and buy a jerry can or a power generator just in case (because thankfully these outages do not happen often in the West), but it is prudent at times not to be naive and blasé about your location.

What if the electricity doesn't come on?
What if the water doesn't come on?
What if I am unable to use my phone...my computer?


Sunday, 10 July 2011

I believe I can fly!

"If I can see it, then I can be it, if I just believe it, there's nothing to it"
Have a great Sunday!


R. Kelly - I believe I can fly. Courtesy Youtube



Saturday, 9 July 2011

BBC Bloopers

If you've got a few minutes to spare on this lazy Saturday, why don't you sit back with a glass (or cup) of something you enjoy drinking and watch the 2 videos I have today.

TV Bloopers were on my mind, and I figured I should feature a couple from BBC!

Enjoy!


Friday, 8 July 2011

Silly Road Trip

I went on a silly road trip recently
One without a prior destination
I jumped behind the wheels
Started up the engine
And went driving along my merry way

I had no destination in mind
But I knew I had to make it fun
With 2 bored kids in the car
And an equally bored adult - myself
It had to be something exciting

So we headed down to the big city centre
Avoiding all the huge trucks on the motorway
We got there in one piece thankfully
You see, I never drive that far anymore
So localized has my life become

When we arrived at the centre
We circled a few streets, just because
We saw the museum and the aquarium
We drove past the Stadium and the Reserve bank
Everyone looked busy - hustling along.

We decided to turn off the GPS
We thought it'd be fun to see how far we could go
Before we got well and truly lost
Funny how you live in a city
But never quite know all the nooks and corners!

We eventually turned the GPS back on
And headed home well fulfilled
It really was such a silly trip
Yet one that helped to alleviate
The boredom of our summer holidays!

Thursday, 7 July 2011

It rained today!


It rained yesterday!
What a welcome thunderstorm
The raindrops splattering on the concrete driveway
The skies all dark and fearsome

I never thought I'd be this happy about rain
But this present dryness had gone on for long enough
All that heat and humidity and no drops of rain
It just made everything look so dry and rough!

So right now I do know it's time
To welcome the rain, today and every day!
I definitely know I won't be singing the nursery rhyme
'Rain, rain, go away!'

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

What would you do?

It's 9:40pm at night.

It's not pitch dark yet, but getting there.

It is a decent area of town.

You are just leaving a popular restaurant, located in a busy strip mall.

You have just had a lovely dinner with your partner and children.

There are still lots of people about and lots of restaurants still open.

You get into your car - you and your partner in front and your children in the back.

A male stranger flags you down in the parking lot.

He says 'Hello. I am not asking for money or anything, but my car is parked over there and it won't start. I need to get to a gas station to get some help. Would you mind dropping me there?'


What would you do?

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

A blog is your stage..


In this new world of blogging
I sometimes ask myself why I go blog surfing
Could it be the news
Or the unique expression of views?
Maybe it's the sheer excitement
Of just being on the Internet!

I take my blog surfing rather seriously
On a daily basis, I check them assiduously
Even though I visit most blogs anonymously
My curiousity pushes me to visit religiously
Whilst I don't know many of these bloggers amorously
I'm sure I'd get on with some, famously!

Some bloggers have a specific niche in blogging
I'm afraid that niche is the one thing I'm still seeking
A blog is your stage to say what you're feeling
And that's exactly what I do each day, through my writing
So, if you feel you have loads to say and no-one is listening
Go ahead, start a blog, it gives you a new awakening!

Some blogs are really great
And others, not so up-to-date
Some I really hate
Others I think I was led to, by fate
But there's always one constant recurring trait
On the Internet, there's a blog for every palate!

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Dance with my Father

I guess I should have posted this on Father's Day. Hope you enjoy it.
Have a great weekend.

Courtesy YouTube


Saturday, 2 July 2011

Holiday weekend!

It's another holiday weekend
Something to look forward to
What have you got planned
Friends, fun and a barbeque?

You've probably had a busy week
And are looking forward to your rest
Make sure you get what you seek
Go! Make this weekend your best

No need to splurge, just have some cake
You can celebrate, even with limited revenue
Whatever you do, for goodness sake
Just make sure it's got a tinge of Red, White and Blue!
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