Feeds:
Posts
Comments

On NBC Nightly News, Brian Williams opened the story of Nora Ephron’s passing as someone who is necessary, indispensable and probably irreplaceable. Filmmaker, screenwriter, humorist and journalist, Nora died this Tuesday at 71 years old. She was both incredibly pointed and funny. Over night, the internet is flooded with her amazing quotes from her books and movies. With that, I am sharing Amy Odell’s compilation of Nora’s most famous quotes on buzzfeed.com.

On Love

1. “I love that you get cold when it’s 71 degrees out. I love that it takes you an hour and a half to order a sandwich. I love that you get a little crinkle above your nose when you’re looking at me like I’m nuts. I love that after I spend the day with you, I can still smell your perfume on my clothes. And I love that you are the last person I want to talk to before I go to sleep at night. And it’s not because I’m lonely, and it’s not because it’s New Year’s Eve. I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.”— Harry, When Harry Met Sally

2. “Well, it was a million tiny little things that, when you added them all up, they meant we were supposed to be together… and I knew it. I knew it the very first time I touched her. It was like coming home… only to no home I’d ever known… I was just taking her hand to help her out of a car and I knew. It was like… magic.”— Sam, Sleepless in Seattle

3. “Sometimes I believe that some people are better at love than others, and sometimes I believe that everyone is faking it.”

4. “Beware of men who cry. It’s true that men who cry are sensitive to and in touch with feelings, but the only feelings they tend to be sensitive to and in touch with are their own.”

On Divorce

5. “The desire to get married is a basic and primal instinct in women. It’s followed by another basic and primal instinct: the desire to be single again.”

6. “Never marry a man you wouldn’t want to be divorced from.”

7. “The divorce has lasted way longer than the marriage, but finally it’s over. Enough about that.The point is that for a long time, the fact that I was divorced was the most important thing about me. And now it’s not.”

On Youth

8. “Oh, how I regret not having worn a bikini for the entire year I was twenty-six. If anyone young is reading this, go, right this minute, put on a bikini, and don’t take it off until you’re thirty-four.”— I Feel Bad About My Neck

9. “You can settle for reality, or you can go off, like a fool, and dream another dream.”— Heartburn

10. “You can’t retrieve you life (unless you’re on Wikipedia, in which case you can retrieve an inaccurate version of it).”― I Remember Nothing: and Other Reflections

On Reading and Writing

11. “Reading is one of the main things I do. Reading is everything. Reading makes me feel I’ve accomplished something, learned something, become a better person. Reading makes me smarter.”—I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman

12. “To state the obvious, romantic comedies have to be funny and they have to be romantic. But one of the most important things, for me anyway, is that they be about two strong people finding their way to love.”

13. “I try to write parts for women that are as complicated and interesting as women actually are.”

On People

14. “Insane people are always sure that they are fine. It is only the sane people who are willing to admit that they are crazy.”

15. “I am continually fascinated at the difficulty intelligent people have in distinguishing what is controversial from what is merely offensive.”

16. “American society has a remarkable ability to resist change, or to take whatever change has taken place and attempt to make it go away.”

On Feminism

17. “The Wonderbra is not a step forward for women. Nothing that hurts that much is a step forward for women.”— ’96 Wellesley College commencement address

18. “One of the things people always say to you if you get upset is, don’t take it personally, but listen hard to what’s going on and, please, I beg you, take it personally. Understand: every attack on Hillary Clinton for not knowing her place is an attack on you. Underneath almost all those attacks are the words: get back, get back to where you once belonged. When Elizabeth Dole pretends that she isn’t serious about her career, that is an attack on you. The acquittal of O.J. Simpson is an attack on you. Any move to limit abortion rights is an attack on you — whether or not you believe in abortion. The fact that Clarence Thomas is sitting on the Supreme Court today is an attack on you.”— ’96 Wellesley commencement address

19. “Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.”— ’96 Wellesley commencement address

On Cooking

20. “My mother was a good recreational cook, but what she basically believed about cooking was that if you worked hard and prospered, someone else would do it for you.”

21. “Every so often I would look at my women friends who were happily married and didn’t cook, and I would always find myself wondering how they did it. Would anyone love me if I couldn’t cook? I always thought cooking was part of the package: Step right up, it’s Rachel Samstat, she’s bright, she’s funny and she can cook!”—Heartburn

On Parenting

22. “If pregnancy were a book they would cut out the last two chapters.”

23. “When you have a baby, you set off an explosion in your marriage, and when the dust settles, your marriage is different from what it was. Not better, necessarily; not worse, necessarily; but different.”

24. “[A successful parent is one] who raises a child who grows up and is able to pay for his or her own psychoanalysis.”

25. “When your children are teenagers, it’s important to have a dog so that someone in the house is happy to see you.”— I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman

On Death

26. “…the amount of maintenance involving hair is genuinely overwhelming. Sometimes I think that not having to worry about your hair anymore is the secret upside of death.”― I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman

27. “When I buy a new book, I always read the last page first, that way in case I die before I finish, I know how it ends. That, my friend, is a dark side.”

Nora Ephron will be dearly missed.

6 more days and we will enter into a new era under a brand new Chief Executive of the HK SAR. All we are bombarded by the news these days are the various scandals going on with the two transitioning heads of state. For months, the incumbent Donald was caught repeatedly by the press in reckless spending on business trips, accepting lavish traveling and even residential favors by local tycoons, and very much to our horror, smuggling truckloads of liquor from the chief executive’s mansion to his home. On the other hand, CY, the CE-elect, was wildly skinned by the public for lying blatantly about his illegal building works at his home – an offense which he harshly accused of his rival Henry only a few months ago. These scandals have hardly anything to do with public policies or the welfare of our fellow citizens. Worse yet, they speak about our leaders’ character and integrity. Or, the lack of it.

There is a saying that our souls can be corrupted by power, and don’t act all naive and shocked when you turn on the TV news. This happens everyday at the work place and in your households. The difference is only in terms of the level of misuse for personal gains. I am never saying that any of this can be condoned. I’m just saying that while we point our fingers at those around us, we should at the same time have the decency to look at how we conduct ourselves.

In my profession I always look into areas to minimize wastage and inefficiencies. I agree, these are only fancy and politically correct words. My company charges me to make sure we tighten up our expense control measures so that no one is stealing corporate resources. That’s why I am in one of the most hated professions on the planet.

Corporate resources can be traveling guidelines so that the junior marketing manager won’t be checking in to the presidential suite like our Donald did. They can also be how the heads of departments spend our money on unnecessary external consulting firms so as to “pass on the blame” for below-par business results. Talking about how it is best to spend company’s money is challenging and confrontational alone from a third-party point of view, but nothing is even remotely comparable to the landmines of employee benefits. You can imagine the extent of it by looking at the public riots you see in the cash-trapped countries of Greece and Spain.

What are these so-called employee benefits? Alright, we have hotel categories, hotel breakfasts, hotel locations, serviced apartments, daily spending limits, flight classes, lowest cost airlines, airline lounge access, airport limousines, club memberships, blackberry models, cell phone packages, laptops, flat screen monitors, office furniture, name cards, stationery, pens, folders, giveaways, and the list goes on.

Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE nice things. I love to be pampered, and I like to think that I have earned my ranks enough to be treated nicely by my boss. However, I know what the reality is, and I know how to draw the line. I come in to work and deliver and get my pay check. Then I can spend it on nice things. I’d rather see my employer make money and then reward me with a bigger pay check. Then no one owes anyone anything. What strikes me hard is that I often see many well-off senior staff thinking very much like Donald and CY – let’s get as much out of the company/government as possible.

I am fully aware that there are blood-sucking corporations out there who take advantage of innocent workers like running a sweat shop. That’s why we protect our employees with well written policies – something which our Chief Executives conveniently omitted for themselves. We know what we are entitled to when we sign on to a job offer. From time to time, companies will want to revisit those policies due to flagging business results or other priorities, and this often creates an outroar of frustrations and resistance from everyone. In my years of experience, I often find the biggest resistance actually comes from the highest ranking staff and often the most wealthy ones. They work their way around with smart excuses, threats and pressure through their poor secretaries. The only thing they almost never do, is walk away. No, it’s not worth losing those high paying jobs, they admitted.

That to me is a complete revelation of their character, and it is eye-opening. I believe it is a competitive market out there, and every one of us should know how much bargaining power we have in all circumstances. If you truly believe you are being ill-treated by not getting the true rewards of your deliverables, walk away. There must be tons of other companies who want to grab you. You have suffered enough. Don’t bully your way through the innocent policy enforcers. Negotiate a bigger package and then take 150 days of leave a year to indulge. Don’t spend your precious time haggling over the next hotel tier or that first class window seat on your next business trip. The reality is, a business trip is a business trip. Even if you have Donald’s presidential suite, you can still hate it because your diamond shoes are too tight.

That’s why, if I am charged with attacking “greed” as one of my buying commodities, I will happily and politely defer to my fellow human resources colleagues for their professional enjoyment.

The latest talk-of-the-town mass media sensation is Hong Kong’s first (at least so on the city’s free longstanding and conservative TV station) reality TV show, “Bride Wannabies“.  Don’t let the show title fool you, it’s nothing like “The Bachelorette” of the States.  5 single ladies allow a TV crew follow their every move in their romantic adventure toward finding their future partners.  The show won’t be nearly as entertaining or captivating to the public without the abundant supply of so-called life coaches, match makers, psychologists, dating strategists, and of course, a variety of makeover stylists and cosmetic surgeons.  Everyone I know have watched the show with at least a comment or two, to say the least.

The show centers around one theme, which is the literal translation of “leftover ladies” in Chinese.  Apparently some also called them “3S” ladies meaning ladies who are single, seventies and stuck.  I think that’s harsh.  Anyway, it generally refers to women who are highly educated, make a good living and certainly have high standards of everything in life, including their choice of men.

Enough has been said about the show itself, the 5 bride wannabies, and the highly controversial experts.  I am rather interested in the social phenomenon and why there is such a difference in treatment between the men and women in this city.

I will never understand why single women are brutally labelled as leftovers as if there is something wrong with them.  What about the men?  Alright, scholars are rationalizing it saying it’s the conservative notion of women looking for men to protect and take care of them, and that there is still this historical belief of female inferiority in our society.  In my opinion, if you have lived through life with enough experience knowing that Prince Charming only exists in fairy tales, you will certainly adapt and adopt a new standard of your significant other as you age.  However, if you feel that you need to be absolutely honest with yourself with what turns you on, both physically and emotionally, by all means keep your faith, look for your Mr. Right,  and embrace and enjoy your single life in the time being.  There is no right or wrong.  You are the owner of your life.

Some people brought in the financial aspect claiming that it’s becoming less and less viable sustaining in this economy without living a coupled life.  Isn’t it better however making your own bucks than looking for a meal ticket somewhere?  It’s harder than winning a lottery really, and you still risk losing it through unexpected breakups or divorce.  It’s not a business transaction.  If you are really committed in setting yourself as a commodity in the market, please, assess your market position and how much bargaining power you have.  That goes for both men and women.  In my line of work, so many buyers and sellers fail to come to an agreement solely because of the absence of such awakening.  My job is to shake some sense into both parties.  I kid you not, I can very well make a career change into a match maker in this booming market.

Some women complain that men are often intimidated over how successful they are.  Well, either these men are not worthy for them to begin with, or the women need to reflect over themselves whether they have actually been sending derogatory remarks all along.  If it was the latter, then they are just digging their own graves by possessing extremely poor social skills.

There is nothing wrong with singles, women or men, at any age.  The key is whether they lead a happy life, and be content with what they already have.  Step out of your comfort zone and expand your circles.  Whinners are losers, if they are not doing anything about it.  Time and time again people report that they are attracted by cheerful, confident guys and gals.  And remember, confidence doesn’t mean cocky.  If you carry yourself well with elegance, humility, confidence and a positive outlook on matters, I really don’t see how you won’t find yourself surrounded by admirers.

So instead of those stupid and meaningless dating strategies that are nothing more than sound bites, you will never go wrong with investing in yourselves, and believing that leading your own life in your own way probably is one of the best blessings of it all.

I love a good meaningful conversation.  If you give me a choice of ten casual acquaintances versus one single dinner companion with an open heart and soul, I would pick the latter, any time of the day.

You may find it as an obvious fact, but in a heavily condensed urban city where physical proximity does not equal to emotional availability, we should count our blessings whenever we have the opportunity to enjoy a nice, candid, no-agenda exchange.

Those of you who have read my earliest posts would remember how difficult it is to explain my profession.  It’s not in one’s normal vocabulary, and it’s not something that you can describe in one sentence before you completely bore your partner to death.  Yet if someone is curious enough to probe, I am more than happy to act as an ambassador for my professional community, or more selfishly, for my own reputation.

I’m always happy to reciprocate, of course.  Last night I was introduced to a field called Occupational Therapy.  I have heard of Physiotherapy, or Vocational Training, but shamefully not the former.   As my friend explained, the Chinese translation of the field is more than misleading, and I conveniently blamed it on the same.  After hearing his line of work, and learning about the lack of professional resources particularly in the mental practice area in this city, I find his profession fascinating both in terms of technical knowhow, and of its limitless possibility.

I can’t help but compare what we do as a living, as I always strive to keep myself grounded by not taking myself too seriously.  The following conversation never happened last night, but in my imagination, part of which could go something like this:

What are you most proud of with the work that you do?

My friend:  The ability to see my patients recover and adapt to the desired state according to prescribed progress.

Me:  My stakeholders giving me 30 minutes to convince them that I’m not wasting their time to help them save half a million dollars.  Oh, also, to finally get my stakeholders know what it is that they truly want to buy.

Who do you constantly work with in your everyday work life?

My friend:  Patients who have a certain disability to achieve the daily “occupations” of life, and their loved ones who see the need to seek professional help for subject’s adaptation and recovery.

Me:  People who hate me, underestimate me, abuse me, and set me up as scapegoats for one or more of their supply chain problems.

What is the demand like for your profession?

My friend:  There is a growing lack of professionals in our field.  The demand is constantly surging and we find it difficult to keep up with the relatively long accreditation process.

Me:  Demand? What?

What is the one biggest challenge that you see in your profession?

My friend:  The lack of awareness of what Occupational Therapy is.  We hope the Health Department could educate the public more so that patients can seek treatment earlier on, and more resources can be injected for those who are very much in need.

Me:  To make the case for department heads that the half million dollar savings we achieved for their business equate to jobs saved for their employees.

What are you most frustrated about your work life?

My friend:  Below-par recovery progress due to resources insufficiency or uncontrollable physical complications.

Me:  Incredibly idiotic, egoistic and insecure morons.  And they’re not even mentally handicapped.

What is the one question that you get the most from people about your profession?

My friend:  What’s the difference between Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy, or Vocational Training?

Me:  Why are we stuck with this crappy ball point pen at the office?

 What is the outlook of your profession?

My friend:  Instead of containing within the public healthcare sector at present, we see the growing need of increased specialized care that warrants investments from the private sector.  Wages and recognition will be on the rise.

Me:  Ultimately, we will be helping our companies achieve more cost savings by outsourcing our own jobs. 

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 5,800 times in 2011. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

I certainly do not belong to any religious cult, nor do I pay any special attention to this doomsday prediction other than having seen the “2012” movie two years ago, purely for entertainment.  Though I can’t keep myself imagining whether I would have done anything differently if we are sure we are left with less than a year to live.

With much temptation to recap and reflect upon the year of 2011, it may be more worthwhile than ever, to think of my new year resolutions.  Regardless of the specifics, the resounding theme is always going to be: following my heart.

Deep down we all know what are the right things to do, but for some reasons we always choose to take a detour due to lack of confidence, obstacles, or worse yet, stupid and meaningless power play.  If we say what’s on our minds, we could save precious time from all the guessing and procrastinating.  Yes, it may appear tactless and reckless, but as I mention time and time again on my blog posts, let yourself be vulnerable at least once in a while.

Who are the ones that you miss the most?  Make sure you reconnect with them in the new year.  Like or even love someone?  What harm does it make to express that without expecting anything in return?  We used to think there is always time, and we know what we would do if the right moment comes around.  But what if there isn’t time anymore? 

Living your life truthfully does not equate to living it irresponsibly or at the expense of others.  I am not saying we should neglect others’ feelings just because they might be in your way.  But you cannot even start to care for others if you aren’t even honest to yourself.  It’s time to ask yourself the hard questions, and demand the straight answers.

Over the past year, I am blessed with lots of opportunities to work and travel, the availability of lifestyle changes, the company of friends and loved ones, and all the new people whom I have met around the world – which certainly is the highlight of my year.  Though I have been clearly less productive in the past few months, I am mighty proud of my blog here since it has given me an outlet to express what I believe in, despite the absence (or presence?) of an audience. 

If this were our last Christmas and countdown, I wouldn’t have any last words since I would have done it all.  All I want to say will be “I Love You” to everyone around me.

Because, there is always room for more love.

Is asking this question a sign of ageing?  I hope not, as the targets I studied aren’t only the Generation X and Ys, but also people of my age or above.  I just cannot get over ladies dragging their ankles walking around the office floor with disturbing clunking noises (don’t mistake that with heels please), people chewing their food loudly like cows next to me, commuters screaming into their cellphones on the top of their lungs yapping about meaningless gossips, or professional athelete-type passengers who compete for a new Olympic Games category of jumping into occupied elevators or subway cars, holding the poor exiting souls hostage.

If you think we can just be chilled over all this nonsense and smirk over it, look me in the eyes and tell me you aren’t shocked and disturbed by the well suited man who jumped into the subway seat one second before you even had the chance to offer it to an elderly woman.

It’s not like we are at war times.  Most of us live in adequately provided environments and more often than not, nobody really owes us anything.  I don’t get how parents will inflict this upon their kids by encouraging them to be selfish, misbehaving snobs.  Alright, it’s probably because the parents themselves are like that, at work and at play. 

For me how a person carries himself or herself speaks a lot about their character.  Maybe I shouldn’t, but I do count people out by the negative traits I observe, and I don’t think I am alone.  To me, I cannot entrust them in anything if I feel that they do not even respect themselves. 

If you can think of a constructive way to steer the city back to the right direction, do let me know.  It will be a cause that I will stand proudly behind.  For now, I am doing my small part in my own professional space, so that I can sleep better at nights.

I wish. 

%d bloggers like this: