Monday, 29 August 2005

I'm leaving for the airport in about 8 minutes.

One week of frenzy.

One week of news chasing.

One week of media pitching.

One week of shopping?

It is Melbourne after all!

Anyway, will try to update when I'm there, but who knows what's going to happen?

Friday, 26 August 2005

who would have thought numbers for one street would begin at both ends of the street?

I'm talking about Oxford Street, the gay and lesbian street of Sydney packed with cafes, bars and nightclubs. Incidentally, also the street with the cinema that Reportage would be screened.

What I mean by the numbering is the fact that I can easily find 1 Oxford Street at one end of the street as I can on the other.

Kristin and I went to catch Reportage yesterday evening, a film screening of the best in photojournalism. The cinema was located on 3a Oxford Street, which according to my map, was at the end closest to the Museum train station.

So that was what we did. We got off at Museum, and went looking for 3a Oxford Street. Except that 3a Oxford Street housed a 7-Eleven, and instincts told us it couldn't also happen to be a cinema, unless it was one of those Doctor Who-Tardis contraption where the outside looks smaller than the inside.

I went into a shop to ask for directions and was told that I had to walk about 15 minutes down Oxford Street, which totally threw us off-balance, considering that if we did that, we would be walking towards 113 Oxford Street.

It didn't help that nobody else we asked after that actually knew where the cinema was. (These are people who either work or own the shops along Oxford Street, and they have no idea what else is on their street. Says a lot about human nature doesn't it? Where we often don't take notice of what is in our own backyard.)

Anyway, we eventually found the cinema, after getting thoroughly confused and unsure of ourselves, not to mention being about 15 minutes late, at the other end of Oxford Street. 1 Oxford Street started on both ends of Oxford Street. How confusing is that?

The good thing though, was the fact that we arrived about 2 minutes just before it started. And boy was it amazing.

There were some really amazing news photos covering things from miners in Australia and China, the occupation of Fallujah, the conflict along the Thailand-Burma border to the tsunami on Boxing Day 2004.

They were newsworthy. They were interesting. They told so many stories in just one shot alone. And best of all, these were good photos. Photos with amazing composition, framing and angles. Photos that captured the moment. Photos that wrenched your heart. Photos that made you smile. Photos that actually made you feel.

Photos that made me wonder why I chose not to take up a module in photojournalism while in college.

For those of you in Sydney, tonight's the last screening, although it'll most likely come back next year.

But for those in Melbourne, it opens on August 30 and will continue on to September 3.

If you have any interest in photography, news, media, or even the world around you at all, I strongly urge you to catch it.

Considering I'm going to be in Melbourne during those dates, I'm contemplating catching it again. Provided I can actually get away from work...

Tuesday, 23 August 2005

For those who have decided that it's quality of life that matters and that the rat race is not for them, it turns out there's a whole support network happening.

Not only that, choosing to back away from the consumerism lifestyle has a brilliant and beautiful ripple effect (can you tell I've been watching the 4400?) as well.
Finding more time for self, family, friends, and community has the potential to catalyse a social and environmental renaissance in Australia. More quality time has the potential to allow more reflection on consumer society. This could evolve into an increasing awareness and activism in social, environmental, cultural, spiritual and political spheres.
oh my goodness! more than a month after my birthday and I still get to feel special!

I got the most amazing package from one of my favouritest feeder in the mail today!

Muffins, brownies, Asian snacks and curry paste galore! I feel myself gaining weight already! And thank goodness I didn't find any unidentified green mould growing on them. And in case you're wondering, all the foodstuffs was actually opened by Australian quarantine and passed!

I also got a vegetable peeler and a strange floppy spatula thing, of which I have no idea what the use is for, although hitting Kristin over the head with it seems rather appropriate.

What a welcome surprise during a week of immense stress.

Care packages from friends are such wonderful inventions...

I feel special all over again *grins*

Monday, 22 August 2005

three more days to Reportage.

one more week to the business session.

two more weeks to being bridesmaid on a beach in Fiji.

I feel the grin forming on my face already.

Thursday, 18 August 2005

I couldn't help but have a giggle when I read about Sweden's Living Library. (Yup, I'm back to reading the news for interesting stuff yet again.)

It is hoped a Swedish library project that allows people to "borrow" a human may provide useful insight into those with different beliefs, sexual orientation or lifestyles....It is not clear whether the library will impose late-fees if borrowers are late returning their loans.
It's a real great idea, this attempt to address discrimination and misunderstanding. If people actually take time to listen to other people's beliefs, prejudices may be diminished.

But will people actually be bothered to "borrow" these people?

Would prejudiced people be happy to retain their prejudices, instead of actively seeking to understand others?

And how weird would it be, to rock up to the librarian and go "hmmm...can I borrow...him?"

And what if the person on loan never gets borrowed? What would happen to his/her frail ego?

What if I borrowed someone and decided to keep him? Heh heh...
I am stressed. Very stressed.

I've got no one to blame except myself really.

Like my mum says (constantly, at that), I set extremely high standards for myself and demand too much from myself.

And it's true, because honestly, no one's putting any pressure on me except me.

My boss isn't expecting miracles, but I am.

I have nothing else to say, really. Besides a feeble attempt to keep this blog alive and remind myself that I'm expecting too much from myself.

And a lame excuse to put up a photo of colourful art supplies, something I have a real weakness for (not that I can draw to save my life).

At least I'm going to have a real holiday in Fiji immediately after the business meeting. I couldn't have timed it better myself.

For the moment, I need to learn how to relax...

Monday, 15 August 2005

i am vegetarian, and largely due to animal rights reasons. But somehow, this doesn't appeal to me AT ALL.

the thought going through my head is not "cool, now I get to eat meat!" but more like "eeeeeuuuwwwww".
I am getting so dazed and confused it even shows on my face and voice.

Jeanelle walked into my office with a concerned look on her face, wondering if I was ok.

I had a guy on the phone asking if I was alright after I started talking to him for about 10 seconds.

Have basically been spending the last few hours surfing the Net, reading the various online newspapers, finding news relating to or produced by various Christian denominations all around the world. All that clicking, reading and jotting down of notes must have gotten to me.

Am doing this for the business meeting at the end of the month. Trying to find out what the important news are right now, in which our world church leader can comment on. Pitching stories, making news. That's what I'm supposed to be doing right now.

Which made it really interesting when I stumbled (well, not really stumbled. I visit this site regularly) across this article. Excerpt:
I did a research paper a few years ago on the media theory known as Agenda Setting. It basically asserts that the public views the relative importance of news issues by the frequency with which they see them in the media. The Tsunami disaster was all over the news for weeks, and thus people grew concerned and viewed the issue as important, even personal. Similarly devastating events like the Sudan crisis, however, received next to no coverage in the media. Thus, if you ask the person on the street how important the Sudanese plight is to them, they might respond with “Is Sudan one of those AIDS countries?”
Which means that technically, what I'm researching on right now most likely isn't the most important news per se. Just something the media happened to be interested in.

No wonder I'm beginning to get a little frustrated about the statements I feel the church should make but can't because, well, the media isn't interested, which translates to the fact that the rest of the world isn't.

Tuesday, 9 August 2005

I feel like I need to hug a tree. Maybe two.

Thankfully I don't walk pass many trees on my way home. I'm afraid of what they would do to me.

For anybody who knows me, I'm always advocating recycling. I refuse to throw away a piece of paper until I have scribbled extensively on both sides.

"Think about the trees!" I would exclaim to friends who mindlessly waste paper.

I have just singlehandedly killed a whole forest. Well, maybe not a whole forest, but whatever number of trees it takes to produce 400 sheets of paper.

In light of the business meeting we have at the end of the month, I have to produce a daily newsletter. I was printing out the template for the newsletter today. I checked and double-checked to make sure that everything was ok before I hit "print 400 copies".

At the end of the 400th copy, I pick up a piece and staring right at me was "Wednesday August 3 2005".

It should have been "Wednesday August 31 2005".

All 400 copies are now rendered useless as I would need to reprint ones with the correct date on them.

My heart hurts so bad it's not funny. I feel terrible...

Where's that tree?

Monday, 8 August 2005

*sniff* Nobody loves me anymore...

In anticipation of the crazy schedule I was going to have ahead of me, I thought I'd better make a couple of phonecalls to my mother and a dear friend.

Either they're both avoiding me or my phonecard's out to suck me dry of my twenty-cent coins. I really hate calling long-distance using a public phone. And the phonecard I have isn't the best one in the world (besides the fact that it does give me a really good per minute rate when I actually get connected).

It's like three strikes and I'm out.

I put in forty cents to get a connection with the phonecard company. It tells me to dial the overseas number. I dial the number. I get an engaged tone. I try again. Engaged. I try again. Engaged. And the stupid recorded voice on the other line goes "Sorry, we are unable to complete your request at this time. Please try again." And promptly disconnects me.

So being the idiot that I am, I put in forty cents again to get a connection. I dial the number. I get an engaged tone. I try a different number. She isn't home, I hang up. I dial another number. Engaged. And I get the stupid recorded voice and get disconnected again.

What if I happen to like dialing numbers that are engaged on the other side?

What if I happen to have more than one person I would like to talk to that night?

What if I could have talked to a living breathing person on my fourth attempt?

I guess I'll never know.

Stupid phonecard...
the stress levels are rising. The heart rate is increasing.

2.5 weeks before the business meeting of my church commences.

Media work, public relations, organising an exhibition, decorating the entire venue...this is going to be my biggest project for the year. (Although, the Circle of Courage probably does come close.)

Don't be surprised if my posts become more infrequent than they already are. My mind is so consumed with thoughts of the meeting that it doesn't have space to ponder about other things.

I can't wait for it to happen though. Because the sooner it happens, the sooner it ends. And the sooner it ends, the sooner I get to go to Fiji!

By the way, for anybody wondering, I managed to leave King's Cross last night relatively unscathed. David tried to give me away, but did not succeed. I think the bouncers were afraid I'd be bad for business.

Saturday, 6 August 2005

my gosh, what a full on weekend.

Did a lightning trip to Avondale this Sabbath. Got up at an insane time of 6.30am to go to church up at Cooranbong with the Thieles. I'm surprised I'm still awake at this hour.

Had a rather funny incident at church where a little boy grabbed hold of my hand without looking, thinking I was his mother. The look of absolute terror on his face when he finally saw whose hands he grabbed was a classic.

Only just got back and will be meeting up with a friend for lunch tomorrow. Am actually looking forward to that actually. We're going back to the cafe bookshop in Glebe with the live band. Should be pretty interesting. Especially when meeting up with an old friend whom I haven't met for almost 3 years!

In the evening, David, ordained pastor, Theology lecturer and all, will be taking Sharona (his own daughter) and I to King's Cross, the red light district of Sydney to "explore".

But honestly, if there ceases to be any more entries after this post, please report me as a missing person to the police. After all, David has threatened to sell me, and that he would do it at night since he would get a better price in the dark.

Tuesday, 2 August 2005

I haven't even completed the first chapter of Roaring Lambs and I'm already wanting to rave and rant about the book. Excerpt:
For despite all the fancy buildings, sophisticated programs, and highly visible presence, it is my contention that the church is almost a nonentity when it comes to shaping culture. In the arts, entertainment, media, education, and other culture-shaping venues of our country, the church has abdicated its role as salt and light.

Culturally, we are lambs. Meek, lowly, easily dismissed cuddly creatures that are fun to watch but never a threat to the status quo.

It's time for those lambs to roar.
It especially hit home for me, considering I'm currently working for the church, when he said:
We have created a phenomenal subculture with our own media, entertainment, educational system, and political hierarchy so that we have the sense that we're doing a lot. But what we've really done is create a ghetto that is easily dismissed by the rest of society.
How true is that? Recently, I've found myself completely immersed in a culture that has its own media centre, its whole network of schools and heck, I'm even going for the church's business meeting at the end of the month.

I feel extremely removed from main culture. My non-Christian friends largely live in Singapore, friendships that I established before I became Christian.

In Australia, having graduated from a college owned by my church and currently working for the church, I hardly have any non-Christian friends.

I don't feel relevant anymore. And yet, it's not easy for me to make new friends, especially those who don't hold the same belief system as I do. My entire social life circles around church stuff (and I have enough problems making friends in those circles)!

Something needs to change.

Monday, 1 August 2005

It was such a beautiful day at Ettalong. The sky was a cloudless blue, the sun was shining, the water clear, the speaker engaging, the company was a really nice day out.

The food (minus the dodgy apple strudel) was really good, although it would appear that pumpkin was going for cheap when the chef went shopping.

Managed to provide some entertainment of the day as the nine young single females of the office decided to sit at one table together during lunch. There was a spare seat available, but we couldn't find a brave soul to fill it.

We had so many people coming pass our table teasing us, but our revenge was sweet. By the end of the meal, we had folks coming to our table commenting that we seemed to be the table that had the most fun, emitting hearty laughter.

It was a day of constant eating. Morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea...and then we ended up at an Italian restaurant for dinner that evening to celebrate Leah's birthday.

Has anybody tried a Italian Hot Ciok? It is like hot melted chocolate that leans towards a pudding and most heavenly. And also so sweet that none of us could finish the cup we had.

I didn't go to bed till 2am on Saturday. Not because I was out partying. My stomach was simply so full that I could not sleep.
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