Archived entries for personal

New years resolutions

Too many windowsI can’t put my finger on exactly when this began, but my hyperactive brain currently works in such a way that when I’m sitting in front of the computer and think of something that I need to do, I have to start it straight away regardless of whatever else I’m doing. Say I’m in the middle of answering e-mails and it occurs to me to check to see whether my Internet banking payment has gone through, I have to immediately open a browser and open the bank’s Web site. Then I remember that I have to ask a colleague about something, and I open a chat window, and so on, and so forth in this fashion until I have about 50 things open at once. (And then I complain that my computer is too slow or doesn’t have enough memory…)

My excuse is that if I don’t then I’m going to forget, but the unfortunate side effect is that these tasks in my head all cry out for attention, which makes me wonder sometimes whether this is what schizophrenia feels like. It has also all but killed my attention span, meaning every time I have to wait for a Web page to load, or a program to open, I switch over to the next window and start working on something else instead.

I’m sure this isn’t healthy.

For one thing, when I’m at home with no urgent chores or other pressing agenda I’ll almost always end up playing videogames because that’s the first thing that comes to mind to do. It might even be revealing that I tend to prefer genres that involve quests and achievements – i.e. role playing, real-time strategy, platform and adventure games. Do this! Go there! Fetch that! It’s an endless stream of tasks that make me feel… occupied.

Then I remember that it’s been several weeks since I last published a post on any of my blogs, and I realise something that is endemic to my behavioural situation: I rarely finish anything because I’m constantly being distracted by something else. I never find the time to sit down with an idea long enough to nurture it past conception, but then find myself being constantly frustrated that my labour bears no fruit. I’m not just talking about tasks, but also relationships as well – most of my relationships are conducted online – I only make time for people who are on Facebook. God forbid you should try and meet me for a coffee or something, ‘coz there could be 300 other people whose tweets, status posts or IMs I’m missing out on while you’re selfishly consuming my time.

So here’s the deal. I realise it’s kinda late for resolutions, but for the rest of this year I resolve to:

  • Make more time for people. I don’t mean being more personable, but actually taking the effort to connect with people, both the ones who have actually been actively trying to reach out to me, as well as those who I’ve lost contact with as a result of my aggressive negligence.
  • Go deeper. I’m gonna stop wondering why my half-assed ideas aren’t getting anywhere, and actually do something about it. One key change I need to make is to stop being my own biggest critic, and spend less time trying to be awesome. So what if things end up failing or resulting in a dead end?
  • Break free of limitations. Over the last few months we went through a bit of a lean period financially. Don’t get the wrong idea though; this was a “rich man’s problem” which deserves no pity, but I digress. Instead of focusing on what I stand to lose, I must make a conscious effort to take bigger risks – to think of it not as loss but sacrifice, even if it is nothing more than fuel for the great hamster wheel that life can be sometimes.

There may be more, but that’s a start.

Wong-Wong (nee Hong) in Hong Kong

We had a fantastic time on our recent trip. We did loads of shopping (I think I’ve got enough socks and undies to last the rest of my life) and I gained 2kgs from all the endless eating that we did. Of course I bought a bunch of Transformers, and you should know better than to expect that I’d post about it here instead of making a separate dedicated post :-)

Dunno whether it was just being away from home, and all the stress that is here, or the hardcore retail therapy and excellent food, or the safety of being “parented” by my awesome mum and dad while we were there, but Jenny’s blues also took a holiday.

We also went on a tour of Seoul, but joined a really crappy tour, so I’d say that I’ve experienced Korea only very barely. The other Honkies on the tour decided that they were more interested in shopping, so at every non-shopping destination we arrived at, they’d take the obligatory photo and get straight back on the bus, leaving us to always be the stragglers. The “Korean” tour guide was also an idiot, constantly taking pot-shots at Jenny being an ex-pat despite the fact that she herself was from Hong Kong and had only lived in Seoul for 6 years, making outrageous claims about how she was more Korean than my wife. Grr… I’ll stop there before I get even more angry. Suffice to say, she was full of bull, and spent more time talking about herself than the country.

We did manage to get some time away from the tour to visit Jenny’s relatives, and they cooked us up a super Korean feast! Beat the heck out of the crappy food we were getting from the stupid tourist restaurants that the tour took us to.

Back in Hong Kong, we did some more last minute shopping, and finally managed to get across to the Hong Kong side, having only explored Kowloon up to that point! 2 weeks definitely wasn’t enough, and like how I’d dearly love to revisit Japan, Jenny now wants to make Hong Kong her home away from home!

A few pics below. More over at Flickr.

My awesome parents, Anthony and Roseline Wong

Stinky tofu!

Climbing up the stairs to the Big Buddha

Shelf sufficient

It just occurred to me that we have a lot of bookshelves around the house. It’s not only because we have a lot of books (we do), but because bookshelves seem to have become the de facto storage type for everything.

We have a tall, skinny one which has all of our shoes and shoeboxes, a few Ikea jobs for DVD’s, CD’s and games, and a half-height one that a previous landlord kindly gave me acting as a chest of drawers for my clothes.

Then there’s the big looming black things in the dining area that we’re borrowing from the owners of our current place, which are supposed to be display cabinet-type things, but they’re really nothing more than bookshelves with glass doors (and it’s where I keep our cookbooks anyway).

Now to find somewhere to put all the books…

Sorry, you ring the Wong number…

The Cable GuyA strange thing happened just now. I got a call from a couple who had just bought a new Sony TV, and apparently there was a sticker on there with my surname and mobile phone number handwritten on it. My job was to supposedly show them how to install the TV/DVD/Austar channel or something!

Fortunately, they were nice enough about it, and humoured me while I asked them various questions so that I might have a chance at finding who has my details and why they are telling people to contact me for TV servicing. They did mention that they bought the TV from Betta Electrical, and a glimmer of memory presented itself.

About 4 years ago, when I first moved to Sydney, I bought an “open box” TV. That is, it was only used for a couple of days at a conference or something, then put back into the box and sold. There was an ad in the newspaper which I responded to. Not sure why after all these years they’ve “promoted” me to TV guy. Maybe it’s a sign that I should change careers…

Yes, it finally happened

On Saturday 18th March 2006, I proposed to Jenny. She responded in the affirmative, and so now we are engaged! For those who are interested, I’ve included the details leading up to the event below – from my point of view, anyway. It was very hastily written just before leaving work, so expect it to be constantly rewritten as I start remembering various details here and there, and pick out my own spelling and grammar problems, as well as other nitpicky things.

The engagement ringThis, friends, is the fruit of my labours. Towards the end of last year, I started shopping around for a diamond. Being a child of the information era, my search started and ended on the Internet. The rock itself came from the Diamond Exchange, recommended by Dillon, and was selected by me based on a very stringent set of criteria. Being a total geek (and a man), size didn’t matter as much as the specifications. For those not in the know, diamonds can generally be categorized by the four C’s (Carat, Colour, Clarity and Cut) After some lengthy deliberations, I settled on the following:

Carat: 0.52 ct
Colour: E
Clarity: VVS1
Cut: Ideal+ Hearts and Arrows

“Hearts and Arrows” just means that the diamond is perfectly symmetrical. There are a whole bunch of other specs that apply for Cut, like pavilion depth, table width, etc. etc. but suffice to say that the one I chose was a good cut. At the end of the day, it just means that the diamond will look “brighter”.

After I received the diamond, it was time to get it set. Going from another recommendation by Juan and Glenda, I went to see Ron Crisp with nothing more than a couple of printouts of some solitaire engagements rings that I looked up on the Internet. The Tiffany setting was probably the nicest clawed setting I could find (bezel = NO!!!), so I went with that, and chose a custom band ‘coz I didn’t like the angular look of the Tiffany one. The “shoulder” (how it starts out as a knife edge after the setting, but smoothing down to a round edge as it goes around) was suggested by Ron and it turned out really nice.

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