Friday, April 30, 2010

Envy and jealousy

I had a great conversation with a friend the other day about an issue that used to bother me a lot. I've been noticing that some people resent you for achieving success. This struck me to the core, because I've been taught since I was young to rejoice at others' success and happiness. Unfortunately, the reality of life is different: people seem to envy and hate you and will seek every opportunities to undermine you instead. Whatever you're up to, bothers them. It is sad, but true.

Then, I came upon this great article by Hellomynameisscott on How to make people hate you (unintentionally :). His story clearly sums up what I've been discussing with my friend, in that people around you can hate you for:

  • being happy and successful in what you do;
  • being more educated and cultured;
  • saying the truth that they are not ready to accept;
  • voicing your honest opinion to them about them;
  • daring to be different from them;
  • having a different mentality from them;
  • breaking the conventional rule.
Knowing that people around me hate me for being who I am bothered me at one point, and for some time I was not able to sleep soundly. I've always considered them as sisters but the feeling was not reciprocated (no discrimination intended... I learned that jealousy usually happens around women of all ages). Soon enough I learned to retrieve myself more and not wanting to reveal too much on what is happening to me, although sometimes they may have been informed about my updates indirectly. I guess this made them hate me more.

After some time, I've managed to clear my mind and rather than becoming one of them, i.e. seek for revenge or hatred, I now have pity for their "underclass" mentality. I'm not worth being a human being if I let them continue to influence my emotions with such ease. They are who they are, I cannot change them, but I still respect them. Let them be miserable in their own miserable world. Karma will get to them sooner or later. I slowly learned to take their words as ghostly winds. In a way, I thank them for teaching me to be stronger and more diplomatic although I'm far away from mastering it.

In relation to this topic, there's a movie that I've always been wanting to watch: Amadeus (1984)... but haven't have the chance yet :(

I will always have gratitude for my DP, DH, teachers and close friends for their patience and support in my development of being a better and bigger person.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Singing Under the Tunnel

Have you ever tried to sing while going under a tunnel? DH was driving while listening to Lady Gaga's Bad Romance on the radio. In the middle of the song, we reached a tunnel and decided to "continue" Bad Romance. "Ra ra ah ah ah Roma Roma-ma"... we wanted to see if we got to the same melody when we're on the other side of the tunnel. Youuhooo... we matched the melody... after a few struggles!

The power of repetition... you see it in TV advertisements, constant replays of songs on the radio, etc.

Friday, April 23, 2010

The Boxer

The Boxer by Simon & Garfunkel

was reinterpreted by Lee Dewyze AI9 (top 7) this week. It brought back good memories... and I'd say I very much prefer Lee Dewyze's version, hehe.



I am just a poor boy
Though my story's seldom told
I have squandered my resistance
For a pocket full of mumbles such are promises
All lies and jests
Still a man hears what he wants to hear
And disregards the rest

When I left my home and my family
I was no more than a boy
In the company of strangers
In the quiet of the railway station running scared
Laying low, seeking out the poorer quarters
Where the ragged people go
Looking for the places only they would know

Lie la lie ...

Asking only workman's wages
I come looking for a job
But I get no offers,
Just a come-on from the whores on Seventh Avenue
I do declare, there were times when I was so lonesome
I took some comfort there

Lie la lie ...

Then I'm laying out my winter clothes
And wishing I was gone
Going home
Where the New York City winters aren't bleeding me
Bleeding me, going home

In the clearing stands a boxer
And a fighter by his trade
And he carries the reminders
Of ev'ry glove that layed him down
Or cut him till he cried out
In his anger and his shame
"I am leaving, I am leaving"
But the fighter still remains

Lie la lie ...

Selective Sepia - Photoshop

In continuing with my quest to experiment with the vast possibilities of what Photoshop can do for my photos, I've found more great tutorial sites, yoohoo!!

So far, I've learned the basics of layers and sharpening photos (yeah I know I'm crawling... at one thousandth of Photoshop's potential, hehe). The most fun tutorial was on Selective Sepia (photoshoptutorials.ws), where you can choose to highlight a specific color in a photo, while the rest turns gray.

In this photo, I've attempted to highlight red color only (without Overlay)... while the yellow turns gray:

pei-pa-koa_001a

With Overlay:

pei-pa-koa_002

Here's the original picture:

pei-pa-koa_001

Dream incorporation

This morning, my cell phone alarm went on, but my mind interpreted the noise as part of my dreams. So I continued with my deep sleep, while wondering to myself, in the dream, why nobody picked up the phone.

The alarm repeated itself every 5 minutes since nobody confirmed or snoozed it in the real world. Half an hour later, I woke up... and realized that I was late.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Soda-lime glass

I'm thinking of deleting my other blog, and will transfer some of my posts to the current one. Here's one of the posts:

A clear glass teapot set from Y.W.Y.

The material is Borosilicate glass, which contains at least 5% of boric oxide and makes them resistant to high temperature. This type of glass requires greater heat to produce and is popular for laboratory glassware.

clear glass teapot teaset 1

clear glass teapot teaset 2

Soda-lime glass is a cheaper material than Borosilicate to produce most kitchenware or glass bake-ware.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Pei Pa Koa

Ever since I was young, I've loaded medication. There's only one type that I don't mind taking when I'm sick, it's the "King To Nim Jiom Pei Pa Koa" or natural herbal syrup for coughs.

pei-pa-koa_001

It tastes like honey with a tinge of menthol that cools your throat.

The brand hasn't changed its packaging. There's a 60's design look on it, which strangely brings back good childhood memories, at least for me, of my parents giving me Pei Pa Koa with warm water before tucking me into bed at night... zzz zzz

pei-pa-koa_002

Monday, April 19, 2010

Life is full of choices

FRIM2

Sometimes, life has its strange twists and turns. One event leads you to another. What first appears to be bad news may turn out to be a good one after all, but you'd most likely realize it with time.

Decisions to be made... which path will you take?

FRIM3

Sometimes, the results are not what you would expect. My best bet would be to avoid the struggle, and yield to the opportunity. As much as I want to believe that my destiny is in my own hands, I do firmly feel that whatever happens, happens for a reason... and I have faith that it's for good reasons.

FRIM1

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

How to reduce size with Photoshop

On Tuesday, I've posted my first two pictures, re-sized, cropped and watermark with Photoshop. Previously, I've been using Microsoft Paint and Microsoft Office Picture Manager, and I'm glad to announce that I won't go back to them anymore!

With Photoshop, the picture did not lose loss less of its quality after being compressed (Update: editing RAW is best to keep the image quality). Mind you that I did not edit the image sharpness or color... shamefully to say, because I still don't know how. Ha! It's good in a way, because I always prefer a non-edited picture (unless it is to add emotions to it). IMO, a good photo should look great when the photographer shoots it, and not after he/she edits it, right?

Okay, so here's the process. After searching high and low on the net, it's so far the best and easiest tutorial I found (for beginners :), with simple instructions, large picture samples with red circles and comments: designboom.com/optmize_tutorial.html

Remark: this method is for posting pictures on the web.
  • Under Image Size, set the resolution to 72 pixels/inch;
  • Then, set the size to maximum width 600 pixels x maximum height 800 pixels;
  • Finally, under File, select Save for Web (I kept quality to 100% though).
Here's an image that has been cropped, resized and watermarked with MS:


The same image, using Photoshop... notice that the image is much clearer, i.e. image quality almost intact. You can see the difference if you look at Chicken Little's feet... they are blur in the picture above.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Flax seed and black sesame seed

A few years ago, mom told me about the health benefits of flax seed and black sesame seed. She first read about it from a health magazine I gave her, and she followed through for at least a year before sharing with me that these seeds really work wonder! Lol!

flax seed

For online information about the health benefits of flax seed, refer to this link from flaxcouncil.ca. I keep my flax seeds in an airtight container, and will usually grind it (for better absorption) before incorporating it (1 T.) with my morning cereal or yogurt. You can also add 1 T. raisin and/or 1 T. fresh or dried cranberries.

black sesame seed

More about benefits of sesame seed: en.wikipedia.org, a good source of iron, magnesium, and calcium. Interestingly, sesame seed is rich in copper, which can help reduce pain and swelling of rheumatoid arthritis.

Hmmm... no wonder mom's pain and swelling decreased significantly after she diligently took grind black sesame seed for a year (mom's spring allergy symptoms have also reduced). Of course, she followed a healthy diet combined with weight training and exercise. She took calcium pills prescribed by her doctor, but did not take any other medication, as we believe that natural food have specific health benefits, and we prefer them generally over conventional artificial medication.

This is only an observation, so you better read more about it and consult your physician.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Unsolicited Advice

I was raised to give and receive advices. With my family and close friends, we like to read, watch and share interesting information, mainly about health, books, and life philosophy. We don't react negatively to advices, even to acquaintances or strangers, unless it is unreasonable of course.

For the past year, I've come to realize that not everyone take unsolicited advices positively. They think it is rude and that the advice giver is arrogant (I'm still surprised to have learned about this). Even though it is genuinely to be helpful, they will harbor ill feelings against you. I noticed that most of the time, they will not let you finish your sentence and will quickly change subject. I guess, they are more likely to listen if they'd paid for it... there's nothing wrong about that, well good for them! It is sad that they feel annoyed, but it is the truth. Different people have different values in life. What works for one may not work for another. That will be the lesson learned.

A new rule I should live by: NEVER GIVE UNSOLICITED ADVICE!!! Even asked, I will most likely decline. Most of them probably want to vent their problems, which is common, so I'd better give them my sympathy instead, and learn to shut my mouth.

I will, however, remain true to my family and close friends, with whom we share common values. And because I am still myself, I will always welcome advices without grudges :)

Blogging is fortunately in the safe zone, as it is meant for readers who are interested and searched for the information.


This picture was taken a while ago, while traveling by car. It is amazing how the colors came out nicely behind the front window, without color alterations... I still do not know how to use Photoshop with ease (it's harder than baking!!!)... I'm learning like a turtle.