Tuesday, January 29, 2008

A bit of that feeling we want

Image snagged from A Perfect Event, something that captures a bit of the kind of mood we want at the wedding...
High energy cocktail receptions are the new sit-down dinner – The predictable reception gets a boost with less traditional seating, no large dining tables and no served meal. A swanky, chic, cocktail-type reception features action chef stations, like hand-rolled sushi, Spanish tapas, Asian fusion, and more.

Huge square or round bars in the center of the reception are white hot—and the perfect place to showcase specialty drinks, with custom-printed drink menus on each side of the bar. A signature cocktail is color-coordinated, of course, to the wedding colors.


Monday, January 28, 2008

Marriage Preparation Course (part 1)

We finally attended our Marriage Prep Course, organized by Fei Yue.
There seems to be a surplus of dingy Middle Road office complexes concealing surprisingly well-maintained facilities inside, and our course was held inside one of these. 12 couples, one family-life educator (and I must confess, quite a well-spoken one, I was impressed). The course itself was quite useful as well, and I'd recommend it to any couple intending to get married. It certainly gave me a new viewpoint on many topics. I'm sure that for some couples, it would let them know that maybe they're not quite ready for marriage. And for others, it would prepare them better for a lifetime together.
My two main learning points from the first day of the course:

Why marry?
This is a doozy, but marriage is a commitment that goes far beyond love and lust, friendship and sex. So Chris (the FLE) is asking, is marriage definitely part of our life plan? My initial thought was, no, I don't have to get married. If I didn't meet KeY, and I never met another suitable girl, I'm perfectly content living life without ever getting married.
So - why get married? Love doesn't demand marriage..
And my answer - imperfect as it may be - is that I want to bind our lives together. To make that commitment before the whole world, legally, morally, in every way, to say that we are in this for the long haul. It's not a perfect promise, but in principle it's better than just telling KeY that I'll spend the rest of my life with her.

I don't know myself well at all
This is admittedly a strange lesson to come out from a marriage preparation course, but they kept asking us to rate ourselves and rate each other on various aspects. eg - Realist vs optimist, skeptic vs trusting etc. And I find I can't really answer the questions, even without having to worry about comparing with KeY's answers. I have a certain nature, yet my brain has overridden it at many levels. There's a saying about being comfortable enough with your loved ones to be yourself - I'm not sure I'm even comfortable with myself to be myself.


Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Reading: PS I Love You

KeY read this book and loved it a lot. Apparently she sniffed her way through the book... So now I'm the one s'posed to read it....

Friday, January 18, 2008

Books Read: The No-Asshole Rule

This book was not as good as it could have been, somehow. The book was not deficient in any particular way. It was well-organized, like a lesson plan, moving from describing assholes to how they damage their surroundings to why they should be kept out (ie the No-Asshole Rule) to how to defeat them etc... It was well-written, with no editorial gaffes (better than I can say for my blog articles) and some dry wit and word play (like "time wounds all heels").

Yet I lost interest halfway through the second chapter, while Sutton was still describing some of the assholes.

Basically, the central idea of the book was originally written up in a short article form, and that's how much meat there was. When expanded to a full (and not very thick but still not a short story length) book he ended up padding the book with lots of examples and illustrations. If it had been meat I could have kept reading, and if it had been engaging fluff I could have kept reading, but in this case - well - I understood the rule pretty well, thank you, and that was pretty much the end for the book for me.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Death by Tray

Ridiculously funny Youtube... :>

Now reading: The No-Asshole Rule

The title got me first.
Then the author sounded familiar.
And then I read the bookback and thought, this should be interesting.

The search for Home: Part I - The first time

I reached a new milestone in life yesterday - my first time to view a house to consider buying it for myself.

It was a very strange experience. I tried to keep in mind all the principles which my shrewd mom had tried to drill into my mind from my youth. Things like, not seeming too enthusiastic to buy the place. Otherwise they'll charge you more. Criticize any shortcomings you find. So that they'll think you're not so keen.

Well - lol. No, my mom is not the hard-bitten cynic I'm painting her to be. But she had mentioned these things, and I was keeping them in my mind. So blame it on me, not my upbringing.

I'm naturally quite a positive person (except when I'm playing devil's advocate). And when I'm in this house, I'm thinking, wow, it's clean, it's spacious, no damn it's huge! If I'd gone to my friend's place and this was it, I'd be like, whoa, nice place you got here man. And I'd look past things like how the flat was old, how there was no aircon installed, how little wind there was.

But now, these were all the things that I was looking out for. Hmm.. no oven. Yeah, the floorboard is nice, but... Well, it's so windy outside, but so stuffy here, even though all the windows are open, you know?

And at the end of the day, guess what? Well, I didn't really like the place wonderfully - not enough, at any rate, to pay big buckets of cash I was still hoping to earn for it. Good thing, right? Not to overpay for a not-too-fantastic place. And yes, that is a good outcome.

I'm just wondering, whether I'll ever look at other people's homes the same way ever again.

Books read: Microtrends

Just finished reading Microtrends: The Small Forces Behind Tomorrow's Big Changes, by Mark Penn. It's an entertaining read, full of conversational fodder which you can use to seem really wise in all kinds of situations - from when you're trying to entertain good friends at dinner, to when you're trying to impress those people you just met five minutes ago at a cocktail dinner.

The book is also an easy read. The microtrends themselves are in bite-size chunks, so I can catch one trend in about five minutes while waiting for a friend, three more in the twenty minutes on the bus, and so on. And those small little chunks are themselves very entertaining little slices of life, focusing on the little minutiae which make that micro-group so counter-intuitive and interesting.

So, a good read? Yes.

I'm just not so sure it's useful, nutritional stuff.

Thing is, I don't feel any cleverer or smarter. Most of the little microtrend factoids within just seem to be interesting titbits, but they won't help me to live a better life, nor assist me to come up with a better business (even if Penn seems to pitch it that way sometimes, talking about new business niches all the time).

In the end I would say, it's kind of like the book equivalent of fast food french fries.