I love Disney but I love Pixar more and Disney is ruining Pixar for me 😦 Hmph!!

Over the weekend I watched Brave.  I was looking forward to it.  Unlike the usual Pixar library, the protagonist is a girl.  That should have been the first warning sign.  You know why?  Pixar doesn’t make films about princesses.  Disney does.

Honestly, this was a Disney movie that should have been called Mother Bear.  It was not a Pixar film.

Technically, Pixar is one of the more advance studios in the world but what is great about Pixar are their stories.  Brave was no example of their story telling prowess.  It’s a beautiful showcase of their ability to animate hair and wet hair at that!!  The story though … dismal, is all I can say.

It is one of Disney’s Princess movies.  Nothing wrong with that … ‘cept this was suppose to be a Pixar film.  So I was expecting the likes of Up, Monsters Inc, Wall-E, Toy Story … you know what I mean.  Anyway, the modern 21st century princess stories from Disney irritates me.  Why do these princesses all have to be such spoilt brats?  Also, I don’t know why the movie was called Brave.  There was nothing brave about the story at all.  It was essentially about a brat learning that you can’t always have what you want, if you try too hard you might lose your Mummy!!

So my 2cents about Brave, you can honestly give it a miss.  The beautiful way they could animate the hair wasn’t even worth it.  Wet hair bouncing isn’t quite the same as transforming robots.  I’m not giving up on Pixar just yet.

I really hope Disney keeps her talons off this one.


It’s been a couple of months since I started my Say NO to Multitasking campaign.  It has been productive here and there and it is true when my Popo told me I shouldn’t be watching TV and reading at the same time, I shouldn’t have.  You don’t actually do either very well.  I’ve learnt that multitasking is the great way I distract myself.  I think I’m being more efficient but really, I’m stuffing my state of mind with so many things that I don’t focus on what matters.

I multitask to procrastinate.

It’s terrible habit and one I’ve acquired as a young child.  That means changing it now is proving to be more difficult than I had hoped.  Every time I have to do something that is low on my personal priority list … usually because it’s boring or I have to be tough to someone else to get it done or it takes too much effort to do, I’ll do it while multitasking i.e. procrastination in action!!

Now that I am aware of why I multitask.  When I realise I’m multitasking, I assess the task at hand, one that I so don’t want to do.  Figure out why and break it down to smaller do-able bits.  Some days it’s good and I feel on top of the world and no one can stop me!!  Some days … are just Mondays and I want to scroll through pictures of my munchkins coz they make me smile 🙂

Doing that and proof reading really gets neither done effectively.  If you don’t tell anyone, here’s my plan – spend the next 15mins reliving the weekend and then the next hour and a half proof reading 🙂

Good luck for your week ahead!!

Say NO to Multitasking

I’m starting a new campaign – saying NO to multitasking.

In the last few weeks, my months of trying to do everything at the same time caught up with me.  I had a hunch it would and when it happened, I still resisted and didn’t want to believe I can’t do more than one thing at the same time.

I’m not sure what it is.  Maybe it’s getting older.  Maybe it’s becoming to reliant on technology.  Maybe it’s because I’m actually not as good as I think I am :p  The reason isn’t important anymore.  It’s what am I going to do to fix it.

Three sperate incidents where I clearly didn’t see what I should have and do what I would normally be proficient at has made me realise I need to say NO to multitasking.

It’s Day 1 and I’m happy to say there is progress.  Lunch break is now over and I’m going back to work 🙂

All We’ve Got

I love the Singapore public transport system.  It is a reflection of what we are really good at, being efficient and reliable.  I love the fact that in Singapore, I choose to take the bus or trains because it is a better alternative to driving.  So yah, I’m taking it a little personal when the people behind the system don’t seem to understand the urgency of what’s happening.  I’m not talking about complaining about how our lives are made inconvenient by delays.  Seriously, I agree take a chill pill, this happens in cities everywhere around the world.  In many cities, people factor delays into their already inefficient daily commutes.

My concern is this, like it or not, Singapore as a city we don’t have much but what we have is that we’re efficient, reliable and we make things work well.  Honestly, that’s pretty much all we have.  Once that starts to get eroded, I’m not sure what else is there.  We don’t have resources to allow us to be complacent and arrogant.  Innovation and culture are something we talk about rather than do.  So, yes, I’m worried.  If we don’t keep doing what we do well and get better at it, we are in serious trouble.

That’s my miff with the SMRT.  Also, the blame game that’s going on, it doesn’t help anyone.  Just find out what’s wrong and fix it.  I sure as hell hope that in the background people are working their ass off to make sure we do what we do well, happen again.

Breakdowns happen in London, in Tokyo, in New York, in Melbourne, in Vancouver and just because all these world class cities drop the ball doesn’t mean it’s ok that we do.  Then again … hang on … maybe this is all a good thing.  Once we can no longer be efficient and reliable, we may be forced to innovate and in desperate times art is cathartic and will flourish.

By golly, I’ve got it!!!  That’s how the other cities do it!!  Crap public transport systems force people to develop innovative and creative mindsets.  If how you normally get to where you go disappears, you got to think on your feet, move fast and figure it out.  In the midst of all that frustration sets in, you may even get a little depressed and we all know depression fuels the need to express.  Viola!!  That’s how culture is developed.

It all makes sense now.  The conspiracy theorist in me has joined the dots.  The SMRT breakdowns are a part of a bigger plan.  Singapore – a first world country, we are on our way.

Trust no one.


A Dear John Letter

Dear Samsung Galaxy Ace,

It’s been about 6 months since we came into each other’s lives.  It was more of an arranged marriage rather than a giddy whirlwind romance.  I must admit, initially I was intrigued and wanted to see how we could work in each other lives.

Unfortunately, after 6 months I’m more sure than ever that it was a wrong match.  You don’t response well to my touch, my voice seems to send you into all the wrong directions and sometimes you go off without any provocation from me.  It’s clearly not working out.

So I’m leaving you for an ex, my reliable 3GS.  He served me well and in fact, even with the somewhat sexier 4S, I still have a soft spot for 3GS.  You can call me a sentimental fool but yes, I’m going back to my 3GS who may not have your bells and whistles but I can trust him.  At the end of the day, that’s all a girl needs.

Good luck and goodbye.

Yours Sincerely,

Post International Women’s Day

Yesterday was International Women’s Day.  Here’s how I celebrated it, I got up at 6:30am was on a conference call, went for meetings with my boss, did some more work and finished up about 8.  It’s a job I thoroughly enjoy and one that is the reason that getting up early is worth every minute of it.  I stand on the shoulders of many great women who paved the way so that I may have dreams and achieve them.  One of which is being able to build a career.

So it saddens me to be contemplating this post.

As far as I know, it is the 21st century and slavery has been outlawed so I’m thoroughly shocked about the out cry from the legislation of giving maids a day off.  Seriously?  We are a developed nation, are we not?

I have never directly employed a housekeeper so I really can’t say what they can possibly get up to on their off days but if they don’t act professionally, can’t you just fire them?  You would do that with an employee at work, right?  Another thing, if you don’t treat them professionally but like slaves, you are then surprise that they act like slaves and steal from you.  There can’t be any reason good enough that doesn’t warrant someone a day off, which could also mean she can stay home and not have you holler for her to do something.  Also, if this is how your boss in your office treats you, quit, it doesn’t give you the right to treat someone else like so.

To all the Singaporeans who can’t find in themselves to understand why a human being may need a day off, just imagine if it was your daughter, sister, wife or mother.

‘Nuff said, I can’t talk about this any more.  Singaporeans, please, we are truly made of better stuff than this.


The Abyss

I loved the James Cameron movie but I’m not quite sure how I feel being in one … … Clearing work emails over the weekend and thinking about work all the time, feels like I’m running my own company … except I’m not … I wonder if the stars have plans for me to be an entrepreneur … the real question is do I want to be one?

Meanwhile, I’m putting down lessons I learn or want to learn … maybe I can develop a niche with a blog that helps you deal with working in the office … kinda a Dilbert with practical purposes 🙂

This week I’m going to try and not be distracted by email and phone calls.  So starting today I’m dedicating half an hour every Monday morning to think STRATEGY i.e. important versus urgent.  I was inspired by an article I read and here’s the tips from

  1. Figure out what you’d like to think about. On your commute or during a quiet patch at night or on weekends, think through what are the big questions related to your career or organization. Choose one to start with.
  2. Gather any material you’ll need in advance. You do not want to search through your email to find a report… and then answer 10 other emails and follow a link to an interesting article your colleague sent and then, hey! Is it noon already?
  3. Seize the time. No one is going to say “Hey, here’s an hour where nothing else will happen!” You’re going to have to take the lead on this one. If you can leave your office during the day, go somewhere nearby and quiet. Do a work-from-home day or morning if that’s possible for you. If you have an office, shut the door. If you’re in a cube, reserve an empty conference room. Don’t bring your phone to be “available” if someone needs you. The point is to be unavailable.
  4. Start small. The hardest part about strategic thinking time is actually maintaining your focus. So you may need to take baby steps. For your first session, aim for 30 minutes truly focused on the question at hand. Set your watch. If your mind wanders, bring it back.
  5. Make it a habit. If you make it through 30 minutes, congratulate yourself. Then try again later in the week. If you manage to do three 30-minute sessions a week for several weeks in a row, aim bigger.

I’ll have an update on my progress :p

Where in the World is Carlene Tan?

That’s what a good friend SMS me the other day coz she said she gets her Carlene news from my blog, which has become Carlene’s Monthlies instead of dailies :p

It’s been an intense start of the year.  I really can’t quite believe it’s going to be March in a day.

So where have I been?

I can only liken the last few months of my life to a ball in a pinball machine.  I’m praying that this week is the last week of craziness … I have a hunch though … this craziness isn’t going to be over till mid April O___o

Meanwhile, here’s three monkeys a.k.a. my munchkins who keep me sane:-

Till the craziness tapers off, if I seem to have disappeared … it’s into an abyss called work and weddings :p  I haven’t actually really disappeared.

Thank you for your patience and I hope to get back to the regular programming as soon as I can 🙂

So stay tuned!!!