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Laugh at dogs that photobomb

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Photo credit: REDDIT ELVENDUDE

I laughed, when I saw this pic last week, and I laughed again, when I saw it in my phone’s photo album today. The innocent expressions are so hilarious and I don’t think the dogs had any idea what was going on. Innocence is so adorable!

There’s a series of photos here that you can view and laugh to your heart’s content, though I have no idea how many of them were photoshopped (some you can blatantly see they are fake).

On Saturday, I was accosted by a McDonald’s in-house staff who was recruiting bystanders on the street to join the fast food giant. It was the company’s country-wide recruitment day and I happened to walk past the restaurant at 9:30am on my way to get coffee. Lucky me. She took my friendly smile and eye contact for consent to come forward to pitch to me how great working at McDonald’s would be for me.

Holding onto a piece of paper illustrating the hourly wages (which were not a lot) and the overtime pay (also not a lot) in one hand, while holding onto my arm with the other, she said it’s a fun environment and I would learn many things and it’d be a good way to occupy my time. In my mind, I was thinking I didn’t know I look so relaxed and unburdened by work stress. Or maybe I look jobless? Or in need of a distraction?

She added that if I join the company, I could easily rise up the career ladder to become a store manager of McDonald’s within one year, because I am young, plus I can read and write. She then gestured to her store manager who was standing nearby pitching to some middle-aged housewives, saying that she had learned the ropes and climbed up the ranks within a short time, so I shouldn’t be afraid to try the job out, because I look like I can achieve anything. Should I be flattered? Hahaha!

She then looked at me so earnestly that I nearly wanted to put my name down on her list to help her meet her target. She tried sweetening the deal by saying I could just put my name down on the list first and decline to come for the interview later. But I resisted, despite my overwhelming desire to help, because I know I shouldn’t waste anyone’s time if I’m not interested. Ahem. So take note, young job seekers out there.

I have to admit though, I’m keen to find out how McDonald’s recruits and selects its staff. So one day, I might just walk in to the restaurant to apply for a job to test its processes on fairness and effectiveness. So erm… Watch out! I might just “photobomb” your recruitment someday!

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Laughter is the best drug

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Two or three weeks ago, I happened to turn on the TV one morning and an episode from Sex And The City was already playing halfway. I immediately settled down to watch it, because I secretly adore the show, even though I won’t tell anyone about it!

It was the second episode of the first season, so everything looked retro, even though it was only 1998 then. But it was still hilarious. It was about beautiful people, aka models, and whether dating them is a privilege or a chore (more like death sentence the way how it was portrayed in the show). And how less beautiful people, aka 99% of ordinary average-looking human beings, behave differently (feel insecure?) when they are around models. Hence, the title Models and Mortals.

The ending was particularly sweet. It was a conversation between Carrie Bradshaw and her Mr Big at the usual cafe that she writes her columns at.

Carrie typing on her laptop (VoiceOver): “I began to realise that being beautiful is like having a rent-controlled apartment overlooking the park — Completely unfair and usually bestowed upon those who deserve it least.”

Mr Big [walks into the cafe and slides into the booth where Carrie is at]: “I’m not interrupting your work, am I?”

Carrie: “Hey, what a surprise.”

Mr Big: “I can’t stay. I’m late for a meeting, but I’ve been thinking about your article on men who date models.”

Carrie: “What about them?”

Mr Big: “First of all, there are so many goddamn gorgeous women in this city.”

Carrie: “What an amazing observation.”

Mr Big: “But the thing is this … after a while, you just wanna be with the one that makes you laugh. Know what I mean?”

And Carrie couldn’t stop smiling after that. I guess she knew what Big meant? I didn’t really get the reference Carrie used in the beginning of the scene about the rent-controlled apartment. Maybe it’s a New York thing.

Anyway, my takeaway from this is that laughter is good. Being with someone who makes you laugh is better. Being able to laugh at the same things with that someone is even better. Being able to laugh at each other all the time? Now that’s gold.

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Lisa Kudrow’s epic speech on sexism

If you haven’t started watching the TV drama Scandal, you are missing out. You’ve gotta watch at the very least the sixth episode of the show’s third season, because it will blow your mind, especially if you believe in gender equality. I know I do, that’s why this was so inspiring.

In this episode of Scandal, Lisa Kudrow’s character, Congresswoman Josie Marcus delivers a scathing take-down of sexism in modern politics and the semantics with which men subtly put females down to her interviewer James Novak in an interview that is broadcast live on national TV.

“I know what prejudice looks like. It’s not about experience, James. It’s about gender. [Political opponent Governor Sam] Reston’s saying I don’t have the balls to be President and he means that literally. It’s offensive. It’s offensive to me and to all the women whose votes he’s asking for.”

Wow, right? Can you feel the room heating up? And the congresswoman goes on firing her bullets.

“It’s not just Governor Reston speaking in code about gender; it’s everyone, yourself included. The only reason we’re doing this interview in my house is because you requested it. This was your idea and here you are, thanking me for inviting you into my ‘lovely home’. That’s what you say to the neighbour lady who baked you chocolate-chip cookies. This pitcher of iced tea isn’t even mine; it’s what your producers set here. Why? Same reason you called me a ‘real-life Cinderella story’. It reminds people that I’m a woman without using the word. For you, it’s an angle, I get that, and I’m sure you think it’s innocuous, but guess what, it’s not.”

Powerful. Cutting. Straight to the point. And the politician who strives to be nice 24/7 finally shows that she has the temerity to bite when threatened. Strength is not derived from your gender, but your character.

“You’re promoting stereotypes, James. You’re advancing this idea that women are weaker than men. You’re playing right into the hands of Reston and into the hands of every other imbecile who thinks a woman isn’t fit to be commander-in-chief.”

The background story for her outburst is that minutes before her interview, Marcus is shown an ad from her political opponent Reston. The ad shows a woman’s trembling hand reaching for a doorknob, as the voiceover says: “On the other side of this door sit the leaders of Syria, China, and Iran. On the other side of this door is America’s future — success and failure, life and death. Does America really want an inexperienced hand opening this door?”

The ad doesn’t say it outright, but its subtext is indicating that a woman would not be confident enough to lead a country. Anyway, later in the episode, it was revealed that the ad was fake and created by Marcus’ campaign manager Olivia Pope to motivate her. Kinda expected if you’ve been following Scandal religiously. But still, excellent scriptwriting from the team, great editing and, of course, the kick-ass performance from Kudrow (but I have to admit that I keep expecting Phoebe Buffay to appear any moment).

The whole time I was watching the scene, I was subconsciously thinking of Hilary Clinton and whether she’d have the balls to make a speech like that. And would the American public love her or crush her in return? I’m already looking forward to the US presidential election in three years’ time, when hopefully Clinton or another strong capable female would run for the presidency and win. But most importantly, she would be an inspiring leader who runs the country efficiently and effectively. Now that would be quite a story to tell our future generations, don’t you think?

Credits: Celebuzz.com, The Atlantic

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It’s okay if you haven’t achieved anything yet

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So I opened my Feedly app and this image and headline was the cover page of the day’s top news. With over 700 “shares” for this article, there must be plenty of people feeling the same way as I do. Coincidence? I think not.

According to a Facebook employee, you don’t have to achieve everything when you’re young. That’s a relief because I was getting worried about my lack of stellar achievements in my 30 years on earth.

It’s true what Anthony Sharwood said on news.com.au: If you don’t have the most happening career and the most Twitter followers and the greatest this and the most excellent that, you might start to look at all your successful friends and wonder ‘Why isn’t my life like that?’. And then you might begin to feel pretty down on yourself.

If you’re sighing sorrowfully now like me, the following might just change your entire perspective for the better. Kejia Zhu is a 29-year-old guy who was born in China. He grew up in the UK and now lives in America. Here’s what the Facebook employee has to say about the pursuit of success in his blog post:

“Do you sometimes lie awake worrying that you aren’t succeeding fast enough? Are you tortured by younger peers who have global businesses, penned acclaimed books and a string of iron-man medals? Do you count down the years until you can no longer make the 30 under 30 list? Take a deep breath. My 92 year old grandpa has some advice for you.

“He is a tremendously accomplished individual and considered by many to be a pioneer in biomedical engineering. I visited him in Beijing recently. We were taking an after dinner stroll. I was pestering him for details about his career, looking for tidbits that might help my own. What was he like at my age? How did he work? Is there a secret a routine? He stops me mid-sentence: ‘You know, my career only really took off after I turned 58.’

“Hang on, what?

‘Yes, I’d say the 10 years between my 60s and 70s were my busiest.’

“I was floored. Here is a man who helped revolutionise medical technology and he did it in his twilight years.”

Kejia’s grandfather had gone through various hardships in China, because of the political turmoil and World War II. He found success only in the late 1970s.

“My grandpa’s story made me reflect upon the worship of youthful achievement and our drive to get it all so early in life. I, like many other insecure overachievers, feel an urgency to do big things. Deep down I know this anxiety is root in fear. That I’m not actually any good. That I will waste my shot at life and be a disappointment. So I strive for a quick success because I need to validate my worth. After that I can relax and everything will be plain sailing. Right? Instead, this warped expectation more often leads me to behave in a manner that’s unsustainable and counterproductive.

“It’s easy to forget that our careers extend for decades beyond our 20s and 30s. The truth is significant works usually take a long time. Whether it’s business, academia or the arts, most of the contributions made have been the result of many years of toil. It’s just that we hear of the young overnight success because that’s a more attractive narrative. Even then, those rare few who achieve a lot early in life do not simply stop. The race doesn’t end with the win.

“My grandpa had no choice but to wait a long time for his opportunity. It’s likely he would have achieved even more had be moved to the West. However, had he missed his moment, I dare say he would still have had a fulfilling life. Without the acclaim and recognition he’d still be the jovial, curious and industrious man I love.

“His advice to me: ‘Don’t be in so much of a rush. Be easier on yourself. Comparing yourself to what others are doing is a waste of time.'”

Kejia’s grandfather dispenses one last morsel of wisdom—an old Chinese saying “大器晚成” that roughly translates to “A big construction is always completed late.”

Encouraging, huh? If you had been holding your breath and worrying yourself sick this whole time wondering if you will ever get to the metaphorical “top”, you may exhale now. Take a chill pill and be patient.

Something else Kejia said to news.com.au struck a chord in me:

“It feels like I was part of the generation groomed to feel like they could and should achieve everything. I, for one, have been anxious about living up to this expectation and could see many of my peers felt the same, though it was never talked about. …

“Despite some early successes, I feel rather unremarkable here, which is a good thing. I wanted to be in a position, where I could feel like a rookie and soak up the learning. I do think that the high achievement-driven attitude that fuels this area has a negative impact on people’s expectations of themselves.”

You know what the moral of this blog post is, don’t you? Don’t fret over whether you’re the smarter than everyone else or if you’re way ahead in the rat race. Just know what you want in life and do things in your own time and trust that the universe will do the rest.