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LOL every day to keep all illnesses away

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Photo credit: Distractify.com

The 28 Most Flawless Responses To A Wrong Number Text…LOL! (http://distractify.com/fun/fails/24-flawless-responses-to-wrong-number-texts/)

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Photo credit: Distractify.com

The 35 Naughtiest Dogs On The Planet. You’ll Laugh So Hard When You See What They Did! (http://distractify.com/fun/fails/dogs-who-are-shamelessly-proud-of-what-they-just-did/)

Above are some of the funniest photos I’ve read in December 2013 and they are still funny in 2014. Both webpages are still open as tabs on my FireFox page. I can’t bear to close them just yet, because I still laugh whenever I read them again. And I’d laugh so hard that my stomach aches and my eyes tear. And since I’m a generous person, I am sharing them with you today, because I want you to laugh as heartily as I did. Haven’t you heard? Laughing really hard is equivalent to doing crunches and it’s more fun too. Fun and beneficial for health; what more can a rather lazy person ask for?

From the Telegraph UK (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/7635143/Laughter-really-is-the-best-medicine-as-doctors-find-it-can-be-as-healthy-as-exercise.html):

“… the high you get from a giggling fit was similar to the endorphin rush from exercise. … it can reduce your risk of a heart attack and diabetes and generally regulate the body’s vital functions.”

From the Discovery channel (http://dsc.discovery.com/tv-shows/curiosity/topics/10-reasons-why-laughing-good-for-you.htm):

“… laughter improves blood flow, suppresses stress hormones and gives you a burst of exercise. … laughter has been shown to increase levels of salivary immunoglobulin A (IgA), an important antibody that fights bacteria and infections, especially those in the respiratory system.”

Enjoy and spread the laughter!

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How I made peace with 2013

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Happy New Year! Have you been nursing a hangover for the past few hours or has the first day of a brand new year been subdued? I’ve been feeling sluggish since I woke up, after having a late night out that had no alcohol involved. How amazing is that? Well, maybe just a few sips of muscato to match the festivity. But I don’t regret it at all, because I had one of the best and most memorable New Year’s Eve celebrations ever and my body is still paying for it. Unlike last year when 2012 was refusing to go away quietly without a fight (it was pouring heavily that day), today has been peaceful. I am so psyched that I can tell you confidently that the smell of optimism and change is in the air.

For this year’s round-up, I am going to do something a bit different. I am not going to write about the things I regret doing (or not doing) in the past 12 months, or whine about my losses and sadness, or grumble about not meeting my goals or career progress, because those are in the past and they should remain there. Why should I bring them back again? So I can make myself depressed again? IT would be far healthier if I just focus on what I can do from now on instead. Agree?

So to sum up my life in 2013, it’s that I’ve learned to be grateful for the things I have, the people I have by my side, my good health, my good looks, my job, my intelligence, my earning power (that has kindly allowed me to splurge on ridiculously expensive branded shoes), my growing maturity and ability to trust my instincts better. I can also let you in on another secret: I have never loved myself more than this moment and I love me more every day. 😀

Showing gratitude and learning to love yourself more may sound simple, but it is not easy to do when you have discontent in your life or when you feel lost or if you keep harping on the past or worrying about the future. The one new useful skill I learned this year was meditation. And it has helped me greatly in being at ease with myself. Here’s a quote that I came across recently and I hope it gives you the encouragement to find peace within yourself:

‘If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present.’

Anyway, in other exciting news, I have compiled — without the help of WordPress — a decent round-up of my top five most popular posts on this blog from 1 Jan to today. I have even made little comments next to their links to encourage you to view them (hint!) again to see why they were so popular.

Top posts from 1 Jan 2013 – 31 Dec 2013

  1. Care for each other even when you’re angry (https://theimaginarator.wordpress.com/2012/12/24/care-for-each-other-even-when-youre-angry/)
    — Recalling an argument I had with someone and how I realised I needed to grow up.
  2. I woke up wanting to kiss you (https://theimaginarator.wordpress.com/2012/04/05/i-woke-up-wanting-to-kiss-you/) — I was missing the same person I fought with and looking at some artwork by Emin inspired me to blog about how much I wanted to kiss her again.
  3. It’s my 30th birthday (https://theimaginarator.wordpress.com/2012/12/16/its-my-30th-birthday/) — Narrating about the major events before I hit a big milestone in my life in one of my longest blog posts ever.
  4. Lorax made me LOL (https://theimaginarator.wordpress.com/2012/03/11/lorax-made-me-lol/) — This was one of the top posts of 2012 and I had never expected me gushing over how adorable the bears in the movie to be so popular.
  5. When you really matter to someone (https://theimaginarator.wordpress.com/2012/02/25/when-you-really-matter-to-someone/) — One of my saddest entries of the year after I was frustrated and had my heart broken by the same person. Again.

The number of views in 2023 was nearly double from the previous year’s views. Amazingly, huh?! Hahaha!

And since you’ve been such loyal readers, here are two BONUS posts that would keep you coming back for more. What can I say? I’m like Santa Claus, only better-looking. Haha!

  1. Tom Ford and Richard Buckley Forever (https://theimaginarator.wordpress.com/2012/10/06/tom-ford-and-richard-buckley-forever/) — A touching love story of how two stylish good-looking men met, fell in love, changed each others’ lives and adopted a baby together. What’s not to like?
  2. Talking to you makes my day (https://theimaginarator.wordpress.com/2012/04/21/you-totally-make-my-day/) — Another top post from 2012 and it was about how some of the happiest days in my life was texting with the same person.

Right, so I have no New Year resolutions to make, because stats in general have shown that most people tend to give up on their lists after three months. So, I am going to start on my work now. Yes, yes, my line between holidays and work has always been this blurry. I believe in being productive whenever I can, and not having my life being dictated by the calendar. You, on the other hand, have my blessing to remain horizontal in bed and enjoy the rest of your day. Have fun!

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I love you but not in that way

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Have you ever experienced something this — when someone tells you that they think they love you or they think they are in love with you or they are falling in love with you or they will always love you or they really love you but just not in that way? I mean, just how many variations of “I love you” can there actually be? Should loving someone be a simple and straightforward thing?

But no, some people just have to complicate matters. I’ve encountered all of the above scenarios before with different people at different points of my life. And there was one common denominator for each of them, which was it all became equally puzzling for me whenever it happened.

Maybe I really don’t know what love is. Maybe love is still one giant mystery to me. Maybe love is really complex than what I expect it to be. Wow, I should really be a songwriter. Totally nailed it.

I never really ponder beyond this complex mystery though, because I had better things to do. Haha! Then years come and go. And this issue came to the forefront of my mind only after I happened to catch one episode of Gossip Girl few weeks ago. Ahem. It was really an accident.

I’ve stopped watching Gossip Girl ages ago. It was probably halfway through season two, I believe. It became too draggy and overly nonsensical for my liking. No matter how hot I think Chuck and Blair are, I couldn’t bring myself to watch the episodes anymore. Until that day when I let the TV play for background noise and decided to watch it.

It was episode 17 of season five, The Princess Dowry and this particular scene caught my full attention.

Chuck: Because I love you.
Blair: And I love you. I always will. But that doesn’t mean I’m in love with you. At least not right now, not the way you need me to be, not the way you deserve. I’m sorry. I have to go.

I swear I could feel Chuck’s heart breaking. It was probably less painful than getting stabbed or shot in the heart. I’ve never been shot or stabbed, but I have a feeling that these are far worst than a heartbreak (but far better than childbirth, naturally).

Someone once said something similar during a conversation with me. She said she still loves her ex, but she’s not in love with him like how she’s in love with me, if my memory serves me correctly. It has all became very vague recently. Then when we broke up, she said she will always love me, but… (There’s always a but in such circumstances. Why?!) … But she wanted a different life that I did not fit in with. Sad, huh? I remained devastated for a very, very long time.

So what does it mean if I still love someone that way and I have never stopped loving her at all this whole time? A loser? A fool? A romantic? Hahaha!

Blair: I’m here because it’s time I was honest with you. I love you. I’m in love with you. I have tried to kill it, to run away from it, but I can’t and I don’t want to anymore.

(Episode 24 of season five, “The Return of The Ring”)

Quotes were taken from chuckandblair.org

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The first step towards getting somewhere

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“The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are.” —Unknown

Very true and wise, don’t you think? I’m been feeling so lazy recently it’s crazy how one can just lay in bed all day watching TV and playing on the iPhone. I’ve lost that bit of motivation somewhat in waking up early to have breakfast and get started on existing work or driving for more new business. I’ve been too … comfortable. And it scares me.

I recently attended a course on entrepreneurship, which discusses about the types of entrepreneurs, entrepreneurial traits and whether they are born with the qualities and if their circumstances that made them that way. It was a good module, because I finally learned how to spell “entrepreneur” correctly without struggling after the “p” part. Haha! But seriously, it taught me to look at myself — my behaviour in general, my attitude towards situations or people and my surroundings — and I have determined that I currently lack drive, because I’ve been too comfortable with life.

I still read a lot, but I’m not progressing any further with the new information and knowledge I’ve been absorbing like a sponge. I’m on a plateau and I need a push off it. I need to remind myself how thrilling it is to be filled with vigour in clinching new business, the pride in churning out quality work before the deadlines and (this is the most important bit) the joy in receiving that paycheque at the end of it.

Deep down, I know I’m born to do more with my time in this world. But the only way for me to do that is to stop sitting on (actually, it’s lying down most of the times) the plushy bed and get up (to work on the computer) to do stuff — useful things that will lift me up from the plateau to the peak of a menacing-looking mountain with a nice snowy cap. Perhaps I should take notes from a true entrepreneur, Richard Branson, who wanted more in life and dared to set up so many businesses and challenged the norm and was not afraid to fail and keep trying. In doing so, he became a knight for his bravery in the corporate world. Maybe if I ever falter and revert back to lazy mode, I should just keep asking myself: “WWRBD (What would Richard Branson do)?”

Sounds like a great doable plan. I have a totally smug expression now. If only you could see me now.

Right, so it’s five minutes more before my alarm rings for me to get ready for one full day of work. I’m gonna head out there to try seizing the day for myself. I hope this blog post has sort of inspired you to do the same. Carpe diem!

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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