All grown up and nowhere to go

Archive for February 2008

I bought Cleo this month to check out Nick’s mini-interview for the 50 Eligible Bachelors. I haven’t really touched the magazine for eons and I’m really enraged by one of the articles, written by a guy of course, titled ‘the four types of women all men avoid’. Like, what the hell. I think his points may have been valid had they been phrased another way, but as it is, he made it sound like he’s addressing a bunch of desperate single women, advising them on how not to behave so as not to jeopardize chances of snagging a guy. Any guy.

Well boys, giddy up. Here’s MY version, to keep things in balance.

Mon’s “The Four Types of Men All Women Should Avoid”

#1. “How much did you say you earn in a month? … Oh. And you said you’re a VP? … Well… *cough* I’ll call you.”

Men who only date girls less successful than them, because they feel they should take the lead in a relationship, is U-T-T-E-R B-U-L-L-S-H-I-T. You should be with someone because you love her personality and admire her strengths. Guys who can’t take the ‘competition’ are just not confident enough of themselves. They need constant reassurance of their worth by looking at a girl-next-door with no drive and zero accomplishments. If these are the kind of women men go after, little girls will just grow up aspiring to be a Stepford wife and face it, we might as well just learn how to bake and cook so that we’ll excel right where we belong… in the kitchen.

#2. “Let’s eat this quickly so that we can go back to the car and you can… give me my dessert *wink*.”

Men who care more about your body than your brain do not deserve whatever… desserts they’re getting. Are they with you just for lustful satisfaction? Or do they really, genuinely adore you but just a bit horny? Don’t take any chances. Hand him the name card for one of those massage parlours and say adios!

#3. “I’m a lawyer but I also do ad hoc consulting projects. I’m sorry I picked you up in this rotten Merc, my M5 is in the garage at the moment and I lent the Lexus to my mum. I’m flying out to Zurich tomorrow, trying to get capital for this new business I’m starting. It’s no joke, I only have $10m and need about $25m more! Do you like my watch by the way? Just bought it. $5000! But it’s great. And check out the new sound system I put in, from Bang & Olufsen-”

The Peacock. Chest out, fan out the damn feathers to mesmerize the chicas. Thing is, really successful men keep quiet. If some guy is so proud and full of himself, chances are there’s only room for 1 in his heart and it isn’t any woman. His success scorecard may be impressive, but personality gets a zero.

#4. “You’re a great girl and I really like you but… I dunno if we should take things seriously. I’m still trying to find myself…”

The process of self-discovery is for teenagers. At this point in life, to be wishy-washy about where he wants the relationship to head to is just plain stupid. We need to be with someone who knows what he wants and is willing to go the distance for it. Tell Mr Wishy-washy to shit or get off the pot. Can’t be with someone who isn’t sure that he wants to be with you.

Ahhh… there. That makes me feel so much better 🙂

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So I was daydreaming, right, and I happened to recall a story from the old days I spent at a Catholic school back in Indo. I’m not very religious, but I think this story is really cute.

Once upon a time, there lived a pious man. He was so pious he prays every hour, and he was of course very confident of his close connection with God. He lived a pure life, and can’t leave home without his gold-rimmed Bible. This is one man who knows fo’ shure he was going to heaven.

One day, a huge earthquake shook the town he lived in. Followed by a typhoon, and then a flood. As the water level rose inch by inch (or centimetre by centimetre, whatever rocks yer socks), he knew that he had to start praying so that God will save him in time(obviously he will be saved… after all he’s pious). Because the water level was so high, he had to sit cross-legged on top of the fridge to pray. Just when he was getting into it, however, someone knocked his door down and interrupted him. It was his friend (let’s call him James).

James: Eh, what are you doing??? You know there is a flood and we have to escape?
Pious Man: Don’t disturb me, I’m praying!
James: You can pray later! Come on out, we can still swim out of the flood with my trusted floats.
Pious Man: It’s okay, you go ahead. God will save me.

James was pissed that Pious Man was too religious to swim out, so with the float around him he swam out like a boy in a kiddie pool.

An hour later, the flood was so high that it filled Pious Man’s house and it burst apart. Pious Man now floated on top of his fridge, still praying in the open waters. When he was getting into it, yet somebody else interrupted him! Let’s call her Mon.

Mon: Eh, what are you doing??? You know there is a flood and we have to escape?
Pious Man: Don’t disturb me, I’m praying!
Mon: You can pray later! Come jump into my pink rowboat ergonomically shaped like an overturned dolphin!
Pious Man: It’s okay, I’m waiting for God. You go ahead.

Mon was pissed that Pious Man would rather be picked up by God than her, so she rowed away, relaxing in her ergonomic rowboat.

Three hours later, the flood was getting REALLY bad. It had sunk the whole town and the fridge was too heavy to float so Pious Man had to pray while hanging on to a plank of wood. Sometimes he will sink a little and make a gurgling sound but that didn’t deter him from praying. But just as he was getting into it, YET somebody else interrupted him. Now, if he weren’t so pious, he’d have been PISSED OFF! This time it was extremely noisy because it was a chopper with a rescue dude in it.

Rescue dude: Dude! What are you doing? You know there’s a flood and you have to escape it?
Pious Man: Don’t disturb me, I’m praying!
Rescue dude: Dude! You can pray later. Catch this synthetic rope that is so strong it can lift up a crane with an elephant stuck in it, I’m throwing it down NOW!
Pious Man: It’s okay, you can use it to rescue others, I’m just gonna wait for God.

Rescue dude was pissed that he couldn’t test the strength of his rope so the helicopter flew away looking for elephants stuck in cranes.

Well, pious man was getting pretty darned scared. He sensed that he was dying, but maybe God was testing him and would only come at the last minute. So he waited. And then, out of nowhere…

A surge of water enveloped him and he drowned and died.

Pious man found himself standing in front of the gates to heaven, an angelic figure in front of him.

Angelic figure: Congrats my child, you’re in heaven! 
Pious Man: Am I… dead?
Angelic figure: I did mention ‘heaven’, didn’t I?
Pious Man: My goodness! What is going on here! I’ve been devoted to God my whole life, and now I’ve lost my trust in him! He doesn’t value my life at all!
Angelic figure: Luckily we don’t have a retrenchment policy, so I can’t kick you out of heaven.
Pious Man: This sucks! I’m supposed to be rescued by God! But he didn’t come to me! He refused to save me! Did he do this on purpose???
Angelic figure: What are you talking about? He did.
Pious Man: Huh?? When??? All the while I only interacted with stupid people who didn’t want to leave me alone. My friend with the float, the chick with the ergonomic rowboat, the hippie rescue dude…
Angelic figure: But God sent them to rescue you.
Pious Man: What?
Angelic figure: Yeah, you kept praying so He made sure help was around. I thought the rope that can pull the elephant was dope!
Pious Man: … How could I have been so stupid?

-End-

 The intended moral of the story is that a “miracle” can actually present itself in the most mundane of ways. You don’t have to see crying virgin Mary’s or glowing martyrs to be convinced that God exists.

But for me, it also proves a point that it doesn’t matter whether God actually exist or not. I was asked that question by an ex-bf and he insisted for proof. But the thing is, it’s through the actions of people that you feel His existence. Let’s say we have proof that He’s there, but no one wants to follow His teachings. Then what’s the point?

I read the most ridiculous quote in Today today. See, this is what you get for not paying for quality information, all sorts of rubbish come through.

 “Singapore universities are still a bargain by international standard, especially given the high quality of education.” – NTU Prof

The title of the article is “When hikes don’t matter” because quality is priority in the education business.

And the article went on to say that local education is basically a bargain because compared to foreign universities, despite the fee hikes local unis are a) still cheaper and b) of equal standard.

I will now put forth my CFA-crippled-brained opinion.

 Dear Mr Article Writer

I do not doubt that Singapore universities provide a high quality of education. This is mainly because I am enrolled in one. If I don’t believe that I am getting a high quality of education, then I am either a fool or an angsty rebellious teenager for having enrolled in one (besides lacking in financial capabilities to have applied to an Ivy League).

However, the main reason anyone pays for a University education is to get a good job. I am assuming everyone is perfectly rational and does not go to Uni for fun, joy and laughter alone.

The goal of getting a good job necessitates a high quality of education. However, more than that, it is preferable if the University name sounds cool, exotic or foreign. I call this the Tourist effect.

Imagine you are going on a holiday. We will equate high level of education with high level of holiday enjoyment. As an individual, you might enjoy as high a level of thrills and excitement if you go to Pulau Tekong as if you’ve gone to, say, Tuscany instead.

But when you tell people where you’ve been, what will they be more impressed by, Tekong or Tuscany? (The correct answer is Tuscany, by the way.)

You see, this Tourist effect is very much in force as part of the job hunt. “I went to the States to study” just had a really nice ring to it, even if you went to a community college and have D’s splattered all over your transcript. Whereas our NUSes, our NTUs, our SMUs are just like Pulau Tekong. It is a sad fact of life.

It is erroneous to make a comparison of the price of a local education with overseas education without discounting the Tourist effect.

We can also argue using statistics. We can survey all the investment banks, top law firms, and big popular companies. Question: What is the percentage of local grads occupying senior level positions in these firms?

If I am not wrong, from my interaction with the aforementioned firms, the management are either ang mohs or Asians with ang moh accents. Question: how many ang mohs / Asians with ang moh accents do you see in local unis, excluding the biased subpopulation of exchange students and SPGs?

Conclusion: fee hikes DO matter because

Local uni price = stated price + implied cost of middle-income terminal jobs.
Overseas uni price = stated price + implied discount of ease of getting top-end jobs.

When stated price of local uni comes nearer to stated price of overseas uni, actually the overseas education will turn out to be cheaper!

It amazes me how such brilliance can exude from non-stop drilling of Quantitative Methods in Finance.

Let’s walk
walk into the middle of the night
When the silence swallows your voice
and your eyes half-covered in sleep

Dream a little dream for me
of faeries and flying
I’ll fall for it
hook, line and sinker

Tomorrow we’ll put on our coats
tie up our shoes
clutch Wall Street words to our hearts
pretend we know things we don’t

But first let’s just walk
you and me
Let the dark sky float.