Friday, September 15, 2006

Why do maids have to be so noisy?

I walked into the lift today at the office and we happily made it past all the basement car park floors without stopping. Yippee, no one's gonna stop my journey today from the lowest floor to the second highest. People usually do.

Unfortunately, just as I thought me and the lift were safely past the ground level, it turns out that the levels appear on the screen before we actually arrive there. So when I thought we were about to touch 2nd floor, my lift stops at the first (ground floor). After a few seconds of silence while the open lift doors were waiting for the ignorant person outside - in walks a maid.

She makes a grunt and smiles at me so I give a warm smile back at her. Nothing wrong with being friendly to fellow human beings. That is, until she starts scratching her ear? hair? I thought at first that she was digging in her ear. But the scratching sound was really loud. It could be her hair... but then it could be her ear too, who knows? After digging/scratching in there until the 6th floor (mine's the 7th), she finally releases her finger from its job and looks at it.

I can tell you honestly, now, I was so, so afraid she would flick that whatever away from her, in the direction she was facing... which is in my direction. Thank goodness no such thing happened. She was civilised enough to just wipe the whatever onto her uniform. Which made me realise the germs that must be on the lift buttons. When you're in an office you sort of just assume that the only people who touch things are fellow office workers. Granted, some of them may not wash their hands after the toilet (I have seen it right in my own office), some of them may flick whatevers, but... you somehow assume that they will be relatively "clean".

But, well, we can't avoid pressing lift buttons, can we?

Anyway as I reached the 7th floor, the maid came out with me and I just stepped into my office. I sat down at my computer and started sorting articles for Monday's paper. Now, my desk is next to the pantry which has cutlery, a microwave oven, a fridge and a water dispenser. A few minutes after sitting down, the maid walks in, flings open a few drawers, rummages around the cutlery, throws some on the counter, takes a mug from goodness-knows-where, wrestles with the water dispenser, grunting and throating, gurgles down the water, punches the mug into the wall, gives a whoop of congratulations (to the wall, I assume), slams the mug down on the counter in a headlock and promptly leaves.

Now is that making your presence known, or what?

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Portuguese folk... Fado music

I attended a world-class performance by Fado singer, Mariza, last night. I don't think I have ever experienced a true diva like her before. From her vocals to her body posture and the way she moved around the stage, even the deep, slow and quiet way she spoke, it was all first rate, true drama and emotion.

The music was brilliant too. To me, it was like a mixture of Spanish guitar-type melodies and Middle Eastern influences. Mariza's voice control was also truly amazing. I have heard this sort of music before mixed into other recordings, like a bit of Conjure One's Damascus (but Fado is not as Middle Eastern as that) and even on the Prince of Egypt's "Deliver Us" where Moses' mother (the singer Ofra Haza) sings a bit Fado-like. Don't yell at me if it isn't - it just has strains of it.

Here's a picture of her I pulled out from her official website : English Version
An album review : World Music Central - Mariza Fado Curvo

You have to really experience her performance to realise what a true star she is. I would recommend you Google her and read some of the reviews she's gotten for her music. You might just find something new to listen to and get all that Beyonce and Fergie out of your heads.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Of sportspersons

So I was watching Top Gear on BBC World last night, which is a half hour show (depriving us of the full one hour version shown on BBC2 in UK). I guess we should be thankful they even show Top Gear. Brilliant, brilliant show.

Anyway, it was on for 5 minutes and I was curled up on the sofa getting ready for some much-needed giggles when suddenly... BREAKING NEWS came on. I was like "Whoa.. what could've happened in the world now?" And then this lady comes on and announces... "BREAKING NEWS... MICHAEL SCHUMACHER IS RETIRING AFTER THIS SEASON". And I'm like... this is breaking news?! you interrupt my Top Gear with news that this guy is retiring? Sure he's big and famous and successful and all that jazz, but is it really that important? Would you categorise this as "Breaking News" - the same category used for "Planes fly into NY's Twin Towers killing 10 000 people" or "War breaks out in Lebanon" or even "Croc Hunter killed"? Mr Schumacher is a great sports success, but not everyone is interested or affected by his retirement.

To make it worse, after the breaking news, they didn't even continue Top Gear from where they cut in! Well, c'est la vie.

After Top Gear came Parkinson. His first guest was Thierry Henry (I believe this was shot last year so it's a fairly old interview) and not only is this French guy good-looking, he comes across as a really intelligent character too and a guy so devoted to his game that it's hard to not like him. If most people in sport were like him, what a joy the sports world would be. So Thierry Henry, well done! I may not watch your games, but I know you deserve the success you have gained. :)

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Writers and pseudo-writers

I had two ideas in my head today about what to write. I was gonna write about humans being multi-faceted and having many dimensions to them as opposed to only belonging to one so-called "group" for instance, "new staff" or "fresh graduate". There are also other dimensions to a "new staff" which could be "bright and intelligent", "independent and responsible" or also the opposite, "have to spoonfeed her" and "have to treat her like a dumb dog". I think managers and employers need to realise this in order to gain the respect of their "new staff" whom I don't expect them to know very well yet, but they have to be able to look into a person and gauge their level of maturity. Hmmph.

Anyway... my second idea was to write about pseudo-writers, if that's even the right word. What do you call a person who writes and calls themselves a writer but in actuality can't really write to an audience?

I really can't stand these sort of writers. Only one comes to mind at the moment - a young girl in her twenties who writes for the Actors Studio newsletter every month. I'd rather not write her name here but suffice to say that although her English is good, she intends to serve up detailed descriptions of everything using an Oxford dictionary and Roget's Thesaurus. Aaahhh... actually, using ambiguous words sparingly in an essay does not annoy me. But giving minute descriptions about mundane things that are not even remotely interesting, exciting, useful to know, or humourous is just plain irritating..

I don't think any of the people involved in my rants today will ever read this post so, well, hopefully aspiring writers who do read my post take my humble opinion into account when writing their own ramblings.