Friday, April 20, 2007


Bright lights from the ceiling, an empty building, almost. Piles of paper surrounds her notebook as she slaves away preparing for the next week. And thoughts of last summer came into her mind. Flashbacks.

And she breaks the thought, and tries to focus on the task at hand. A conference in a city halfway round the world. Just what she needs. One week away from it all. From the reminders of last May, in this rain-swept city.

Rainfall and Dark Days

He watched as streaks of lightning coloured the darkening evening sky. It is the end of the week for many. Joyful thoughts of work-less couple of days, in the sunshine, prancing amongst the spring flowers, if it doesn’t rain. It is April after all. Cars streaming out of buildings, building up into a crescendo at the main thoroughfares of the city. The bottleneck worsened by the torrential rain, slowing down drivers. With umbrellas in hand, streams of people enter the trains too but no one at the bus stands, stranded in their buildings. Another week, into and out of the cycle they call work.

He stood watching the rainfall smashing against the window almost horizontally. And he walks back to the desk, playing in his mind the approach to something that has taken much of his time.

A choice he had made, a choice he is holding on to.

TV (Tee Vee?) Today

So, I haven't been watching much TV for a while. Even when I was in the land of mega couch potatoes, I didn't really watch TV save for the time I was recuperating from an injury, and well, watching the History Channel when flying on JetBlue, if that counts. I tried watching Desperate Housewives online via ABC last year but that is not available when I am here, and I didn't get past the fourth episode anyway. I did entertain myself with DVDs from Netflix and the library (lots of non-English titles), the history of New York being a favo(u)rite.

But I really want to watch:
1. Band of Brothers
2. Historical stuff and current issues
But there is no satelite TV package which I can tailor to exactly (channels) what I want to watch. Urgh. Stupid monopoly. All come in packages. And anyway, I don't have time to watch TV.

So can someone tell me what's this fuss about Heroes please? Thanks.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

The 17th Hour

Time to sleep. Fridays are always the longest. The week passed real quickly, I can't remember what I did. My neighbour told me I did a lot. I should try to figure out how exactly I spent my time.

Apparently I still look fresh after toiling for many hours for many days. Apparently this is my trade secret. :P Lilia, my team mate and classmate in school used to say the same thing. I hope I can sustain this over many many more years. I am working on improving my stamina.

I found a couch I could sleep on in the office, just in case. I have a pillow already.

I think what I do, what we do in the team isn't everyone's cup of tea. Especially when the tedious, mind numbing parts come into play.

I spent 30 minutes transferring more than 20 files with a trolley. Thank goodness the intern offered to help. The files were sliding off the darn trolley. I am not very patient, I push the trolley way too fast (still slow in my books). Urgh.

Good night world!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


Need to develop a sense of direction, or perhaps a mental checklist of questions to ask when something which requires an appraisal but with no mandate arrives in my sphere. A framework. I need my own framework, Resurrected style.

Resources are thin. Need more speed.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


It sweeps over. He blames the music, sometimes. But really, it can’t be the fault of the music for there must be some deeper reasons. Just like how one seeks deeper purposes, deeper meaning to one’s vocation.

It is so nice to find something he enjoys. Yet niggling doubts come and go, when there is a pause in the momentum. No time to think is the best escapism from the realities beguiling the soul of a person. Nothing like the breakneck speed, demanding intellectually and in determination, required in his daily acts to bring forth some semblance of order, and peace.

For now Mattinatta plays, booming, strong voice as he floats through another evening of chosen ignorance. Yet, it disturbs. Like a pin stuck in on his fleshy arse. Restless.

He ought to skip a track to Canon in D.

From This Morning

Having figured out that the Thinkpad actually has sound (I had nearly wanted to call IT to come take a look, in what could have been a real dumb blonde moment), I am having music in my ears occasionally as I step up into a higher gear this week due to the renewed demands for the team. Apparently, the buttons on the Thinkpad are not integrated with Windows, hence when the Windows volume controls show that it hasn’t been muted, it does not mean the actual speakers are not muted.

It was a long night yesterday and here I am in the office, arriving the same time as usual, around 8 a.m., scanning though news portals. And forwarded a particular news bite with the message, “What is he talking about?”. Was too polite to type wtfihta. Sometimes, when people think they are too smart, they say stupid things, they are easy to convince when you throw them some brilliant-sounding facts or purported strategies. Must remember never ever be like that. Will always rely on hard science and facts and figure as often, as constant as possible (not taking away intuition which a lot of the time is pure dumb luck, but even though having a ‘visionary’ mind helps, it also helps to be humble and not ignore danger signals plus be vigorous about learning).

And reading some analysts can send your heart rate up with their lazy analysis and out-of-date, out-of-depth insights. Hello! Wake up!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Across The Floor

"It's lunchtime! Why is everyone still here? Go out for lunch."
Commander-in-chief exclaimed. There was no response, everyone was too engrossed.
Haha. Typical Monday. Typical day.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Weirded Out

While scanning through dozens and dozens of facts and information nuggets on the screen, I took a quick look at the inbox, an email from second-in-command. I read it and it was the weirdest email ever since I joined the team. We were told to take a vacation :P Something about deserving one. And so, we aren't working for a long weekend at the end of the month, 6 days (including the weekend). Not bad, but still weird.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Here We Go Again

So, apparently “Malaysian police will be made to explain a 40 percent surge in crime here this year, with fears it will undermine a drive to boost tourism”according to the Deputy Internal Security Minister.

Nice one. We shouldn’t be concerned that the rising crime rate affects Malaysians, putting their safety and lives at risk. It’s the tourists and the tourist dollars we should be concerned about.

Shouldn’t we be concerned about the reasons behind the rising crime rate? Why are more people resorting to criminal means? Don't they know governance cannot be using the same reasoning as a primary school essay? Using tourism to explain and justify everything seems to be the only thing they know. Other than of course speaking of blogs when they haven't even seen any.

Sometimes I wonder where are priorities are.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Beautiful Monday

Malaysians can be such lazy asses. Why on earth do the cross the road, ambling along slowly when traffic is moving when there is a pedestrian crossing, with functioning traffic lights just barely 50 metres away? Even if it a 100 or 200 metres away, it is not far! Instead, they choose to cross slowly, mind you, slowly when vehicles are moving. It’s like driving through an obstacle course, which is not really a good thing when one is trying to psyche the mind into top gear for the week.

And look, if you call in sick when we are extending certain duties, it is very easy to be suspicious of your intentions, especially when you have shown yourself to be not being able to do your part in the recent past. Please stop being irresponsible! And it is not even a challenging task! When you do this often, not tying up loose ends and not arranging things to be in place in your absence and pretending not to ignore certain facts about your share of the duties, is anyone going to believe you? You are so lucky you are not in our team or else we’ll mince (not chew, we allow only quality stuff into our mouths) you alive and spit you out into the septic tank.

I can’t find my thumb drive.

Hmm, I kinda like my latest impulse buy even though I don’t get half of it.

Other than that, have a great week ahead! Monday is beautiful!

Sunday, April 08, 2007

They Are Opening in KL Soon!

Yay! Because I glanced at the classifieds a few of weeks ago and they were looking to recruit in KL.

Weekend roundup

It has been 2 months and I still have not built any bottom-up detailed valuation models. The closest thing would have been all the quick and dirty valuation (well it's not so quick but it is 'dirty') I've been doing. I was told to expect lots of number crunching but so far there hasn't been too much of that. I am not complaining about my job, I love it what I am doing. I am just wondering when I can get some real action :D

But I guess the current situation does not permit the team, especially in my sector to do anything crazy. Which is why I've been reduced to doing a DCF and a variety of models to evaluate vehicle purchases, for personal consumption only, to deal with my itchy fingers. My finance training can be such a pain sometimes though, making simple consumer decisions oh so complicated. :P But then again, I've been accused of being too spendthrift on many occasions, and prone to impulse, instant gratification purchases.

For now, I would just sharpen my tools by reading up on my training module from last fall and also this fantastic book I bought on valuation.

And oh yeah, the conclusion is, buy a used brand name Japanese make to reduce the negative NPV effect (total and annualized). Other methods I devised (with no academic and professional backing mind you, this is for fun) showed the same results with varying degree of negative impact minimization.

Turned down an F1 ticket. Apparently I missed a good race. Oh well.

I am seldom intimidated by individuals. Even if I get slightly flustered, I jump onto the learning curve and deal with it quickly. But this time, I feel intimidated and it still hasn't gone away.

As for the next few months, I need to take up Mandarin classes with a private tutor, to get some semblance of Business Mandarin into my vocabulary.

Time to call it a weekend, and get back to action tomorrow morning :D

Friday, April 06, 2007

Just For You

Muahahaha. Yes I am evil :P

One Random Call

Walked into the quiet office. I guess it has been a long week for everyone. I placed the files and bags. Checked a few emails, shutdown and I left. It is the Easter weekend. And I decided to try my luck. Dialled a number which I haven't dialled for years. A familiar voice and stupid jokes. Haha. I can't believe you are learning to cut up brains Mart. And I can't believe you thought I decided to disappear. I just went away for a while, nothing dramatic.

Funny how some friendship don't change even with time. The same old comfort, knowing you can be candid and straightforward with each other. Mart and I went back a long way. We were in the same school for many years but our friendship began less than 3 years before high school ended.

When we were supposed to build a terrarium as our school project, we, two strangers from the same school decided one fine afternoon to go to town to look for small sized aquariums. Our efforts failed to yield anything and I used something totally different in the end (that's another story). Well, we were aware of each other's existence but never bothered to get to know each other. Both were snobs. :P Big time snobs, especially he. But through the last 2 years of school, he was someone I could count on and someone who could stand my crazy erratic self (and I could stand his snobbish, rude, arrogant self). If I do something stupid, he would tell me so. Vice versa.

From running a virtual dictatorship (more like the invisible 'hands') in school to organizing brainwashing leadership camps (all for a good cause, trust me), representing the schools in various events, to running the magazine (haha, reason to skip class) and debating as a team. Well, I think many times he did things just because I asked him to. Like, how I dragged him along the debating world when our school did not have a tradition and support system for it. He reluctantly went along but boy did we kick ass. We had to take buses to places we didn't know, have people ask us where we were from as they never heard of us (and some blatantly looked down on us), packed into a little Kancil as a kind soul offered to take us to our venues (yes I did not forget, thanks Kev's sister :D), debating when we were never trained to, stumbled a few times (embarrasingly) but we suprised everyone including ourselves.

We drifted apart, I went for my undergraduate away from home while he eventually went overseas.

The last time we met was at a funeral of a friend's mother. My my time flies. Maybe I should just dial more numbers stored in my cellphone.


Eeewwwww, did she just flirt with me?
Double eeewwwwww.


Damsels in distress
Get no attention

Elegant dames
Sometimes are untrue
Maybe they do not pick their noses
But may have hearts so dark

Wave a wand, see beyond

Yay! Today is proper lunch day. I hope.

Of Work

Someone asked me what my typical day is like, and what I like about it. Do I see myself being in this field for long? She was asking in the context of her research.

It would be very clichéd for me to say there is no typical day. But my days are intense here at work. Sometimes the hours are long. It ranges from 9 hours to 14 hours, depending on what’s happening. Sometimes I come in on weekends, scheduled (fixed duties due to certain transactions) and unscheduled (calls). The expectations are: quick to learn, numerically comfortable and accurate, able to link and see business issues, research and fact-based analysis and arguments, flexible (very flexible), don’t mind getting hands dirty doing really mind-numbing work sometimes.

Daily work includes: researching, putting things together in Powerpoints, financial analysis, valuation, analyzing softer issues, spend lots of time understanding what we are looking at, presentation, meetings with external parties, administrative stuff due to transactions, dealing with consultants, reading (yes, it’s kinda nice to get paid to read). The nice thing is we get lots of encouragement to learn and constantly improve.

Another person asked me how do I make it sound so exciting in a previous post. Erm, I have no idea. I just like it here. And I will keep going as long as I enjoy it.

Thursday, April 05, 2007


So, I have almost recovered from a strange bout of abdominal pains. Worked through it for 2 days, on the 3rd day I gave up after sending out an urgent update. The team is a bit lean now, crunch period which would last for a long period, hence I just couldn’t drop the ball. Went for a second opinion. The first one sounded like a quack, said I had indigestion. Which is something I never had, and with my ability to eat and digest, I doubt it was really the problem. Anyway, medication has helped, it was a weird sort of food poisoning.

Anyway, I am back in action. And am feeling all geeky looking at some case studies. It sure doesn’t feel like I have left school.

On another note, “waves” visitor from Tuscon, how are you? Email!

This year seems to be like the year of weddings, again. Well, it isn’t going to be as crazy as last year (I wasn’t around to endure the endless weddings though). I’ve attended two so far. I might end up with no one to hang out with at the rate this is going. And babies, oh my, babies are popping everywhere. Erm, maybe I have exaggerated a wee bit too much. But still.

No more suprises people.

And NOL, congrats but where are your emails?!

Cars are amazingly expensive here. I can’t seem to make up my mind. I hate 5 years worth of financial commitment, paying against a depreciating asset (that sounds like dating too :P). Do I buy new or should I buy used? Used, I think I can do it in 3 years, the repayment. Safety is a criteria though, a very strong one so I would want airbags and ABS. Anyone out there want to sell their well-maintained used cars? :D

It's already Thursday *gasp*. Where did the week go?

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Keeping It Sharp

This is ten percent luck, twenty percent skill
Fifteen percent concentrated power of will
Five percent pleasure, fifty percent pain
And a hundred percent reason to remember the name!

Remember the Name (by Fort Minor)

Oh yeah.