Productive day 04/17/2009
 

I feel quite good about today overall, since it has been a long and busy day.  Though it started off a bit slow, with Marylin and I running half an hour behind schedule, it was still an efficient day.  A lot of things happened, starting with the mysteriously loud bangs we were hearing - turns out it was the water jug delivery guys.  We got our new stash of water to guzzle (which we do at a very high pace), then received two samples of pillows and blankets from a company in China (for Napper's other business), and the model ship we have been waiting for!  The ship was made by prison inmates and donated to the Yellow Ribbon Project as a way to promote giving prisoners a second chance.  When Zen saw it, he was very keen to buy it and was actually able to!  I always love mail (and packages especially), so it was rather exciting to keep getting deliveries to the door.

On an individual level, I sent out some follow-up e-mails to people I met at the SHRI Congress.  Some of them took me awhile to craft, since I wanted to make just the right impression and give just the right message.  I feel quite good about what I ended up sending, so we will see how the replies are.  I also spent a lot of time doing some random market research and got a chance to chat with Lorrie and share my opinion on something he was working on.  It was a nice bonding bit, getting to spend some time brainstorming and discussing ideas.  I got a chance to step out for lunch, which has been more occurring more rarely these days, so that was nice.  Soon after, I got a call from an old friend  back from Perth for the week and made dinner plans.  I then continued working, taking some small breaks here and there and had another fruitful sharing session with Lorrie, which made me late heading out of the office to go to dinner.  Though Orchard Road is not far from our office, it still took me a good 20-25 minutes to get there!  At least the trains weren't packed.  I guess people go home way earlier than 7:30 on a Friday.  Thank goodness!  Those 6 o'clock crowds are killer.

I spent many hours over dinner catching up with my friend and then we met up with a good friend of hers.  A lot of interesting topics were discussed and it was very nice to spend some time out for myself, chilling and talking over dinner and drinks.  There was a lot of ground to cover, after three years of not seeing each other, then mixing in a new person.  It was quite nice to see her because 1. we didn't expect to see each other again for years, if at all; 2. Singapore was the last place we thought we'd meet up (it was supposed to be LA); and 3. I had no idea she was coming back so soon until just a few days ago.  This was rather unexpected and a great refresher of my second year of uni.  Ah, the good old days...  Life has changed so much since then!  The college lifestyle is so special.  Pity it can't be retained as we move on into the workforce.

As I was leaving, I checked with Marylin to make sure she was still awake to let me in.  Turns out she and Zen were still out, hanging out with some of his friends from the Navy.  Thus, I was dropped off at Clarke Quay and made my way to a rooftop bar.  I met four other guys there and we sat around having a grand old time.  It was a nicely breezy night up there, so it was quite comfortable.  I munched on some ice to help clear my throat from the smoke I had been close to at the bar I came from and eventually we headed off to get some "supper."  What do you actually call a meal that you have at 3 in the morning?  Over dinner, we continued to crack jokes offhandedly and have a grand old time eating porridge.  I avoided the frog meat and got myself a bowl with some chicken shreds in it.

We were out until nearly 4 in the morning!  If tomorrow wasn't a Saturday, I don't think I could make it.

 
 

It was 8:05 PM when I opened up my planner to pen an event into it.  Suddenly, a reminder of Earth Hour was staring up at me.

"25 minutes!" I gasped.

"What are you talking about?" asked Marylin as Zen peered at me quizzically.

"Earth Hour!  We've got to turn off our lights for Earth Hour!"  I looked over at Zen: "You signed us up!"

And so, we all changed our plans to meet this commitment we had made by pledging our support for Earth Hour.  Rather than continue to work in the office as we had thought we were going to do, we headed out to eat some dinner.  Ok, so we cheated a little and didn't confine ourselves to the dark.  But hey, we did turn off our lights!  We just went to take advantage of lights that were already on, that is all.

Being that recycling and conservation are the very things I want to build a company around someday, it was important for me that people are aware and care for causes like these.  Lately I've been going to a lot of informative sessions about various organizations in Singapore that are meant for the betterment of people.  There are the various divisions of the People's Association, like Family Life, which is meant to promote the quality and importance of family life.  There is the Urban Redevelopment Authority, with plans to add infrastructure throughout town and expand and improve nature areas.  There are the efforts of the Yellow Ribbon Project to bring awareness and acceptance to ex-offenders, offering them a second chance at their lives.

And then, there's Marylin's passion for people with disabilities, which I've heard a good bit of lately.  Let's not forget Zen's love for the people in his life, which is pervasive in all that he does.  All this makes me wonder: for all the love I feel I have for people, why am I more interested in volunteering with animals and the environment?  Perhaps it is because I see it as my time to connect with the world and, in a sense, meditate.  It's much easier to do that when your interactions don't require conversations.  I've also always felt a huge connection with nature, finding the most peace in getting away from people and society.  I want to preserve that aspect of this world.  The things that live by their own rules and not ours.

So, sometime down the line, I want to create an environmental consultancy.  I don't have the background to really go into air and water pollution stuff or how infrastructure can be built to be most efficient, but I can definitely become an expert in the types of materials and processes that are environmentally friendly for building with.  Mostly though, I want to advise organizations on how to create an effective recycling program, ways they can conserve on energy, alternative sources of power that can be employed, and also provide training for their members to promote awareness of these issues and show them why they should care.  I can also have seminars explaining how everyone can reduce their carbon footprints and offer easy solutions to greener lives.

As for the interest in animals, I absolutely adore cats (though I do like all creatures), so I think that will just be a personal pursuit for now.  I'm still trying to convince Panda to let me raise at least one cat.  Katana and I always used to joke that we'd grow old and be "crazy cat ladies" living next door to each other.  Though I don't want to be stepping over them at home, I wouldn't mind two or even three.  For now, I'll have to wait it out and then find a shelter nearby with cats to volunteer at.  I'd really like to start a cat shelter myself, but I'm afraid I wouldn't be able to give any of them away.  Ever.  Maybe I'll look into championing spaying and neutering and adopting from shelters.