Dead PCs and Financial Tsunamis

To say this week has been uneventful would be a massive lie. My PC crashed and being the procrastinator that I am, everything was lost. Well not everything. I do back up my work, just not consistently. And not all in the same place. Like I have my photos. Just on my Ipod. And not at full resolution. So that sucks.

Most of my stories, thankfully, are backed up with Eizwan. I am forever grateful to him for insisting on reading my stories. That meant that most of my stories, almost all drafts are with him, save for the last two chapters that I have not given him.

Grabbing stuff of various people is going to take a lot of time. Getting your music from your Ipod back onto your PC is a pain in the butt but at least all my music is there. So in conclusion, kiddies. Back up everything on your Ipod. Keep photos in full resolution on your Ipod, or you’d have massive problems. And err…be nice to your significant other. He/She might be OCD and keep every single copy of your writing and so, only a small part of you would die when your pc dies.

***

I was at the KL Hilton yesterday for a press conference when, by complete accident, I came across Anwar Ibrahim. Those of you of who know me well know I’m not too fond of this man. For many reasons, reasons I don’t feel like getting into on my blog. Last thing I want is to provoke an intelligent discussion (wanking, name calling, bitching) on this blog.

Two things. One, he looks a lot more polished and well, taller in real life. Which is unexpected, since on TV he frequently looks shabby. That might have to do with being dragged in and out jail but I digress.

Two. Daaaaamn, no one told me he was THAT good looking in real life. The photos don’t do him justice. He is one FINE looking man.

Dude, he needs to tour predominantly women areas. And talk about women’s issues. Trust me he’d get all the votes. Even though, he might be, well. You know.

***

So, S. and I met up for lunch which, as always, tend to rage on till tea which sort of rages on till about dinner time. It’s always a pleasure to meet up with S., she’s funny and smart, and has lots of stories to share. I’m sure the waiters however, find us such a pain for taking up so much time at the restaurant. They frequently shoot us dirty looks as they refill our glasses of water.

Today we discussed about the financial crisis. Despite leaving the industry for two years now, I can’t help but miss the industry. It’s silly too, since, most of the time I did not even know what exactly I was doing back then or how I was making a difference.

We were talking today about the various kids we knew, who lost their jobs from the recent onslaught. The shit is about to hit Asia too, so we were musing how it’s a bit like a tsunami, a finacial tsunami, and we’re just standing here, by the shores waiting for the financial waves to come crashing down on the real economy.

Twas a depressing topic, but I thought I might want to share this thought with you guys. The two of us were grousing about skills and the more we look at it, spending time in the corporate world, gives us, very little useful skills. Creating a power point slide isn’t skills, looking at numbers and coming up with an analysis on the state of a company isn’t skill (well, let’s face it, the numbers were probably made up by the company’s accoutants and the auditors approved of their mad skillz) and since most of us equity/bond analysts never actually ran a company, we know everything theoretically but fat lot of good theory does when everything implodes.

It never, ever occured to me that there would one day come a time where people like Econs graduates, Business graduates would be completely…useless! People make fun of lawyers all the time, but to actually be in the same boat as lawyers, gosh, that’s just shocking. One day, you’re king of the world, the next, well, you’re sweeping the roads you used rule (paraphrasing Chris Martin here) It’s a bit like your feet reaching for the ground and finding the ground had disappeared. So not only do you have a degree that does not actually give you real skills (economists can’t build buildings, can’t cook, can’t draw, can’t really help you with the economy either as the events of the past month have proven) and suddenly, it occurs to you, that if an artist and an economist were sitting by the road-side, panhandling, the artist has a higher chance for survival. At least the artist can paint something.  No one is going to feed you for economic analysis.

How depressing.

***

Bah, I think I’m falling sick. Which is annoying cause D. is coming over. Am I excited? Ridiculously so. Now all I have to do is lean my room so he doesn’t think it’s a right tip all the time. Just as I’ve done some shopping in Zara so I’d look fashionable, as opposed to the bum that I really am. Although I’m sure he knows that. Meh.

I am one of the few people in the world that is fortunate enough to have my boyfriend’s parents understand that I’m about to go on holiday with another man.

It’s that cracky. Really.

Advertisements

The sky has fallen

It’s 2:52am and Congress had just rejected the $700b bailout plan. Honestly, I feel like the sky had definitely fallen now that there is no intervention.

I’m not cheering the US economy is failing. As my friend S. puts it, America likes to eat. And when they go on a diet, the rest of us feeding the US is going to start dieting too.

In this case, America is not just going on a diet, she’s starving because she can’t afford to feed herself. The rest of the world…well, it’s not like we can sell our produce to Mars.

I can’t help but feel very angry at the Republicans who have rejected the bill based on their feeling that it is more important to keep socialism at bay rather than save the economy and the very people they claim to represent. I understand the concept of exemplary punishment, support the idea of free markets and free will but when push comes to shove, when people start losing their homes, what is more important? Values or making sure that people have enough money to pay their mortgages.

Are values worth putting aside for when people are suffering? Or should values remain an ideal that should never be put aside at any cost?

The only silver lining I see in this crisis are the people atthe RGE Monitor are banging on their drums saying that there are other alternatives, smarter and more efficient plans than what they call Paulson’s one (granted, it’s not their name and reputation on the line). So here’s to hoping that something logical will be done within the next few days and for a better plan.

There have been far too much drama in 2008. Here’s to a quieter 2009.

The Art of Seduction

“Don’t you want me, baby? Don’t you want me, ooooooh!?”

I think Human League got it spot on when it comes to the theatre industry. We’re almost there with the venue end but so far, it’s been, well an, hmm, interesting journey to say the least.

Whilst you sell your soul in finance, in arts, it’s all about prostitution. Is there no noble career out there?

My little theatre company is obviously not the standard of Spitzer’s call girl from the Empress club. I’d like to think we’re slightly better than walking the streets type of prozzies but at times, I do feel that I might have to force our production crew to the real streets to get enough funding.

Our actors would get more money if they walked the streets but then we’d have nobody to act.

But anyway, so far we’ve been outright lied to: “Gosh! I’m so sorry, we don’t have a venue free that night,” (found out later, there’s plenty) to my personal favourite rejection: “I’m sorry. We don’t support newly independent theatre.” Read: I wouldn’t dare tarnish my shiny premises with you filthy ragamuffins. Now run along now, children, you’re in my breathing space.

My patience has increased tenfold since this entire escapade, and I find rejections far more amusing than I should. As I told a friend of mine, just you wait Mr. Shiny Premises. One day, when I’m rich and famous, I’m going to buy up your premises and make it into skanky and smarmy brothel. Just you wait, “Mwahahahahahahaha!”

Continuing the trend of prostitution, I’ve sent my director to schmooze to a Very Important Chairperson who could make life so much easier for all of us, even sent a very schmoozy letter for him to use. The director can be very charming if he wants to be so let’s see how his talents are put to use.

As the accountant suggested, perhaps it IS easier to just get funding and build our own premises. Presenting “Coming Out of the Closet” in our newly built, multi-purpose auditorium! Coming soon, in the year 2020.

***

Had to share it with you guys this one. Was talking to my friend Xav about my foray into the performing arts:

“I’m glad to hear that you’re doing creative things now.”

“Thanks, it took me a while. I was too scared at first to do creative things.”

“Well, it does take some time to develop that confidence. Being Francais, I already have that confidence. Or arrogant streak, rather.”

“See, I’m Asian. When I was growing up, I was told to do accounting. I rebelled and did economics instead.”

Mixed Feelings

Being absolutely honest with myself, I have mixed feelings about the election results. I saw one minister I admire lose his seat, and this minister is actually competent and intelligent…my heart just fell. I was talking a friend of mine, and she said she felt the same way. Quoting my good friend SW, she said “Sometimes the head needs to rule the heart as well.”

To be honest, I am absolutely nervous about the new questions that will be asked in parliament. We’re not talking about questions on corruption. More like, “Why can’t we increase fuel subsidies?” or stuff like, “Can’t we have more price controls?” And the dreaded, “Why does the stock market go up?” Dammit, read Wikipedia for the latter!

As a citizen, I’d love to have more of those things. But as a level headed economics student, we can’t. Not without bankrupting the country. Subsidies are awful, they create economic distortion that eventually will run the country down.

My hope is simple. With no 2/3rd majority in Parliament means policy making will slow down. Which is a good thing since you can actually ask the right questions. The key here of course is right questions and not letting emotions rule over your head.

Which is going to be bloody difficult because a chunk of economic policy-making will be counter-intuitive. Helping the country can actually mean raising interest rate, removing price control and God forbid, cutting down on oil subsidies. Incredibly unpopular decisions that will save the country.

If you do want to help the country, for goodness sakes, put your heart and emotions away when you make the decision. No economic policy gridlock, please. If there is one thing that I’m okay with the country is how we run our economy. It’s run relatively well, and hats off, especially to BNM and to Dr. Zeti, Governor of BNM.

But other than that, the evil side of me is relishing with opposition in power. BN always needed a kick in the butt and quoting the Guardian, it’s always easier to be opposition, mischief-making is much, much easier. Running a state? Two different things.

And, temptation is always there. Money is what makes this government go round. Let’s see how long everybody’s moral standing can last.

I take back what I said. No mixed emotions. Ooh, we’re in for a fun ride. I can’t bloody wait.

P/S: Thank you EC for running what I perceive has been a fair election. =)