How to be Confident


There’s a wonderful article on PsychologyToday regarding confidence, called Confidence: Stepping Out.

It gives a rough overview of what confidence is, as well as a few tips on how to develop it.

This four-page article also describes an interesting experiment relating the similarities and differences between two groups that had to give an impromptu speech.

One group reported feeling nervous, while the other reported feeling reasonably calm and relaxed.

The interesting thing was that their physiological responses were exactly the same — physiologically they were just as nervous as each other.

It was just that their minds made one group think that they were more nervous than they really were.

At the end of this article the author discusses how some people — including famously charismatic celebrities — overcame their fears.

The way of overcoming your fears is basically this: do what you fear most.

Keep doing it, practising it, until you get better.

The final line of the article sums it all up: “The lesson? Even exquisite discomfort has a silver lining.”

Like Chalk and Cheese

Girl on Sofa

I told you we were like Chalk and Cheese,
Togetherness would be a mess.
You looked at me and smiled,
But you didn’t say anything.

I asked you if you knew what I was saying.
You said you did.
I was upset you weren’t upset.
Difference drives people apart!

Suddenly you got up, pointed at me, and said,
“You are the Chalk, and I am the Cheese.
Different as we may be,
Are we not often put together?

“People talk of Chalk and Cheese in the same
Breath when talking about difference:
That very difference —
It makes us as one.”

Making a Paper Box from Old Magazines

Empty Box

In this article, I will teach you how to make a multi-purpose box out of pages from an old magazine. Some uses of this box include, but are not limited to:

  • Orange peels
  • Peanut shells
  • Fish bones
  • Coins or loose change
  • Keys

I had always used these boxes, but never had to make them because it’d always appear “magically” at home.

It is only now that I’m here, alone in Australia, that I have to make my own boxes.


Feeling frustrated that I had no where to put my orange peels or remnants of the fruit I eat, I sent my mom an e-mail requesting instructions on how I might go about making one of these boxes.

The instructions she sent me were so good, illustrated beautifully, that I thought it was well worth sharing it on this site. View the instructions by clicking the thumbnail below:

Box instructions

Pushing the Concept Further


Tip 1: What my family normally does is to open up one box to keep all the other “closed” boxes (as shown in the image on the left). This keeps the whole lot of them really tidy. Have fun!

Tip 2: Got a pet? And got food scraps? Use these as one-use pet trays. Every time we have fish for dinner, we always throw some fish bones into one of these boxes. Then we put it next to our cat’s food dish, and he’d eat the fish from it.

It saves us the trouble of washing the tray, as it normally just contains dried food and requires very infrequent washing.

Note: The strength of the box really depends on the quality of paper you use. Some paper, like those from the publications with financial statements that many large companies send their shareholders are exceptionally well suited for this endeavour. The magazine that I used in the picture above was “Muscle Mag” (given free with the protein powder I purchased). The paper was painfully thin, but it’d get the job done nonetheless. For more heavy duty use, like for the pet-tip above, use higher quality paper.

Wrong About You


The heart and mind of a woman puzzles everyone but me. From the way she looked and talked to me, I knew she liked me. I always had this instinctive way of reading things, reading people.

I prepared flowers, a short little speech, and a little gift wrapped and scented with a little of my favourite Hugo Boss perfume: “ammunition for the hunt”, as my friend would have me say. Guided by instinct, the hunter that was me was going for the kill.

Just as she was coming into sight, I prepared myself and went closer to where she stood. To my surprise I found that I was not the only hunter around. There was another standing with her, hands stained with the blood-red of cheap wine (and what was that? was he laughing??)

Thinking I had to save this pitiful woman from being hunted from such a horrible being, I shouted to her to stand back as I jumped in front of her to shield her from further torture. Heart pounding, knees shaking (I swear it was the alcohol) I looked him straight in the eyes proclaiming defiance in her name…

And that was when she pushed me away (how strange that seemed…)

Confused and confounded I looked at her and saw a coldness I had never seen before, like Jesus to the merchants at the temple.

What just happened? It wasn’t supposed to be like that. How awful I felt, standing there, protecting whom that didn’t need my protection, doing what that didn’t need to be done.

What an idiot I was.

What an idiot I was to be so wrong about you.

Drupal or WordPress?

I’m having a little trouble concentrating on studying at the moment. Every time I open up one of my books and start reading about “Information Systems” and “Systems Development”, my hands start twitching uncontrollably and my mind goes wandering off into the land of websites and information technology.

I start thinking about all the potential applications I might develop and all the cool new web tools I might use.

Reading about CRM (Customer Relationship Marketing) and “Unique Customer Identifiers” with “integrated applications” brings me back to the debate I had with myself just before I switched from my own CMS (Content Management System) called Catherine Publisher, to the one I am using now, called WordPress.

That debate was on whether or not I was going to go for Drupal or WordPress. In the end, I guess you should know I went with WordPress, if for no other reason than that “theming” it was a much easier job, and the URLs were prettier (Drupal has a thing for “nodes”).

Now I’m thinking that I should give in to the IT Geek lying latent in my psyche, and ignore the aesthetics-loving designer within me that has emerged since my first procurement of a Mac. It’s a tough call to make, but I’m thinking that it’s time for a change.

WordPress has been all nice and good, but it doesn’t satisfy the geek cravings I have. Yet Drupal just makes me cringe at its blatant disrespect for user friendliness and aesthetics (although I must say Drupal 5.x does have a pretty decent default theme).

And I’m also thinking that having a blog really ought to mean that I should be spending more time writing and less time coding. But man, I can’t help it, I love coding too.


I think I’m simply interested in too many things.

And I guess, come to think of it (and if you realise in my previous personal and poem entries), in too many girls too.

Love, technology, design, writing, sports, money, reading => the list goes on.

I want the world.

Australia and Weight Loss

I was warned before hand that I was going to grow fat here.
Warned by many people. But…
Food here’s too expensive, so I eat considerably less.
Entertainment’s hard to come by — things you can do here are limited.
Without a car, and without a propensity to spend my cash, sports appears my only respite from boredom.
Less food, more exercise.

I, grow fat?
Sounds tough to me.

One Man, Two Voices

“Wait for it, wait for it,” I thought, as I waited for the man, a Caucasian, to stop talking and for my friend to start. The man eventually stopped, and my friend started.

I smiled to myself as my friend started to talk in a hodgepodge of an accent. I probably really should have been listening more carefully as to the content of the conversation — and less to the accents going around — but God help me, I couldn’t do it.

I find that many of us Asians automatically change our accents to suit the Caucasians. I have mentioned this before to many of my Asian friends, many of whom do begrudgingly admit it with a slight shrug of their shoulders.

They say that it’s only natural that we, as humans, learn to adapt to the environment, and adopt more familiar accents to make it easier for others to understand us.

But if we reason along those lines, then perhaps we should dye our hair blonde too, to make it easier for them to look at us. Are our accents really so strong that they find it that difficult to understand us? So much so that we have to change them to aid understanding?

When my friend spoke, he seemed to take on a certain air of eloquence. After the man had left, so too did my friend’s air of eloquence — seemingly dissipating into the midday heat right before my very eyes.

His accent back to normal, he seemed to me a whole different person from who he was just a few moments ago.

One man, two voices. One brain, two minds.