Cystic acne

The night was warm and I was not ready for sleep. I was amused to discover facial salons were still using High Frequency Wands as if it is a new and fancy treatment (ie 2016). It has been around for at least 30 years as a facial device. The wand was inexpensive and had been on ebay for a number of years. I had it in my ebay cart for a while before I dropped it because the acne went away.

My pimple tingled. Honey masks. Bentonite Clay masks. Benzoyl peroxide. They worked. Then they didn’t. I get a few giant spots when the weather turns warm. They take ages to never go away. I had bumps from way back – now no longer red but the acne is there. When I was a teen I got them on the nose and I thought unimaginatively of Rudolph. Now I get them on the cheeks.

When the night was warm and my pimple tingling, I checked out the cart at lazada. I have been giving my face little electric shocks. It is painful. What is totally relaxing is stroking my face with the device over a layer of gauze. It releases a bit of ozone made me extremely sleepy after the treatment. I struggled heroically against Sleep, to put away the device . It did occur to me that I should google ozone’s toxicity or addictive quality. Like a cotton pillow, that thought cradled and carried me to sleep. With the light on.

I named my pimples.
Reader contest!

Risk Thinking

Risk is the unknown. Thinking about the unknown is generally rather difficult. A firm has a lot of big tasks that is broken down into simple steps. You see, making a mistake in those little steps can lead to the fall of a giant. So an organisation frets over these little steps. In a workplace, the unknown is intrinsic due to the variability of emotions and the lack of predictability of what might screw up today. This occupies the minds of middle managers a lot.

An individual does not have such problems – the individual worries primarily about extrinsic unknowns. (The business will do well to learn from an individual!) I want to use risk thinking as a way for individual decision making. But where do I begin?

Who thought this was a Good Idea? By Alyssa Mastromonaco

It was fun. I enjoyed the anecdotes in the book and her voice was very chirpy and comes across as a can do sort of person. She has a lot of advice in the book for millennial girls on their first or second job. However, it didn’t come across as considered – it felt like it was a lot of platitude. I enjoyed her chirpiness.

Perhaps, I am the same age as Alyssa and am not her target reader. (She wanted millennials.) I felt Hillary Clinton’s book ‘What Happened’ had a lot more to teach in the kind of lessons Alyssa wanted to impart about leadership, kindness, humility and self-awareness, etc. I would recommend Clinton’s book over this.


Good sounds

A series of good things happened. My organisation had the misfortune of having plans leaked into the press. Some staff were cheered by the news when the stock price dipped. I was pertubed. If not to quell the sense of anxiety, I would not have re-discovered The Great Compassion Mantra (in short form). I have heard it playing in the background at my mom in law’s but it was all Sanskrit to me. I can’t quite remember how and why I wanted to download an app for reading Sutra but I did. I wept on hearing the wonderful Sutra. My anxiety gave way to calm. The calm transformed into joy. The joy transformed into well being. The well being transformed into confidence.

What marvelous words they are! I particularly enjoy the chanting by the monks here in this video.

Great Compassion Mantra

A thing called W. I. F. E

At work, a HOD was talking about his weekend plans. “But what about your son? Who is picking him up from tuition?”

“There is this thing called W. I. F. E.”

I want to get one of those too, I said to the lady to my right.

What a luxury to have one! All you have to do all day is sit about and do absolutely nothing.

When the kids were smaller I thought I could start studying something when they turned old enough for school. What a beautiful fantasy that! Daily, I am going on about spelling and 听写. What kids don’t realise is, we too prefer free play over work.

Saturdays are the only days I get to loaf while waiting for the kids to be done at their various classes. In between the groceries to be gotten, the wait and the travel or bags and sweaters forgotten, the W.I.F.E gets a rest.

Or is it that some lower end models complain and nag while running, the higher end models run smoothly and as noiseless as Mr Mopper?

How would you advise a girl like Tess?

In Our Time talked about Tess of D’Urbervilles. I read the book when I was in my Hardy phase a long time ago. At the end of the show, there was a bit of discussion about the rape of Tess. I got really curious and pulled out the book from the shelve and started my re-reading.

Alec’s behaviour is very creepy and very much manipulative and grooming. I can completely appreciate why she would have felt repulsed, confused and even resigned but maybe attracted to Alec. Here was a well off person whom she did not love who was pursuing her relentlessly. The attention is strange but exciting. Unlike Fantine who knew a time when men were kind and their words inviting. Tess did not know kindness and invitation. She knew there was something strange about this Alec but she didn’t listen to her gut feel that this guy is bad. Young girls make mistakes in trusting the wrong people. She was young and she was raped in her sleep. That’s terrible. She had to suffer the death of her rape baby. She suffered society’s prejudice that the woman is the seductress.  Did she realise Alec’s manipulation and groom? Yes, at the end. She doubted his conversion. He proved her right. She was at the last of her rope, so to speak, when she was propositioned again. When under extreme stress, it is understandable she exercised bad judgement again. Under stress, we all try to achieve short term goals then long term goals. However, I do personally think that she should have not engaged Alec both times. If she had kept quiet, he couldn’t goad her into being his mistress. Alec is a total asshole – he just does whatever fancies that enters his head. Angel is also an asshole who cares about what is in his head than the real world. He can’t even see that Tess loves him deeply. He doesn’t know and care what happens when he abandons Tess. He may think he has discharged his responsibilities by making sure she is materially taken care off. He doesn’t know Tess won’t approach his parents. He doesn’t know Tess will follow his orders to the exact. Even Alec knows it!

How would I advise Tess? Don’t engage the men until you observed they are good in behaviour. I would also advise her to trust her gut and think about her desire to be a selfless martyr. I would advise her engage in her thinking side than her feeling side. Initially I thought she was too passive. However,  I saw Les Miserables recently and Fantine was both assertive and attractive and she ended up being a prostitute, being sick and dead.

I felt Hardy’s presence very strong in the story. Hardy wants Tess needs to pay for it (to illustrate his points and themes). He  refers to God, Fate, angels who are suppose to protect Tess and innocent – I don’t know. Is it a Christian thing to expect the innocent to be protected? It’s the bad side of human to want to exploit the innocent. To refrain from exploiting is to practice good morals. Does protection come from God, Fate and angels? Well, in my opinion, God can only protect if everyone does as they are told. There are some people who just didn’t follow or misunderstand the religious text. There is not much God, Fate and angels can do to protect lambs living amongst wolves.

Perhaps Hardy hasn’t been around kids. A 16 year old who has been basically in charge of the family since she was young becomes a lot sharper due to her burdens and responsibilities. She was the parent. She may not know how to parent but she won’t be naive in the extreme. I felt that she exercised poor judgement in continually engaging Alec. I thought that even if Marian was miraculously transported to the start and reminded her that Alec is evil in the shape of a friend, Tess may not pay heed. She wanted to be compassionate and selfless. She wanted to feel the extra guilt that nobody heaped on her. She wanted to be the martyr. (Or maybe Hardy wanted her to be the martyr. She had no choice but be scarificed.) While I believe and understand that in those times, she would have no means of escape because the society gives lower class woman very little rights and considers them the seductress. I felt extremely distressed by the circumstances she was placed in. At the last, I felt Angel wronged her as much as Alec did – she was innocent but she wordlessly accepted their guilt and blame.

She realised the mistake and went on with her life. Alec is really bad. He manipulates an innocent girl to achieve his desires.




On Weddings

You’ve got the gown. You’ve got the ring.
You’re ready for the wedding.
How about the marriage?

I saw this interesting advertisement right in the Registry of Marriages today. At first I thought, well, isn’t it too late to back out? Then later, I figured out, it’s never to late to recognise you’re not ready for marriage – it may not be a wrong partner.


I had a blast at my aunt’s wedding!  We were at the Registry in our fineries before the appointed time of my aunt’s solemnisation. The solemnisation was completed in 15 mins. Family portraits were taken at picturesque spots near the main building. Then there was some lazing about at my aunt’s home before going out to a delicious lunch. We occupied ourselves with nothing more strenuous than sleep and television until thirst set in. My aunt roused herself to make tea. The pound cake (that I made) was sliced to go with tea.

Everyone returned to their earlier activities. I interrupted my reading (Tess of D’Urbervilles) to gazed at the Koreans on television from time to time.

It’s the wedding I wish I had. I love it!