Monday, December 30, 2002

Hey hey... so New Year's Eve plans have finally been formed!

(This is an open invitation, and please let me know if you're thinking of coming for purposes of hors d'oeuvres.)

Mahjongg at my house! [No set time; feel free to drop by at anytime after dinner.] We will have a few tables going... we (my siblings and I) can even teach you Chinese dominoes if you'd like [did anyone watch Kung Fu: The Legend Continues with David Carradine? =p].

Don't play mahjongg? No problem! We can teach you! Or, you can sample the wide selection of PS / PS2 / DC games from my brothers... and yes, the games include a variety of selections from Dance Dance Revolution! =)

Champagne has already been taken care of. =)

Lastly, to continue my (high school) friends' tradition, after the countdown, we will be going to Golden Griddle... say, 1-1:30?

Golden Griddle: [Markham Road / between Sheppard and Progress]
10 Milner Business Court M1B 3C6
It's at the bottom of the office towers there, so you need to park in the business parking lot.

If you'd like my address, please contact me! Hope to see you here!

[and all together now] Until next time, this is Gladys Yam.

Sunday, December 29, 2002

Haha, you know what else is inherited? The Yam household does not sleep. Well, it is not uncommon to find the entire household bustling about at 1 a.m. [presumably late?] It was really funny one day when my sister said to me, "What's wrong with us?" As I was watching or playing video games with one of my brothers while my other brother was doing exercises running up and down the stairs with a training kendo sword in his hands. Haha, I suppose you had to be there. =p

I guess it is also not uncommon to find the entire household napping at 6 p.m. in the evening either. =p

Until next time, this is Gladys Yam.

Thursday, December 26, 2002

Merry [belated] Christmas!

It is nice to be back at home, which for me, typically means hanging out with friends. (Work hard and play hard!)

But over the years, it has been increasingly fun to hang out with my family. I don't think I have historically been a very good sister; as a result of my "playing," I was seldomly at home. Having gone away for a couple of summers in high school, and then having gone away for university, I now cherish very much the family time that we have, especially since my sister is away at university, too. So we all look forward to having family dinners... they are hilarious. =P

The latest family functions were a "cousins' get-together" and... Chinese school.

My siblings and I (four of us in total) all went to mandarin class together (private teacher.) Haha... I must admit, story potential had a lot to do with my attendance, but it was fun. =) Oh, our Yam antics... haha, I think some of my craziness is inherited. It's not my fault! =p

Until next time, this is Gladys Yam.

Tuesday, December 17, 2002

Three more days, and then...

E&Y Christmas party! Haha...

Until next time, this is Gladys Yam.

Saturday, December 14, 2002

*smother*...*smother*...

How easily I forget...

A bug has been going around DC library; it seems that your nose starts running as soon as you step into the library, although it seems only a few people have caught a full-blown cold... I guess I was one of those few, despites my efforts to smother it with Vitamin C.

Alas, I forgot to add the important element of *rest*, coupled with the essential dependence on God for strength...

Haha, I accomplished a significant achievement on Monday, only significant to other machine-wannabe humans: I studied for pretty much all of the 16 hours I was at DC on Monday, on 2.5 hours of sleep... (no naps!)

Needless to say, I got sick after that, and am now quickly recovering, after having slept *all* day...

The Lord is my strength and my song;
he has become my salvation.
He is my God, and I will praise him;
my father's God, and I will exalt him.
– Exodus 15:2

Friday, December 13, 2002

Bond. James Bond.

Well we thought we'd take a break after Tax on Tuesday, so we watched "Die Another Day."

I *was* impressed with the creativity with the gadgets and toys, as well as with the plotline; I realize it's no easy task to think of new twists to please the masses...

That being said, a lot of the movie was incredible. Too many times did my friends and I mutter, "Oh come *on*! Please!"

Also, the movie was incredibly... punny. [nonstop *rollage* of the eyes]. One would expect *much* better writing from a movie of such calibre... =p

Until next time, this is Gladys Yam.

Monday, December 09, 2002

I'm still enjoying finals... although I'll see how I am tomorrow when I finish studying for Tax...

Hm.. just a question, does anyone know someone by the name of "Mung-Foo" or "Mum-Foo"? If so, please let me know. =)

I can hardly believe my undergrad is pretty much complete... all right, I have two more exams after Taxation III on Tuesday morning, but those are really not a big deal (thus revealing my relative level of care for those mandatory math courses...). I *am* still motivated to study for them, though; I have never ever had a term when I've slacked off this badly before.

Anyway, it's been a lot of fun. =) When my classmates and I get together (well, the "getting together" part happens pretty much seven days of the week...,) we often look back on this journey and reminisce, although only having begun less than five years ago. It's funny because we talk about the same events every single time, making me think of old (grandfather/grandmother-type) friends with faint memories, not being able to remember what they discussed an hour ago. A very pleasant scene.

The topics recur:

My friends didn't even know I was in accounting until sometime in 2B... somehow, I think we met up in DC (Davs Centre library) and Calculus (oh, Calculus...) brought us together.

2A was *brutal*... and so are accountants... =p

2B was *wonderful*; we *SO* should have taken six courses!!! [sigh]...

3A was terrible, playing "catch-up and midterm" every week, so we again lived in DC in our respective locations. And when we thought 3B couldn't possibly be any worse than 3A, it *was*... a hell-ish term if there was one.

Although not nearly as bad as 3B, we *still* spent all of our time in DC during 4A... out of habit? Perhaps: after all, it's our "home away from home away from home."

The value of education and the current degradation of the post-secondary education system (including the degradation of U of W), being lost to myopic mindsets brought on by the influence of industry and economics, especially with such a program as co-op, which requires that their students be trained for the here-and-now...

I guess tomorrow (technically, today) will be our last full day here, together, studying for the same course in our respective seats in the same row, day after day... it's been fun to "work" together: for class - group assignment and projects - have we exhausted all the permutations and combinations yet?, for DC - who will take the morning shift, and who will take the late shift? =p

Haha, may I present to you, the DC Crew. =p Haha... See you guys in Masters.

Until next time, this is Gladys Yam.

Wednesday, December 04, 2002

The time has come.

Oh, how I enjoy this time, when one can just study and not think about much other academic burden...

to be able to focus on just one thing at a time... to rest when it is needed... it is so relaxing, indeed...

oh finals, how I love thee...

(haha, yes, i am serious =p)

Until next time, this is Gladys Yam.

Tuesday, November 26, 2002

I *was* about to post a couple of days ago, but I have successfully converted back into "machine-mode". Haha, not to an extreme, but at least I have motivation to get things done.

This morning was beautiful...

"Who's that crazy girl taking pictures on her way to school?"

Beautiful... even Waterloo can be beautiful... =p

Until next time, this is Gladys Yam.

Wednesday, November 20, 2002

one down... four more assignments to go...

oh motivation, wherefore art thou, motivation...?

Not having any motivation to start writing up my assignment any earlier, I only started to assemble my thoughts at around midnight last night. And being the person of principle that I *am* (=p) I do not allow myself to complete an assignment (or study for a midterm, etc.) on the day of. That is, I must finish the assignment / finish studying before I go to bed... So I knew it was going to be a long night...

4:30 rolls around when all of a sudden... zap... power goes out, I lose everything since my last save (which, thank goodness, wasn't very much), but I had no power to complete the assignment...

Amusingly, my housemate, b.p., realizes that there was absolutely nothing else left to do and finally decided to go to bed.

I, on the other hand, proceeded to pack my bag to head for campus, where I planned to stay until class this morning... well, there was a change of plans and I ended up in the comfort of my friend's house [5:30 am: "Hello? Can I come over?" "Huh...mmm-hmmm"] and was able to squeeze in two naps somewhere in there before class... but... the stuff that I get myself into... [sigh] [tsee gei lo lay...] =p

The funny thing was, this morning in class, my friends complained about the power outage, and one told us that the power only came back on at 6am. Of course, the scary thing is that we were all up at that time... haha...

Until next time, this is Gladys Yam.

Tuesday, November 19, 2002

OK, OK, so here's the story...

I had accidentally spilled some oil on the stove (enough of it...) and I cleaned it up, but I guess I didn't realize oil had dripped into the dish underneath the element... so as my [choy] was boiling away, the element (well, technically the oil underneath) started to catch on fire... yes, very high flames...

So I immediately turned the element off, removed the pot off the heat, and was going to cover it with a pot lid when my housemate's boyfriend proceeded to empty out the contents of our Brita onto the element... (!!)

Well, thank God nothing disastrous happened.

Anyway, not a big deal. =p

Until next time, this is Gladys Yam.

Monday, November 18, 2002

I am back. =)

After a few weeks of running around like a chicken with my head cut off as a result of various things: standard pre-Lifesong activities, inadvertent involvement with the student co-operative housing government, and post-midterm assignments, I am now back in study mode, which means that I have something to procrastinate *from*, hence my return. =p

I have to catch up on these few weeks of classwork, especially for a couple of courses that I have deemed to be non-value-added, which means going back to my old student lifestyle of being at my home away from home away from home, of course, being the Davis Centre library.

Various

Friday was our accounting grad ball (yes, this is my last undergrad term... pics if interested.) Very nice to see my classmates all dressed up. We've been together for 4 and a half years now, so it was a nice celebration. Also nice to see our profs dance around; Professor Laiken is hilarious (the guy pouring wine in one of my pictures...) It was a fun night. Despite all the stereotypes, I think accountants know how to party. =p I mean, ALL of my friends were itching to get onto the dancefloor... ALL of them! No one sat behind! Haha, fine, if that still doesn't convince you... at least we all dress well. =p Afterwards, I went out with my friends to Timeless to eat, and then K-Zone until 4am... that's karaoke twice in a week. =p

Marking assignments is a pain...

Accounting theory assignment to finish...

Christmas is coming! The snow is very pretty... Do I have time for a Christmas dinner party??

Getting cold though... do I *really* have to pull out my (freaking huge) white winter coat? =p

Played piano last night until the early morning... was nice just to *play*... especially on chromaticizing the doxology, as visions of a silvery worship set danced in my head...

Mmm... I love clementines... how many can *you* eat at a time??

Gotta start catching up and start studying for finals... I wish I had the motivation that I had in third year: ambitious daily objectives and full schedules for weeks. Finished doing classwork for the entire week by the weekend before! But alas, no such motivation now... we shall see. =p

Also gotta clean my room...

On a side note, I lit the stove on fire today, but that's OK. =p

Until next time, this is Gladys Yam.

Saturday, November 09, 2002

God is good... all the time.

Lifesong turned out *well* last night. I am still in awe, still thankful...

An amalgamation of thoughts...

Thank you...
- for your support over these seven weeks, whether it be in prayer, making refreshments, ushering, promotions, setup, sharing, music, or attendance to Lifesong...
- for always being there for me...
- you for offering your help right at the start, thank you for giving me the direction and a rough schedule over these past 7 weeks...
- for your passion...
- for your courage in stepping up...

Encouraged...
- by your courage, completely being vulnerable and giving your everything as an offering to Him...
- to see you lift your gifts to him; you are talented in many ways...
- by your enthusiasm...
- when you just *do it*...

God will use you with you are willing...
I know God will continue to use you in many, many ways... =)

"I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." - Philippians 1:3-6

Wednesday, October 23, 2002

Good old Vitamin C.

The solution to signs of an oncoming cold:
Orange juice; vitamin C. Smother! Smother!...

Success!

I had a scare of a cold earlier this week, and thus ensued my usual solution. It has been crazy enough over the past two weeks... "Sleep is for the weak," yes?

Then this "cold-scare" made me once realize again: the few times that I *have* gotten sick during school terms (NOT fun...I got sick *twice* in 2A...grr...), it usually stems from my extreme self-reliance. I sometimes (oftentimes?) go on spurts of machinelikedness, running on coffee (mediums only, of course) and only stopping when i absolutely cannot go on any further. I continue to an extent, and I suppose it is when I go too far that I get sick. And every time that happens, I come to the same realization: I am simply incapable of sustaining myself.

In illness, I am incapable of depending on my own strength; I have none. The only thing that I *can* depend on, is His strength; for in His strength, I can do anything.

So now, aside from a *little* bit of caffeine, for the next three weeks, I am mainly running on his grace...

I can do anything through Him who gives me strength.
—Philippians 4:13


Thursday, October 17, 2002

Wow, over one whole month without touching this page...

[sigh] It's been crazy.

It's been a lot of fun being back in Waterloo and studying (as opposed to working), though, but as usual, I never fail to completely fill my schedule.

"There's no time, no time, gotta study, gotta wash my hair..." - Jessie from Saved by the Bell. Ha.

Anyway, the main thing on my mind these days...?

The capital gains deduction from the sale of qualified small business corporation shares (QSBCS), is calculated as the least of:

(a) Unused lifetime deduction

(b) Annual gains limit, calculated as:

A: the lesser of:
(i) the net taxable capital gains for the year, included in paragraph 3(b)
(ii) the net taxable capital gains for the year only taking into account gains from (QSBCS)

less

B: the total of:
(i) the total carry-forward net capital losses from preceding years less the net taxable capital gains for the year as included in paragraph 3(b) in excess of the amount calculated for A
(ii) the total allowable business investment losses realized in the year

(c) Cumulative gains limit, calculated as:

- the sum of all annual gains limits for all preceding years
less the sum of
(i) all capital gains deductions in preceding years
(ii) the Cumulative Net Investment Loss (CNIL), where CNIL is the sum of all investment expenses incurred after 1987 less the sum of all investment income incurred after 1987

—Federal Income Tax Act, section 110.6

Thanks! I can kind of understand it now, after explaining it! =P

Until next time, this is Gladys Yam.

Saturday, September 14, 2002


Do you make an active decision to love someone?

An interesting discussion among a number of us one late night about love and where it falls along the continuous spectrum between “emotion” and “decision”.

Obviously, love isn’t solely based on emotions, nor is it an emotionless decision… or is it? And assuming that a decision *is* made, do the emotions occur prior to or after the decision?

Very interesting indeed… making me reflect on my relationships and highlight points where I have or have not made such decisions…

Anyway, enough. Enough about *this* topic. =P

I’m glad to be back in Waterloo. =) Really excited for this upcoming term and upcoming year. As my program winds down, things don’t matter that much anymore, so I’m having a lot more fun with my classmates… hanging out with them, reminiscing as to how horrible it was in 2A, how wonderful it was in 2B, and the even more horrible terms that ensued… and then how relaxing it is now. =P

It’s amazing how God puts people in our lives, and how God answers prayer…

Ahh… It’s just nice to be back… =P

Until next time, this is Gladys Yam.

Monday, September 02, 2002

How do you know if you love someone?
How do you know if someone loves you?
What does it mean to “like” someone?
What implications does “liking” someone entail?


Just a sample of questions that I’ve been given opportunity to ponder about in the past while, and unfortunately, none of which I really have any answers for.

All I can say, is that (in my opinion,) as much as this type of love is a choice, it is very much emotional, not really an intellectual decision. *Something,* perhaps admiration, perhaps appreciation of that person’s gifts and qualities, and perhaps physical attraction, makes us want to spend more time and effort with that person, care for that person, maybe even more than you care for yourself… very elusive…

But anyway, nothing that you don’t already know.

How do you be sure that somebody *doesn’t* like you?

A question posed by a guy who wanted to better understand us girls, with respect to guys who go out of their way to spend time to talk to a particular girl, taking time to walk her to her car, etc.. I guess the main concern is, if the girl knew that he liked her, and if the feelings aren’t returned, she should manage expectations and not “play along;” it’s not nice to fish, especially if she doesn't intend to keep the catch… However, it would be more acceptable to continue the relation if the girl can be sure that there were, essentially, no risk.

My answer? Girls can tell. =P

Until next time, this is Gladys Yam.

Sunday, September 01, 2002

Wow, eight months have quickly flown by, and now, I should *really* be cleaning my room and preparing to pack for Waterloo, but obviously, I choose to do that later.

As I look back on my final work terms, I have a plethora of thoughts. But as usual, I tend to think too fast and my thoughts go in and go straight out. =p

Anyway, just a primer…

“It was by chance that we met,
by choice that we became friends...”


A quotation from my friend Sherrie’s site, [the person, incidentally, who did my fantastic photo shoot! Thanks Sherrie for the awesome pics! =)] who got the quotation from someone else… I don’t know. I guess it has to do with the friendships that I’ve been blessed with and which I cherish very much. I went out with my high school friends last night. It’s been a while, and I guess it’ll be a while until we all get together again… (hm.. maybe Christmas party 2003? =p) Although we will go away: Montreal, Maryland, Scotland, I think it is within our control to decide if we want to drift or not.

“It was by chance that we met,
by choice that we became friends...”


Would the same thing not apply on the opposite end, that it is our choice to stop? In any case, not that I think we will. Even if we don’t see each other for the next three years, hopefully I’ll see you guys at the next joint piano recital, hehe… =p

”The only way to have a friend is to be one.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson


(Can you not tell this is one of my favourite topics? =p
More to come…)

Until next time, this is Gladys Yam.

Wednesday, August 21, 2002

If interested, here is a link to my piano programme (It's a Word doc, may want to Save Target As... instead of viewing on the internet.. your preference.) (It's actually the programme handout for my recital in July.)

(No, I decided against Ireland in the end in favour of Debussy.) =)

Tuesday, August 20, 2002

Yay! Yay! Yay! Yay! Yay! Yay! Yay! Yay!
Yay! Yay! Yay! Yay! Yay! Yay! Yay! Yay!

I passed my ARCT piano exam!!!

Haha, I’m obviously VERY excited! =)

[sigh of relief] =)

THANK you for everyone who has supported me… for everyone who attended my recital, for everyone who helped out (ushering, refreshments, adjudicators, programme, sound, lighting), and for everyone who gave me many valuable comments and coaching, for everyone who has listened to me practise or let me practise at their house... THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!

[whew]

Praise the Lord. =)

Monday, August 19, 2002

[whew]

[breathe]

I haven’t been able to do that for a while now; the past few weeks have been pretty chaotic. Orlando didn’t come at a very opportune time, either.

It feels good to be able to just slow down and *think*. (Driving long distance at night is quite conducive for that, I find.)

To reflect on the past weekend, past month, the past couple of years, and see where I’ve succeeded or failed, where I’ve been strong or need to improve from here…

I see how God has worked in me, how I fit into his will, and where I have to continue to trust in Him.

Reflections can be indeed humbling, but at the same time, awesome.

The conclusion is often one and the same, however, no matter *what* has been going on…

I fall at His feet, and am overcome by his grace. =)

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
– Matthew 11:28

Monday, August 12, 2002

How safe it feels to be on Canadian soil.

Haha, as the finale to the conference, after breakfast and checkout, we were addressed by the firm's chairman, Jim Turley. Again, he emphasized the firm's commitment to its people, encouragement in achieving work-life balance, and importance in quality and integrity. I guess that's what they wanted to do for the conference, to push the firm's culture as a selling point to attract many young aspiring accountants. I think actual training was minimal in the conference... which makes the conference an even bigger waste of money. =P

As soon as we were dismissed, I boarded the shuttle bus that took us to the airport, and caught the flight to Toronto, getting out of the airport at 5:30pm.

Back to my world... especially this crazy week... I need to practise piano. =P

Until next time, this is Gladys Yam.

Sunday, August 11, 2002

Ouch, ouch, ouch… I guess I just experienced my first time getting sunburnt.

Today, we had “Team Challenge” outdoor activities, where we had to participate in various events, typical team-building activities. At the end of every activity there was a debrief on how these events related to Ernst & Young’s “global shared values”: Integrity, Teamwork, Leadership, Client-driven, and Innovation (not sure if I missed any… I should probably know these by heart by now.) The activities were pretty fun, and my team was pretty cool. However, it was outdoors ALL DAY (9:30 – 3:30), in the middle of an open field, on a clear sunny day in Orlando, Florida.

Wonderful.

So much for my many efforts at avoiding getting a tan. [sigh]…

All throughout the conference the presenters have been emphasizing these shared values, expanding on each one. This morning the presenters spoke about Leadership. They described a number of facets of leadership that they felt defined the term. I don’t remember most of them, but the one that stood out was “servant-leader”.

I don’t know what faith they believe in, but they did share that they were religious. However, the concept of servant-leader really only brings one person to mind: the person of Jesus Christ. I was very impressed that they are able to bring such meekness into the culture of the firm. And their humility was apparent to everyone.

After dinner, we had a little treat: we were lucky to see the illusions of Craig Kargas. It was amazing, but extremely freaky. He performed tricks as mind-reading (predicting beforehand that 4 members of the audience would collectively pick: a Dodge Viper that is black, with license plate AB4792, with a cost of $52,711.13. It was crazily scary. He also performed physical distortions (he broke off the head of a spoon by pinching it (and concentrating, but that’s just performance) right in front of our eyes. I don’t know… it was just really crazy stuff. =P

This evening after dinner, everyone went out, and I got a taste of Pleasure Island. Well, nothing really, just a number of clubs in one place (8 of them, to be exact.) We were all tired anyway, so we didn’t stay long. Why some parents brought their kids to Pleasure Island, I don’t understand. =P

Anyway, one more session tomorrow morning, and I will be on my way back home.

So enough Orlando for another few years. =P

Until next time, this is Gladys Yam.

Saturday, August 10, 2002

It’s a small world after all,
It’s a small world after all,
It’s a small world after all,
It’s a small world after all!



It’s a small world after all,
It’s a small world after all,
It’s a small world after all,
It’s a small world after all!



[Sie gai jun sai siew, siew, siew,
Siew duk jun kay miew, miew, miew
…]

Blog ending 1:
"Ahhh! The singing! The singing! Make it stop...!!!"

Blog ending 2:
“Ring, ring, ring,”

“Hello? Oh! Hi, Karen Yam! I’m actually on the It’s a Small World Ride right now… hahaha….”

Oh my, oh me.

[more to read below if you’re really bored… =P ]
Ah, the magic of Disney.

I haven’t been to Disneyworld (or Florida, for that matter,) for a long time, so visiting the Magic Kingdom brought back many memories; no particular undertone intended, just that many sights, sounds, and things were actually familiar to me. (I’ve probably been to Magic Kingdom at least four to five times.)

It was a better experience than I expected (so yes, Janey, I did have fun today, =P) even for a relatively “non-Disney” fan.

As soon as we got off the monorail to the Magic Kingdom, we were greeted with the principal theme and multiple variations of “When You Wish Upon a Star.” We planned out our route, and decided to circle the park in a counter-clockwise fashion, starting out with Tomorrowland.

Wow, I’ve never claimed to be a really bright kid when I was little, but it is only now that I appreciate cleverness and punniness of the park. What 10-year-old will appreciate the Shakespearean allusion in the store name: The Merchant of Venus? Or, the Geiger’s Counter, an ice cream parlour? How about the cleverness in the name of the singing alien in the Starlight CafĂ©, Sonny Eclipse? I think I *did* understand the pun (back then) in “The Lunching Pad” though! Oh, the enlightenments.

We went on Space Mountain and Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, actually a new experience for me. =P

Aside from the Buzz Lightyear ride, everything else was virtually unchanged for, perhaps, over 10 years?? I don’t remember if FedEx had such strong sponsorship of Space Mountain back then though.

Next up was Toontown Fair, where every moment is a Kodak moment.

Fantasyland followed, and of course, we *had* to go on the “It’s a Small World” ride. It practically epitomises the Magic Kingdom! Unfortunately, it wasn’t as *magical* as it felt when I was little, but alas… the only direction that innocence can go towards is being lost. =P I had really wanted to go on the Snow White ride, but there wasn’t too much time. Next time, though: I must overcome my fear. I remember being absolutely terrified of that ride. [shut up..=P] (And can you believe the lineup for the Peter Pan ride was 65 minutes??? Crazy!!)

Anyway, next to Liberty Square and Frontierland for Splash Mountain (still quite excellent after all these years) and the Haunted Mansion. After all those years of going to Disneyworld, I have never been to the Haunted Mansion, and it was a lot of fun. We were pretty scared, actually, but mainly due to self-affliction. (We were *genuinely* scared…) Anyway, I shall tell that story some other time.

Until next time, this is Gladys Yam.

Friday, August 09, 2002

Aiya, I have been spending way too much money… my classmates and I went shopping again today…

The conference officially started today with a reception, where we basically had a Waterloo reunion (I think there are around 20 of my classmates here…) instead of the original intent (I assume) of getting to know other people. After an hour of mingling, the entire Ernst & Young delegation migrated into the next ballroom for a presentation and dinner

I think it’s really funny how much Ernst & Young has invested into this conference… the point of which, I think, is to “sell” the firm to these summer interns as a place to work full-time. I think that’s a waste of money because if these interns already accepted offers to come for the summer, wouldn’t you think they would want to return?? Anyway… I guess it’s a free trip for me, but still. =p.

It’s funny: Think huge pep rally – convention centre set up for dinner, say, 90 tables? There are 750 interns plus 140 facilitators / presenters. The lights are dim, the music is blasting, the clubbing-type lights are going, and there are two huge screens at the front, primed for an Ernst & Young PowerPoint presentation.

The best thing was the automatic cordless polling device. Everyone had a remote control-like thing which generated automatic statistics, so the presenter could ask a question, and it would generate a stat in 20 seconds, like the ratio of male to females (47:53), where people were from: International, Canada, or USA (5:13:82), or whether or not we agreed that leading a successful career was synonymous to earning a high salary (49:51) [interesting…].

After dinner, I think most people went to Pleasure Island for clubbing. My classmates and I declined, and decided to go to the pool. I was smrt enough not to bring my bathing suit… it was a *really* nice night, complete with a replicated Mayan pyramid. =P I really miss swimming. I guess going to the PAC next term won’t really compare, won't it? =p

Anyway, breakfast starts at 7am tomorrow…so,

Until next time, this is Gladys Yam.

Wednesday, August 07, 2002

Some things airport staff should never announce:

“Ladies and gentlemen, we apologize for the delay, but we had some complications due to a fuel leak…”

God is good. =)

And so my International Intern Leadership Conference experience begins, situated at the fountain of youth: Disney =P at the Coronado Springs Resort in Orlando, Florida.

Wow, reminds me of last year when I narrated my accounts in the City of Life: Hong Kong, China.

“I miss Hong Kong...” I whine. =P

Anyway, I could *not* leave my computer behind; there are too many things on my mind to disconnect myself from my world for 4 days… I’ll be back in Toronto on the 11th.

I had about an hour to kill because I arrived early before the rest of my friends are supposed to land. So here I am, on my computer, complete with Starbucks coffee, in the middle of Orlando airport, composing my first blog from the land of the free. I was disappointed, actually. I was looking forward to plugging into a data port and dialing-up… but to no avail. I guess Toronto is somewhat more advanced in this area. =P

I’ll probably see you online tonight. =P And maybe actually retire early, for once... oh yes, if anyone's interested, I can be reached at 407-939-1000 room 5444, or just ask for me. =P

Until next time, this is Gladys Yam.

Monday, July 29, 2002

Da da da da da da da da!
Da da da da da da da da!
Da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da DAH DAH!

Haha, God is good.

Once again, I am overwhelmed by his grace:
his providence,
his blessings,
his joy,
his comfort,
his peace,
his rest…

The LORD is my strength and song,
And He has become my salvation;
This is my God, and I will praise Him;
My father's God, and I will extol Him
– Exodus 15:1-3

Thursday, July 25, 2002

Events of the day:

[I'm currently auditing a software company, in a team of four. The work environment is not *too* favourable: despite the completely open concept layout, it is *extremely* quiet. Also, the client placed us right behind a couple of servers, and the fans around are FREEZING! The drone of fans is also quite sleep-inducing. =P Anyway...]

At around 11 o'clock, the server makes a noise, like it's going to shut down. Subsequently, some power goes down, and monitors around us start flickering. The server maintenance guy runs in, some profane language escapes his mouth, and he runs off. Apparently, (as I later found out,) he went to pull the fire alarm.

A few seconds later, all power dies.

The fire alarm rings.

"Fire! Electrical! Get out!"

I look to my team, and shruggedly, we follow the crowd out to the parking lot, actually smelling some burning smell on the way out.

A few minutes later, four fire engines pull up and the firefighters proceed to investigate the situation in the basement of the building. They come back out, get gas masks, and start pulling out a waterhose, pumping water through.

A few minutes later, Pizza Pizza pizza is delivered, and we get free food.

["nice." =P]

After half an hour or so, as the firefighters retreated and started to pack up, everyone was let into the building to collect their personal belongings, and were dismissed for the day.

Haha, exciting things *do* happen on audits. =P Actually something else happened today too... we were notified that one of our contacts was to be let go today, effective immediately. That was *not* fun.

Anyway, our senior let us go home for the day, but I ended up going back to the office with her because a whole slew of things was looming over my head, although I still intended to leave early.

And so I did.

I really need to practise. =P

Until next time, this is Gladys Yam.

Wednesday, July 24, 2002

re: July 22 - Sanctification, the death side

I've never thought of sanctification as explicitly as Oswald Chambers explains it.. the process of my "stripping down," down to my totally depraved nakedness; the vulnerability is kind of scary.

This text made actually me think of the book we attempted to read [for cell group]: "The Heart of Worship", by Matt Redman. The second chapter is called "The Undone Worshipper". It tells about worshipping God with a brokenness where God "undoes" us, maybe even leaving us with a thorn in the flesh to remind us of our weakness. It's only in this realization of our nothingness that we can truly worship God.

Matt Redman's story is pretty amazing.. what happened was that he got tendinitis in his right hand, which means not being able to play guitar for 6-7 weeks. For a worship leader, songwriter, a general music person, that is detrimental.. I don't know how difficult it would be for me if I had to give up a similar characteristic so integral to my self. But he only faced it with an attitude of worship, humbly trusting in God.

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
– Psalm 51:17

Tuesday, July 16, 2002

(Read the previous post first if you haven't already...)
(Don't worry, only seldomly will I write such lengthiness. =P)

Oh yes, I *did* have another point to my story.

Given my gratefulness and appreciation for all my friends who have taken time to give me a card, I should really turn my efforts up a notch and try to remember birthdays... I'm just not a "date" kind of person. =P

[sigh]... perhaps too much nostalgia for my own good. =P Not to say, however, that I don't live in the present; I very much do...

Until next time, this is Gladys Yam.
OK, I don’t often do this, share my recent thoughts, (or even, my life story.) But in any case, here goes. I’ll try to come up with a point. =P

Random thoughts on a common theme…

…a result of a combination of items:

1. I’ve been cleaning my room lately (it’s taken >6 mos.)
2. I possess tendencies of an extreme packrat (it’s genetic, I say.)
3. I also possess meticulousness in organization (anal accountant? Perhaps.)
4. My friends and I either graduated this year or will graduate in the next year.
5. I enjoy very much moments of nostalgia in general.

I stumbled on my old cards as I cleaned my room. Of course, they were all packaged and labelled by year, grade, and event. Because my friends and I are all approaching graduation and moving on to the next stage of life, everyone is curious as to the “goings-on’s” of everyone else with whom we went to school before university.

Looking at these cards made me think of my journey:

Meeting my first friends in grade one: Alfred and Andrew… it was on the school climber (back then climbers were built out of wood, complete with opportunities to pick up slivers, none of this ultra-safe plastic nowadays: what fun is that?? =P)

My first birthday cards: 11th birthday in grade 5, 12th birthday in grade 6… where the gesture of a card was ample; where Andrew was the coolest person to have a computer-generated, dot-matrix printed card =P; we only signed names without writing anything; friendships were innocent and fun; there was no need to “talk” anything out; disputes were rare, if any.

A drought of cards between grades 7 to 9, which confirms the reasons for my extreme dislike of middle school… it was a traumatic experience, indeed. =P

Starting from grade 10, (sweet sixteen!) a LOT more was written in cards. It’s amazing how far we’ve come since grade one. We have since matured significantly, having gone through many more life experiences (although I don’t deny having a somewhat sheltered childhood / adolescence…), accomplished many achievements, dreamt bigger and better futures.

As I graduated from high school, my circle of friends expanded... We’ve shared wonderful experiences together: Switzerland, and being stranded in Florence; monopolizing the school by controlling the yearbook ([to the student council] Oh yeah? Oh yeah? One page for you! Black and white! =P Haha, joking); graduating from a ghetto school as a circle of friends who actually looked toward the future... =P

I also got to know what *real* friendship is: sharing struggles and burdens with each other, empathizing based on the understanding gained from past experiences, caring without seeking anything in return, tasting the purity the love of philios

This concept of friendship extended to university; having met a few more people whom I now consider as my closest friends…

My point in all of this?

In the final analysis, all I can say is that I have been blessed beyond comprehension. God has carried me through all these years (especially out of those traumatic middle school years… =P) and I am forever grateful.

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
– James 1:17

Sunday, July 14, 2002

Hello there, I realize this will only be significant to some, but I just wanted to announce that I (finally) saw Minority Report.

Very interesting, quite thought-provoking.

Anyway, I'm sure you'll hear more about this later... =P

Until next time, this is Gladys Yam.

Wednesday, July 10, 2002

Sorry, I realize it’s been a LONG while… haven’t had much time to think and write, but here’s what I *was* thinking about:

Do we ever *need* a boyfriend/girlfriend?

By definition, “need” means there is a *necessity.* Perhaps this necessity demonstrates the importance of the person; that we cannot live without him/her. This may be the highest form of compliment… (recall the movie, “Needing You” =P)… demonstrating to the other person that the relationship is indispensable.

Maybe we *need* affection, need someone to care for us, to be there for us when we need it…

But… do we ever get to that level of necessity? I don’t know.

Nor am I an advocate of necessity for such things either…

Just something that I’ve been thinking about lately.. =P

Until next time, this is Gladys Yam.

Monday, July 01, 2002

(In response to Nighthawk's comments:) [see "Enjoy a Yam here"]

I agree. Long distance is *not* an ideal, and I don’t think people go around *looking* for a long distance relationship anyway… it just results from circumstance…

And I’m not saying distance is completely not a factor. =P But I guess I emphasize the “commitment” part of the relationship. True, commitment should be a significant part of *any* relationship, but it just takes a *lot* more effort in a long distance one. The risk of being too independent is extremely high. However, it’s still possible to still communicate, to support one another in struggles, to overcome trials together despite the difference in location…

I don’t know, I realize I’m idealistic in many ways… =P But it still boggles my mind: if people really want *something*.. wouldn't they stop at nothing to get it? (fine, under reasonable situations... but still...)

I don't know, I still think that if there's a will, there's a way...

*especially* if it's God's will...

so I guess the question becomes, then, *is* it God's will...?

But then again, that is *always* the question... =P

Until next time, this is Gladys Yam.

Friday, June 28, 2002

The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
– Psalm 19:1


What a beautiful day...
...especially compared to our office right now... it's freezing. =P

My coworker and I decided to take a walk at lunch, so I took off my jacket to go outside. =P

Such a nice day.

Nice to just sit in a park, (located in downtown nonetheless,) and just admire the peaceful beauty of nature...
a tranquility amidst busy city streets all around...
like the stillness in the eye of a tornado...
it's so calming...
so comforting...
so peaceful...
so nice... =)

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he restores my soul.
– Psalm 23:1-3


Wednesday, June 26, 2002

"...The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away;
may the name of the Lord be praised."

– Job 1:21b

Sunday, June 23, 2002

God is good.
God is great.
God is awesome.
God is superlative.
Actually, God *defies* superlatives.
Haha... silly, silly... =P

Yes, Vern, how right you are. Haha.. I'm probably the only person who can amuse myself like I do... =P

Anyway, I was having one of those days. In this case, the "those" refers to an uncontrollable-emotional-outpour type of day. No, I don't get these often, but every couple of months I'll get one. =P

I'm not generally an emotional person, but pretty much the only thing that *does* cause me to get emotional is thinking about God's grace, as was the case here.

God has blessed me *abundantly,* to no end. I don't think I have any complaints about any aspect of my life... which leads me to pose the question, "Why??"

I am a proud and selfish person, undeserving of any goodness whatsoever. Totally depraved, spiritually blind, completely hopeless on my own strength, subject to spiritual death if it weren't for...

...God's grace.

"Why???"

"I have chosen you to be my child."

"But... it's too much... I can't accept it..."

"It is only by my grace that you can be saved. I love you the way you are, and this is my gift to you. I know you want to return the favour and try to do something back for me, but really, there is nothing that you can *do*. Just accept my gift to you."

"I don't know...."

--------

I must have gone through this conversation dozens of times before I could say,

"I don't know... but okay... yes... I accept!"

And thus commenced my journey as a Christian.

Ever since, he has abundantly showered his blessings upon me, and with the same level of gratitude as before, I struggle between the concept of work ethic and the acceptance of his grace.

But really, why do I bother? What good is it to gratefully but semi-unwillingly accept his gifts, to wallow in my unworthiness?

God has chosen me to be called his own, he has granted me the gifts to be used for his will, and it is up to me to say, "Um... I don't know... but okay... yes, I accept!"

And so I do, and (try to) shower *his* gifts on those around me. =)

Until next time, this is Gladys Yam.

Friday, June 14, 2002

"What is a relationship?"

I had to think very hard to this question, and still wasn't really able to come up with an answer. Just that it encompasses many things.. Just some thoughts... (in the general "boyfriend/girlfriend" sense):

Love - I think love is actually a learning process... we gradually learn to love people, and in the process, we see how God's love works, and consequently should grow in our relationship with Him. You know the heartbreaking feeling when you really miss someone? Imagine... I think God *always* feels that with us...

Commonalities - Just a practical thing... I don't know if the "opposites attract" cliché is actually representative. How can the relationship function if there is nothing to talk about?

Commitment - What's the use of dating if it's not going to go anywhere? Personally, I think dating is meant to result in marriage... I'm not saying all relationships HAVE to work out or anything, but I think that's the mindset to have when entering into a relationship. There will never be a perfect relationship. Trials are bound to ensue, and it is commitment to each other that will hold them together.

Physical attraction - haha, this is debatable... personally, I never really thought about physical attraction (seriously!) but it has been said, "A couple can have everything... but if one of them thinks the girlfriend/boyfriend is ugly, then they are hopeless." Hm.. I don't know.... maybe?

Anyway, given all of these components, mainly commitment, I think "distance" is almost irrelevant. True, it is a lot more difficult and takes a lot more effort on the part of the parties, but as long as the couple *wants* to stay together and makes the effort to do so... what will stop them?

Just some thoughts... comments?

Until next time, this is Gladys Yam.

Tuesday, June 11, 2002

Oh yes, back to the Relationships book... you know what? Forget it. What Dr. Les and Leslie parrott write about guy/girl friendships is... anti-climactic... nothing that you've never heard before. So forget it. =P

Can I throw out a general question though?

How many of you are in a long-distance relationship? How have you been handling it so far? What keeps you going?

Ahem, yes, questions that hit close to home... =P For those of you who know me, I'm okay, really. I'm just wondering... =P

Until next time, this is Gladys Yam.

Monday, June 10, 2002

AHHH!!!!!

I just played the worst match of tennis in my life!!

[sigh]... thank goodness my partner was forgiving, and by using our strategy of minimizing my contact with the ball, we still managed to win. =P

[sigh]... I'm tired... it's one of those days...

Until next time... [sigh, too tired]... =P

Sunday, June 09, 2002

HEY!!!!!!

Just my reaction after reading Jason's page. =P

Anyway, one of my songs would be:
[gum teen ngo sui yiew dik see ngoi].

But in terms of meaningfulness, maybe:
[tien hei hei] / [teen huk huk]

Haha, jokes. =P

Thursday, June 06, 2002

Hm.. well, if you haven't noticed, I'm kind of running dry on this topic. Which is weird and maybe unfortunate because it (meaning "balance") tends to be an answer that I always hear. Oh well, I haven't had that much time to think about stuff to write either...

Anyway, question: Is there ever a time when it is acceptable to give up on a friendship?

I was just thinking... sometimes friendships don't always go our way; we put a lot of ourself in, but don't always receive anything in return. Does that give us a right to start giving up on the friendship? But then, friendships aren't meant to be a cost-benefit decision anyway, right? I don't think we need to "try" as hard as we did before, but I don't think we can just give up like that.. it wouldn't be right. It would bother me to know that a friendship didn't work out because I didn't *really* try to work things out. No, maybe I'm emphasizing too much on the "doing" part.. maybe we call each other less and less.. but I don't think we should stop *caring*. And when contact ceases, thus concludes the "friendship of the road."

I've been reading Relationships by Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott. In their chapter about friendships, they explain that our "circle" of friends is more like a triangle: we contact between 500 to 2500 acquaintances each year, then 20 to 100 "core friends" whom we know by name and see somewhat regularly, then 1 to 7 intimate friends, who are closely involved in our lives.

They cut out our "close friends" into 2 categories: Friends of the Road, and Friends of the Heart.

Friends of the Road - friendships that were strong at the time, but all of a sudden fades into our memories. These friendships were meant to be transitory; they helped us grow through this stretch of the road, before road ran out.
Friends of the Heart - long-lasting pals who know us sometimes better than we know ourselves... etc. =P
Neither categories are better then the other, what matters is how the friendship sustains us right now.

The main point, however, is Friends of the Road aren't failed friendships; they helped us through that time in our lives, and for that we are grateful.

Oh yeah, the book *did* touch upon guy/girl relationships, actually... but nothing much, I'll write about it later. =P

Until next time, this is Gladys Yam.

Wednesday, June 05, 2002

Balance: A harmonious or satisfying arrangement or proportion of parts or elements, as in a design.

Interesting. Just thought I would look it up to see what it means... there are many definitions of the word, most of them fitting my general idea of equilibrium where all "forces" or inputs, or whatever you want, are equal. But this definition is much more fitting for our purposes. It just really caught my attention because I've never thought about it like this before, and I like it.

Sorry, didn't mean to interrupt, I'll get back to my questions later. =P

Until next time, this is Gladys Yam.

Monday, June 03, 2002

Sorry for not posting in a while... I've been out of the storage room and in the sun. =) And I think I should really finish my work before I spend time on this page, especially if I'm *at* work. But it's evening now, so it's ok. =P

Thanks Matt for your thoughts.

Balance. I realize that the scope of the word is pretty broad, so let's break it down (must not confound =P).:

Time - If you place value in more than one thing, then it is probably desirable to balance your time between them (lest you become one-dimensional =P). Easiest example: work (study) or play, marks or fun; we definitely have to balance between the two. Sorry, I'm not really qualified to present a quick and easy solution... although I *do* have some suggestions (namely, make a schedule! =P) No surprises here.

Effort level - As Matt has alluded to, (I suppose in terms of an ethical argument), we should put in our 100% in whatever we do. Well, whatever, I don't want to argue anything here; I know this stance is entirely debatable. (Those who know me will understand my position since I *do* have perfectionistic tendencies.. =P or just "analities" =P)

Anyway, kind of relating to this topic of effort level, let me pose a couple of questions:

Is there ever a time when it is acceptable to give up on a friendship? Is it possible to care too much?

I'll leave you with these... Until next time, this is Gladys Yam.

Thursday, May 30, 2002

Opportunity cost: The loss of the next best alternative.

It has been said that our greatest gift and resource is time. Given this limited resource, should we not find the production possibilities frontier; that is, the combination of activities that produces the maximum potential? Haha, incredible isn't it, that economics is *actually* applicable to life? Oh, what is that? It *is* life? Okay, ri-ght.=P Enough jargon for now.

*However*, depending on your definition of maximum potential, the optimal combination does not necessarily lead to balance. People who love their jobs may just want to spend their day and nights at the office. Workaholicism isn't a problem then, is it? Haha, no, I'm not advocating for myself... =P The root of this issue is independent, questioning the appropriateness of one's placement of value.

Personally, I've come to the realization that I'm not as ambitious as I thought I was, or as I used to be. NO, it does *not* have to do with anything marriage related. =P I think everyone has a purpose for our lives, and I no longer see the value in a stellar career. For me, I place value in the people around me. As a Bessie Stanley (to be confirmed) wrote, (apparently incorrectly attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson), "...To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived..."

What is *your* purpose on this earth?

Until next time, this is Gladys Yam.

Wednesday, May 29, 2002

As I mentioned in my Introduction, I'm not (really) one who likes to express my thoughts or opinions... that would require me to have some sort of logical thought process to begin with.

On the other hand, I will spare you the lacklustre details of my life:
"I went out to [an unnamed client] this morning to audit their pension fund... they situated me in an empty office, otherwise used as their new storage room! So there is no light (thank goodness it's been really sunny), and it is dusty in here! I started going through their custodian statements of their defined benefit pension plan of $XXX million dollars and started ticking away..."

Really, accounting / auditing isn't that bad. No, I'm not sarcastic.

Balance. I would have put a description in, but I needed to think about it first.

What *is* it about balance that we strive to achieve it? We (should?) strive to balance our diet, balance our time, balance our life. (Not to mention balance our chequebook; how fitting that I'm an accountant. =P)

OR, is it worth striving for at all? Does balance lead to mediocrity across the board and lack of excellence in any particular area?

Let us discuss... in the time to come. =P I really need to get work done. =P

If you have any thoughts or comments on this subject, I welcome you to share them with me at yamkaryee@hotmail.com. I will consider them in my following posts.

Until next time, then, this is Gladys Yam.

Monday, May 27, 2002

[sigh] Internet is bad.

Despite my criticisms of "bloggers"... ("People have way too much time on their hands..."), I have succumbed. =P

Well, *only* as a result of a combination of an (unexpected) internet connection and (expected) procrastination at work... okay fine, *I*'m the bad one... [sigh].
Gotta...stay...connected.... =P

Anyway, so finally, here is my blog; it is up after some minor technical difficulty. I hope you don't expect too much though; I'm not one who often expresses an opinion.. that would require an opinion to begin with. And well, nothing much is going on with my life for now, but I suppose we shall see. If I'm *really* bored one day maybe I'll re-archive my expeditions in Hong Kong and China from Winter 2001, especially for those young people out there who did not know me prior to Spring 2001.

In any case, I have work to do, so until next time, this is Gladys Yam.