All About Me

I have lots to say and many people have asked - who is behind China's Secret Teas? So this seems like a good way of marrying the two. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Junkie vs sell-outs

Thank you to my friend Nadine (all the way in Australia) who reminded me of 2 new shows that I have also really enjoyed watching this season:
Criminal Minds - excellent series on FBI profilers (with some old faces from Chicago Hope in a new incarnation). Can't wait for Season 2!
Bones - great brand extension by Kathy Reichs, forensic anthropologist who has written a series of crime bestsellers. Series is based on her really but also stars ex-Buffy/Angel star, David Boreanaz. Yes, he doesn't just do broody and can actually act ;-)

Lest you think that I am just some American TV junkie, I also do read quite a bit. Actually, whilst I am on the topic of reading and brand extension, let me warn you off certain authors.

Offending authors in the fantasy/adventure genre:

  • Raymond E. Feist - Magician series was fantastic, even the Empire follow-up series was good. However, he started getting proposterous when even Jimmy the Hand had his own series.
  • David Eddings - maybe when you are like 12, the Belgariad series captivated but when 20 years later he is still trying to capitalise on that....the Elder Gods??
Don't they know when to stop? Or are there still fans out there who continue buying their books long after their best writing has stopped simply in hope that they will get better? If so - stop, then perhaps they would be forced to become creative story-tellers again.

Offending authers in the Crime Fiction genre:
  • John Grisham - need I say more?
  • Patricia Cornwall - to be fair she did try to depart from the usual with her Jack the Ripper book but then reverted to form (bowing to popular demand no doubt?!).
  • James Patterson - he has now even 'licensed' his name in collaboration with other authors now (eg. James Patterson and Andrew Goss - has anyone even heard of Andrew before this collaboration?)
These are authors who have (in my opinion) completely diluted their brand/name. I'm sure there are plenty more out there - so let's out them!

Interestingly enough - at the bookshop today, I came across a book based on the TV series Bones! So well done to Kathy Reichs again for another profitable spin-off/brand extension.

I have also learnt that Iain M. Banks is also a mean writer not just of Science Fiction (Player of Games being my intro to his work but certainly not the last) but also of contemporary fiction going under the name of Iain Banks (without the initial).

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Blind or Deaf?

Definitely blind. You see, I find it easier to remember people's faces than their voices (so I would rather be able to hear them than not hear them). I think the silence would just drive me mad....

Read a report a few years ago that showed that most people (over 90%) of the population would rather be deaf. Yes, I do see the irony, in light of my revelation of just how much tv I do watch. No more copious TV watching, well, I guess I can still listen/hear TV! Much like now actually where I work away on the laptop with the TV in the background. So only half watching.

I mean, does anyone really sit and watch television anymore without doing something else simultaneously? Be it folding the laundry, ironing or replying to emails.

OK, the exception may have been during the World Cup (or any other live televised sporting event). Actually even then, I found it too agonising to just sit and watch without something else to take my mind off the unfairness of things (see previous rant in Blog entry 3).

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Sunrise or Sunset, Pen or Pencil?

Remember my favourite getting-to-know-you question? (See first blog entry if you don't)

Well, I have a whole slew of getting-to-know-you-better questions.

For instance, if I have not seen you for awhile, I will ask:
''what have been your 3 most memorable events of the past year?'' or ''what are the three things you want achieve in the new year?'' (usually at Christmas/New Year parties)

Now, this tends to drive my immediate family crazy...they don't seem to introspect as much as I would like them to? ;-)

I remember when my mom, sis and I reunited in Boston for my sister's graduation about 3 years ago. Bearing in mind that outside of photos, I have not seen them for about 2 years at this stage. So whilst on the metro to visit Harvard Square, I enthusiastically asked them all my 'catch-up' questions only to be faced with sighs, rolled eyes and monosyllybic replies.

Not to worry, the story has a happy ending. When we arrived and were browsing the bookshops in Harvard Square (frequented no doubt by the great minds from Harvard University), I came across a rather slim, chic looking hardcover book entitled 'All About Me'.

Guess what? This book contained all my favourite getting-to-know-you questions and much much MORE! I was ecstatic and felt completely vindicated - I'm normal! Needless to say, the book had to be purchased.

One of the sections contain questions such as:

Sunrise or sunset (much as I like watching a sunrise, I must go with sunset - I'm more likely to be awake and simply love those glorious orangey/purplely sunsets!)

Pen or pencil (pencil - if I make a mistake, I can erase it but with a pen...)

My favourite - would you rather be blind or deaf?

Monday, July 10, 2006

Inbox bursting its seams!

My inbox has finally reached proportions never before seen by me - 666 messages waiting to be read, replied to and action taken. Besides the fact that it is a terribly unlucky number, I usually keep the no. of messages below 100, so the pressure has been mounting for me to clear it.

I am sorely tempted to just delete them all sight how did all those emails accumulate?

OK, looking at the types of emails:
10% people I really want to write a nice long, considered reply to
10% sales leads
80% newsletters that impart really useful information (or so I think), such as those from Harvard Business School, Wharton Business School, New York Times, Seth Godin's blog, Microsoft, Daily Candy, The Times Online, numerous start-up advice & etc.

I realised about 6 months ago that it was becoming rather obsessive, compulsive, this quest of mine, to want read everything that is out there that would (could?) vaguely enrich my life in some shape form or other.

So I ruthlessly unsubscribed to all non-essential newsletters - so why have I still so many to go through? Self-inflicted I fully admit but which ones to eliminate?

Plus I really do enjoy reading these e-newsletters.
Never mind that the marketer in me knows that e-newsletters are just ploys to ensure that their brands are top of mind, etc.
There is this other part in me that whispers insidiously - ''What if there is some vital piece of information or great business idea that I miss out on if I don't read that email?''
I mean a gal has to keep up with the latest trends in business, technology, marketing, lifestyle, right?

Oh yes, I'm not even counting the emails that I have already moved into the 'to read later' folder. Will my folders ever be empty?

How many emails do YOU have in your inbox at the moment?