Month: September 2013

Cars versus Cabs

Cars:

Firstly you’ll need to get a driving license. Which is usually a long, painful and tedious process. Once that is done, you have to pay COE and what not to buy a car. You’d need to apply for a bank loan & wait for it to be approved, and there’s loads of paperwork involved.

You’d need to pay road tax, you’d need to pay ERP, insurance, parking, etc.  You’d need to pump petrol every so often. You have to be a responsible driver and you’re obligated to follow all the traffic rules.

Sometimes the car breaks down and you’d need to send it in for repairs. Other times, you’d need to send the car for servicing. The car might break down in the middle of the road, during peak hour traffic. You might not be able to find parking when you really really need it.

Its pretty much one huge liability.

But of course, having & driving your own car certainly has its advantages, despite all the above commitments. (Just look at the sheer amount of cars on the roads these days!)

Cabs:

They’re everywhere.

All you have to do is stand by the roadside & stick your arm out. Or call for one. You can easily get from Point A to Point B, and just pay for the cab fare.  Zero effort required. You dont have to make small talk with the cabbie if you dont feel like it. You’re not responsible for whatever happens to the cab. No bank loan, no insurance required. Zero paper work. No commitments or responsibility whatsoever.

 

 

The point of this entry is…

If you want to drive your own car & enjoy all the perks of doing so, there is quite a bit of time & effort involved. It is also an investment. But at the end of the day, if its something you REALLY want, if you want to own and drive your own car, you’d make that effort. You’d get the license, you’d get the bank loan, you’d do all the shit paperwork. You’d follow all the traffic rules, because otherwise your license might get suspended.

However, if you do not wish to invest any effort or time whatsoever, then its probably best to just take cabs. No effort required. Zero responsibility, zero obligation. Although there are no guarantees you can get a cab when you want one. And…. the cabbie is also not obligated to be nice to you.

 

Its actually very simple, isnt it?

Nobody’s putting you at gun point. Ultimately, the choice is yours. : )

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How to: Make Tiramisu

I love tiramisu. And I also love that it does not require any baking.

 

Here’s a very simple recipe:

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You’ll need-

– 3 egg yolks (I usually buy the eggs on the day I make this, so they’re as fresh as possible. You’re basically going to consume raw egg yolks so its probably best to also buy the best & freshest eggs you can find. You really wouldnt wanna use eggs which have been sitting around for weeks.)

– 1.5- 2 tablespoons of sugar (You can use as little or as much sugar as you like. 1 – 2 tablespoons would be just nice.)

– 250 gm mascarpone cheese (Buy the smaller tub you find at the supermarket.)

– 1 cup strong espresso, cooled (I use 3 coffee bags, steeped in boiling water, to make “strong expresso”.)

– 2- 3 tablespoons of Baileys Irish Cream. Or rum if you have that.

– Lady fingers/ sponge fingers

 

Steps:

1. Make the expresso first, so that it has time to cool.

2. Use electric mixer to whisk egg yolks and sugar until pale & creamy, approx. 5 mins. Add mascarpone cheese and beat until smooth.  Add 1 tablespoon of expresso and mix until thoroughly combined. I also add the Baileys in at this point.

3. In a small shallow dish, add remaining expresso. Dip each ladyfinger into expresso for 3- 5 seconds, careful not to let it soak for too long or the ladyfinger will disintegrate… very quickly. (The first time I made tiramisu, I lost 6 ladyfingers. RIP.)

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4. Line a container with the expresso-soaked ladyfingers. Spoon the egg yolk + sugar + mascarpone cheese mixture over the 1st layer of ladyfingers. Repeat this step 2- 3 times, depending on the size & depth of your container.

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(I love how the ladyfingers fit perfectly in this cake baking thingy!)

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Mine has three layers. You should have end up with enough mixture to top it all off.

This recipe will yield enough tiramisu for 2 very greedy people, or 4-5 less greedy people. :)

5. Sprinkle with a generous dusting of cocoa powder or semi-sweet chocolate chips, cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate for 6 hours, to set.

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Voila.

 

Its super moist, creamy and yummy!

Who needs ovens??

Devaluing oneself.

Ah. Quite possibly a controversial blog post. :)

 

I came across an article on Facebook today.

It really spoke to me because when I first started out doing what I do, I did so much free work its not even funny. I must have painted at least 100 faces. I worked for hours on end, for no pay at all. I was lucky to even receive $20- $30 for cab fare.

And many people preyed on such naivety, like vultures on fresh meat.

There was this boss of a “modeling” company who used me for his models’ photo shoots, I would work for half & full days with no pay. The most infuriating of all, was that not only was I not paid at all, my services were clearly not appreciated. One of the models had the audacity to show up 2 hours late, behave like she’s Tyra Banks, and actually asked me for makeup remover after I was done, because she “preferred to do her own makeup”.

I was furious and crushed, all at once.

Later on I discovered a blog post she wrote, claiming that I did a bad job “on purpose” because “we had a fight”. There was no such thing. I barely even spoke a word to her because I was feeling unwell and was trying to control my nausea throughout the whole session. Ever tried talking when you’re trying your darnest not to puke?

I certainly did not appreciate her complete lack of manners and story-telling skills. (Some village somewhere is missing their very own J.K Rowling.)

Look, I dont do myself any favors by doing a bad job on purpose, because Im personally invested in the outcome of her photos. More than anyone, actually. The ONLY person who doesn’t get paid for doing the photo shoot was me. Everyone else involved in the shoot gets paid somehow when she gets booked for jobs. I was working for photos to use in my portfolio. If the photos look like shit, I stand to gain nothing. Correct?

Apparently this is too complex for a bimbo “model” with half a brain to understand.

I did not appreciate the false accusations & personal attacks on her blog, so I emailed her to confront her. She had the cheek to tell me that I should accept her “constructive criticisms”. (Mmm, no. Who are YOU to dole out “constructive criticism”?) After that she purposely posted rave reviews about other MUAs on her blog.

Last year she was on The New Paper front page…….. arrested for drug use.

Well. Lets just say.. Karma is a bitch. :D

 

These days, I dont do any TFPs anymore. Unless the photographer is really good, and the photos add significant value to my portfolio. Or if the photographer is somewhat of a friend to me.

Otherwise, my time is very valuable to me and I expect to be paid fairly & promptly for my services. Its not unreasonable by any means.

Im so disgusted when I hear of some “MUAs” charging $50-$60 for hair and makeup sessions. I mean, seriously wtf? Your cab fare is already $20- $30 easily. If you’re willing to spend 2 hours working for a mere $30, it tells me that 1) you’re not trained, 2) you’re using shit & cheap products, 3) you’re desperate for ANY paying job.

I dont care if you’re untalented, lousy, lazy or whatever. Dont go around spoiling the market for the rest of us, who actually bother to constantly upgrade ourselves- be it through self-learning or paid courses, buy and use ONLY quality products (and eh cosmetics aint cheap ok) and deliver at least half decent results to our clients… simply because we consider ourselves to be professionals.

Frankly if someone offered to do my makeup (and hair!) for only $50, I wouldnt allow him/ her to touch my face. I wouldnt want to risk a nasty reaction to whatever crap you put on my skin, or come into contact with all the ultra filthy makeup brushes & tools you use without cleaning or sanitizing them ever, and I end up having to fork out more money to get it treated. Thanks but no thanks.

More often than not, you really do get what you pay for. 

When the market is flooded with sub-par wannabes who are more than willing to provide their services for free, who would want to pay for makeup services anymore? Some of the more discerning people DO look for quality and are willing to pay for it, but a lot of people end up expecting free services, or cheap and good.

This really pisses me off.

 

Another thing I wanna talk about is… girls who devalue themselves.

Yes. I am going there.

You know the sort. You buy her a drink or two at the bar, and she’s going home with you. Or the sort who will deliver her ***** to his door step with just a phone call like Pizza Hut delivery.

This… I have a HUGE problem with. Not that Im a prude. It just really irks me when people spoil market, be it consciously or subconsciously, in any variety of ways.

I struggle almost on a daily basis, with self esteem issues. (I know its hard to believe, but its true.) BUT,  even I expect to be treated with respect and kindness. You dont buy me a few drinks or dinner, and expect to take me home for monkey business. Nope. Not happening.

I once had dinner with this guy who slammed the cab door on me, after I repeatedly rejected his kind offers to go home with him to see his “amazing new sound system”.  Its been almost a decade, I still remember the sour puss look on his face when I said “No”. Took all of 2 hours and 35 minutes to see his true colors, not bad at all. Never heard from him again, and couldnt care less. But am pretty sure he’s not the only example of a classic douchebag out there.

There are men out there like this, partly because they are used to getting whatever they want- easily & practically instantly.

Maybe some men confuse romance with prostitution, I dont know. I personally dont know of any self-respecting woman who would prostitute herself for food & drinks.

Why dont I buy YOU dinner and YOU come home with me? *wink*

You can do my house work for me. And scrub the toilet while you’re at it. :D

LADIES. STOP THIS SHIT.

 

You want a nice man who will treat you well? Then stop doling out the goodies like candy on Halloween. If all men have to do to get laid, is buy a few drinks or dinner, why would they need to expend effort to be gentlemanly, sweet, caring and funny??

We are all lazy f***ers by nature. Why expend more effort, if there is no need to?

You dont shower a puppy with treats & kisses first, and then expect him to behave well and obey commands. It just doesnt work that way. You dont reward bad behavior.  In many ways men are like puppies. Cute, furry but needs to be potty-trained.

(Disclaimer: I love dogs more than I love people, so this is in no way an insult towards men. Ok?)

You want to be treated like a princess, but you strut around behaving like a *****? Then good luck on your search for Prince Charming.

 

So, to summarize: Stop spoiling the bloody market. The future generations (and your self esteem) will thank you.

Rant.

It really pisses me off when clients think they can book us for a certain number of pax (3- 4), and then reduce to only ONE, a day or two before the wedding.

Do they not realize that we had to turn away other jobs???

Imagine if you went for an interview, was told you’d be paid your expected salary, and then after you accept the job offer (and turned down others), they reduce your pay to 1/4 of what was agreed.

Wouldnt you be pissed?

 

I have also encountered sneaky people who tried to book me for a Saturday (and Saturdays are very precious to us!), for a wedding (as a bride) and one Personal Hair & Makeup for her friend. I did not collect deposit, out of goodwill. (Which was obviously a huge mistake.)

A few months later, the bride actually went ahead and booked another MUA, without informing me, and then later tell me that I will only be doing ONE Personal Hair & Makeup for her friend.

I told her that I wont be accepting this job anymore. I was really angry because I had turned down a few other jobs because of this one.

I am appalled by this attitude & lack of respect towards MUAs, its like we’re supposed to accept ANY job? Excuse me, we are not stray dogs who will happily accept scraps. We also reserve the right to reject business, if we feel that it is unfair to us.

I have also encountered brides who tried to book Personal Hair & Makeup, for their wedding day or ROM. This is simply unacceptable. There are many reasons why Bridal Hair & Makeup cost more, and if you need me to explain them to you, you’re not someone I wanna do business with.

Bridal Hair & Makeup takes 2 hours on average. Personal Hair and Makeup takes 1 hour on average. Do the Math. For wedding AD, sometimes we start as early as 4am. Also, the term “Bridezilla” wasnt coined for no reason. Brides are usually (and understandably) very fussy, which makes my job a bit (okay a lot more) stressful.

Also, I cannot understand the people who come to me and claim that they only want “very light” or “very simple” makeup. If its “very simple”, why cant you do it yourself, then? You’re not paying for the makeup I use on your face, you’re paying for my time. I dont know why so many people dont seem to get it.

 

This is why I am now revamping my rates, terms & conditions, to make sure that I protect myself from such incidents. Its just sad that most people do not seem to respect my profession and think they can book MY time, and then cancel at the last minute, without sparing any consideration for MY loss of income.