Sushi Cake

Here’s a sushi-themed congratulatory cake some of us bought for the 2nd branch of Standing Sushi Bar (8 Queen Street, right by the Singapore Art Museum). Really beautiful work.

This post was willed into existence by Howard, the owner, who wrote on Facebook:

“This cake reminds me of something Brandon would link to on his blog.”

New job

I signed some papers under duress today, which means the end of my availability for freelance work until further notice. I’m excited about the possibilities, which is a trite little sentiment you hear whenever people start new jobs, but really, I am. This is also the only time I foresee myself blogging about the work. The company is Sapient, and we do digital design, consulting, and development.

➟ The Japanese work environment

While we are working, conversations must be something related with the work. Personal chatting among colleagues is basically considered inappropriate. For shops, sales persons should not take a seat. They’ll always stand and ready to bow when customers enter the store. Sales person sitting on a chair gives customers goofing impressions? I don’t know, but I have never seen any cashier sitting at a check out counter at supermarket in Japan.
In this summer, I’ve traveled Sydney (Australia), Amsterdam (Netherlands), Brussels (Belgium), Venice and Florence (Italy) but I have seen shop workers always chatting with colleagues even if there are customers in the store. I’ve seen many people from all these cities working much more relaxed than Japanese people.
Much of the post is about how hard it is for Japanese workers to take long vacations of more than five days. I started out feeling it was a uniquely Japanese problem, but it really isn’t too different here. At the very least, we aren’t prevented from having personal conversations in the workplace.


➟ We’re here on Earth to fart around

Dave Caolo:

Eventually, I realized something significant: I never did what I was doing. For example, when I got dressed in the morning, I didn’t get dressed. Instead, I spent that time filtering much incoming stimuli: The TV, email, my children’s progress towards getting ready for school and so on. My mind wasn’t on what was happening: Selecting clothing. Buttoning a shirt. Tying a shoe. Tightening a belt.


With the problem identified, I worked on eliminating it. In the morning, I turned off the TV and the computer and just got dressed. I even told myself, “I’m getting dressed.” It was nice! I found that I appreciate that I have the motor skills required to dress myself. I found that I have nice clothes. I found that my backyard looks nice in the morning through the bedroom window, and I can look down on the berry patch and rhubarb plants.

Great post about our culture of compulsive multitasking. I’ve noticed I try to make my time “more useful” by listening to podcasts while doing other things, or continuously processing (sorting) information for now or later, optimizing task flows, and so on. Before we’re done doing one thing, we’re already mentally doing another, and it is tiring. But it seems necessary. I’m beginning to think what’s really necessary is doing the current thing well and enjoying it. Even if you have a naturally multitasking brain (or think you do), this change of state could be a refreshing thing to try.