Monday, 5 November 2012

A new home for the Short Short Zucchini!

hello hello!

I realize it has been a while, I have been caught up in my final year at university and too many observations noted but with very little time to pen them.

I have some exciting news! I am moving to Storylane! No no, it's not a place where mother goose lives. It is home to many bloggers with various categories to read and write about. You can suggest stories to bloggers whom you are a fan of and can have topics suggested to you if you ever find yourself stuck on things to write about.

I have moved all my previous blog-posts with me, along with a new upcoming post that will be published later on in the week.

check it out here:

I look forward to seeing you there!

See you soon,

The short short Zucchini

Monday, 23 April 2012

Letting it go

Bad things happen.
“Well Duh!” I hear you scream. But it’s actually hard to remember that phrase when you are in turmoil. Every factor runs through your head and tests every inch of your internal strength which slowly tears away and you become weary; if you can even get through this and why has this happened to you? 

But next time this happens to you, think of it like this: BAD THINGS HAPPEN. Everyday.  It’s not like it was a rogue bludger that decided to target you specifically (yes just had to put a Harry Potter reference. Don’t fret, it’s not the start of many).  It simply just happened to happen to you. When you realise this, it becomes easier to let it go. Many bad things are beyond our control and I think those are the ones that really tear at us the most- because it wasn’t self-inflicted, we have no idea how to deal with it or which is the best option possible. 

Take a step out of the situation. See it more clearly. Then let it go. Life is too short to let bad things get us down. Things that only bring pain and misery are not things worth keeping in your life. This applies to ALL situations in life, whether it be in family related, relationships, even friendships. Hip hop and soul singer Keyshia Cole had it right in her song let it go “if (it) ain’t gonna treat you the way it should, then let it go.” 

We all deserve better and yes, it’s true what they say- if it doesn’t kill you, it will make you stronger. Because it will take every ounce of your strength to let it go and once you’ve can do that, the liberation you feel will give you a happier, relaxed outlook on life and you will have grown from it. 

And you will be better for it. 


Return of the Zucchini and Versatile Bloggers


Ok yes, I realise it’s been a while since my last post, but rest assured, it has been well worth the wait! I have four -YES that’s right FOUR – new pensive posts ready for you all to tear into, plus new posts coming soon, I promise you! 

It’s just been difficult as most of my ramblings on here are simply things I have observed about human nature in daily life. It all starts with an observation. A thought. A wondering. Then those thoughts are ruminated about for several hours before they are churned out into these polished articles before you.  It’s quite a process. 

Now back in Feb, I was nominated for Versatile Bloggers by my good friend Honourable Mentions. Her blog was originally about her journey in her honors year and now has graduated with her into her Clinical PHD. Fantastic stuff, I love all her posts; it was hard to narrow it down to one. Here’s one of my faves:
(and yes, I was the friend who suggested it. In fairness, I think I overheard/saw that name somewhere and passed it onto her.  Just can’t remember where from, so don’t do us on plagiarism please lol. And yes, I am presuming you read the post before continuing on- otherwise this little side note just made no sense whatsoever and you all just thought I was nuts. Which is probably true, but irrelevant at the moment.)

Quick crash course on what the “versatile bloggers” rules:
The main idea is to give kudos to the blogs you like to follow.
1)  Say cheers to the person(s) that nominated you and post a link to them.
2)   Post links to other blogs you read and like.
3)   Post a comment on the blogs you nominated to let them know.
4)    Describe 7 things about yourself. 

Ok so a big shoutout THANKYOU to Honourable mentions (yes it’s late, but better late than never and is still very much appreciated) here’s the link to when she nominated her versatile bloggers: and I quite like them too, which is why I’ve put them on here (kindof a post within a post..oooh yes very inception-like. I would repost their links but I feel like I’m copying Honourable’s post lol)

And the nominees are (in conjunction with those above)…
SARAH. A huge foodie with great style to boot, she has two awesome blogs “Dine with Sarah” and “Style with Sarah” with great tips- from places to eat to daring new fashion trends. for her latest review on Korean food and for super easy tips on DIY neon heels. Risky? Yes. But she makes it look sooooo simple!

2)     THE VIVID WORLD.  A fellow marketer-in-training like myself, Hiu Yan Lau is an international student who tells it like it is. Always fascinating to see our world through someone else’s eyes. Here’s her latest on nokia and where did they go wrong?
     PRAKKYPEDIA. My mentor’s blog. Full of useful articles that are actually related to marketing and social media! lol too many to choose from, so I picked one, where – by total coincidence – we have the same title for a blog post! (actually, the title of hers is a repeated line in one of mine “the importance of being (insert name here)) .

7 things about me:

1   I don’t like mushrooms. I have no idea why. I’ve just always detested them as a child. I HAVE tried them and to no avail. They simply don’t mesh well with my taste buds.
          I actually did not begin in marketing. When I first applied to University, I was aiming to be a forensic psychologist. After a year and half into my course, I realised that I did not enjoy psychology as much as I had originally anticipated. With a bit of guidance from a careers counsellor and help from my friends (who - let’s admit it- know us better than we know ourselves sometimes), I realised that marketing was the right place for me- I transferred at the end of my second year and haven’t looked back since…which is funny because…
           …When I was little, I wanted to be an actress! I had a major crush on teen-star Jonathon Taylor Thomas (otherwise known as JTT to all 90s kids out there) and I thought if I was famous, I could meet him LOL. The logic we have as a kid…
      Two of my favourite movies are When Harry met Sally and Pride and Prejudice. There are more, but these two never fail! I can QUOTE these movies to you. Word. For. Word. Yes I know. That is sad LOL
      One day, I want to go to New York at Christmas time. There’s just something so magical about it (or maybe I’m falling the Hollywood-Christmas-in-New-York stereotype).
       My favourite colours are blue and pink- but I really love the colour yellow. I have no idea why but I really think that it’s a happy colour. Anything you see that’s yellow is happy. You can’t see something yellow and feel sad. It’s weird. Try it. If you can find an unhappy yellow object, I’d love to see it! (And I do mean that.)
             Lastly, I am a HUGE Harry Potter fan. And I can quote those to you too. (it has been an immense challenge to not quote from the books/movies but as I am catering to a diverse audience, I realise that not everyone is as nutty as I am and may not be amused by my references). Word. For. Word.

I get the feeling you think I’m mad. That’s ok. All the best people are. (Quote from Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland.)  =)

watch this space- 

- Marie

Friday, 16 December 2011

TIme is of the essence

The time and space paradigm is such a funny thing. 

For some relationships, time and space have (almost) zero effect. There are some people in your life where it doesn’t matter how much time has passed between the two of you, that when you do see each other, it’s like no time has passed at all. That’s not to say that your relationship is stagnate; space allowed you both to grow as individuals, and it may not have necessarily been in the same direction but for some reason - even though you two weren’t exactly the same as the day you first met- things have stayed the same. Time has treated it like fine wine- the older it gets, the better it gets; even if you don’t drink from that bottle every day.

There are some relationships, however, where time does serious damage. They may call on feeling neglected if you haven’t seen them in several weeks; claiming no effort was made on your part despite talking to them on a daily basis. So (physical) absence has not made the heart grow fonder in this case. In fact the more time invested has lead to more arguments. Why is that? Surely spending more time engaging with these kinds of relationships are meant to help you ‘get to know’ a person better? Time has treated it like a bottle of Pepsi – if you don’t keep a tight lid on it, air gets in and after a couple of hours, it goes flat. But if you tightened the lid properly every time you drank from it, it would still have that fizz. It’s extra tricky because you like to drink it more frequently since it is a fun drink.  But if you were to consume it on a daily basis, it would be bad for you and could affect your health and overall well being.

Why can’t all relationships be like a big bottle of water? (I’m getting the feeling that I’m just really, really dehydrated as I’m writing this; I have no idea why I’m using drinks as my examples. But they seem to be fitting, so I’ll go with it.) Cool, refreshing, and while no, you wouldn’t solely like to drink it every day due to lack of variety in flavoring, if you did consume it on a daily basis it would not do any damage to you or your health. Time has no effect on it- you can leave it in the bottle for months/years or leave the lid loose but it would still taste the same. There are different brands of water available but if you really look at it- it’s still the exact same product. When you go without water for a long time, you tend to appreciate it more when you get to drink it, and you guzzle it down.

Perhaps these are all best consumed in rotation and moderation so that you get the right balance in life. The key here is to remember the different effects these people have on you so that you can handle yourself properly if you are ever faced with excess exposure; this way you get the best results even in the worst situations. 

Drinks anyone? 


Thursday, 29 September 2011

Leopards don't change their spots...or do they?

 It's a funny thing. For businesses, change and innovation go hand in hand. Changing things up leads to new ways of dealing with problems and innovation ensues. Everyone wins. For society, not so much.

When someone we know has hurt us/ done wrong in the past, we do one of two things: 1) forgive and forget or 2) ditch them and move on. Then we piece our lives back together (making modifications where necessary to deal the misdemeanor) and life goes on.

Then BAM. Out of nowhere, they return and we're faced with the dilemma: have they changed? or will history just repeat itself? then we're reminded of the old adage "leopards don't change their spots" and we're reluctant to readmit them back into our lives. But then we want to be the bigger person and to not hold grudges and so we consider letting them back in. SO.. what to do? 

Are those who believe the old phrase just more cynical? or just realistic? 

Are those who are willing to give the wrongdoer the benefit of the doubt and (give them a chance to show that they have indeed changed their ways)- are they just more hopeful? or just want to believe the best? foolish even?

Maybe it depends on how you look at it. 

People will always make mistakes. Some mistakes will be bigger than others. Its all part of being human.  But all mistakes - big or small - are lessons which help us grow. If you learn from them, that is. And when you learn from them, it is only natural that you want to make things right (and to be forgiven) with the unfortunate person who had to get hurt in order for you to learn. 

For example, if you were cooking and burnt your friend's kitchen down. They got mad, you had a fight...yada yada yada... then you went away, learned how to cook properly and you went to make things right with your friend. They forgive you (or so it seems) and you tell them that you want to cook in their kitchen again and they turn around and say no- since you burnt it down the last time- despite you telling them that you had changed: you had learned your lesson and now you know what to do and what not to do. 

As the cynic- you can understand their position on this. They may have forgiven for the previous time but they also learned a lesson: to never let you near their kitchen again. Which is understandable. It would appear foolish on their part to let you go back there again.  

But as the wrongdoer- it's a bit cutting that they had such little faith in you. They didn't believe that you were capable of changing. It's a bit disheartening, and makes you wonder what was the point of learning how to cook if the only person you aimed to show that you had changed, didn't believe that you had changed at all? They didn't even give you the chance. And what's worse is that they keep reminding you of the mistake that you made.

(This is starting to make the cynic appear really really mean-totally not my intention; just giving the other side of the coin)

Is forgiveness really forgiveness when it's only limited? Forgiving someone-but only to a certain extent? 

Is it this attitude in the cynics that has spurred the attitude within the wrongdoers of "why should I try and change? You don't think I can since you keep reminding me of my error" and thus reinforced the idea of "leopards don't change their spots?" A self-fulfilling prophecy?

Do we say "But they've changed!"  only about the people who we really want to see the changes in? The ones we really want to believe the best in? and that "they'll never change" about those who we are adamant that they never will? 

Change isn't something to be feared or shied away from nor should it be doubted when present. When a business changes things around- they hope for the better. They put all their energies into making it work. Believing the best outcomes will come about from the changes. The positive belief that change has made new, innovative ideas possible for them and helped the company grow. If society implemented this kind of positive thinking towards change more often, growth would occur organically and perhaps reduce cynicism.

Leopards don't change their spots... or do they?


Monday, 15 August 2011

We all have one thing in common- that we are all different.

I just read a book by Jodi Piccoult called "House Rules". It's a tale about a young teenage boy with Asperger's Syndrome who finds himself on trial after being accused for the murder of his social skills tutor. One word: Amazing. It raises the issue of what it is like to be different in contemporary society; not just for the one who is 'different' but for the family members of that person too.

Different. Odd. Quirky.

Why are these words considered to be bad?

When someone acts in a way that is not considered 'normal' by society, we automatically judge them; we cannot help it.

Is it the archaic societal views that are so heavily embedded into us that it has become our natural default thinking?

We don't mean to, and we have made exceptions for some differences. Ebony and Ivory can now live together in harmony, after many years of oppressive separation. There are some people with quirks- I know someone who gets random chills regardless of the room temperature- and no one bats an eyelid. But its odd isn't it? So why does nobody take notice of these eccentricities yet someone with Autism or Bipolar is feared?

why do we fear what is 'different'?  why do we fear change?

Last Saturday, I was shopping in the city with a friend when we came across a rally- people advocating for the legalization of gay marriage. This prompted a discussion between my friend and I. I admired their determination and pondered why the government was so resistant to grant them this right. My friend said that maybe it was because being in a same-sex marriage was still perceived to be 'unnatural' by some of the world to which I quickly retorted that I was fairly sure that it feels quite natural to them.

I questioned that why could we make exceptions to accept some as they are, but not others? She said that people fear change because they don't know what the outcomes will be.

That is true to some extent- we can not predict with absolute certainty what will be the outcome of all decisions and changes made; but we can start by being more open minded and accepting. This can be done through being more informed about the issues we fear.

Psychology theories have shown that prejudice and fear can be reduced when knowledge is gained. Knowing provides a deeper understanding; which in turn leads to more informed decisions and opinions people form about issues which initially made them feel uneasy and subsequently reducing their fears of what is 'different'.

This is not limited to those with mental illness; this includes homosexuals, asylum seekers; all those who are isolated from nuerotypical (read: 'normal') society because they are 'different' to what societal norms dictate.

As a multicultural nation, our strength should be in diversity- All kinds not just the selective traits that we want to tolerate. 

Difference is nothing to be feared. It is easy to put someone into a category.. but just one final thought:

How would you feel if you were the one who was 'different'?


Sunday, 7 August 2011

the importance of being (insert name here)..

Juliet Capulet once pondered: "what is in a name? A rose by any other name would still smell as sweet." Although I do get that she was really just looking for loopholes for her star- crossed lover, I think she was overlooking a few things.

Does it change the substance of the product or being? Does it add something of value? Or does it do just the opposite?  

 Juliet reasons that if Romeo wasn't called Romeo and wasn't a Montague, he would still be the same guy. So the name really doesn't mean much and it's okay to love him. While that is true, she misses the fact that if Romeo wasn't called Romeo Montague but, say George Invisible, they could've lived happily every after. After all, he's still the same guy, right? Just less tragic. 

So what is in a name?

A name helps us recognize a person or product's reputation.  It creates awareness of their existence and acts as a  promise between the named and namers; that when you hear that name- you know what to expect. Names need to be carefully selected, cultivated and properly maintained because whilst they can be the strongest asset one can have; a wrongly given label can be just as damaging. Whether we admit to it or not, names - good and bad - affect how we see and what we think of commodities/people/businesses. 

I live in a city where everyone almost knows everyone. You could go to a party thinking that you only know that host and when you get there, you discover someone who knows someone that you know.  Creating a name for yourself here would not be terribly difficult as news travels fast. However, if you were ever unfortunate enough to be labelled with a bad name, the news would still travel just as quickly. Actually, that's not true. It would travel faster. Bad news seems always seems to travel faster than good news. Why is that so?  A good brand name is just like trust: it takes years to build but only seconds for it to be destroyed.  On the same token, a bad name is hard to bounce from and turn it around to be good. 

So what is in a name?

Is a name what you make of it? Do you take a word and then make something great for it? Or dos  you find a word which you feel embodies the greatness you wish to achieve?