10 Habits of Genuinely Charming People

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Sure, everyone knows blunt, impolite, and even rude people who are somehow extremely successful. (I know a bunch of them.)
But since we're all more likely to build professional and personal relationships and do business with people with people we like, we're naturally drawn to individuals who are polite, modest, agreeable, kind.

In short, we're drawn to people who are charming.

I know a bunch of them too, and here's how they do it:

1. They willingly show a little vulnerability
Charming people don't try to win any unstated competitions with people they meet. In fact, they actively try to lose. They're complimentary. They're impressed. They're even willing to admit a weakness or a failure. It's really easy. Say you meet a would-be Donald Trump and he says, "I just closed a fabulous deal to build the world's best golf course on the most amazing oceanfront property on the planet." Don't try to win. Instead say, "That's awesome. I'm jealous. I've wanted to build a small recreation facility for years, but can't line up the financing. How did you pull off such a huge deal?" Charming people are confident enough to be unafraid to show a little vulnerability. They know that while some people may be, at least temporarily, impressed by the superficial, everyone sincerely likes and appreciates the genuine.

2. They show they're genuinely glad to meet you
They maintain eye contact. They smile when you smile. They frown when you frown. They nod their head when you nod. In simple, nonverbal ways, they mimic your behavior - not slavishly, but because they're focused on what you're saying. That feedback loop helps two people bond - and the ability to bond is the essence of charm. (If you want more ways to be likeable, check this out.)

3. They search for agreement instead of contradiction
Unfortunately going contrary is an easy habit to fall into. It's easy to automatically look for points of disagreement rather than agreement. It's easy to automatically take a different side. And it's easy to end up in what feels like an argument. Charming people don't actively (or unknowingly) look to disagree; they look for points of agreement. Then, if it's appropriate, they gently share a different point of view - and in that way, help create an outstanding conversation.

4. They (selectively) use the power of touch
Nonsexual touch can be incredibly powerful. (I'm aware that sexual touch can be powerful too, thanks.) Touch can influence behavior, increase the chances of compliance, make the person doing the touching seem more attractive and friendly, and can even help you make a sale.For example, in one experiment the participants tried to convey twelve different emotions by touching another blindfolded participant on the forearm. The rate of accuracy for perceiving emotions like fear, anger, gratitude, sympathy, love, and disgust ranged from 43 percent to 83 percent - without a word being spoken. Say you're congratulating someone; shaking hands or (possibly better yet, depending on the situation) patting them gently on the shoulder or upper arm can help reinforce the sincerity of your words.

5. They often dine out on their foibles
And they're also not afraid to look a little silly. Skating in a cowboy outfit may be a little extreme, but charming people don't mind occasionally being in a situation where they aren't at their best.
And oddly enough, people tend to respect them more for that - not less. When you genuinely own your foibles, people don't laugh at you. They laugh with you. And they realize it's OK to let down their own guards and meet you at a genuine level.

6. They're masters of social Jiu-Jitsu
Some people have a knack for getting you to talk openly yourself. They ask open-ended questions. They sincerely want to know what you think, and that makes you open up to a surprising degree. You feel like the most interesting man (or woman) in the world. And you like them for making you feel that way. As soon as you learn something about someone, ask why they do it. Or how. Or what they like about it, or what they've learned from it. Charming people ask sincere questions that make it easy to answer in a thoughtful, introspective way. They make you think, in a good way, about yourself, and in the process make you feel charming too.

7. They always pass the "server test"
(You know how you go out to eat with someone and they're nice to you... yet dismissive of the server? That's the server test.) Charming people treat everyone the same way: as deserving of respect and kindness.

8. They're great with names
Charming people remember names and even small details, often to a surprising degree. The fact they remember instantly makes us feel a little better about ourselves -- that means we, even in a small way, we matter. And that makes us feel better about the person who remembers us. Yet even though charming people remember names...

9. They never name drop
I have a friend who can somehow squeeze the fact he once met Jeff Gordon into almost any conversation. "I'm planning to stain my deck this weekend," I'll say. "Hey, I was sitting on my deck listening to the race last weekend. Jeff Gordon was leading for a while but then he had engine trouble. If I know Jeff Gordon -- and you know what, I kinda do - I bet he was pissed." (Granted I've done that too, but hopefully for a good cause.) Charming people may know cool people... but they don't talk about it. And that only adds to their charm.

10. They always let you talk more
And that makes you feel important.

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Lent 2015

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And here we are again, another start to the Lenten season and also the start to Lunar New Year to usher in the year of the Goat. This year we start lent in the festivity of Chinese New Year Eve, a night of celebration where the entire family gathers for the traditional reunion dinner feast. It was almost impossible to fast and to think that the one full meal of the day will be a glorious feast just did not feel right. Still we started lent, in preparations midst the festivity with the anointing of ashes and 40 days leading to Easter.

As far as I can recall, this is probably one of the most challenging Lent. There was an occasion or two that Ash Wednesday was actually postponed because it fell within the festive period. Not this time around with Archbishop William Goh. Over lunch with my Chaplin, I was sharing how this occasion really makes us think about our priorities in life and where our faith stands. Is our faith one of causal convenience and one that happens to suit our lifestyle?

As in every lent, I try to focus on the traditional Lenten pillars of prayer, fasting and almsgiving.

Earlier this year, I have been spending some time daily on Psalms and Proverbs. Prayer requires commitment and discipline. As St John Paul II says,
“Our witness would be hopelessly inadequate if we ourselves had not first contemplated his face. Prayer develops that conversation with Christ which makes us his intimate friends: Abide in me and I in you.” (Jn 15:4).
The busier we are, the more we must pray, so that we will find strength and discernment to tackle what lies ahead of us.

And as much as I am aware that effective prayer must be accompanied by fasting, I admit (time and time again) I don't do well in this department. However, I do want to take on the challenge and invitation set by Archbishop to fast on Fridays for the New Evangelisation. There goes TGIF! Perhaps with the support of the larger church community, we can through our actions and prayer, proclaim the Good News about Jesus, who is the Truth, the Way and the Life. And in the words of Archbishop William Goh,
Fasting also enables us to listen more attentively and to be more docile in obedience to the Word of God. Fasting is therefore the soul of prayer and the answer to our prayers because it shows our sincerity in asking for what we want from the Lord. Fasting bears no fruits unless it is watered by mercy and charity. More importantly, we are called to fast from our sins – especially the capital sins of pride and arrogance, envy and jealousy, anger and unforgiveness, sloth and irresponsibility, gluttony and the destruction of one’s body and soul through lust, pornography, greed and hoarding.

This lent, I pray for a deeper prayer life, a greater appreciation of the love of God, a more generous heart and with the church - a new evangelisation spirit.

Lenten Reflection - Priest, Prophet and King #1
Lenten Reflection - Priest, Prophet and King #2
Lenten Reflection - Priest, Prophet and King #3
Lenten Reflection - Priest, Prophet and King #4
Fasting, Prayer & Charity
Lenten Reflection 2009
The Start of Lent
Getting Lent Right
Getting "Ashed"
The Passion
Lent 2004
Into Lent

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Star Trek ThinkGeek Loot

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There are times where my geeky side give in to nerdy Sci-Fi Star Trek stuff. A whole lot of officially licensed Star Trek loot! And in my attempt to watch (or re-watch) all seasons and episodes of Star Trek, I thought I would indulge in a little Star Trek joy.

1st up are Star Trek: The Original Series Knee High Socks. Featuring matching colours for Command in Gold, Engineering in Red and Science in Blue.
These socks will go perfect with my roller blade boots!

Next up is the Engineering Star Trek Apron in saucy hot red! Beautiful and high quality embroidered insignia with ThinkGeek labels and an adjustable strap. Unlike in deep space, people on earth still have to cook. Some consider it a great pleasure and hobby.

Lastly, the reason why I bought the rest of the loot - The Command Star Trek Insignia Pin. An exact screen-accurate replica as-worn on J. J. Abrams' Star Trek movie, having been cast from the props themselves. Plus, these puppies are solid metal (hand-burnished finish) and NOT plastic with two pins to keep them attached to your shirt, and properly oriented. This is tribute to explore strange new worlds, to boldly go where no man has gone before...

More Star Trek ThinkGeek Loot Pictures

My Bucket List - What if I Die Tomorrow?
BSG Finale
Star Trek Movie Trailer
A Girl's Guide to Geek Guys

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For The Girls Who Drink Whiskey Huffington Post Women

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This was a funny read on Huffington Post Women, sent by Celeste, who knows that I am a whiskey-loving gal. I had a good laugh reading the article, recognizing bits of myself and thinking if it bore more truth than not!

Written by Kate Bartolotta with Sara Crolick

An article has been making the rounds lately explaining and extolling the virtues of the "two kinds of women."

There may be white wine-drinking women and red wine-drinking women, but there are whiskey-drinking women, too. Sure, it may not be as common - choosing a drink traditionally thought of as "for the boys" -- but we exist. And we're here to tell you about it. While we won't scoff at the offer of a glass of vino, our heart sits in a rocks glass with whiskey and two cubes.

Whiskey-drinking women are adaptable by nature; we can sidle up to a bar or ease deep into a favorite reading chair.

A whiskey drinker dines by moonlight, with her fingers, sitting on the floor on pillows and any which way she pleases.

A whiskey drinker writes poems about the movie she watched in her dreams. She watches people, the moon and stars, the lines around your eyes when you smile, taking them all in and savoring them.

Whiskey drinkers read (a lot); they love everything from classics to self-help. They read books you've never heard of and quote them in the middle of a heated conversation.

A whiskey drinker loves on her own terms; whether it's for an hour or 10 years, her love will write on you indelibly. Whiskey drinkers are romantics in every sense of the word; they believe in the romance of language, of hearts and the romance of living.

Whiskey drinkers skip the games, but never outgrow being playful. Take her for a walk and she'll find all the best puddles, swing with you at a playground and wish on a whole constellation.

Whiskey drinkers know when to savor the moment and when to grab it by the collar and drink it down quickly.

Whiskey drinkers know that vacation isn't somewhere you go; it's a frame of mind. Wherever she goes, it's an adventure. If she simply must choose a destination, you'll probably find a whiskey-drinking woman tucked away in a cabin in the woods.

A whiskey drinker is an old soul with fresh eyes. She can show you how to find the magic in an ordinary day.

Whiskey drinkers listen everything from Chet Faker to Billie Holliday, from Clutch to the Foo Fighters, from MC Yogi to Bruno Mars, from Carla Bruni to The Killers and whatever the hell happens to catch her ear, catch her mood, catch her hips and make her dance. She needs a soundtrack to move her through her day.

A whiskey drinker is all about the give and take. Take her seriously and she'll give you a reason to smile. Give to her authentically and she won't take you for granted. Whiskey-drinking women know when to engage and when to hold back; they're trained in conversation, so long as it's deep enough to hold their attention. The whiskey-drinking woman will shut down with small talk and gossip.

Whiskey drinkers know that Twilight is overrated; it was better the first time around when it was called Wuthering Heights. She wants to write her own story, and if you're lucky, she'll invite you along.

Whiskey drinkers love relationships, but they especially love relationships with substance. Whether romantic or platonic, whiskey-drinking women won't waste precious time with people who don't fill them with feel goodness.

A whiskey drinker is a connoisseur. Her tastes are specific and have more to have more to do with the way he walks, the way he talks, the way he watches her... than the amount of stubble he's sporting or the kind of car he drives.

A whiskey drinker has been blonde. And red-headed. And chocolate brown. And maybe purple. Or maybe she picked a favorite and kept it. Whatever color she picked, she loves playing with her mane, and if you're good, she'll let you run your fingers through it, slowly, over breakfast in bed.

Whiskey-drinking women appreciate comfort above all else. They want outdoor, late night porch hangs in the summer and blankets and amazing books in the winter.

Whiskey-drinking women laugh with everything they've got; they appreciate smart, subtle humor, but sure as hell aren't above cat video binges.

A whiskey-drinking woman is the queen of deep conversation. She loves long, meaningful chats. She loves figuring it all out. If you sit down to talk with a whiskey-drinking woman (especially when she's got a whiskey in hand), expect to cover anything and everything. Expect to look up at the clock to realize it's 3 a.m. and still be hungry for more.

Whiskey-drinking women think there's magic in writing letters - actual letters, with pens, paper and postage. As a result, they've been known to write them.

Whiskey drinkers love the scrawl of pen across a paper, but they swoon for the feeling of vintage typewriter keys under their fingertips.

Whiskey-drinking women don't worry much about glass-holding rules. They'll just as happily drink from a teacup as a rocks glass.

A whiskey-drinking woman can rock t-shirts and jeans like none other, and she's not afraid to pair denim with fierce red lipstick. She will dress up on a Tuesday afternoon, just because. She has flip-flops and Chucks -- and she can tell you a great story about her favorite boots. She's a laid-back, high-class girl who can make her oldest pair of jeans look like a million bucks.

A whiskey-drinking woman can't stick to a list of someone else's creation to define her. She shifts and changes as the light hits her, full of warmth and curiosity. She is fascinated simply by being alive.

A whiskey-drinking woman knows that none of us fit in these neat little boxes. She'd never pigeonhole other women - or men, for that matter. She knows that each of us are infinitely full of gorgeous nooks and crannies waiting to be explored, and that the people who are willing to brave our fire in order to enjoy our warmth are the ones worth keeping in our lives.

She knows it's not about what it's in our glass, but the fact that we drink life in completely.

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Nox Gaudii 2015: Behold I Make All Things New

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There's nothing like starting off the new year with youth from all parishes at the monthly Nox Gaudii (Night of Joy) organised by Office for Young People (OYP). Through Nox Gaudii, OYP seeks to stir faith among the young people as they come together to worship God, receive teaching and prayer and experience the fellowship of the local Church community.

Youth Chaplain Fr Jude David preached today on the theme "Behold I Make All Things New"

He highlighted the contrast to New should not be Old, but Stale.
How many of our spirits, lives, community or church have become stale?

In Faith, we are given a new beginning, a new start to this year. We are called to "behold" to embrace and experience a newness of live in Jesus Christ. We are called to live our lives, not in our old wine skins, but in our new skins.
“No one puts a piece from a new garment on an old one; otherwise the new makes a tear, and also the piece that was taken out of the new does not match the old. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine will burst the wineskins and be spilled, and the wineskins will be ruined. But new wine must be put into new wineskins, and both are preserved. - Luke 5:36-38
It is wonderful to start the year on the right footing of reconciliation and the calling to reflect daily on the Psalms. Before January 2015 ends, what is our decision to prepare ourselves as new wineskins to embrace all the goodness that God will pour upon us?

Next Nox Gaudii happens on 27 February 2015 at 2 Lorong Low Koon.

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101 Things You May Not Know About Me

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You know people write New Year Resolutions as their 1st post of the year and pretty much never keep them...
And in tradition of not doing one and since in 2012, I wrote a post on My Bucket List - What if I Die Tomorrow?, I thought I will start off this year by sharing "101 Things You May Not Know About Me"!

Have a Great 2015!

1) I'm a sucker for things that glow in the dark
2) I think I am a geek at heart, but often I am really not interested in the techie details. It's very misleading…
3) My car of choice is the Jeep Wrangler, which I know I will hear an earful from my mom if I ever really purchased it!
4) My 2nd choice for a car is the BMW X5
5) My first car was a 1987 red Honda City with black and white cow print seat covers. My housemate used to joke that if I scrapped off the body paint, it will reveal Thai Pineapple tin cans
6) I'm impulsive in too many levels
7) I have a secret passion for cooking. I truly wish I had more time to pursue it
8) My favourite local dish has to be the Chilli Crab
9) Eating a juicy piece of medium rare beef steak with a thin layer of meltable fat make me happy
10) Cheese and white wine makes my day
11) My favourite fruit is a green apple
12) I eat rice more than anything else
13) My mom is the best cook I know. I am fortunate to get to eat her cooking ever so often
14) Chilli and spicy food is like my life. My Sin Sei has advised me to massively cut it down for the good of my health… I feel like my life is over
15) When it comes to alcoholic drinks, I am really more a cocktail kindda gal. But don’t give me those weak pinkish, girly kindda drink
16) Divers are proven to be more fun people. I am a diver
17) I dived up close and personal to a Dugong (local version of a Manatee). Fed her sea grass and touched her velvety soft skin with my bare hands
18) My favourite Disney Princess is Snow White. She is the only authentic looking one with short black hair, smaller eyes and a slightly plump physic. Every other princess just changed the hair and skin colour
19) I have a sponsored child who lives in the Bo Kluea region of Thailand
20) I've gone with VERY minimum sleep for a stretch of 7 days during my diploma days. I was literally a waking Zombie
21) I sleep on an average about 6 hours every day
22) But trust me, I can really sleep. I was once on a 5 days live on-board dive trip that I slept throughout except to dive, eat and go to the toilet. Everyone on-board was amazed at how much I could sleep!
23) My ability to sleep anywhere, anytime in any condition was trained during my days on film productions. With exceeding long hours on a film shoot, catching a shut eye in between shots was essential
24) I only started being short-sighted when I started post-production work in video editing
25) My name means 'Born At Christmas', but in actual fact, I was really born on Good Friday
26) My middle name is Faith
27) At labour term, 97% of babies are born head first. I belong to the remaining 3% that is born breech
28) Most people think I am a Cantonese cause I speak the dialect very well, but I'm actually a Nonya Peranakan
29) My great great grandfather is Yap Ah Loy, founder of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
30) Don't mess with my family
31) As of 2014, I have visited in record 134 unique countries, states or cities
32) I am very versatile when it comes to traveling. I can shop till you drop in Seoul or beach bum at length in Boracay
33) To the surprise of many, though I've visited many countries, I actually do not enjoy traveling as much as people think I do
34) The coldest I've ever experienced was -35 Degrees Celsius. Such degree of cold cannot be described…
35) I kissed the Sphinx of Giza in Cairo
36) Watching the sun rise on the top of Mount Sinai (2,285 m) in the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt was one of the most beautiful experiences I had. It was a breath-taking sight as the warm rays of the sun lit the land, I truly felt God's wonder
37) It takes me between 30 - 45mins to shower and dress up
38) I actually enjoy listening and watching opera. This interest developed only in 2008 when I supported my friend who performed in Giacomo Puccini's Turandot
39) My first musical was Bugsy Malone performed by an all child cast in Broadway, London when I was 7 years old
40) When I got my first official pay check while working as a contract on a Canadian animation pilot series, I purchased myself a SONY Discman. Back then, it was the coolest gadget to own
41) I am not a breakfast person
42) I can be very convincing. I believe I can sell anything. But somehow, I won't go into sales…
43) I am very likely able to influence you in more than a few ways
44) On 1 January 2012, I wrote my Bucket List
45) I'm a Red colour gal, most people think that Yellow is my colour
46) My nickname in Primary School was 黒兔子or Black Rabbit. I was very tan when I was young. If I can recall correctly, the nickname was given by the school bus uncle
47) If I have to pick a favourite animal, it will be the otter
48) I have green fingers that I will eventually cultivate
49) My first computer was a Western Digital x486 Computer. It cost over S$3,000 back in the early 90s
50) I've never smoked. Not even a puff. Most people find it hard to believe
51) When I laugh, I laugh loud and whole heartedly
52) I can't play any musical instrument… except for 2 family cords on the guitar and egg shaking… does that count?
53) I have a serious fascination with the Lost World of Atlantis. I totally believe it is real!
54) One day, I want to pick up astronomy more seriously. Before that, I will buy myself a serious enough telescope
55) And at some point also pick up Psychology
56) I have a thing for history. Yes I am more old school and old soul than I really want to admit
57) I am a true blue 80s kid. Test me
58) My childhood involved; Roller-skating, Pound Puppies, Horror VHS Videos, Stunts in the Swimming Pool, 80s MTV and Ice Kachang
59) My childhood playground was the five foot way and back alleys of Chinatown
60) My fav childhood snack is Kueh Tu-Tu stuffed with coconut. Some old love never die…
61) I fence Foil and Épée. Fencing changed my perspective of swords
62) I really don't like guns very much
63) My reflex and balancing skills are above average
64) Given the chance, I will take up golf a lot more seriously
65) I named my Scott Contessa MTB, Rocky Racoon. She's a diva bike
66) My longest single day cycle was a total distance of 180km from Mersing to Malacca in 2007. I couldn't feel my ass after the ride
67) If I had my way; I'd be chilling by the pool, busking in the sun most of the time
68) Best game ever, The Legend of Zelda. I am a hard core fan
69) My life is filled with more Black and Whites than shades of Gray
70) Good deals hardly come my way; almost never
71) Pardon me, but ballet is such a… *yawn*
72) I can never decide between monsters or robots. Don't make me choose
73) I want a real robot maid
74) I like anything pirates. Arrrgh!
75) I am a huge fan of quirky things from ThinkGeek, Fred And Friends, Joseph Joseph, DCI and Spinning Heads
76) I am still wondering if I am more idealistic or pragmatic
77) I scored 95 points on a Happiness Index. It read "You are on cloud nine! You don't need much guidance about how to become happier."
78) I often think too much… sometimes I don't think enough
79) My previous career was in animation. Pixar's Toy Story was my turning point
80) Movie directors that rock; Tim Burton, Terry Gilliam, Quentin Tarantino, Wong Kar Wai, Akira Kurosawa, Henry Selick, Takashi Miike
81) One day I will produce a children illustrated story book on the Kuchinta Cat. I've been talking about doing this for the longest time
82) I am an extrovert that really don't mind staying alone at home
83) I've chosen my funeral songs. My friends already know them
84) Having eaten Fugu (a deadly poisonous fish) and Octopus Sashimi (with the suction of chopped up tentacles on my tongue and gums)… I cannot decide which Japanese cuisine is more bizarre
85) I am very sentimental
86) I am a lover of Shakespeare
87) I am a modern art museum junkie
88) I support deserving aspiring designers that dare to be creative
89) I'd very much love to own a bathtub but I dread the thought that I have to wash it clean all the time. I'm anal about toilet cleanliness
90) I don't like anything too sweet. I shiver at the taste of artificial sugar. But I dig Garrett's Chicago Mix (a tossup of CheeseCorn and CaramelCrisp) and Krispy Kreme originals. I know, my friends roll their eyes at me…
91) I have a Facebook account that I hardly visit. I really should be using it more though I don't know why
92) All the friends that I have in Facebook are people I really know. If you are not on my Facebook chances are I either don't know you or don't want to know you
93) I'm a book kind of reader. I still enjoy flipping through real pages. iPads and Kindles still cannot replace the experience for me
94) Any problem that can be solved by money isn't truly a real problem to me
95) Math with fractions, alphabets and funny characters are my greatest downfall
96) If I won a million dollars... ... But in all honesty I really wouldn’t know how I would win a million dollars cause I don't gamble
97) If I wanted something bad enough, I probably already bought it
98) I've been so blessed to have met Pope John Paul II twice, once in Singapore 1986 and another at World Youth Day (WYD) Manila, Philippines 1995. I've met a man that became a Saint
99) Besides Pope John Paul II, I've also met Pope Benedict XVI once at WYD Sydney, Australia 2008. It would be an honour if I could meet Pope Francis, he is pretty awesome
100) I am a student of Pope Saint John Paul II's Theology of the Body. Truly living it out every day of my life continues to be a call to depend on God's strength
101) The most precious gift my parents bestowed upon me was the gift of Baptism and the chance to know Jesus. For that, I am eternally grateful

My Bucket List - What if I Die Tomorrow?
Happy 2012 at Yello Jello!
2011: Off to a WILD start
Catching up in the New Year (2010)
Retrospective 2008
Closing up 2007
The First and the Last (2006)
Counting down to 2004

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About Me

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Designer for web, graphics, illustrations, 2D / 3D animations and digital effects. Check out TechChick, Natasha Yong's missy life, misadventures and all tat scope! Everything you ever wanted to know; naked and exposed...(not)