Cuckoo gone cuckoo (again)

Two to twelve.
That means I have to sit at my stairs landing, on a bean bag, for another 6 minutes or so. My cuckoo clock does not chime right at the hour. It has a 3 to 5 minutes delay.

It’s gone cuckoo again.
Not the way that it is late by 3 to 5 minutes.
It chimes… at times. It doesn’t at others.
When it decides, it may chime partially; like you get four cuckoos instead of 6 as dictated by the hour.

It bothers me. It’s a genuine Robert Lötscher Ltd cuckoo clock that has travelled five countries, two continents with me for 3 weeks before it made its way on my wall.

Well, one shouldn’t be upset, I guess.
Well, that’s what Val – my sister – had to say when I lamented about cuckoo being cuckoo.

Perhaps my timing was wrong. Val is in the midst of project managing her new home. To most suppliers she is the “architesh”. In her eureka moment she had decided to use her architect’s contacts for better discounts. In her not so eureka moment she was miffed when they asked her for her details and in a state of panicked she forgot how to spell architect!

Nonetheless with a sluggish economy, no one is going to seriously check if she is legit. Personally, I think she would have gotten the discounts nevertheless.

So, given the bulk of purchases and number of suppliers she deals with daily, defects are abundant at this juncture of her life. So, when I told her about cuckoo – which by all means of measure in terms of scale – the “problem” was small. Her level of empathy towards me, towards cuckoo and towards a nation was lacking;

Val: Hai! Bangla’s are the best employees you can have. Enthusiastic. Eager. Convincing. But that also means it’s a nightmare if you buy anything from them… Look at the lights I got from Tsen. Bangla. The bath from Kohl. Bangla. The ….

She trails on … she had lost me coz OMG! It was a Bangladeshi that sold me cuckoo in Lucern!

Now I know.

Don’t expect something named cuckoo to be sane.
Don’t expect anything sold with a great sales pitch to be a great purchase.

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men! they just don’t listen do they?

OK. I shouldn’t be complaining. 
H finally delivered Hermes – after four transits with 3 immigration officers raising their eyebrows, causing unnecessary exchanges along the lines of:

yes, it’s a typewriter. You know, an old fashion mechanical one.” 
{pause} 
yes, yes, they still exist. yes, it’s in working order.” 
 
The “why?” question by the immigration officers is a tougher one to explain and I shall not bore you. Suffice to say, H got Hermes home and Hermes did have a small home coming party.
 
See, H “listen” only because he didn’t really have a choice.
Let’s say, I had listed down 8 choices of typewriters – ranked by preferences and furnished the list with enough technical and detailed information for a cave man to work a jetliner.
 
Simply put, the margin of error was so slim, that only time (arising from flight delays and transits) could deny Hermes from re-homing all the way from a wayward sleepy town 2.5 hours drive from central London. 
 
Read differently, with my Idiots Instruction for Men, every man I have known or shared any gift lists have remarked: “if only my {insert other half} does that. My life would be simpler.”
 
Point is, men! they just don’t listen, do they?
And here’s the most recent incident with not one, but two men on the same matter at hand: 
Bottega Veneta + iPad
 
I for one am not an embracer of electronic gadgets. 
  • I dread my Blackberry coz it’s work and more so, coz my work place is too cheap to get me a decent hardware.
  • I own a hand-me-down iPhone 4 (I think, could well be 4s – if there’s one) coz my older hand-me-down iPhone 3 from my 3-year old “died” and I needed to have my alternative private number going with a handy camera that’s decent enough for Facebook uploads.
  • I still miss my ol’ faithful Mac PowerBook G4 and kept it for 10 years! until it was brutally taken away from me by force.
  • I happily owned and watched a 14″ TV (you know, the rotund type with colour tubes at the back!) for years until the security camera company decided to take matters into their own hands by hooking it up to the security cameras and installing the flat screen TV (courtesy of a credit card company) in the rotund TV’s place – the flat screen being so flat has been lying against the wall in its original box for ages.
  • … and you get the drift …

So, it did come as a surprise when I bought a Bottega Veneta iPad case early this year. I do not own an iPad. I do not see a need or point in having one. 

{call me an irrational idiot, but uh huh, i did see a need want to buy a Bottega Veneta iPad case though}  
Let’s just say it was a distraction for me from buying the Ardoise Intercciato Nappa Convertible Bag, which even with a 30% off it was a small fortune…
 
And with that, I was on a mission to get myself to a Mac store and grab an iPad… until my girl friend, the very same one who handed me down the iPhone 4/s, mentioned that there was a little contest going on at work which she was in pole position to win due to the sales extension given to her by me! 
 
So, the wait started at the end of Q1 … with us checking in intermittently to know if “we” were still in pole position to win the iPad. 
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Well, fast forward 4 months later – “we” WON! Instruction was given to the procurer was: do NOT get the iPad mini
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As you will be able to guess how this story ends since the procurer is a man… well, the point is: men! they just don’t listen, do they?
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bottega-veneta-tech1
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 – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
things to note:
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
ONE 
Man buys things at the very last moment. 
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The iPad mini was bought at the Hong Kong airport, just as he was about to board the plane to Manila … receipt including what he had to eat pre-boarding is in the bag! 
 
TWO 
men! they just don’t listen, do they? (I) – coz whenever a woman talks, their brain is processing various other things that includes seriously trivial stuff or how to get into your pants!
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He bought an iPad mini coz all he remembered /retained was “iPad mini” in the midst of thinking of other things …
 
THREE 
men! they just don’t listen, do they? (II) and makes the stooopidest remark whenever a woman is upset like: “what’s the difference? they both work the same and a mini will fit into your handbag better
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H said that when I told him how disappointed I was as the iPad mini is of no use to me given that it’s raison d’être (for me at least) was the Bottega Veneta iPad case …
 
FOUR 
men! they just don’t listen, do they? (III) and makes the most idiotic promises that upsets a woman even more like: “just buy another Boot-leg whatever and give the current case away
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I am certain H will regret this statement if his credit card is swiped! and will remember for life that it is Bottega Veneta and not Boot-leg-whatever!!!

 

on distraction …

i’m designing my home
OK. Mebbe the operative word should be “trying – as in I’m trying to design my home.
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Well, for one, I can draw floor plans with AutoCAD. 
This is a skill I had more or less self taught after being given a quick 10 minutes hands-on demo by a architect friend (or kindda colleague as I was kindda moonlighting as a visual merchandiser). 
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And NO. I do not have a self inflated ego or misplaced perceptions on my abilities to think that I can forgo an architect and design my own home. Contrary to it, really, on all aspects, though I am still rather upset at H’s statement earlier this week of: common’ your feat was not in the same league as beating Raphael Nadali.e. in reference to Australian wild card Nick Krygios‘ mom’s lack of support or rather faith in her son’s ability to knock out the likes of Raphael Nadal at the Wimbeldon 2014
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Well, my mom is much the same when it comes to me. And sure, I’ve nothing to shout about on the accomplishment front at the same league as that, but …yes, I was moaning about how under-appreciated I am vis-a-vis my sibling in the presence of both mom and H, rather playfully. It’s the truth though but I have long grown up and accepted it as is.
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Truthfully, i’m designing my home coz I have trust issues.
Coupled with my OCD inclinations, I have to have it all nailed down before I start soliciting real professional help. I’m visual too – so having a plan in front of me would take away a lot of pain and frustration of trying to explain my brief to the architect.
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So, how am I doing on the front of i’m designing my home?
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First and foremost, does anyone know where I can get a bootleg version of AutoCAD?!?! 
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The 3-year student FREE trial version from the official site does not permit downloads in my part of the world – not surprising given the rampant and what used to be lucrative bootleg business of software programmes, movies, music blah3 … not to mention we have one of the highest rate of credit card frauds as well.
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I am not propagating and/or supporting the above, but honestly, we aren’t talking about buying an original movie/ music DVD or CD that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. An AutoCAD programme for someone who just wants to muck around and pre-design her home does cost an arm and a leg plus a couple of kidneys. What are we looking at here? A set-back of circa MYR12,000!!! Now, to put things into perspective, minimum wage is only MYR10,800 per annum – gottit?
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Secondly, I am so obsessed, I am totally sleep deprived.
I’ve found a 7 days trial version of a simplified “autoCAD” floor plan drawing that has been designed to work on Microsoft Office – Smartdraw – and have been at it for 7 days. The results are 2 plans … and I’ve got a buzzing idea on my head for Version 3.0, but am still too cheap to pay close to USD200 for the floor plan programme (MYR625).
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As for the 2 plans …
with everyone’s “wish list” included I ended up with Version 1.0 being at 16,000+ sq ft built up … only to quickly realised that neither the width nor the length of the house can be beyond 100 feet as that would be way beyond the parcel’s size.
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Though at the back of the mind, a 16,000+ sq ft house is ludicrous for a family of two (+ possibly 1) … and perhaps a little Chihuahua dog named “frog” that currently resides in two adults imagination* … I didn’t quite scale the house down due to its sheer largeness and impracticality but rather worked on Version 2.0 on the guided premise of bringing both the width and length to below 90 feet!
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And thus, emerged Version 2.0 at magically one quarter of its original size to a stunning 4,000+ sq ft! A much more realistic size.
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Malaysia-Chihuahua-Puppy-21105-copy

* “frog” the dog does exist in a pet shop in suburbia Kuala Lumpur … the thing is I do not own “frog” though the thought of it has been tempting and haunting … “frog”, unlike his other friend, game us the Charles Dickens Oliver Twist look with his big eyes!

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But more importantly i’m designing my home because I need a distraction.
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whoa! Let’s start over with you holding back your judgments on my “rich-spoilt-brat” proclamation of “I need a distraction”.
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I’m somehow going to say this as delicately as possible without offending anyone or any organisation, especially the one that I am currently attached to, which I have some grievances with regards to drawing a line between professional and private life and one’s visibility on the world wide web. My short and quick respond to that? I’ve blocked almost everyone at work from my sites post a conversation with HR!
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So, I digress – back to the need for distraction!
The past two years in consulting can be summarised quite easily as the least productive years of my career.
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I had left the bank in search of some peace and quiet. After 6 years, commencing with start-ups to cross-borders integrations, I was burned out and many had advised that I take some time off in a more relaxing environment. I did. I am.
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On one hand, I have enjoyed the complacency and treasure the flexibility and freedom in terms of time and hours. On the other hand, I miss the “dog-eat-dog” culture of large performance-rewards differentials.
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The “one happy family” superficial environment of everything and everyone is hunky dory irritates me to no end. The high tolerance level of varied performance and mostly mediocrity upsets me. Yet, I enjoy the time-off and lack of discipline that comes with it. The absence of corporate governance and enforcements. The lackadaisical attitude driven mostly by ignorance of HR.
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So, what do I do?
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Re-enter the “dog-eat-dog” world with way higher performance pay upside with commensurable stress?
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Stay and enjoy a relatively high wage-per-effort/ achievement? (while missing out to my cohorts in the longer run?)
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I am yet to decide. I do have a stressor that does make me consider leaving 3 out of 5 days. But this feeling goes away with the increasing absence at work.
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With that, I decided I needed a distraction that would keep me occupied, if not obsessed for a couple of years … and so, i’m designing my home
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