on distraction …

i’m designing my home
OK. Mebbe the operative word should be “trying – as in I’m trying to design my home.
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). 
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
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.
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.
So, how am I doing on the front of i’m designing my home?
First and foremost, does anyone know where I can get a bootleg version of AutoCAD?!?! 
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.
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?
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).
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.
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!
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.

* “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!

But more importantly i’m designing my home because I need a distraction.
whoa! Let’s start over with you holding back your judgments on my “rich-spoilt-brat” proclamation of “I need a distraction”.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
So, what do I do?
Re-enter the “dog-eat-dog” world with way higher performance pay upside with commensurable stress?
Stay and enjoy a relatively high wage-per-effort/ achievement? (while missing out to my cohorts in the longer run?)
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.
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



i said typewriter. not kindle … but what the hey!

H yanks out his mobile and says “oh, better key-in your birthday”

I eyed him suspiciously, undecided if I was offended that he will forget had it not been the aid of technology.

“What?!? Men are not genetically programmed to remember things like that.”

Pfff… I thought under my breath.

Sensing he was in trouble he added quickly, “I know I’m going to fumble and fail. So tell me what you’d like for your birthday.”

I gave it some thought. Well, I could come up with a list.

But truth is birthdays are never a big deal with me. I mean, I spent my second chance at being 18 years again with a cat I detest and speaking of which, it’s Kelly-the-Cat’s “mom” birthday today. Had it not been the whatsapps with the boy’s reminder, I would have forgotten about it! Well, I can’t be blamed if the oldies aren’t on Facebook with the oh-so-convenient birthday reminders app… and yeah, who am I to be offended with H’s not-so-often sensibility of scheduling my birthday into his calendar?

So while I was mulling about it  (which honestly I didn’t need to coz a few days back while waiting for the hair conditioner to set-in, I had thought of what I wanted H to get me – muahahahahaha …), H added, “Oh I know. I’ll get you a painting.”

Wait-a-minute! My breath hitches. What if I hate it?!??? So I responded, “Nope. Unless it’s a Banksy.”

“Sorry sweets. Banksy’s out of my reach.” Oh well. You are forgiven. Banksy is out of 99.99999% of mere mortal’s reach.

I finally said, “I want a typewriter.”

“A typewriter?”, was the respond with an arched eye brow before H launched into a speech – which is a rarity – on the limitations of a typewriter.

It was cute. I had to put my index finger on his lips to stop him before dramatically announcing, “B…bb…but Ernest Hemingway has a typewriter!” which if anything encouraged him to go on about how Earnest Hemingway, had he continued to live on to be 115 years old this year would have whipped out his iPad to type his manuscript.

But really, it wasn’t about the mechanical machinery that bothered H. Rather, “you do know I won’t know where to get a typewriter right?”


But I did know where to get one. And I do know who he could get in touch with to get me one.

But I couldn’t bring myself to say that I wanted a cutesy pink, sea-foam green or fire engine red vintage typewriter coz it adorable. That would have been way too girlish. Images of me getting a gawd awful black-grey plastic-ky one flashes in front of me … eweeeeee …. yuk! NO!

“OK. You know what? I’ll get you a Kindle.” {pause}“And you can have access to my credit card to buy all the e-books you want anytime.”

hmmm… that’s a great proposition. I’ve always wanted a Kindle, but have to really jump through some hoops and rings just to buy e-Books with a Malaysian credit card. So I thought about it for a while … not quite the gift I wanted … but before I could respond, H said, “We’ll hunt a typewriter in the flea market in France … or something … later. And you’re right. It’s your wish. If it’s a white elephant, it’s your HAPPY white elephant.”


So though I couldn’t say I wanted a typewriter to journal the bits and pieces of notations I make into my travel journal coz I can’t bare the sight of my own handwriting … something that H wouldn’t be able to wrap around his brain coz he’s way too factual to get things where logarithm is not involved … H fulfills his personal need to get me something he can’t possibly fail in getting and/or something where there will be a use. And I get to hold on to the hope that I’ll eventually get a Remington, Olympia, Olivetti, or Royal typewriter! … and another trip to Les Puces de Saint-Ouen Market.

If you must really know how our brains work:

H is a person who would say, “that’s actually a cosine graph, “ … seriously WT{blip}

… but equally eye-balls rolling ridiculous, I am a person who says, “the teal coloured column on the right table …”



what a week! I am confused …

I have no choice but make reference to H.

You know, {the other 1/2 of}.Haque that’s not in the “{ }”. The other H, which I had mentioned earlier on that I would not make much references to in my blog … but maybe much later on as I get comfortable with the fact that the other H will have a significant enough or rather all consuming effect on my daily life.

Well, the other H did. This week at least and will be referred to as simply “H” below for simplicity.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

it’s tough being an adult,” sighed one of my associates.

That’s somewhat stating the obvious I thought quietly, but responded professionally with:

“You know, when I was your age I thought the same. The burdens of responsibility. The need to hold on to a job. The fact that demands are not met. Finances are inadequate. And often I mused about how silly people at my current age now are – spending time worrying about a mortgage that takes up 60% of their net pay. The joys that quickly turns into tribulations at the sight of a positive pregnancy home test kit … and many, many more.” 


“but guess what? when you do finally get to my age, it ain’t matter. You are numbed. It’s part of life.”

I’ve no idea why I said any of that.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Today as I made my way to the showers, the associate’s voice echoed in my head. The words: “it’s tough being an adult,” hung heavy in the air.

Fact is, I disagree that it’s tough being an adult. Not at this stage of my life – as I had mentioned above. 

Frankly, at this very moment I think and feel that “it’s confusing being an adult”

Fact is, I am confused. It has been one heck of a confusing week to put it mildly.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –


I recall us reaffirming and reinforcing our mutual positive feelings and needs. That was Monday.

I recall me referencing Monday as we were enjoying Wil Thimister‘s photography prints. Nothing was amiss; we were collectively deciding which prints would be best for purchase. Potentially a first to add to the list of ‘first-s‘ in “our relationship”.

Between Will Thimister and the walk to my car, post the rather mediocre Ben’s iced tea that was neither minty or refreshing or lemon-y, I launched into a monologue which looking back sounded like a repeat of my classic: ‘i was an oxymoron to my ‘oxygen’‘.

And having delivered my spill to a rather emotional H (whose face contorted with pain, and lower half of his face quivering uncontrollably while I restrained myself from reaching up and cupping his lovely face in my hands and saying “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean it. And that’s not what I really want,“), I left him standing there … right in the middle of a mall to pick up the pieces of his shattered heart(?) only to stroll to the other end of the mall to fetch his car.

it is the right thing to do,” I tell myself quietly as I tried not to look back although I saw H’s reflection in the glass paneled doors that leads to the car park. The sight of him … punished me with an instant migraine, a painful tugging in my heart and a feeling of knots in the pit of my stomach.

it is the right thing to do.” I said repeatedly to myself… and out loud once I was in the privacy of my car, wiping the tears that had swelled up.


I told myself that all 3 of my mothers would be proud of me.

Hell. One in particular would be sighing in relieve. The other two would say they are proud before launching a “you silly girl … ” lecture of why H is not good for me.

And that was Wednesday night. I didn’t sleep a wink.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Thursday, 3:30 am and I woke up in a jolt from a 30 minutes sleep. I know this because I had counted the times the cuckoo clock had chimed throughout my sleepless night.

By 4:50 am I’d given up the idea of sleep. I was up and about. Reluctant to drive in early for work; avoiding the unnecessary need to slave beyond my 60-80 hours work week, I decided to spend the morning in seclusion. At the back of my mind, nagging, was the thought that the first face I had wanted to see today was H’s.

No!” I screamed internally. The last person I want or should see is H!

I’m not embarrased. I was afraid I would lose my resolve. {Dammit. It’s the right thing to do.} Cowardice is my occasional middle name.

But, by mid-morning my BB blips its red light. The ‘green talk bubble’ tells me I have a message. My heart skipped. I hope it’s H.

Nooooo! I can’t face H.

It wasn’t H.

I finished the whatsapp chat with not-H, and instinctively messaged H. Yes, I am out of control!

We exchanged some light banter … then, a heavy loaded question landed. Just as Little Foot in The Land Before Time had thrown the question out loud on his future and about his mother’s whereabouts to the star leaf, I was asked: is there a “Penny star” in my charts  

Yeassshhhh! H is still committed. My heart somersaults with joy.

But NOOOOooooo! I need him to go. He has to go. It’s the right thing. I don’t deserve H. I can’t keep H.

Wait. He’s going. He’s making preps and working on plans I had laid out on Wednesday evening. I didn’t dare broach the subject. We didn’t talk about anything significant that day.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

I didn’t see H until our fancy Friday dinner.

It was the longest appetizers wait I’ve ever had in my life as H lays out his rough game plan of going. yes – he’s leaving. For good.

I sit still. Nodding. I cupped my chin in my hands … and slowly spread it out to support my face. To half cover my expression that may betray my feelings from him.

B..bb..but, I can’t eff-ing believe I am this calm. It’s baffling. My inner voice chided me – am I such a cold heart-ed bitch? I was momentarily convinced I could beat Antonio Esfandiari in poker. Internally I was crushed so ever slowly, word by word, as he delivered his game plan. Of leaving. For good.

Appetizers arrived as he was 2/3rd-s through.

I’ve never felt happier seeing chicken tenders – which is downright ridiculous. I’ve only recently reintroduced chicken into my diet – so realistically I can’t be happy seeing chicken even if they danced like they did in the Australian version of Chicken Tonight adverts in the late 1990s! By the end of appetizers, it’s confirmed I hate chicken tenders. No fault of theirs. Just that future association of chicken tenders would be clouded by H’s game plan. Of leaving. For good.

The main course was wasted on me. With my mouth tasting like lead, even if the salmon steak was moist and tender, it would not have made a difference. Point was, it was overdone, like all salmon steaks in this part of the world and I wolfed down 1/2 to arrest potential stomach maladies, of which I am prone of.

Over a shared dessert – a first for H; sharing dessert that is – we exchanged a few words. Some in my opinion were at polar opposite of the appetizers conversation. But, mostly my mind was focused on the deafening silence.

It occurred to me that I didn’t really have anything to talk to H about. It occurred to me that I don’t really know this beautiful person in front of me other than he loves salmon, tender or otherwise. But more importantly, it occurred to me that there could be no alternatives for H and me.

Just then, our “silence” was broken by the boys … oh how I love the boys. The jokes and light banter was refreshing. The respectful hugs they gave me held me together. At that moment, I needed solace. I needed to feel some love. Some worth.

What fine men they have blossomed into! I can’t help but bask in pride, knowing I had a hand in it. Overall, it was a nice change of emotions for the night that seems to drag on endlessly.

And when the boys left to attend to their fermented brews, we were reduced to just looking at one another, chins in our palms, elbows propped on the table … like kids … like how you’d be scrubbing floors with bare hands in finishing school if the matrons caught a sight of your elbows on the table top during dinner.

But mostly it was H staring at me with that dopey adorable look he gives me from time to time. Looks that just melts my heart. Looks which I can’t help but want to reach out and touch his face. But I don’t.

And I don’t either tonight. I turn my gaze away to a distant spot. I am naturally uncomfortable with eye contact. But tonight I am confused. Tonight, I am crushed. Tonight, I don’t want to look at H. Yet, it might be the last of H that I’ll be looking at. And H looking back at me. In tenderness.

But H has a game plan. Of leaving. For good.

We’re living on borrowed time. I’m living on borrowed time – I’m not sure I can do this.

Well, it’s my fault. I had asked H what his game plan was. H was literally repeating what I had said to him on Wednesday. Come to think about it, it’s my game plan. Of HIM leaving. For good.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

As I mull over this today, while assisting H with his evacuation plan and contacting 3 people to explain the situation, I am reminded of the mechanical robotic non-feeling I had not too long back as I relayed message that my darling baby boy (mr. B) had gone on to a better place to be with his creator(s).

And it hit me suddenly. Just as I walked towards my shower for the 2nd time today.

Did I just experience a break up twice in a week? First me on Wednesday. Then H on Friday.

I shake the thought off with a chuckle. This is so typical! I recall similar emotional roller coasters with H’s kind. On a Saturday too. I can’t believe this. I mean with H, we aren’t even in a relationship. (or are we?)

So, is it even conceivably possible to break up? it’s confusing being an adult!