Sunday, March 22, 2015

The Anthropologie

Now that I have narrowed the field of contractors down to two, perhaps it's time to faithfully draw out detailed plans for the renovation of Hartfield! Literally clapping my hands with glee while I say it. While I have the rough sketch already set in my mind - and a finer hand-drawn design in my files, there's still the need to draft out the trifling minor details such as lighting points and window designs.

Which can be a pain sometimes.

But man, I like it that way.

Makes me wonder whether I've wandered into the wrong field of work since I'm far more interested in fabulous window treatments than my actual work. Perhaps I should have thought harder about my initial interest in interior design. Ah, always the road not taken.

Still... having a new home has my creative juices all flowing as I fill up several pages of notepads with ideas and sketches. Pretty sure half of the fanciful frills won't come into actual fruition since there's always a pragmatic budget to watch for - and the lack of proper workmanship here does put a crimp on my fanciful plans somewhat.

Paul : I want the tabletop to be curved in an S shape.
Carpenter : Can.
Paul : A real S-shape, yeah.
Carpenter. Straight?
Paul : S shape. Let me sketch it for you.
Carpenter : Not straight?
Paul : Do you even know what's a curved S?

And... of course after the long, complicated explanation along with the aforementioned drawing complete with size specifications, the trite, unimaginative blokes here would give me the usual hackneyed rectangular tables we see in chain stores everywhere.

Kat : Oh my it looks lovely.
Paul : I asked for a spiral staircase.
Kat : Oh.
Paul : And they gave me a staircase with a shell beach spiral banister. 

Of course my plans are to fill up the rooms ala Anthropologie - which is basically dumping all the rubbishy junk I've carted home from various exotic locales around the world. And believe me, I have quite the enviable collection of whosits and whatsits galore. You want a thingamabob? I seriously have twenty. Finally a place to store all my loves and obsessions.

Though I fear it - even with all the rooms full of cabinets and drawers - it might still not be enough!


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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Gimme My Happy Endings

Let me reiterate - I love my happy endings in fairy tales. Boy meets girl ( or boy as the case may be ) on an adorable meetcute, falls desperately in love, battles some inconsequential obstacle whether dastardly dragon, wicked witch or inane issues, then finally triumphs with that final satisfying stroll into the setting sunset.

That's the kinda sappy ending I like. Not only in the books that I read but that holds true even for the television serials or movies that I watch. After spending so much time delving into the character of a protagonists and rooting for him or her, surely I wouldn't want anything disastrous to befall them.

Kat : Did you like the movie? 
Paul : Hmm. 
Kat : But it had a wonderful story, it was beautifully shot, the actors were superb. 
Paul : The ending sucked. 
Kat : Oh. 
Paul : Everyone has a tragic ending.  
Kat : Surely there's someone... there is that fellow.. maybe the girl... or the bad guy... 
Paul : Died alone in his lonely hotel. Died during childbirth.  
Kat : Hmm. 
Paul : Dammit. Don't get me invested for two hours only to kill off everyone!

So very true. I know critically acclaimed movies just need to knock off the main protagonist - or abandon him or her in some sad lamentably tragic state at the very end - just to win accolades since we all know jolly happy endings rarely brings home the coveted Oscar these days.

I foresee a crummy ending for all of us in this hotel. 

Just look at the list for the last awards. An accursed hotel where almost everyone comes to a bad end, and that includes the pastel pink palace as well. A promising cryptographer who stumbles out of the closet only to undergo miseries till the terrible end. An army veteran who goes through several trials to almost reach his happy ending only to be shot dead at the very end. A washed-up actor takes his final role in a Broadway play only to end... ambiguously.

Seriously we wouldn't want to be in that story at all.

Best Picture Oscar Nomination Title Sequence - 2015 from henry hobson directing & design on Vimeo.

There are a few less blighted ones but ... oh so very few, and none that have that final happy ending that I would wish for. And people wonder why I rarely go through the entire list of Oscar nominees like I used to!

For me, a great movie is one that I would watch again. And again. And possibly again. So far all of the above I wouldn't watch ever, ever again. Just tell me, have you watched Argo, 12 Years A Slave or The Artist again?


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Thursday, March 12, 2015

World Full of Sin

When it comes to relationships, I will admit that it really wouldn't be that hard to turn into a bitter cynic these days. Impulsive day-long marriages leading to quickie divorces and then multiple marriages don't exactly bode well for the gravity and longevity of committed relationships. Much less those dreaded final steps down the aisle.

At least that's what I assume is in their dark skeptical thoughts! Not for me though since I have always been a romantic optimist complete with rose-tinted glasses and endless faith in happy endings... all despite my growing decrepitude.

Which is more than I can say for these young debutantes in town. Or the more correct term would be the Dogmatic Duennas from the Draconian Domicile.

Paul : Surely one eligible bachelor here caught your eye!
Mabel : Nary a one. All deutschbags, dunces and dimwits from what I can see.
Paul : Ouch.
Mabel : You don't count! Everyone knows you're a dandy who fancies other men.
Paul : That obvious?
Mabel : Only Sophia couldn't tell. 

Apparently all quite dogged in their demented determination to remain unwed from our Sober Sophia to the more strident Marvellous Mabel. There's a third to this terrifying trio but more on her peculiarities one day. Even the infamously tenacious matchmaker Mrs Bennet would have found them absolutely horrific in their curious disinclination to socialize with single eligible gentlemen - in spite of the many soirees and balls organized purely for their pleasure.

Sophia : There's no urgent need to introduce men to me! When the time comes, we shall get to know each other. 
Paul : Well the time has come so get to know them!
Sophia : I am certain God will bring us together again. 
Paul : Surely you're not depending on prayers for this. God has far more important missions to attend to.
Sophia : Oh you're so funny!
Paul : Look at this list then. Qualities you could want in a man. What would you go for? 
Sophia : Fidelity first of course. 
Paul : What? No intelligence, looks, titles or wealth? Surely a great body? 
Sophia : No, they have to be faithful first. 
Paul : Faithfulness comes first? Who has cheated on you? 
Sophia : No one!
Paul : Then what terrible romantic misadventures have befallen you before that you would insist on fidelity first? 
Sophia : It's just a really bad, bad world out there!
Paul : What?
Sophia : Yes, it's a world full of sin!
Paul : Whoa. 

Well there you have it, out of the mouth of babes. Even a fresh-faced debutante in her early twenties has so little faith in the constancy of love. Unimpressed with the various Germanic Deutschbags presented to her, Marvellous Mabel was only too eager to agree with the disheartening sentiment and picked faithfulness first on her criteria as well.


Such a daunting thought for the poor heterosexual bachelors out there! To begin a hopeful relationship with the ladies so cynically skeptical they already half believe that it would fail miserably due to the false-hearted vagaries of men! Doesn't look like there's a prayer of succeeding!

Me, I chose funny, smart and handsome - in that order. 

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Monday, March 09, 2015


Once upon a time in a small village not so very far away there was an apothecary's apprentice named Cinderfella.

Allegedly mistreated, mishandled and misunderstood by all who knew him - the atrocious chief apothecary especially, the poor boy found but little solace from everything around him - till one fine morning when he was delivering a medicinal poultice to a sick villager, Cinderfella saw a notice being put up in the village square announcing a royal ball for the prince's birthday.

Might I say his heart skip a beat?

Oh my is that my Prince Charming? Is he going to rescue me from my life of misery? 

It didn't take the apothecary's apprentice very long to start wishin', prayin' and hopin'. Yes, you see the apprentice had seen the burly young prince once from afar. Oh, so fine and noble the prince was riding his brilliant red carriage to the castle, and so very far from his own lowly miserable station.

Cinderfella : Oh he could never love me. Such a terrible creature like me. 
Godfather : But why would you say that?
Cinderfella : Why fairy godfather!
Godfather : Yes, you shall go to the ball! And find your prince. 
Cinderfella : But I can't!
Godfather : Why not? 
Cinderfella : He's so much better than me! He's a prince. He speaks well. He sings. He enjoys good food. 
Godfather : He still puts his pants on one leg at a time, just like everyone else. 
Cinderfella : I have nothing to wear!
Godfather : Well I shall make an enchanting bespoke suit from silky gossamer threads spun by ink-black spiders in the light of a full moon. 
Cinderfella : But will that make him notice me? What if he doesn't? What if he does? What if the suit is too bright? What if the pants are too tight? What if I break the shoes?
Godfather : And how would that be a problem? 
Cinderfella : What if he doesn't love me? What if I'm not his type? What if he only likes burly bears like himself? What if he leaves me with my heart broken? 
Godfather : What ifs! Pish posh, my dear. Now do you perhaps have a coconut to turn into a carriage?
Cinderfella : What if the coconut breaks down? What if his friends hate me? 
Godfather : Hmm. 
Cinderfella :  What if he - wait, fairy godfather where are you going?
Godfather : You're too much for a first assignment, I'm heading next door to find an easier target for the makeover. Perhaps you have a wicked stepbrother around? 

Almost impossible to find a happily-ever-after in this real life scenario.

Poor Cinderfella and his self-defeating what ifs. So preoccupied with how exceptionally perfect the prince is to try. So busy obsessing over everything that could possibly go wrong that he daren't make any moves. Seriously boys, faint heart never won fair laddie - so you don't get to walk off into the sunset with the prince if you keep finding ways not to.

Really, what if a flying meteor falls to the earth right on the prince?

No doubt if his childfood friend Cinderella had done the same moping over her similarly miserable fate rather than step into that enchanted glass slipper, she would still be communing with her mousy companions in the back kitchen. Instead she grabbed those damned shoes, ran as fast as those crystal heels could take her and made sure she dazzled during her grand entrance at the ball.

Something said prince won't forget anytime soon!

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Thursday, March 05, 2015

The Line of Bitchery

Though my new friends find it really hard to believe, I am relatively zen now. Or at least approaching zen.

Then again I've mellowed down at least marginally, those who knew me from way back when can certainly attest to that. In fact my ISO, having once upon a time witnessed my escalating whirlwind of wrath descend upon his poor doomed flat much to his neverending horror, would be the first to concede. These days when faced with an untenable situation, at least I tend to bite my lip rather than fall into an apoplectic rage. A singular sign of maturity no doubt!

At least that's what I thought.

Much to their collective horror - and to Sober Sophia's endless dismay, one of the indelible Norms for the Domicile for Dogmatic Duennas has been recklessly broken by one of their own - inevitably inching towards the predicted heinous murder-suicide that the rest of us have been laying bets on. Imagine the speechless feminine outrage ( multiplied per duenna ) over said transgression!

Sophia : Gracious me!
Paul : Oh dear, you mean that was mean? And here I thought I was being absolutely darling.

So I tried to offer a more peaceable solution to their dilemma rather than leap to the rather more grisly resolution the bloodthirsty duennas were all baying for.

Paul : Actually you could do the nice thing and just send out an email to the duennas.
Sophia : Only an email? 
Paul : An email outlining all the errors that she made, perhaps even highlighting them. 
Sophia : Oh my God.
Kat : That's your nice thing?!
Paul : It is!
Kat : Oh my. 
Paul : You mean that's not nice? 
Kat : No, it isn't!
Paul : Oh my, I have been sending out some horrific emails.
Kat : Worse than this?
Paul : Much worse. No wonder they always capitulate.

Faced with such shocking manners over the dinner table, I think Sober Sophia nearly fell into an incredulous swoon. Don't really see her following my egregious email etiquette any time soon.

As much as I've reformed to be a better person ( though I am beginning to wonder whatever for! ), it seems that I have very far to go. Even though I have come down from the awe-inspiring levels of Miranda Priestley, apparently I'm still a sliver above that particularly horrific line of bitchery.

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