Friday, April 25, 2008

Can you smell what the Rock is cooking

It's so close.

I can almost smell and taste the freedom in the air.

We're so close now. I think it's going to happen.

Have been working on a transaction since the start of January 2008, and it's been pretty hectic. Late nights, long documents, even longer emails with comments and amendments. The solicitor on the other side even became younger towards the end of the transaction - at our first "all parties" teleconference, he waxed lyrical about his 19 years of superior experience and skills. Two months down, he was waxing lyrical about his 17 years of superior experience etc.

Me, I just need some quality sleep, and no more waking up screaming at 4am because there should've been another warranty qualified by "best of knowledge". But all's well since we are now closing. I had a client walk away from a deal in mid-February 2008, and it was quite stressful but anyway, the deal died on commercial points (what kind of stupid person agrees to a cap on liability of 7% of the purchase consideration????) and not because of the solicitors.

In other news, The Son spontaneously requested for "underwear" the other day. How odd. "I want under wear", said he. Then he wanted to pick the colour (we offer a choice of 4). Then we had to convince him that he could not wear the blue one 2 days in a row, it's dirty, please consider the remaining choice of 3 colours. We irrevocably confirm and undertake to you that each of the 3 remaining choices of coloured underwear will be as comfortable as the blue one.

Anyway, he picked the green one and we sent him off to school this morning with the green underwear, safe in the knowledge that he hadn't pooped for 2 days and therefore it's very likely that it will be his teachers cleaning up the poopage this morning and not us.

I really need to relax.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Mama's Bedtime Suckage

I'm starting to think that The Son has given up on listening to my bedtime stories.

Last evening, I started to droop at right about 10 pm, then suggested to The Son that we should perhaps stop watching Indiana Jones and the Lost Ark, and (stroke of genius!) adjourn to the bedroom for a nice bedtime story.

And rather than to have the bedtime story book that I'm holding fall on my head and wake me up halfway through the story, I decided (stroke of genius!) to make up a variation of Goldilocks and the Three Bears and just tell him the story straight. After all, it's not a particularly complicated tale. I don't think I need any prompting.


So I wake up the next morning in a daze, like, what the hell happened - wasn't I just telling a bedtime story? Asked The Husband to recount last night's events. According to him, I fell asleep right after Goldilocks arrived at the door of the house of the three bears, but before she went in and started messing with their stuff. The Son realised I had fallen asleep halfway through a bedtime story (again), couldn't wake me up, got off the bed and walked off to find The Daddy. Then asked The Daddy to tell him a bedtime story about Goldilocks.

I give up. I've already tried audio books, where someone else will read the bedtime story whilst I just flip the pages, but I can't even stay awake long enough to finish the whole story (and we're talking about a board book here). Somehow I suspect the producers of audio books know about this parental attention deficit, since a little bell will go off ("DING!!") every time we're supposed to turn the page. They really should make that bell a little bit louder so that it will wake me up. Maybe if they could make it sound less like a bell and more like an alarm clock.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Revelations at Kenko's

Anyone who's had the misfortune of dragging a toddler into Kenko's will probably sympathize, but really the truth of the matter is, the whole concept was both misconceived and extremely ill-advised in the first place and I really should have known better.

Every time I try to do one of my "Live your life to the fullest" weekends, my back ends up paying for it. It's a combination of carrying all the toddler barang barang on my back (5 bottles, big bottle of water, milk powder for 5 bottles, diapers, change of clothes, wet wipes, dry cloth, 5 die-cast metal toy cars, 1 portable DVD player, 3 CDs/ DVDs, SLR camera and extra lens) and then also carrying the toddler in front as well. Add on the toddler pulling my hair and trying to lick my ear. It probably looks to the world like a Sherpa ascending Everest while carrying a monkey and being set upon by invisible wasps.

Then in the midst of all this, I pass a Kenko's, and an irresistable force propels me inside to get some relief for my poor tired back. Through the haze of agony and then relief as I put everything (and everyone) down, it barely registers that I have just signed up for half an hour of a back massage with a very awake, very curious 3-year old. Frankly for the first 5 minutes, nothing registers except for the fact that my back doesn't hurt as much. Then after 5 minutes, I note with horror that:

1. the toddler's hands are ink stained - where did he get all that ink????!!!
2. he is now playing with the rather delicate cream-coloured day-curtains, and by "playing with" I mean "dangling from";
3. he then disappears into a private room and comes out holding some dirty ear-buds;
4. there is a foul stench coming from his diaper and I can no longer smell the lavender in the air; and
5. he has been overcome by toddler verbal diarrhoea and nothing can drown him out, not the shushing and threats from the direction of my chair, not the bottle of milk I pass to him, not the pacifier, not the baby biscuits, not even the gentle strains of spa music from the hidden speakers. It's like someone just switched on the TV in time for the news, as read by a very enthusiastic newsreader with an extremely short attention span.

"I got bitten by an ant! My mama brushed it away! My grandpa died! He just died! I just poo poo! In my diaper! Yesterday, I poo pooed into the big potty! I try to drink water, but it make me choke! Mama! Can we go to the Movie Store?"

Most people complain that massages are too short, time seems to fly when you're lying on the table, they could lie there for another hour blah blah blah. Let me tell you - that was the longest massage of my life and I couldn't wait to leave.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Almost human again

It's been a long and truly, truly horrible week for the Smoot and an thrilling week for the paper industry, with consumption of paper at the office printer of Smoot reaching new and dizzying heights. Frankly if I could just have ten minutes to put my makeup on properly, in front of a mirror, without the phone ringing or the blackberry going off, it would be fantastic. I am so over getting foundation marks on everything simply because I'm trying to type while putting on makeup. The "J" key in the keyboard is now "Sandy Beige". And for once the colour seems to be every bit as long lasting as Cover Girl had promised.

In other news, there is no other news. I've not done anything but use up paper for the last week.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Pour Favour

In the middle of a heavy heavy week, I got some light entertainment from a Spanish client (also a law firm seeking legal services for the benefit of their office in Singapore). We got a request to provide a fee estimate for reviewing a commercial lease. I had met my billing quota for the week so decided to give them a door gift and sent through some ridiculously low fee estimate. My boss sends it to the Spanish clients, copies me on the email.

The Spanish lot review his email, cut him out of the email trail but forget that I am still there on the cc list. All of a sudden, I got a load of espanol amidst my English and viagra emails.

Pour favour? I forward to the boss. He reads Spanish. He says "They're not happy with our quote".

An hour later, another load of Espanol. Instead of just forwarding to my boss, I take the liberty of applying the absolutely free Spanish to English translator, which (drum roll) confirms that indeed another email recipient has pooh pooh'd my quote. WTF?!@

And then it goes on and on and on - 5 emails later, they are still waxing lyrical about how the quote seems rather exaggerated, blah blah blah tostitos doritos arreba areeba underlay.

I'm starting to wonder what kind of legal fees they pay in Spain. Maybe their peso converter is not working. Maybe they are converting pesos to RMB? Maybe they think I am quoting in Euro? This is a bloody door gift, for heaven's sake. Even in Euro, it would still be cheap. They should be putting me on their Christmas card list.

Finally, one email comes through which throws some light onto the matter. One of their partners in Europe writes back "I have heard that there are internet services in Singapore, that will provide this service for free..."

Yesssss..... If ever I find an internet service in Singapore that will help me with the commercial lease contract reviews, for free, I will not just tell them about it, I will also use it. Every day. I will try to get them to review all my other contracts for free. In fact, I will go home and lie down, since I would have officially become obsolete.