Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Post-move Update

We moved to our new house on March 7th. It's our 11th day there today. The house is still cluttered with boxes, some half opened, some yet to be opened. Stuff are tucked away in corners, and strewn in some places, waiting for their turn to know where they'll end up in. Wish I had taken pictures to document our move. We did take a few on moving day but now I wish I took more and also the days following....But we didn't have time.

We estimated having moved all our stuff in a total of about 60 reasonably big boxes, excluding the bulky items like furniture and appliances. We've unpacked about 40. We still have power drills, hardware etc lying around the house as all the nitty gritty stuff like hooks and holders, shelves, blinds, etc to install. My new oven is still sitting pretty in its original box packaging in the tiny storeroom under the staircase, waiting to roast its first chicken...Needless to say, my cooking has been rather minimal these two weeks.

Also, it was because my new hob had a minor defect on one of its burners. It could light up but the flame could not sustain. Got it fixed two days ago. We got our autogate fixed today. Still waiting for phone and Internet line (see post below). Caitlin's teacher will be coming over tomorrow to help tune her drum set. I've yet to call the tuner to tune the piano.

Our living room aircond unit is currently unusable. Nothing wrong with it actually. But my ST*PID contractor who tiled my front porch and re-routed the drain underground did not notice the outlet of my aircond water there and covered it up with concrete. So if I switch on my aircond, I will eventually see wet patches on the wall beneath it where the concealed piping runs. Water can't get out where it's supposed to so it'll get out somewhere else lah... Now, another waiting game for the contractor to hack up a row of tiles from the floor of my porch to allow drainage of the water....

I spent six hours (yes, that long) sorting Caitlin toys out of seven boxes today. Some are going to charity while the others were re-categorised and arranged in her new play room. She's at my parents' home today so I could do it in peace. I only hope she'll maintain a semblance of what I've organised for her once she starts enjoying that room!

I've arranged Eugene's and my books in our new big book shelf unit upstairs. Took two days to carry piles and piles of books (they are sooo heavy) almost non-stop up four flights of stairs numerous times a day. I've been getting very good workouts these few days climbing stairs (it's a three-storey house... yes, only three people in the family and we need such a big house because you wouldn't believe how much toys and books both Eugene and Caitlin have. I only have books!)

Caitlin's four boxes of books are still untouched. We need to get more bookcases to organise her books as they can't all fit into the one Eugene and I are sharing....

I have to stop here. Time to leave this computer alone again and head home...

Life without Internet...

... is like walking with 'kaki tempang' (limping)!

We applied for a phone line with Internet service one week ago. They told us they'd contact us to make arrangements within 3-7 days. On day 5, I called, they said their 'system' said it's "in progress". Today I called again, they said we'd have to wait till their technician calls us. They've been getting lots of orders and we will have to wait our turn. I asked if they could give me an estimated time when we'll get it. All they said was, please wait. And all I can say is "B*ll S**t!!"

Government, government-linked corporations....I have lots to say but not here. So is Malaysia a developed country?

My poor computer is so lonely in this old place of mine, simply because I can only access the Internet from here for now....

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The past few days

Since moving, we've been extremely busy. My computer is still at the old place until such time when I get Internet at the new place.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Almost moving...

After three hours of packing, the things are now being gradually loaded into the truck. I'm glad we decide to use movers... can't imagine Eugene and me doing all this ourselves. Six men took three hours to pack and wrap and they are still at it since 9.30am. Two of us wouldn't have been able to do it if we had decided to really move on our own today.

'Live' update

As I'm sitting here, the movers are already halfway through packing up our stuff. It's a strange feeling that we are not really doing any hard labour right now, other than supervising and answering questions about what is to be packed and moved and what will be left behind etc....

Obviously, the computer is not being moved yet as we'll still be coming back to this old place for intermittent use of the Internet (until we get the Internet line up at the new place), and sorting out some minor stuff left behind...

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Saying goodbye

Me: Caitlin, please go to bed, you need to wake up early for school tomorrow, and after school you'll be at the new house already.

Caitlin: But when do I say goodbye?

Me: Say goodbye? To whom?

Caitlin: Our house.

Me: You can do it in the morning when you're leaving for school, ok?

Caitlin: Ok.


After all these months of planning, considering, managing and frustrating over everything related to our new house and the move, it's finally coming to a point where the real thing is happening. And it's in less than 24 hours' time...and I don't feel ready.

This is mainly because I look around and I still see this computer desk laden with stuff, wardrobes still with clothes hanging inside, kitchen cabinets still packed with dry groceries, cupboards still filled with pots and pans, Caitlin's desk still cluttered with her stationery, toys, junk, book shelves still with books inside....

Come 9.00 am tomorrow, the movers will invade our home with their boxes and wrapping materials. Being professionals, they will surely be able to sort out the mess and pack them up nicely for us. I am however nervous that I won't be able to find the stuff that I need to use on a daily and immediate basis once those boxes arrive at the new house....

We had moved many boxes of stuff on our own earlier but they contain mostly stuff that we've kept in storage for years, stuff that we think we need but have hardly used, stuff that serve no immediate, daily need.

Being a control freak, trusting stuff that are considered somewhat important in strangers' hands is something new to me. The many, many times that I've moved homes, rooms, dorms, apartments, I've always done it myself - sorted, packed, dismantled stuff on my own and only getting transporters to load them onto their lorry/truck and unload them at the destination.

Tomorrow, these people are not just transporters. They are movers. They pack, dismantle and move your stuff. My experience with movers prior to this was only in my working life when my company hired movers to help us move office. Even then, I was given the boxes and packed all my own stuff in my cubicle and department.

This morning, the cleaners I got spent 4.5 hours cleaning the new house. It is still not entirely spotless but at least cleaner with less dust and debris. Like all new houses, it'll have to go through several rounds of thorough cleaning before it gets to a lived-in level of cleanliness.

There's still lots to do at the new house besides unpacking. There are curtains to put up (luckily the curtain maker is doing that tomorrow evening), blinds, water filter, autogate, a few more light fixtures, one sink and minor items like mirrors, towel rods, hooks, laundry rack to install, some DIY wardrobes to build and some touch-up painting to do....

So getting the house ready to move in was one milestone. After tomorrow, there's another one to conquer - settling in.

Caitlin was excited when we told her she'll be sleeping in the new house tomorrow night onwards. However, she also voiced sadness that we're leaving this current place. She said she'll miss it. I don't doubt her. She's lived here since the day she was born. And when we told her we'd be renting out this place, she said she doesn't want other people living in it. Eugene explained to her that all our belongings will no longer be here when other people move in. She felt better then so I guess she was more concerned about her things.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Pain can mask depression, say experts

Read this in the news today:

Medical experts believe that one reason why most cases of depression are untreated is because the illness may be masked as pain in the body.

Malaysian Psychiatric Association president Dr Yen Teck Hoe said many patients and medical practitioners fail to recognise physical pain as a common symptom of depression.

“Doctors often dispense painkillers to relieve the pain as it is presumed that the root of the problem is from the area that hurts.

“However, people forget that it is the brain and mind which controls the body,” he said at the first Malaysian Pain and Depression Day Media Workshop at the PJ Hilton here yesterday.

Universiti Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC) psychological medicine department senior lecturer Dr Jesjeet Singh Gill said depression may be manifested as pain because the illness would disrupt serotonin activity in the body. Serotonin is the bodily chemical which regulates pain.

“When this happens, depressed people are unable to control the painful sensation compared to someone who is not depressed,” he said.

The department’s consultant psychiatrist Prof Dr Nor Zuraida Zainal said depression also weakens the body’s immunity and increases a person’s chances of getting an infection.

She revealed that 59% of lower back pain patients were diagnosed with depression while previous case studies showed that pain also occurred in other areas such as the chest and jaw.

Asean Federation for Psychiatry and Mental Health president Prof Dr Mohamad Hussain Habil said the current economic crisis, including risk of unemployment were factors leading to depression today.

“It is projected that depression will be the second most disabling disease by 2020,” he said.

Another department senior lecturer Dr Ting Joe Hang said doctors should interact more with their patients to pick up hints on depression during diagnosis.

“Depressed patients should not stop medication prematurely because there is a 60% to 70% chance of a relapse,” he added.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Monday, March 2, 2009

Grooming Rusty

We bought an electric rechargeable fur/hair trimmer to groom Rusty over the weekend. Yesterday, Eugene started the job but I ended up taking over and finishing up. If you think cutting a kid's hair is hard, try a hyperactive four-month-old puppy. He was wriggly and couldn't stay put. Fur was all over the place. Our attempt to lay the floor beneath him with newspaper to collect the cut fur was futile.

Next was giving him a bath, blowing him dry with the hairdryer and trimming his nails. Lots of struggle with Rusty who enjoyed the attention but couldn't keep still and enjoyed wrestling with our tools and hands using his mouth and teeth.

It was literally a back breaking afternoon grooming Rusty unlike what you see here in this video. Nevertheless, I still gave him a treat after that.


We're moving to our new place this Saturday. Packing-wise, we still have lots of odds and ends to put into boxes. Some are stuff we are still using on a daily basis, others are stuff we've simply chucked at 'hidden' corners over the years because we either don't know where to put them or because we thought we'd have use for them someday or because they have some perceived sentimental value. Eugene has lots of those in the last category.

Moving house is a good way to give away old but usable stuff -- clothes, old furniture, bags, etc -- to those who need them more. It's a good way to declutter and simplify -- do we really need those shoes which we once thought looked cool but wore only once? It's an opportunity to remember and reminisce -- get a laugh looking at old nerdy pics, read old letters (I still have those written to me when I was a teenager)and autographs.

This brings to mind scenes of police detectives in TV shows sifting through victims' or suspects' garbage cans. You can tell a lot about a person and his daily life by looking at what is thrown out!