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Sunday, 5 July 2015

RIP IPhone

The only thing I have always with me is my IPhone. I could live an hour at most without my high heels, my colourful headbands or my pink outfits. But never without my IPhone. My whole life is in it: my clients' appointments, my drumming lessons schedule, my blonde notes, everything really. And to be honest, my phone became an extension of my arm. On Friday, The Universe decided to disagree with my addiction to my mobile phone though. Let me tell you my story. 

Last Friday started gloriously. Everything went smooth, my clients were amazing, my coffee was exactly as I liked it and every little thing predicted a fab day....up to 9am when my IPhone's screen tuned blue...then red....and lastly green. Then it died. No worries, I thought. I opened ITunes and tried to update my phone or even restore it to the factory settings. One or the other! But my phone was stubborn, more than I would have expected my best friend to act. I still hopped, so I started google-ing the symptoms and the result was clear. My iPhone died.

For a minute I was still in denial (a minute of silence in the memory of my IPhone really!), then I reached for my landline phone and rang Apple. They know everything....not. The guy who answered was really polite, I mean very, very. It was a shame I couldn't understand his accent. I thought I had a strong one, but wait to hear this dude. Somehow I got the fact that my IPhone had a hardware problem, unless there was some water in it. I tried explaining that I don't usually swim with my phone on me....just because I don't have a swimming pool. Also that it hasn't rained for a while and I kind of work long hours....indoor. But back to the options given at the end of the line. Two really. First, to get a new replacement phone until mine is fixed. Then ship it back. This comes with a charge, the guy said,....of $1,000. But apparently I would be reimbursed when I get mine back.....which, to be perfectly clear, I didn't all.  Second option was to send it to be repaired. Now wait cos it's not so simple. In the next 2 working days, Apple would post me out a box. Once I get that (in another 2 working days) I would have to pack my IPhone in it, phone the courier company they use and wait for another few day to be picked up.  After my phone gets to them, probably in another few days, I would have to wait for up to 10 working days, for my phone to be checked, then once all fine, they will ship it out to me, which would take another few days to get it. In total a minimum of 3 weeks...if I'm lucky. But wait. I won't get back my phone repaired. I will get another phone that has been "refurbished". Only God knows what that means. I think I do as well though. I would get an IPhone that somebody returned because it was broken....but not so screwed like mine so it has been fixed somehow and it would work great...... until the warranty runs out. After going through my brilliant options, I was left to think which out suits me best. Not before I was told the third option which was to drive to Auckland to a repair centre, then drive back home and back again in 3 weeks when I can pick it up. There are only 79km, the lad said. No there are not....more like 200km. No way, the guy argued, I checked it online, he said. I done it many times, I replied and I knew that there are 3 hours drive with a speed ticket and an extra half an hour without the ticket. 

Anyway, I started thinking what works for me and decided to go for the long 3 weeks option. No, I am not giving you my credit card details. And I am not driving to Auckland and back and again there and back. Two days work lost and lots of cash in petrol. So, I rang back. This time, another guy, same impossible accent.....but my ear already got used to the first one. I gave him my case number and I already felt kind of important because I was allocated one. He put me on hold...and cut me off. So I rang back. A lovely lady answered my call. She was from the same country as the other two before her. Case number again and 10 minutes later, all organised. Oops, I forgot to say that I needed a pen and a whole A4 paper to write down the details I have to give the courier company when they will (sorry: "if" they will) pick up my beloved IPhone. Something like case number followed by repair number, then Apple account number with them... I even forgot what else and I cannot find the piece of paper I wrote all these things down. But no problem, cos I received an email from Apple explaining that the courier company will pick up my phone....from an address that's not mine. So lucky me. Tomorrow is Monday and I will start again my calls to these lovely and polite people with weird accents and, if I am so lucky as I think I am, I will get another email with my correct details. 

Now in regards to my clients' appointments, no, I haven't lost them. Everything was stored on ICloud one would think. They were....some of them. I was even ecstatic that, according to ICloud, I have only 2 hours work a day the next few weeks. Only to reassure myself, I opened my calendar on my Mac laptop. Oppss. More appointments. Then my IPad...even more....and I am sure that there are more that got lost in ether between the cloud and my gadgets. But no worries. Life is good and in a few weeks time I, the one who always bought the latest Apple mobiles, all of them,  will get an old phone already used by somebody. To be honest again, whilst dealing with the nice call centre people, I started developing a backup plan. Just because, after all those phone calls, I don't believe that things would go as smooth as the nice customer service people assured me....but I would love to be surprised! :)

Click here to email Brigitte

Saturday, 6 June 2015

How to become famous

I never wanted to be famous, never dreamt to be on the cover of every magazine or social media network. Never wanted to be talked and gossiped about, nor to be easily recognised when I do my grocery shoppings. Let's be honest. I am not a celebrity just because my wish was God's command. The truth is that I am just average...and that's fine. But in my ordinary existence I still tend to reach for the stars, my shinny ones, to achieve excellence if not perfection and to do my best for me and my peeps. And just because this is normality in my reality, I kind of have the desire that other average people, just like me, to understand their status and get the fact that celebrity is not for everybody. It used to be for genius minds, the ones that were able to wake up in the middle of the night with a complicated mathematical formula that changed the whole science. It also used to be for unreal voices, unbelievable talented artists, people with developed  sixth sense, for warriors and worriers. Those were the people everybody wanted to know everything about. Not anymore. These days mediocrity defines celebrity. Let me just justify myself. 

On Saturdays I usually have the "privilege" of watching TV. There are all sorts of famous people least that's what the broadcasters push us to believe. Let's see what's on entertainment channels. I applaud courage and I am thrilled when one decides to change  look and gender if this is what it makes him happy. I really am. But from there to hearing every minute why that person has done it, how he decided what name to adopt, when he had the first sign of wanting a new look is a whole new story. On top of that who cares what every member of the family declares on every single social media network? I am not judgemental, I have a really open mind, but I believe that one doesn't deserve so much attention if he comes from a socialite family. I am the first to stand up for minorities, all sorts of, and I believe in human equality, but again I strongly disagree with making people famous for what they are not. 

But again....if I don't ant to hear more, I can change the TV channel. And I usually do. The History channel.....Hitler...morning to evening. I even call it Hitler channel now because the war is the only subject there. Then there is the Top Gear channel, the one that broadcasts the same shows all over again. And then the cooking one, where I can find out more about what famous chef what caught taking a little bit of illegals or who goes and dines with others than to learn real cooking. On the music channel....buddies, bigger and bigger with every day. Did I mentioned that they are less and less covered? All those beautiful people miming songs that have been perfectly polished in music studios. Most of them cannot sing, but they can dance...kind of and they all have legs up to their fake boobs. I sometimes wonder how and what exactly they got so famous. They are noting like Aretha Franklin, nor like Robert Plant....and they have no chance of. 

But I can switch again. On the Living one there is nothing about living really...except how other famous people sell houses to their famous buyers....who can afford Spain as well as New York. And then there is the Arts channel. I love it, I really do....not so much when so called famous artists show off their not so famous pieces. Let's be honest. These are not masterpieces. No Van Gogh or Degas between them. They are just spots of colors on a canvas or pieces of clay put together without any meaning. And if there is no antonym for masterpiece, I am willing to make one: minorpiece. This is all it is. Then they are those concerts of all sorts of who knows who they are. Just average people like me who became starts because of their belongings to five star families..... or maybe because dating a producer. Again people who cannot ever dream to be as good as the Beatles were, but who were given the opportunity to be more famous than them....if something like this exists!

And then there are our national programs, 4 or 5. I love some of the reporters and talk shows hosts, really talented professionals, who know their jobs very well. But who on earth dresses these amazingly beautiful ladies? I am no designer, but I still know that it is a no no for a  blonde statuesque TV host, with a beautiful white skin, to wear a yellow top and lots of heavy gold costume jewerly. Is like somebody decided to make her look like an egg ... on purpose. Who is the mediocre person who dresses these beautiful ladies and how did she get that job? Cos I am pretty much sure that if one has no clue how to enhance these ladies' beauties, (and believe me when I'm saying they are beautiful!), there are so many fashion designer graduates who can take her/ his job. In a second. Again, I don't judge because I have the taste of Versace...cos I don't. But I believe that the person who decides who wears what on our TV channels is trained more in fashion fiascos than in good taste. And it is a shame because once again we have so many beautiful reporters and they deserve justice.

I am not sure what is a recipe for becoming famous, but I know that it has nothing to do with talent, geniality, skills or knowledge. Not these days. One just have to get somehow on TV. No matter how. Through a reality show for example. Once there,  mime a song, use a stunt for a complicated dance, scribble something or saw a cotton sac... all depends on what are one wants to be famous in. Leave the rest on the TV broad shoulders! :)

Monday, 1 June 2015

The Devil wears....Hendrix

I listen to music all the time. All sorts of songs, different genres depending on my mood. I wake up early in the morning and my IPod starts doing what it does best: entertain me. But it's not just that I surround myself with music. It's more than that. I know music and I love music. I really do. You wouldn't expect that from a blondie, would you? I know so much music that I make my own my head. Every day a new one, depending on my mood, my work or just my pinkness. Weekends are different though because I am off and I can really enjoy the playlists my blonde brain develops. Let me just explain myself. 

Last Saturday was a kind of free day. I just had to get to the local market to help a little bit with my organic products sale. So I woke up early in an exceptional mood....and my playlist started "I'm in the mood" (John Lee Hooker). But my great state of happiness didn't last too much because my dear puppy Hendrix woke up too. "Black Dog" (Led Zeppelin). He started the day with a he usually does. I already knew the remedy: stretching his ass for a half an hour would do it. "Big balls" (AC/DC). Relaxed and happy, Hendrix played on the deck....for a second or two, then started bothering my 14 years old senior dog, Max. Nothing major, justbiting his ears, pushing him down the deck stairs, pulling his tail. "TNT" (AC/DC...again). Poor Max tried really hard to make me aware, but with age he lost his voice and hearing too. I somehow got between Hendrix and his victim and yelled on Hendrix.....but couldn't hear myself because my puppy's voice was always louder than mine....and everybody else's. "Voices" (Ozzy Osbourne). I looked at the clock and realised that, in order to get in time to the market, I needed to quickly feed the dogs...those two and Neo, another one that stayed nicely in the kennel...not that he chose to...a chain stopped him reach me. But nothing was ever able to stop him barking. Anyway, I somehow fed the dogs, except Hendrix of course. He needed to be breastfed...kind of. Hendrix doesn't know how to eat, but he would gladly take food from my hand. "Naughty Boy" (Sam Smith). Once everybody happy, I ran to the shower, then quickly buttered some bread. Then I turned for a second....and turned back just in time to catch Hendrix swallowing my sandwiches. "Hungry Like The Wolf" (Duran Duran). So I made myself other sandwiches and hide them in the pantry. 

Just about to leave the house when I realised that I haven't fed the chickens...6 of them. So I ran to their area, threw some grains, came back in the house and changed my shoes because the grass was wet...and too long. "Changes" (Tupac). Oops, the birds had no water, so back in the garden and another shoes change. In the meantime, Hendrix decided to get intellectual and write an essay on only God knows what....but he got bored.....after destroying my special pen...and another one. "Pieces" (Ella Henderson). I sent Hendrix outside and just about to leave (again) when I remembered that I haven't fed my 16 years old blind cat, Mr King. I somehow found him, fed him, and put him together with my other cat, the wild Miss Lily. "In Good Company" (Kiss). Then I tried very hard to remember where I hidden my sandwiches. I finally found them.  "Mad Wold" (Gary Jules). I put my hat on...and took it off because Hendrix got to it earlier and made some crafty holes in it. Changed it for a red beret and with my keys in my hand left the house. Or wanted to, because Hendrix was faster than me and jumped over his fence....three times in  row. "Trouble" (Ray Lamontagne). I checked the fence. It was broken, so the only thing to do was to take Hendrix with me....which he knew it would happen if he tried really hard to make my morning hell. I found his leash and with Hendrix pulling me hard I got to my car. I pushed his ass in it and started the engine....while Hendrix tried very hard to get into the driver's seat. I mean mine. Maybe he wanted to drive...for a change. "Drive My Car" (Beatles). 

Anyway, the rest of my Saturday was just great. With Hendrix trying to make it ever greater....his style. So my playlist went on and on with "Redemption Song" (Bob Marley) ....  in my head. That and "Cry" (Janis Joplin). Did I mention "Chain of Fools" (Aretha Franklin)? But let me say it loud: Hendrix colors my days and I love him....just because I have "Sympathy For The Devil" (Rolling Stones). :)

Click here to email Brigitte

Friday, 16 January 2015

Years back I decided to worship Janus, the two faced least for a few days at the beginning of every year. Nothing fancy, nor spectacular, no mantras or tantras, no big dramas. Nothing else than dedicating a day or two to write down my New Year's resolutions. I wasn't interested in that face of Janus who looked backwards to the year that just passed. No way... I am not that blonde! I just wanted, always did by the way, to look forward to hopes and dreams of a better year....but every January in that day when I was just about to put some wishes down on a piece of paper something happened. Like today...

Friday is the most amazing day of every week. I'm sure you agree. So this Friday, full of excitement I thought I would finish my chores and decide over some resolutions. I am a modern girlie, so I keep a secret diary on my laptop. No hard copy. I even left a blank page in my electronic diary for my 2015 wishes. I so looked forward to those silly sentences I knew everybody writes. Like how amazingly good I would be this year, how my positive thinking would make negative thoughts go away..... before they even became thoughts, how many charities would benefit from my involvement, how I would focus on the universal law of attraction as an effect of me meditating more about the eternal soul I am. These and other bollocks.  Nah, that's not me. All I wanted was a list of how would I make 2015 a year of me. 

All sorts of thoughts bumped into each other in my head, all about my desired resolutions while I was painting the fence. Have I not told you about my fence? I guess not. When we moved to our fab home, just earlier in 2014, we fenced the property all around...except a small area that was already fenced...with an ugly black fence. I didn't like it, Hendrix, my beloved puppy didn't like, and even the other two dogs we owned agreed with us. So I decided that it was the right time to paint it white. I put myself into the painting mood while listening to Motown and started my chores. I almost finished the first coat when I heard a voice from over the fence. I looked there and seen the head of my neighbour. I don't know him, cos he decided to ignore me, so I kind of guessed it was him....and I was right...again. "What are you doing there?" my neighbour asked like it wan't obvious that I was painting. Now, I wasn't in the mood of chatting because Aretha was singing about her Doctor Feelgood...and when Aretha sings nothing else very graceful Metallica said.  I answered anyway because I always been a polite blondie. "Just painting my fence", I said hoping that the convo would stop here. But it didn't...because my neighbour said that I had no right to paint without permision his fence, I mean the fence he put up a while back, nobody knows when. So in other words, I wasn't allowed to paint my side of the fence on my property. Really? I don't recall reading on the LIM report that the fence belongs to him. But I already told you how polite I am. Gold star girl, so I whispered some words of excuse...or something like that. I didn't even know what I've said but I knew that my neighbour expressed his hopes that there wouldn't be a second coat...I think that's what he said cos I ran in the house to wipe a tear or two. The truth was that I ran to my neighbour. No, not that one. The other one, the nice guy I really liked. I told him the story and asked for his advise. I value his opinion because he is the nicest person I have ever met. I am not gonna tell you what he said, but you can guess that if I just say that I went back to my chores and continued painting my side of the fence, on my property...the one that doesn't belong to my neighbour! And while I was doing that I realised that some people have to learn to let things go. Like the guy who thinks that my side of the fence belongs to him. Mister, let go the fact that right after we moved my little Hendrix ran to your property to say hi. That's the reason we fenced our whole property....and we paid the fines...and I enrolled Hendrix to obedience classes, even if neither Hendrix nor I were interested in them...and left some flowers and chocolates and treats for my neighbour's dog on his doorsteps in the hope that he would let things go. Apparently he didn't....

Anyway, because of the incident, I forgot about my New Year's resolutions...again. But if I think very hard, I have to admit that I have everything I ever wished for. I have two wonderful children I love dearly, the property of my dreams in a very healing area, a job I love, I am loved and respected, I have loads of fun...and then I have Hendrix, my Labrador Ridgeback cross, personality plus boy...and my drums I adore,,,,I have it all. What more can I wish for? But even so, I aim for next year's resolutions...not that I need any, but I don't want to miss out on something...also I told you that I am a modern girlie and I want to keep up with other blondes around the world. On a second thought, maybe my grumpy neighbour needs some resolutions more than I do. Those silly sentences I was telling you about would do just fine in his case. :)