Garfieldhug's Blog

This & That Including What Ails

My Favorite Garfield

My Favorite Garfield

Garfield first came into my life when I was in HK. I received my furry friend then in 1989 but did not think much of it as Beng decided it would keep me company in a new land.

Whenever Beng visited me on weekends as a commuter, he would give me a Garfield.

I soon grew fond of Garfield as I liked his plastic eyes and always gave a good cuddle. Soon my bed filled with Garfields, as friends who visited me thought I liked Garfield and would seek out to provide me with a Garfield for any occasion I celebrated.

I bawled my eyes out in 1998 when the first Garfield I received from Beng, got left behind in Turkey. I did not have a photo of this Garfield and it meant the world to me as by then Beng had made a huge impact on my life. JL, KP and JC who were with me on that trip consoled me and said I was silly to offer up to USD300 for the driver to return to the hotel where I left him when I had already arrived in Ankara.

I left Turkey very sad. My mum then bought me this Garfield ( she was sweet to ensure that this Garfield measured larger than the tiny one to avoid being left behind) and he has been with me since then. 15 years now and raggedy with cataracts, Garfield has travelled with me faithfully to Hainan, Guang Zhou, Zhuhai, Macau, HK, Adelaide, Perth, Brighton, Stavanger, Malaysia, Batam – wherever I went, Garfield went.

Today my collection of Garfields is coming close to 475 collectibles. To me, each Garfield is precious as it comes with precious memories of the giver and the occasion it signified. I thank Jim Davis’ creativity for drawing Garfield and giving Garfield and Friends a name!

I can safely say I love Garfield, my huggable stuffed toy fan! Thank you Jim Davis!

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U Of O

I studied at the University of Oregon (UO) and graduated with a double major in Economics and Political Science and a minor in Art History (Western Art & Architecture). I arrived in Eugene on 1 January 1986 and was greeted with “Ducky” weather. Small wonder as to why Donald Duck was UO’s official mascot! I soon understood wet winters – it was just wet and wetter. The brolly was an important implement to use and snowfall was little and even if it did snow, it turned to water very quickly, adding to the water puddles.

Most of my classes were at Deady Hall or Prince Lucien Campbell Hall. I found walking more conducive than riding a bicycle as I lived 3 blocks away from UO and I did not like riding a bicycle in Winter. Lunch was my favourite Taco Salad at Fish Bowl (EMU) or a bagel off the van.

The American Culture was unique. I was hosted by delightful host parents; Lucile and Dean McKenzie and they brought me much warmth and love throughout my stay in UO. To date, Lucile and Dean keeps in touch with me and their last visit was in 1990. Dean is an Emeritus Professor at UO in Art History and Lucile is a Historian.

I remember my first Christmas tree they brought me after I moved out of J’s apartment and into my 2 storey townhouse. It was fresh Douglas Fir and I must say, the fresh pine cone needles smelt great. My only gripe was when it started falling onto the carpet!

I learnt the American lifestyle. I was amazed with “ihop” (International House Of Pancakes) and the House of Pies (100 different kinds of pies of which I found Rhubarb Pie delectable). King’s Table was the favourite haunt of students and I always marvelled the way we could balance food on a single plate. It required weaving skills of Alaskan King Crabs onto salads!

Clark our apartment manager was a shaggy bearded guy but an absolute dear as he would be running around fixing things up in the 10 unit properties within Ferry Street. He was an aspiring Ansel Adam and largely shot black and whites or sepia tones still shots of scenery.

Summers were spent horse riding, going to Sahalie Falls, Willamette River, Coos Bay, Old Florence Town (Clam Chowder) or to the dunes. But nothing excited me more than Clam digging. In hip boots we would go and soon we will be rolling in mud as we dug our ration of 10 clams were pax. As I do not eat shellfish, I was always an important and much needed guest, as my ration was wolfed down by the others.Trout fishing was also my favourite as I learnt fly flying.

Summer is not summer without picking berries; blackberries grew wildly and freely along the Willamette River whereas picking Strawberries by the bucket at 99cents was a steal. A lot of it went into our tummies before it ended up in the bucket.

Being typical Singaporeans, we would drive 3 hours to Portland to get our Chinese groceries, finishing it with Tim Sum. When we had more time, we would drive a further 3 hours to Seattle and if we were really adventourous we would drive south to San Francisco for a two day trip.

Being an undergraduate at UO was the best years of my life as my only worry was getting straight As. I graduated on the Dean’s List (3 consecutive terms) and did not pursue my MBA there. Instead I chose NTU, but that is another story!

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Monday Blues…Bah Humbug

Monday….alarm clock within me will ring at 4am. I cannot dawdle as the trailer trucks will accumulate on the roads, alongside tonnes of humans waiting to load selves to trucks.

I make my way to work in the dark and would park at my usual parking bay. The 1960s make shift “bus shelter” reminds of the nostalgic old bus stops of Punggol and comparatively speaking, today’s bus shelters are spankingly new and nice with little sentiments of a person waiting at the stop.

Workers would congregate there for a smoke. It is their self made designated smoking zone within the factory area. Dressed in PPEs they chat for a bit, their reprieve from the night shilft which is fast ending and me starting mine.

I have a nice office – big, roomy and self controlled fan coil for air. I can control temperatures to suit me if I feel like wanting to be in the Artic or in the tropics. Bird always complain her setting outside in the common area too warm to her liking. But hey Bird has met her tundra blastings and is now down with a cold!

Bird is nice as she makes me laugh. Simple but sometimes forgetful she plays her persona as bird well! Often times, Flamingo or Peacock but most times just being Birdy. She gets away with it too.

There is another valued member in my team. I call her Ms Ability To Overcome. Small but sprightly, loud but cheery and intelligent. Fast like lightning too and terribly good at Excel and numbers! A qualified CPA!

I love my team mates. They complement me and make me happy when sad. I cry with them when they are in trouble and in short they form a part of my pseudo family.

I am glad I have a pseudo family.

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Today’s Natter

Sunday…Sunday Times is always a delight to receive as I enjoy the many articles within. Light reading it makes over coffee and walnut toast. Weekends are quiet without Beng poking in with his “brekkie” or “brunchie” requests. I was his filler in space hobby. Still I wonder how he is faring these days in solitude. But I do remember that Beng is a survivor and probably is having a whale of a time doing something FUN!

Money does help in making a man his life’s choices. It also restrains man and makes man beholden to the giver of money!

A colleague asked me once, are there friends at work? I firmly said “No” – Being in a posiiton whereby I may be seen as bias or unfair practice, I said I cannot be friends with all but can be friendly and helpful. This way – arm’s length is best way of managing humans!

Friends are chosen carefully. If I die and can count with my fingers the people I have as true friends, it would be great. Other than that, for now, the cynical me says “be used or used” – this epitomises of how I have been “befriended”. I remember how people sought help to get a leg up in business or asked me to do their bidding or garner a door into my networks, but hey once the usefulness is done, people tend to do a Houdini on you.

On to nicer things. I managed to catch the season finale of Gregory House. I admired his loyalty to Wilson and I winced as to if something happens to me would Beng be there. I doubt and can firmly say, NO.

Wilson and House are truly good friends to each other and I admire the cyncial House who is seen most times as a selfish and rude intelligent man, a softie at heart.

Here is to wishing when end times draw near, there is someone to sit with me and be there for me.

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Sincerity Versus Greed

SG purported responsibility, doing charitable deeds, serving the people.

Thinking back, to give graciously means not seeking recognition nor fame. SG differed. SG wanted large print thank you notes from donees.

SG used it for publicity and glamour. I often wonder what is to give and give unconditionally. Fame? Recognition? Glamour? Or subtle quiet giving without wanting anything in return?

SG wafted into my life in 1989.

SG got married and returned in 2001 explaining his unhappy marriage and debts he owed. I believed yet did not believe as I remember House used to say “people lie all the time”.

SG’s perennial lying did not gel as his stories did not seem to flow. If one sought to lie, one ought to lie with finesse!

SG lived in a magnificent 3 storey house. SG was served by servants, did not have to lift a finger to boil water and had even a maid to pack his travel bag. So much for a hardship life. Hmm.. I used to think how the poor in less fortunate situations would compare.

SG constantly reminded me of his debts but his frivolous actions of “throwing wealth” made me think very hard.

If there was any conster larger than Bonnie or Clyde, I would think SG would excel. The birds in the trees would swoop down in belief of a safer life on the ground.

SG is a good marketer and I admired his ability to spin a yarn to suit his selfish needs – SG would arguably say, I was the selfish one.

SG is an opportunist and I suppose all good businessmen would say to be an opportunist was the road to great entrepreneurial success.

Wherein lies the ethics, morality or sincerity? How does one discern from living in a world of truthfulness versus lies? Does one accept a single aged lady of 80 years + as god mother as she has a successful business and no one to inherit her wealth through much aplomb amidst Las Vegas or California glamour? Or does one seek not to gain but have an altruistic view of life? A morally hard question to answer I think!

 

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