Garfieldhug's Blog

This & That Including What Ails

Friendships Made, Lost Or Found

It is often said that “no man is an island” – women don’t roar just yet as man is generically used 😉 but truly, no person is an island unless one is in a reclusive state or adopting vespers in solitude!

I have been disappointed with friendships in the last 2 decades. Largely because my medical condition was a challenge and soon I found out what or who my friends truly were!

I suppose I cannot blame them as I thought they were good friends as I saw them over meals or gatherings practically weekly. We shopped, we joked and we cried. But when I was in and out of hospital so often, they dropped off my radar. I was desponded as I needed them most then and they chose to abandon me. I hurt and wondered why they became fair weather friends.

But surprisingly, doctors and nurses became my friends. I made good friendships with my doctors and truth be told, one can be a patient and a friend as there is no conflict.

In fact, my doctors made better doctors when we became friends. Their care and dedication was there all the time, whenever or whatever and they generally waive their fees except for tests or medicines. I benefitted and they benefitted as we exchange contacts and we kept each other laughing and enjoying life on a new plane 🙂

I may have lost as many as 6 seemingly good friends in the last 2 decades, each spanning as long. I am apprehensive of dedicating time and investing in new friendships but the people I have made new friendships with do not seem to demand much from me other than to give me their dedicated care and concern.

Still, I will try to be as genuine a friend as I can be and see if the test of time will see us through.

People come, people go. The really good friends will stick by you regardless and for that, I am grateful for two people whom I have known since 18 years of age. We may not interface daily but we know when to be there for each other.

It is not about who does more or give more, but it is about being a friend and a sincere one at it!

A wise law lecturer once told me that if on my deathbed and I use up all 10 digits on my hands to name true friends, then I can rest assured that I am lucky to have that many good friends in life! She is right. When I went for my marathon 10 hrs and 45 mins surgical procedure, I counted how many real true friends I had. Sadly I could only count to 4 persons!

These 4 persons stood by me through thick or thin and I am grateful for their friendship.

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Am I A Writer Or Blogger?

In days of yore, a writer is one who writes on paper or papyrus if we go back to Egyptian times and create scrolls!

Then came the pen with ink, which meant either a quill till the creation of fine writing instruments such as Mont Blanc, Parker or Shaeffar or Cross pens. Then came the cheap but practical creation of Ballpoint pens! Yup no need to lug the ink bottle or ensure one carries a blotter to ensure that writing is not smudged due to ink not being dried just yet!

Bic, Kilometrico and today, Staedler (who was famous for coloring pencils and marker pens), Pilot or Unilock pens from Japan has stormed the market.

My pens in the office always seem to sprout legs and walk away.

Then came the typewriter, followed by the personal computer and today before we know it, iPad, Galaxy Note pads in IT gadgetry and made writing easy. No need of a pen, no erasers or white out as I use the delete key or control hold the keys to ‘cut’, ‘paste’ or edit.

What I dislike though is that the iPad tends to autocorrect my writing and most times, it changes the syntax altogether which loses the punch line I want to deliver!

This makes me a blogger now as I whip out my electronic writing pad and tap tappity tap, words appear and on the tap of “publish” my write up is sent and uploaded for readers!

I guess I will never write blockbusters or see my blog in print! If so, I wonder if there is readership out there who would pay to read? I rather harness the writing sprees in me and let people read freely and happily at their own time.

If they like what they read, I am then encouraged by their “likes” and I jump up and down in joy as it meant I made a reader enjoy my post! 🙂

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A Garfield Moment

Since I woke up on a creative writing spree this morning, I realized that I have not blogged on my infamous stuffed toy cat, Garfield. Sadly, I have forgotten Jim Davis’ creation of my favorite feline stuff toy called Garfield 😉

Mothers who have kids would know why kids cling onto their favorite stuff toy. Stinky poo or otherwise, raggedy or faded, the child would bawl eyes out if you threw it away or send it away for washing or dry cleaning!

Though Febreeze has been invented to disinfect and take away the pong of stuff toys often hugged and slept with, I am still unused to using it.

I plonk my favorite Garfield into the washing machine and it comes out smelling floral fresh with the scent of my fabric softener of choice that day! But it does not feel the same till I have hugged it a couple of nights to get it to what I am used to! 🙂

Yes, I am still a child at heart and some things I do not let go 😉

I am not a mum and will never be I guess but I can put self in the shoes of the child as it suffers from separation anxieties and blues till my stuffed toy Garfield is safely returned to the arms of the child in me!

When I was in ICU and wanted Garfield with me, my surgeon dissuaded me by suggesting two options; boiled or steamed? Horrific to my imagination and so I had to leave him in my ward till I was reunited with him.

Days seemed like months before we were reunited and happily he snuggles with me.

I am a child and proudly would not be ashamed to take him out for a drive in my car. Yup, almost like Mr Bean and Bear except that I do not look anything like Rowan Atkinson who plays the delightful Mr Bean 😉

Is Garfield my security blanket? Does it have symbolic meaning to me? Yes and yes for both I guess as Garfield was first given to me by someone I fell in love with and dated. Whenever I see Garfield, I am reminded of him and the fun times we shared.

Like the cartoon character Garfield, this man could make me happy, love him and hate him at the same time yet driving me up the wall literally and down the wall too, with a huge thud!

Yes, Garfield is special and is undoubtedly my security blanket just like Linus of Peanuts character.

Be a kid, enjoy your adulthood with a child in you sometimes as life can be challenging and dreary in the adult world! 🙂

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Dreaming Big Dreams

One often dream of big dreams in life. Others are placid in life, accepting the now and the current, not overly ambitious or literally living day to day.

Those that are ambitious and are big dreamers often get on in life, living out their life’s goals. Some creative characters that we live amongst are iconic Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg or in Asia it would be the likes of Sim Wong Hoo or Li Ka Shing or Run Run Shaw.

Dreamers are exceptional beings! Eccentric and very skewed in their way of thinking that best fits their attitude, lifestyle and outlook in life. Though it is the geeky (no offense here to stereotype IT tekkies as “geeks” or “nerds” but it is this quintessential trait that drove them to being icons of the world! There can truly only be one Steve Jobs or one Bill Gates that drove a brand to the lips of everyone!

But not all dreamers succeed as I believe in the element of luck, timing and the ability to rationalize efforts banded with capabilities.

If one is a dreamer but lacks the ability to fund or creatively link investors who have similar beliefs in their mindset, this leads them to a blind wall and being a dreamer then becomes adverse traits to have.

Lady Luck plays a hand to marry the dreamer with the right people to help the dreamer engineer a plan to fruition. Greed or infighting will not help and if synergies between partners are not strong or understanding of the other.

Alas, I am no dreamer! I am a practical being, always mindful of the economics of things. I think too much and calculate too much. Most times, being overly cautious can set me back as dreamers can afford to gamble and usually fuel their creative energies without giving it a second thought.

I am destined to be a careful plodder, singularly accepting my life and that I will not be amongst he rank of dreamers who may be the next big technopreneur or entrepreneur or as in today’s climate of business, a newly coined social entrepreneur.

To me doing social voluntary work is giving of time and cash. I seek out donors and it ends there. Social entrepreneurs create businesses out of it. As to if profit is gained I believed so, else wherein lies Adam Smith’s invisible hand managing supply and demand, reminding us that there can be no free lunch! Is altruism then dead? Or is altruism now seen in bigger eyes to merit a larger base through a social entrepreneurial setting?

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Apathy, Empathy Or Sympathy

These three emotive descriptions are constantly cited as our society progresses. It seems that a lot has been written on Singaporeans that they lack compassion, cultural kindness (latest to be written up on in the papers this morning) and empathy.

I can agree on the lack of cultural kindness as men do not help with opening of heavy glass doors or holding it open. One saunters into an elevator cabin and if you are in the cabin near the button panel, you are automatically the lift attendant as the one entering would call out a floor number!

I was in an elevator in my condo unit and riding down when it stopped on 8th floor and in came a young lad of about 12 years in his swimming trunks. He was going to the pool. He called out 1st floor. No please etc. I decided to turn to my android phone and ignored him. Sheepishly he turned to the button panel and pressed on 1st floor as I was riding to the basement. When he exited, he muttered out no social graces!

This is how a child is brought up in Singapore. If his parents knew, would they chide him for his behavior? He behaved selfishly with no kindness to smile or greet but expected you to press the floor button for him when he was fit, febrile and had two empty hands facing a lift panel of buttons in front of him.

Is cultural kindness extinct? Given my limited mobility state and if I am seen wearing an Aspen collar, I will be given aid for doors and people get out of my way to give me space. Without any overt sign, it is for each to fend in this rush rush world.

Empathy is hard for youngsters as they do not know what it is like to feel hunger, lack bread and butter issues as they have permanent automated teller machines (ATM) in their mother or father.

They lack nothing. They do not need to earn pocket-money as their parents give them designer togs with no effort spared. Is this going to spoil them? I think it does.

Empathy must be experienced and until it is, how can one show empathy?

Apathy is easy as young ones just cannot be bothered. It is easier to turn a blind eye than to be open-eyed to societies sufferings, pains or ills.

Sympathy is easy to say and give at time of death or illness. But when one is less sympathetic does that make one better or worst off? I have no answer as con men ply on the elders who are sympathetic and I do not agree to con men tricks.

I guess it requires a careful balance to use these emotive descriptions, depending on circumstances prevailing.

To me, it all boils down to parenting skills.

Every human starts off as a baby, unprogrammed, clean and mind free. It is the adults that create these new beings in the way taught and expect teachers or the school or the domestic help to take over parenting.

Regrettably, parenting cannot be delegated and the buck stops at the father and mother!

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Ecosystem Jolted

I always love reading the Sunday Times as it gives me a Lifestyle section, touching on food, leisure, travel and topics of interest in the ecosystem.

It seems that when the contractors imported in trees for the Gardens By The Bay project from the different parts of the world like Brazil and Africa, it brought in the different species of slugs that were not indigenous to our land. Giant African snails? I have no visualization of how big these snails were when compared to our humble garden snail with it conical brown and white striped shell! I imagined GIANT ones and it sent a shudder to my spine as I remembered Hollywood’s spiel of “anacondas”, “arachnophobia” etc! Critters at its largest! Scary?

I also read of the arrowana fish that can grow to giant sizes and can horrendously live up to 150 years in the NÊe Soon River living off precious rare crustaceans for fish species with its razor sharp teeth! I remember seeing one bred by a lawyer and he had it on display in a fish tank in his foyer of his law firm practice. First impression I had was that it looked ugly, like a monster that could be used in a horror flick! Chilling too as I could see its sharp razor teeth from its jaw. This fish was fed tiny frogs and I once saw how a bag of tiny frogs were put into the tank and before their legs could swim a little, they were pounced on and gobbled! Nature in a dog eat dog world or should I say fish eat fish world

;-(

I have been intending to sight see Singapore and couple of the protected areas like Sungei Buloh, Chek Jawa and even Pulau Ubin have never been seen by me.

Yes, I am not a tourist in my own land and yet I travel the world to see others!

I have always felt that I am in my own backyard, anytime I can see it. Perhaps I will never get to see it as life is fragile and right now in my current sheltered state of mobility, I cannot be trekking out to see these natural habitats of sorts!

When I am better, I suppose I will and hopefully before these sites are really extinct!

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Conscious Uncoupling

Gwyneth Paltrow decided on a “conscious uncoupling” status from her spouse. Sugar coated in any other way, it reeks of the meaning of “divorce”.

Marriage is tough and hard work. I have always maintained that any given relationship takes effort, loads of understanding and being sensitive to each other. It helps when one is more giving than the other else it would be a fire and oil relationship.

Never married and the closest to being married was when I turned down my ex boyfriend’s wedding proposal. I never forgot that day as he drove to my workplace in his red Honda Accord with a ring woven out of grass. To him, it was romantic, to me it was odd!

I could not say yes and instead found self crying. His reply to me was that if I had to cry to hear what he asked, then I did not want to marry him. I can agree on that as I was not comfortable seeing self married to this man. I was not sure and had a career in mind to pursue.

To cut the long story short, he went and married another in less than 3 months. This was in 1990s.

He returned to try his best to be a partner in 2000 as by now, he claims his marriage is sucky?!

Sucky after couple of years and two children in tow?

He was in a stage where he did not want a divorce but wanted a companion. In my book of words, it meant he was seeking an extra marital affair. He picked me as he felt I suppose I had the right connections to help him gain ahead. Selfish? Perhaps!

Selfish I thought. He did not think like Gwyneth and decided on a decoupling of sorts but a conscious coupling if you will as I borrow the reverse context of conscious decoupling.

Fear perhaps of being branded a divorcee perhaps? Loss of face, monies and back chat from relatives? Yes, my ex boyfriend is a prideful man. He uses monies as quickly as he can earn it and maximizes publicity for it. He likes to be seen as magnanimous, rich, affluent and highly connected to who’s who in Singapore.

If I had accepted his marriage proposal then, I would then be the one to also ask for conscious decoupling. Pragmatic but for our respective sanity so that each can continue on with our respective lives.

I suppose my ex boyfriend is at his own cross roads as to if he will have the courage to consciously decouple. If he does and comes with a clean slate, I might just consider giving him another shot at making conscious coupling work.

It will require hard work but if he is genuine and sincere it would be a good start to a whole new beginning for him. Courage, honesty and transparency are traits pivotal of any relationship.

But if he chooses to have his comfort zone and his current spouse accepts his philandering ways, then it is conscious blindness on her part to accept the man she married and they would both live separate lives in a subconscious decoupling, breaking every rule in the marriage handbook 😉

Well, to each his or her own, as marriage is how each measures and is willing to accept the idiosyncrasies, demonic traits of each other as they are banded together by words a priest, pastor or deacon or in this case a Justice of the Peace or a solemiser as they them these days!

Good luck on marriage and remember to dose up heavily on tolerance, forbearance and loving kindness. It helps! 🙂

After a further 13 years of giving him friendship, the final 23rd year of knowing each other saw his departure again. I suppose he found another playmate as I had fallen ill by then and realized that I was more a friend than he was. I could sense that he took my illness as a joke and mocked me for it, till he got ticked off by my attending surgeons!

Kudos on my brave surgeon! I did appreciate him telling him off as for once, my ex boyfriend was shut down in his motor mouth department.

Today we are both consciously decoupled. I am trying hard to unconsciously decouple him too.

As to what he thinks or feels, I am sure apathy and not empathy rules, which brings me to mind that perhaps I made the right choice of not marrying him back in the 1990s!

I am, I think fairly blessed then 😉

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Ciprobay or Cravits For Prophylaxis

Different surgeons have different schools of thoughts when it comes to using antibiotics for prophylaxis following surgical implants in spine.

According to my dental surgeon, there is the British teaching and the American medical teaching. So it really depends on which school of teaching one’s surgeon came out of.

This was quite true as surgeon A opined the need for it and said that I was to use Ciprobay. Surgeon B said it was not necessary and even referred me to medical studies showing that for spinal implants, this was really not necessary. Hmm since two surgeons are at an impasse and my dental surgeon said that it was really up to the surgeon who treated me.

It is commonly required for heart implants to be treated to antibiotics and my friend shared that her dentist uncle usually would prescribe up to 12 tablets of Amoxycillin to pretreat any dental work which can impact blood circulation which could give rise to gram A positive bacteria.

I decided to check with my trusty physician for his school of thought. Hailing from UK he said it was not really medically required but given my “world of medical symptoms” it was probably safer to take. He said that Cravits was better as it had a broader spectrum of bugs to treat.

Further, physician said it was better to take 1 dose of 500 mg an hour before and another single dose of 500 mg the next day. My dental surgeon agreed and emphasized for me to take it the same time of the dose I took prior to prophylaxis. He further asked me to check with the surgeon as to if I would require another similar dosage when I next see him in four months time.

A cheeky surgeon told me if I wanted peace of mind, take the antibiotics and take the “best” since it is to allay the mind. I can agree to this logic as given that I am told and if I disagree with surgeon’s advice and if anything happens to me, doctor can waive liability, claiming patient was advised, but patient went against doctor’s advice.

Humbly, I took my medicines as I did not need complications if any. I want an uneventful prophylaxis treatment. 🙂

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Numerology & What It Means Perhaps?

I met Bryan last evening and I found out that he is interested in numerology. This is summing of numbers from your date of birth.

I learnt several interesting numbers and what it means or stands for.

The number 8 reasonates with gold and gold is wealth. Aha! Eureka! That is why Asians are so stuck on numeral 8! I though it was due to the sound it makes in Chinese as “fa” 发!

I learnt of terminologies such as introvert numbers and sub conscious numbers. One’s lucky number is also identified and partners you choose to start a life with will also be identified 😉

It seems numbers describe one’s character, attitude and mindset.

Numbers also tell if one will have more than one partner at any one time or if one is a spendthrift or a saver.

Interesting concept I thought! Yes, I use the description of interesting as anything believed superstitiously can cause more harm than good, in terms of being alert to your future, life or how to manage one’s life.

Moderation always. Select the good, rationalize and if it helps, adapt for use I guess 🙂

So long as anything helps, I am game to learn, hear or even count starfish (just kidding here as there is no such thing) just to better my life 🙂

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Easter Is Around The Corner

    I am always reminded of Easter when I see Cadbury chocolate creme eggs start to appear on the shelves of our supermarket chain, Cold Storage.

    Yup, I see hollow chocolate bunnies, creme filled chocolate eggs or caramel filled chocolate eggs!

    All super high in calories but delightfully sweet and fun to eat 😉

    I remember how the traditional Easter egg hunt is done and kids would shriek or scream when they find one. I was never one that was good in art and so, I never participated in painting emptied out egg shells!

    I racked my brains and figured that the egg symbolizes rebirth just like Christ rose on the third day. Tongue in cheek I was told that perhaps Christ did not die on the cross but that he probably swooned from the wounds and when he woke up, he rolled away the stone where he was entombed!

    Worth a shot right as would crucifixion have killed him?

    No coroner’s inquest and so, I guess we will never know 😉

    Still it is because of Christ we get to have Easter and with it, Easter Eggs!

    Happy Easter Egg hunting folks!

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