Garfieldhug's Blog

This & That Including What Ails

Chocolates Galore Only During Christmas Season

The only thing I truly like about Christmas is the huge range of chocolates, Christmas puddings, cakes and candy that arrives on supermarket shelves!

I see Terry Chocolate Orange Ball that opens into wedges, Kit Kat Range from mint, to hazelnut creme, to green tea, to plain and peanut butter.

Ferrero Rocher in its gold foil or silver foil is put in rows as Cadbury blocks line the shelves.

Santa Clauses made of hollow chocolate, plonked in tins fashioned with holly, mistletoe patterns alongside chocolate reindeers, church bells or Christmas trees,

Rolo toffee rolls I thought extinct would be imported from UK just as Toblerone, Lindt or Baci would appear from Europe.

Whitakers from New Zealand is also available in almonds, mint, cranberry, hazelnut or dark chocolate is also finding its way to supermarket shelves.

M&Ms in beautiful dispensers or tins with the chocolate bean as its mascot is pretty in bright yellow, green or all blue colors. I find blue colored beans the prettiest as it is unique to have blue when compared to the same old yellow, brown or green.

Not to be outdone, Japan’s Melty Kiss by Morinaga is also making a showing….strawberry flavored coats in powdered chocolate powder.

I wish calories do not exist during Christmas as I can then chomp on chocolates, guilt free, popping in chocolate covered raisins or nuts! They even have chocolate coated ginger cubes, crystallized!

Aaaah….”death” by chocolate….simply divine and giving me a definite euphoric happiness as that is what cocoa does 😁….more like calories galore and guilty all year after that!☺️

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Christmas Is Perhaps Overrated You Think?

Year in, year out, Christmas comes and Christmas goes!

Presents are shopped for and bought, snail mail cards gave way to e cards and these days, it is much easier to send greetings through What’s App or We Chat or The Line ….all being mobile apps!

Christmas has become overrated for me as it makes me feel sad…why?

For the last 10 years, I spent Christmas in hospitals. Nurses would sing Christmas Carols in the ward lobby and I would be served a Christmas dinner and a slice of log cake. I would be much alone…technically not quite as my inanimate fur ball would sit in bed with me 😁

My then boyfriend would sneak a visit after midnight and spend couple of minutes before disappearing into the night. To him, he made the effort but to me, why bother as I did not like surreptitious visits. It seemed so sneaky as if like a thief of the night!

Presents received can sometimes be recycled….but I like to think the giver gave it with thoughts that counted! I try to be nice and think niceties of the giver. But face facts….my hamster wheel in the brain department would sing out to my heart…”wake up you imbecile moron, the person gave for the sake of giving as you bought her what she wanted!” 😔

I wished the person would give with heart, else I would be happier not receiving as receiving a thoughtless gift wastes or drains my brain energy!

I rather buy useful and or practical gifts. To me, if the person needed towels, pot or a pan or a t shirt or golf balls, ties or something they needed, I feel happy.

Christmas is so commercialized these days. Carols are blared out loudly at malls as people scurry about to get gifts. Gifts are exchanged often times with each trying to outdo the other. The fun of Christmas is gone.

I yearn for the days when I could receive fruit cake, or be invited for Christmas lunch and just wallow in the good company of dear and sincere friends.

Still….maybe the spirit of Christmas still exists….sans commercialism and not about diamonds, Cartier watches or jewelry, Prada or Gucci bags, iPhones or bling blings….now wouldn’t that be nice?

As for my ex boyfriend, I gave up giving him presents as whatever I gave, regardless of price, including jewelry, he would claim to have ‘lost’ them or stained the Salvatore Ferragamo tie….I gave up trying and felt better. Such gifts were better off giving a person who appreciates 😝

Another reason why we split up LOL!

 

 

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Candy Canes In Myriad Of Flavors

My nephew was totally intrigued by the host of choices in flavors for candy canes. Traditionally, there is the striped white and red, flavored in mint! He is used to that in Auckland, New Zealand.

So when I took him shopping at Cold Storage today, he was milling around the boxes and boxes of candy canes that appears only during Christmas season.

Curious,  I asked him why he was hanging around this lot of shelves, he smiled and said…”Wow! A&W root beer, Dr Peppers and Sprite….Bubble Gum! But oh so fattening….look Yee Yee (Chinese for Aunty) Bubble Gum has 10 calories lesser!”

Knowing how vain he is on weight issues, (these days even kids are obsessed with weight), I told him if he ate all of it, his teeth would decay and fall out! 😁 Anything to deter him!

We ate dinner part 1 at Poulet whereby he wolfed down half a chicken roasted with cranberry sauce and mustard, a jar of tiramisu, ratatouille and escargots.

Part 2 dinner was at a Chinese restaurant where he ate Siew Mai ( pork dumplings), prawn dumplings, sweet bun with custard salted egg filling and a sea same filled dessert.

Seeing how much he was thinking about the A&W root beer, Dr Peppers flavored candy canes, I bought it for him. He said that he should just lick it and throw! This way his weight would be good.

I chided him! Hey, I earn hard dollars….so you better finish them slowly and not lick and throw as the box did not come cheaply here 😁

Amazing how the confectioners can be so smart to churn out flavors to keep a brand going. Just like Kit Kat….from 4 fingers to 2 fingers…to Chunky, from plain chocolate to dark chocolate, to mint, green tea, peanut butter…anything to keep re inventing itself and stay relevant.

Now that is how life is…stand still and we all die from getting left behind. We have to change to meet the times and stay relevant! 😝

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Friday…..Finally & A Big Job Ahead!

Today’s Friday is a day that not only must I look intelligent, I must seem intelligent as I have to attend a meeting of my life!

Sigh! It is bad enough trying to look intelligent,  UGH! I have to seem intelligent.

I wonder if I will be asked economic and social issues and my views sought.

Frankly, I have no views but one view – “to each their own” as I have no time for social or economic issues as I tend to feel this is the field of government and if I had wanted to run for office, I would have. LOL!

Talking about economic and social issues will beget arguments.

It will be the case of “I think it should be this” and the other party will say “But I disagree” – then World War 3 of words and petty dialogues.

Too exhausting by my standard or philosophy of  “live and let live” – you are entitled to your opinion, thank you very much!

Truth be told – if we needed arm chair politicians, I would rather be out there and being actively doing something.

Arm chair politicians are largely, mouth service or lip service. I speak therefore I am mentality.

In truth, no amount of talking from the arm chair in the presence of a few makes a difference.

The true difference is to be within the system, tackling issues at the root or we call grassroots. Otherwise, it is “NATO” – our useful definition of No Action, Talk Only and not the genuine meaning of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation also known at North Atlantic Treaty Alliance 😀

Hmm…but I have to impress today – sell myself if you will. But hey, I do not mean “prostitute “thyself but technically it is marketing of one’s professional and not a street walker 🙂

I used to have a brilliant boss and she is a fantastic lady, classy, brainy and the brain behind a truly great man of international stature who used to joke whenever she was out to market her company’s services – “I have to go out and prostitute myself” – but in thinking back, despite her sardonic humor, she is correct. She is marketing the firm and it is no different than a street walker, prostituting herself.

Looks like I will stay away from the topic of politics, social or economic issues – “worldly stuff”

Perhaps they will ask me for my accolades – hmm, what if I oversell or undersell? Too much overwhelms and frightens people away and too little fails to impress. Sigh, I feel as if I am cooking a delicate intricate dish that needs the right quantum of salt, sugar and spices!

Unfortunately I am no drop dead gorgeous blonde – UGH! Even if I was, they might think I am a bimbo of sorts. Thankfully I am plain Jane.

Maybe I should go in my T shirt, which reads, “I am FAT, really?” – now that would be a great talking piece but then, I may not be selected!

Say a prayer for me if you will – if it is meant to be, it will be and if it is the right gate….then may it open so that I may enter….

😀

 

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Meaning Behind “Black” Friday Sale…So Now I Know

I was intrigued why USA calls the day of shopping after Thanksgiving as “Black Friday” – I feel it is so ominous as “black “always refers to death or darkness!

Bats and Draculas together with vampires or creatures of the nights are always associated with the color black.

It is a sombre color – Black is symbolic of death as well as getting through a job interview color for suits and clothes! LOL! *Technically I should not be laughing here….but, hey, “Black or dark humor” – euphemism of sorts I guess.

Back to why Black Friday?

It seems that this is the day that the stores can make back all their lost sales or lack of sales. This is their opportunity to get out of the “red” and be in the “black” – aaah accounting terms!

Red is symbolic of blood and like my nincompoop Scorpion King and the likes of Head Honchos, they all wail, “we are bleeding” when they have not enough in their private kitty!

By the way, the “bleeding” in our office is still flowing like the Yellow River when it overflows it banks and it is truly a gut feel that it was a major screw up in the treatment of accounting by our resident Pig Head Without Tail 😉

Black Friday is when the tills up ring great sales, fast turnover as people shop and dash to the line for Christmas.

’tis the spirit of giving and in turn, shoppers help the stores sustain and catch up, by getting out of the “red” or losses they may have racked up due to poor sales and make up on Black Friday, so that they are back into the “black” which means profits 😀

My question is why not have an everyday sale like us in the Little Red Dot Strategy LOL! This way, everyday stores are keeping their profits in the “black” – plus USA has a bigger population than ours.

We have only 5.47 million people of which I think 3 million are truly Singaporeans and the rest are “visitors” ie people here on work passes, long stay residents or permanent residents. But we love shopping and eating – our national past time 😀

 

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Never Enough Of A Sale! Any Sale For That Matter!

I live in my little red dot that has perennial sales. LOL! We are afterall touted as a Shopper’s Paradise by our Tourism Board.

Sales are happening weekly, monthly and of course there is the GREAT SINGAPORE SALE (GSS) that happens throughout Singapore.

So, when I read in the papers today of USA’s Black Friday Sale that happens annual after Thanksgiving (hmm or maybe earlier as I am unsure or clean forgotten) and all that lining up outside the store till the doors open – in the freaking cold too! Brr!!!

The only time in my little red dot that people camp overnight outside a store is for iphone. One can see camping tents and huge lines snaking outside the Apple Store till it opens. As soon as one buys it, it is flipped for a handsome total to one who requires it. Enterprising right?

Yup, the person lining up for it and once getting a hold for it can turn it around for an immediate profit of couple of hundred dollars!

The same for property too. I used to remember how owners would engage retirees to stand in Q or line to get into the launch of the property they wanted and again flipped it for hundreds of thousands of dollars!

Thankfully for shopping of groceries and or other consumables like clothes and bags (branded designer’s bags) there is always a store having a sale and no Qs or lines unless it is Luis Vuitton. This is one uptight retailer as it allows no more than 8 persons in the store so that the assistant can personally guide the buyer through a purchase. 😉

Mainland Chinese tourists form a huge group who bring suitcases of cash…wads and wads of cash to purchase LV items. These days, it seems the Russians have joined this affluent shopping crowd.

Lately I noticed, “Closing Down Sales” banners appearing in heartland shopping areas. Hmm, how come everyone is closing down! HA! I then realised it is the Name of The Chain of Stores. But like any silly shopper, I went in unknowingly and bought stuff. Indeed it was cheaper than other stores and I was led to believe that the store marked down items as it was “closing down” LOL! 😀

Until I realised weeks later and months later, the store with the banner on the shopfront still remained and it was not closing down anytime soon – Ah…..so it is about the name! Great Advertising gimmick as it worked on me 🙂

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Ben & Jerry Has Left The Building, Krispy Creme Is A Coming….

I sounded like Chicken Little last evening when I came up the escalator of my favourite shopping mall – UGH! My iconic Ben & Jerry counter was boarded up and painted on the hoardings was, “Krispy Crème is Coming Your Way” 😦

I truly wanted to shriek like Chicken Little but instead of howling the sky is falling, I would be saying, “BJ is going…..”

I am not into ice creams as I am lactose intolerant but my nephew and family loves ice cream. These people of mine can pile on scoops of ice cream and remain slim! Jealous! Still, whenever I line up for cones or scoops for them, I will always ask for a taste test of a flavour I particularly like or looks pretty in my opinion then.

Recently one of the founders was in my little red dot and was interviewed on national TV. He gamely shared that there was an “ice cream graveyard” for the flavours that were pulled from the market as it did not sell well. I thought it was funny as they literally have tombstones and a sprawling cemetery for these flavours, stating the duration it was in the market – just like an epitaph on a living soul’s tombstone when one passes! 😀

I always felt BJ was at loggerheads (market competitor) with Haagen Daas ice cream. One was European and the other is American.

People who tried both swore BJ to be sweeter whilst Haagen Daas was creamier. Rubber mouth will not know as she will have the tummy runs if she had more than a taste! 😉

Still when I was ill in Bates Motel, the Butler who served my room actually went off to get me a tub of green tea ice cream, a unique blend of Haagen Daas that was lovingly wolfed down by my visitors! My Butler and surgeons thought they could cajole me to eat and when I mentioned ice cream, off they trotted to get me a pint! LOL! I felt so much like a dying patient with a last wish. Regrettably, I lived! 😀

BJ’s flavours are uniquely named; Chunky Monkey, Cherry Garcia, Chocolate Chocolate etc.

But these days, our little red dot has so many home made ice cream stores which includes Italian Gelatos, ices, Simply Udders, Island Creameries that blend our local flavors which include Black Sesame, Nasi Lemak (a savory rice dish flavoured into an ice cream! Talk about creativity!), coconut, cendol etc etc.

Spoilt for choices here….ah well, I shall see how Krispy Cremes takes on the new wave of customers at my favourite mall. I am sure, it will give Starbucks a good run for their money!

 

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I Cannot Plan The Future On The Past

I usually drift into lala land (slumber as in zzzzz) by 10pm sharp as I have to crawl up with the larks, like Countess Dracula to beat the sunrise to work. Else, I fear the sun rays will poof me away into ashes! LOL!

At 10.35pm, my handphone rang – sigh, I cannot shut off my handheld device as I am a minion to the job. Always ever ready like the battery cell for mobile devices.  Half awake, I thought I recognised that voice! Ugh! It was a voice from the past – “The Evil One”

In his sultry voice, (what was missing was his clearing of throat most times, which meant he has not been leaping up and down on a stage shouting motivational stuff to peddle his motivational seminars) he said, “hey…sorry, I just saw your message”

Annoyed I said, “who’s this? ” – I must have barked this 3 times before it got into this moron’s head that he must have dialled a party but it was NOT ME!

Hastily, he said, “sorry I got the wrong number” and hung up. Even if he recognised my voice, he was not one to say “hi, how are you” – ah well, the Evil One has rung me and realised either consciously or subconsciously that he had inadvertently thought of me.

This is from the same Evil One who lied and said, his phone was returned to the company he sold to when he was mired in massive investigations for potential fraud. Seems, the Fraud Team has let him off OR he is a fantastic cover upper! He has talent for the grey areas and I do “admire” his tenacity in this area. He is probably still laundering something and it ain’t clothes LOL!

When I heard on the radio this morning whilst driving into work, “I cannot plan the future on the past,” – I felt it was apt. It was telling me to “move on” as the Evil One is The Past and my Future does not rely on this Past.

The Evil One is a Past, a Has Been if you will. As to if Evil One is happy, it ain’t my concern. My concern is my Present and Future Happiness that lies within my own hands. I craft my own happiness not the Evil One. Though he thinks he controls my Past, Present and Future Happiness.

Being a “gentleman” of sorts, I texted him back to say I thought I recognised the voice and it was good to hear of him, though it was not a call intended or otherwise and bade him goodnight. I then turned my posture to bed and slept till this morning. I felt good being polite. It does not pay to be rude to anyone.

Have I forgiven the Evil One? Nah!

Have I moved on from the Evil One? It has been 2 years….probably not quite yet as the wounds are still raw as it continues to haunt me. I may forgive sometime in the distant future but it would be hard to forget. I can be polite at best but keeping my distance always.

Should the Evil One come near me again, I must not touch him even with a 10 foot pole. Instead I must have mace, Baygon or some pest control spray as afterall, he is the Evil One – A title he won single handedly!

A millionaire or socialite, a patron or a board member, he is slick and a smooth operator. If only one day, others like me will wash his dirty laundry in public, or the long arm of the law catches up with him….I will make a concerted effort to visit him at Changi Prison so that he knows whoever he hurts may be kind enough to see his state then.

Maybe by then, I will move on….😁

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The Innocence Of Love – Only With Pets I Guess

I love reading blog posts of writers, sharing tales of their pets; cats or dogs.

I see great photo shots of precious moments with their pets – 3 legged, old, deaf or otherwise.

I reflect and remembered my own encounters with my Dobermann, whom I had for 13 years before she died of old age.

The love of a pet is so unconditional and innocent. Their pitter patter of feet as they welcome me home, jumping in glee once I get out of the car.

As a pet, they can only wait patiently for my return, to be fed and be attended to when ill – almost child like innocence. When they are up to mischief, that sorry look in their eyes take on a pathetic look that it melts my heart. I cannot bring self to punish my pet. Maybe she was smarter than I thought and played the pity card LOL! Still, it worked to her favour! 😀

Maybe I am wrong to compare pets to children but I am stating for a fact that when I see aged patients being mistreated or disregarded by their grown adult children, it pains my heart.

In this sense, I dislike the children and I prefer the pet. At least the pet does not abandon the “parent” –  I remember reading a Japanese tale of how a dog would still arrive at the train station to wait for his master who had already passed on. The pet did not understand death and would sit there each day till the time for the train to pull into the station and left, only to return the next day.

Through rain, snow or inclement weather, the dog stood and sat stoically at the station, to be pitied by the people who alighted at the station.

Loyalty of pets or I call the innocence of their love is poignant and admirable by my books.

I loved my dog so much as she waited patiently for me to return from my overseas study and work stint, dying the very next day after I arrived, petted her and told her I loved her very much.

Since her death, I cannot bring self to have any more pets as it just breaks my heart to go through that painful parting again. There is only one – that is my pet Dobermann! 🙂

Children or pets – erm for singletons like me, pets are a lot easier than children as children will forever will children even if I live to be 150 years old and be a witchy old hag!

On this note, I salute moms – only they can give unconditional love to their young, always seeking the good in them, despite how nasty their children may be to them. Sigh!

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Bitterness – After Taste Or Life?

I pondered on life’s vicissitudes today as I start my work day. No, I am not all that enlightened but somehow today’s work start of the day has been fraught with silly issues.

In life, I have tasted the vegetable gourd called “Bitter gourd” – I find this vegetable tasty, cooked in soup with pork ribs or plainly stir fried with egg and salted beans. Though it has a bitter after taste, it has purportedly great medicinal properties in that it lowers blood pressure and or curbs diabetes.

This humble vegetable is widely touted by traditional Chinese medicine practitioners and many people in Asia would consume this for its literal goodness. Bitter Gourd has cooling medicinal properties.

When I was in Hainan, China for a work stint some years back, I was further introduced to a special blend of tea leaves that infused in hot water and gave bitter tea, called “Ku Ting” cha – Bitter Tea.

On the first tasting, I disliked it, as it was very bitter but strangely it left a nice taste on the palate after wards.

Like life, I attribute the bitterness we face in life as part of the living process. Perhaps through the bitter experiences, we gather wisdom and thereafter the “nice taste” ensues.

Not all things in life are bitter – like the palate senses, there is sweet, sour, salty and bitter moments too.

Such is life, there is such a kaleidoscope of “colors” that makes life funny, sad, bitter or horrid some times, not all times.

I guess the rainbow is a good explanation of hope as after each heavy rainfall, the rainbow would appear, giving the person the colors of life.

Yes, tomorrow is and will always be better! 😀

 

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