Garfieldhug's Blog

This & That Including What Ails

For Dog Lovers – A Letter From Your Dog

I am your dog, and I have a little something I’d like to whisper in your ear; I know that you humans lead busy lives.

Some have to work, some have children to raise. It always seems like you are running here and there, often much too fast, often never noticing the truly grand things in life.

Look down at me now, while you sit there at your computer. See the way my dark brown eyes look at yours? They are slightly cloudy now. That comes with age. The grey hairs are beginning to ring my soft muzzle. You smile at me; I see love in your eyes.

What do you see in mine?

Do you see a spirit?

A soul inside, who loves you as no other could in the world?

A spirit that would forgive all trespasses of prior wrong doing for just a simple moment of your time?

That is all I ask; To slow down, if even for a few minutes to be with me.

So many times you have been saddened by the words you read on that screen, of others of my kind, passing.

Sometimes we die young and oh so quickly, sometimes so suddenly it wrenches your heart out of your throat.

Sometimes, we age so slowly before your eyes that you may not even seem to know until the very end, when we look at you with grizzled muzzles and cataract clouded eyes.

Still the love is always there, even when we must take that long sleep, to run free in a distant land.

I may not be here tomorrow; I may not be here next week.

Someday you will shed the water from your eyes, that humans have when deep grief fills their souls, and you will be angry at yourself that you did not have just “One more day” with me.

Because I love you so, your sorrow touches my spirit and grieves me.

We have NOW, together.

So come, sit down here next to me on the floor, and look deep into my eyes.

What do you see? If you look hard and deep enough we will talk, you and I, heart to heart.

Come to me not as “alpha” or as “trainer” or even “Mom or Dad,” come to me as a living soul and stroke my fur and let us look deep into one another’s eyes, and talk.

I may tell you something about the fun of chasing a tennis ball, or I may tell you something profound about myself, or even life in general.

You decided to have me in your life because you wanted a soul to share such things with. Someone very different from you, and here I am.

I am a dog, but I am alive.

I feel emotion, I feel physical senses, and I can revel in the differences of our spirits and souls. I do not think of you as a “Dog on two feet” — I know what you are.

You are human, in all your quirkiness, and I love you still.

Now, come sit with me, on the floor.

Enter my world, and let time slow down if only for 15 minutes.

Look deep into my eyes, and whisper to my ears.

Speak with your heart, with your joy and I will know your true self.

We may not have tomorrow, and life is oh so very short.

So please… come sit with me now and let us share the precious moments we have together.

Love,
Your Dog

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Joke For Sunday

A Sunday school teacher is concerned that his students might be a little confused about Jesus, so he asks his class “Where is Jesus today?”

Steven raises his hand and says “He’s in Heaven”.

Mary answers “He’s in my heart”.

Little Johnny waves his hand furiously and blurts out “He’s in our bathroom!”

The surprised teacher asks Little Johnny how he knows this.

“Well” Little Johnny says “Every morning, my father gets up, bangs on the bathroom door and yells ‘Jesus Christ, are you still in there?!”

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Food For Thought!

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Detoxing From Toxic Relationships

Perhaps it is much ado about nothing that I have got my panties in a bunch as Americans would quip to me!

But, I feel I have a need to detox from the ugly associations that I have with some people.

I became cynical and sardonic based on my life’s experiences.

If I am to be blamed, it is because I do not discern as to whom should receive my help; be it for a contact, a lift up in society to know who’s who or to get a leg into the door.

I have heard people saying to me, they did not ask for your help and if I were you, I would not have offered help.

Yes, I am a sucker I suppose. But having had the short end of the stick most times in life, I did not want to see others suffer the way I did.

If I can short circuit one’s challenges and give them a hand to get to where they ought to be, I do it without hesitation.

But sadly, life’s lessons have now taught me to be cynical and sardonic.

People will not appreciate your help, as once the deed is done, I am conveniently forgotten.

I also look at “friendships” and “relationships” – do blood relations make us closer? For me, it did not. Blood ties made me enemies without restrictions and I saw how my siblings took it out on me with my father.

Friendships come with an expiry tag I feel. I feel that cosmic forces join us as friends and when the karmic cycle of deeds are paid, friendships come asunder.

I have been detoxing from toxic relationships of late.

I took stock of those whom I have met, helped and parted. I tried to, really. But I do not keep track or count.

I cannot remember all of them.

Humanoids are hard to understand and I am disappointed at the recent spate of idiots whom I have come across.

Does it take a new nasty fellas to ruin my belief of humanity – I guess so and it did! Sigh.

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My Nemeses – Math & Chinese Language

I attain perfect or near perfect scores in most subjects and this includes achieving perfect or near perfect ZEROs for the subjects of Math & Chinese during my 4th year of formal schooling.

Actually I lie , I had an average of 30 to 40 marks out of a score of 100 for math most times and less than 10 marks out of a 100 for the Chinese Language!

I am odd, being an Asian and I struggle with Chinese whilst My English is decently good!

This is quite a feat to be at 30/100 for Chinese I tell you and my teachers used to throw their arms up in the air in despair as how can I who is near perfect for English, Bahasa Melayu, history, science and other subjects.

It is not my fault as I have a solid background in an English speaking community.

I speak English at home too and everywhere I went, English was my forte!

This had to change as PSLE came around soon and my parents did not like the red marks appearing on my report book. Frankly, I did not like the color red either.

My mum found me a Chinese Tutor and for 2 years this fantastic Mrs Chan taught me Chinese like no other teacher.

I was forced to memorize idioms, read Ba Jing and all sorts of Chinese Classics.

With classes on a 1-1 basis on an hourly basis, I did well as I improved.

It was through Mrs Chan that I did well for Chinese for PSLE and went on to take A Level Chinese. But, I just did not speak Mandarin well and I can understand as I could find no opportunity to practice this unless I was at tuition class.

As for Math, I struggled through school with it and when I left for university study to read my Bachelors at the University of Oregon (UO), my nightmare began.

I had to take a series of calculus classes – 3 terms of it actually and I had to overcome this in order to complete a core module for my Economics degree.

I went off to remedial class as I was achieving “A” grades in term courses for other subjects and did not want this series of 3 calculus classes to pull my grade point average (GPA) down from 4.0 to 3.0!

GPA was important to me as I wanted to ensure I stayed on the Deans List of Students!

As luck would have it, I had the most difficult Professor who offered the course that term. Prof Sherman!

He was the Nemesis of most undergraduates who loathe Math!

Prof Sherman cackles and is a stern man. He had no time for “imbeciles” in Math and he made it known and clear to all of us. I shuddered!

I studied hard and made it through in Calculus and did well in remedial Math to establish a foundation of math and made good my friendship with Mark Womack, a Graduate Teaching Fellow (GTF) doing his PhD in Mathematics.

Mark patiently held office hours for me 3 times a week and I plodded off to his room for lessons.

Prof Sherman did not turn out to be as tough.

I too, went to Prof Sherman and explained my phobia for Math.

Surprisingly Prof Sherman softened down and offered me office hours to see him twice a week.

Each week I went off to see Prof Sherman and he taught me calculus.

Sine, Co Sine, tangents, derivatives of this or that etc.

Logs and financial calculators became the norm in my classes for the consecutive 3 terms.

I managed to pass with B+ grades and am pleased to stay  I managed to stay on the Deans List .

Math may have been tough but my doggedness and tenacity overcame these two nemeses!

I believe that if one stays focused in your goals and with a little luck and good hard work, I am sure you will achieve like me.

Work hard, work smart and ask self why you need to do things this or that way BUT more importantly, is there a smarter, shorter and faster way which yields the same efficiency and effectiveness! UO taught me this!

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Stop, Think & Be Compassionate

MR EX’s kindness must be measured against giant acknowledgements.

I can still hear his ringing voice whenever he bought me snacks, “so nothing lah…all this is nothing!”

My immediate retort was always, “Yes, nothing!”

I further remembered once I sought his help to consider Lupus Association as a cause for his company to donate to when he was pondering over the next charitable cause to give for purposes of tax relief.

I blew a fuse on hearing his senseless unkind reply. His opinion was that the disease must show people suffering or be dramatic to evoke his support, In other words the quantum of impact to him as donor was not melodramatic enough for him to be viewed as “angel of givers”! He said cancer patients deserved his help not Lupus sufferers as Lupus sufferers do not suffer like cancer patients.

It hurt! How ignorant he was on Lupus, despite me advising that Lupus sufferers are under a less public limelight and do not easily attract donors but suffer quietly.

I have primary Sjorgren’s. Like all auto immune sufferers, I have good days and very bad days.

MR EX used to poke fun at me saying that “it was all in the mind” and added that I was a hypochondriac.

Mind you, this was the same MR EX who proposed with a grass ring and asked me to wait for him since 2001.

Mr EX never treated my illness seriously and made fun of me. I hurt inside and often wondered where is this man’s compassion when he stands on stage and proclaims to do a deity’s work.

I have learnt that any disease is a disease. How it affects anyone is not straight lined. Some take the disease better, stand up to it stronger whilst others with a different genetic make up succumb to it more readily,

How could MR EX living in glorious splendour of wealth, fame and fortune misunderstand Lupus sufferers and mock people with diseases that does not overtly sound a death knell immediately?

We all will pass through life.

Some sooner, some faster.

Some more painful, others less painful.

We will all go through death as part of living is dying and part of dying is living.

But let’s appreciate each death and life individually and acknowledge a person’s suffering with compassion and empathy, giving it the due dignity it deserves.

As for MR EX with his big words and heartless meaningless actions, unless it bears him publicity, appreciate and understand that what is uttered stays forever etched in the hearts of the hurt ones.

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Australian Woody Pears

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Living in lil red dot as a city girl, I am floored whenever I see fruits of any sort on my travels and will want to know if it is poisonous, edible or most importantly, tasty.

I chanced upon this tree laden with pears looking like Chinese Pears whilst on the property of Lavender Farm. This is in Perth, Australia when I visited it for the second time that year.

It bit off very hard and did not taste like a Packham or Anjou pear. Instead it tasted a bit like Chinese fragrant pear but woody in flavorings.

I have come to learn a lot of fruit origins for e.g. kiwi fruits originated from China when I thought all the while it was a native fruit of New Zealand.

Today, Macadamia nuts are farmed in Australia alongside fruits like Lychees and Durians. This is cultivation for the Asian market for trade.

Rich Aussie soil and climate give farmers a choice of crops to grow.

Phil who owns a smallish plantation of avocados for export did let us have a taste of the fruits of his labor.

Dipped in soy sauce, avocado tasted good as a snack fruit.

I usually dislike avocadoes as it is squishy and too rich for my liking.

Surprising when it was dipped in soya sauce and paired with some wasabi, it was delightfully refreshing and biting with the spicy wasabi sauce.

Italian by descent, Phil had successfully made Perth his home.

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Feasting

Ms Feisty’s started her meal with a nicely plated feast from the ocean.

She devours oysters without hesitation.

My choice of a feast, to which the 3 others said it was a waste of $88+++ per pax.

12 year old scotch at $330+++

End the sumptious feast with an array of dishes but what took my fancy was the durian coconut cake and what the hotel labelled at “Mushroom” – chocolate mousse cake with mushroom icings.

Good food, good company to forget about rigours of life.

Place: Shangri-La Hotel, The Line

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When Naming Your Shop, Consider Neighbor’s Shop Name

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Wine Or Man?

The label befits a gent I once knew and worked under. He was a foreign expat.

If I felt the cost of this wine worthy of the gent, I would have bought it. But alas, I would not waste the opportunity cost foregone.

Still, I learnt from this gent the art of procrastination.

His philosopy was sound.

“Disregard emails. Do not reply. If it is important, it would be re-sent again”. With thanks to him and this invaluable lesson, I practice this now as I have close to a few hundred emails a day and true enough, if it is important, it will get resent!

A day in the life of this gent was reading through at least 3 different daily publications of international news subscribed by the company for his reading pleasure as he is too cheap to buy his own newspapers, followed by trawling the net for more news before concluding at stalking people’s whereabouts through social media.

He would know when someone moves to another job or takes on something new.

A voracious appetite for food, he can wolf down no less than 6 buns at a sitting!

Does he have a heart of gold?

Or is he as aptly described by the label?

Well, to us who knew him he is an Old Bastard and I wonder how the sands of dunes or deserts is entertaining his manner and style of living now. If he is alive, he will be in his late 70s now.

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