Garfieldhug's Blog

This & That Including What Ails

A Fallen Fire Fighter In Lil Red Dot

https://www.channelnewsasia.com/singapore/firefighter-edward-go-nsf-scdf-posthumous-promotion-minute-silence-3140361

I was truly affected when I heard in the news that a full time national service man died on 8 Dec 2022, whilst putting out a fire in a flat. He was 19 years old.

He was corporal Edward H Go and was posthumously promoted to the rank of Sergeant 1. It seemed he was going to go to medical school on completion of his mandatory national service for his country.

This is the first time that Singapore lost its own boy in the Civil Defence Force.

Why was I affected I asked myself?

I pitied the parents and family as they lost a loved one who was going into the prime of his life.

But he died a hero’s death as he was saving lives. I saw how the family he saved paid tribute to him. They did not wish this to happen to him.

I know that the men and women in uniform all put their lives on the line each time they assist us in their duties as police personnel, fire fighters or paramedics.

All I can say is, deepest condolences to the fallen hero and may all the men and women who put their lives on the line for us stay safe. This includes all the health care workers who slog it out to manage Covid-19 and now the backlog of elective surgeries.

Blessings and Garfield hugs!

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In Anthem, Arizona – Now I Know…11.11 Veteran’s Day

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A Good Life, A Good Death – Do We Mourn Or Celebrate Life?

I quote Forrest Gump, “Life is like a box of chocolates” and I get to eat what I choose.

Life – a big question to me and one that I have been tackling for the last 6 weeks.

Piglet is on a spiral and was cross when DB did not wish to prescribe “Uppers” that allows her to be on “plateau high” so that she can be engaged in a job to sustain the family income. Piglet is one person I care about as she is married to H who had just lost his job but saw no urgency to find another till next year 2023.

Piglet being the responsible one was worried about what morrow comes – no income and she is frightened. So much so, she forced self to get a job. Her troubles began as she is already suffering from spinal pain and to stand and serve in a retail job was not helping her. The vicious cycle began and her depression got the better of her.

I could not do much for her except send her text messages.

Each life is precious but with life, comes it myriad of challenges. Some have it good, others struggle and the unfortunate perish, a life too short as they say.

What is life?

Birth, like what Shakespeare defines it as the 7 stages of life in Twelfth Night?

I have come to contemplate on life given my own physical challenges.

I have had no time in my life to grieve over my illnesses. I have always taken whatever comes and deal with it. Some call it strength, I call it “solving a management issue” and move on. There is nothing that can be done, so why bother having self pity as wallowing in it, does more damage to me than helping me.

I take shit as it comes and hopefully purify it such that it is upcycled to dung or compost to help the living things grow. Gave up on making lemonade out of lemons as I need something more potent to settle the shit in my life.

The only question I will always ask self on how do I describe my life thus far.

I have done my utmost best not to put salt into any underling of mine’s rice bowl. A job is in itself a challenge in today’s dog eat dog world. There is no job security nor iron rice bowl. Yet I have 2 morons on my team that is slacking and having brainless episodes such that I need to follow their behinds to nag and pick up their pieces lest they get the boot. One is a divorcee with no connectivity from brain to what she emails out responses and the other has an autistic child and refuses to keep notes of outstanding works. I genuinely believe that both have learning disabilities that managed to survive thus far in the working world as they have been left on auto pilot till I inherited them both.

In life, I have been cheated by MR EX of my emotions and time investment thinking he was someone that genuinely cared for me when I realised instead I was his rain maker and that he was using me relentlessly for business contacts and business deals. Each year I spent with him was taking a toll on me as I tried to see merits in his actions. He claims he was doing me good and that I was the ungrateful one.

He says, she says. I call it time to leave him. He accuses me of not taking a good look at myself in the mirror. I did and I saw his lack of care to be with me when I am ill or if I needed his help to run me to the hospital and he was never around nor made the effort to be with me. He is now HISTORY!

But I learnt from him how not to treat or befriend people for financial or any form of gain. The only gain should be mutual trust, care and love (platonic or romance it depends on the situation)

I wonder how will I be remembered when dead? Likelihood of no one remembering me as I am not a super star nor a glamorous gal. I am always in the shadows. Sure, I get recognised by the Dukes and Duchesses of Yore but that is not what I demanded, it was just given.

I prefered to be remembered as a good person, a friend and one who cared. One who struggled through life’s hardships, fought health battles and persevered to make self economically viable, paid taxes with head held high and lived debt free and die debt free.

I do not want to be mourned as other than my inanimate furball and my army of doctors, no one really cares about me. I have never imposed my need for others to care. If some care, I am blessed. If not, then so be it, so long as I can care and be happy with it, it is enough for me.

I realise that in giving a listening ear to others needing it, I get their care and love. This is why Neighbor continues to cook for me as she too has her fair share of woes and worries that she needs to unload. That time spent to help her relieve her burden helps and she rewards me with her lovely home cooked dishes. It is also her innate generosity to care about me. This is what I have come to realize in reciprocity and why MR EX and I fell through. MR EX felt it was expected of me to give and his pittance odd purchases of a bowl of noodles was his reciprocity to me – quid pro quo. So, mathematically SGD1 million in a business deal equates to SGD5 bowl of noodles. This is MR EX but he uses the proceeds to fund his exotic life style and bling blings for his bimbo. I admire his loyalty to his brood that he often complains to me about and that I did not know of his suffering.

I have advised him, if he feels trapped in a loveless marriage then exit. If he is suffocated, exit and live his own life on his own terms!

I guess it was not on his wish list as he needed to look good as pristine family to the press room and his outlandish approach as benefactor and rich donor.

We each have our own approach to life and how we see it versus how others see it, matters to most.

Except for me, I am admittedly shameless as I do not care how the public sees me. I am comfortable in my own skin and can wear my tatty shorts and oldest Garfield T shirt and go to a diner or walk the streets for shopping. I can tote Garfield along too, so long as I have pocket change in my pocket to pay for what I need.

Confidence or fed up? Fed up actually as when I see my sis decked up in Salvatore Ferragamo or Prada outfits, it does not make her a better person as she is selfish and will never give time of day to the man on the street needing help or buy a bowl of noodles to help the poor. I was shamed by her to her friends because I do not embrace designer togs. I am practical, I save my pennies for a rainy day. So long as I am not naked or wearing torn clothes, who cares!

I hope to be remembered as a celebrant of life. Garfield and I always together.

But in truth, heck care…when I am dead, I am simply dead. My eyes are shut, ears are closed and who cares what goes round around me as I am no longer a party to the living.

Truth right?

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Thoughts # 5 – Just Thoughts

This Saturday is Mid Autumn Festivalโ€ฆ..festival of moon cakes and lanterns. I heard that our Chinatown is lit up with giant size lanterns again and making the scape warm, lively and fun. I am not up to hanging out in Chinatown, crowds frighten me as I have an autoimmune disorder too.

Maybe, if I feel up to it, I will do a drive through for my folks to admire the lanterns and festivities. It will mean a lot to them as they went through the traditional mooncake festival in their era of years long ago.

I am in a bit more pain than usual post booster covax vaccination. Plus not in the mood for wanton chit chats although I was pleasantly surprised by 13 Points when she plonked a bag of โ€œWhite Coffee sachetsโ€on my pigeon holeโ€™s floor. Rather kind of her. She shared that a student in her class whose parents gave her that packet of coffee sachets and she did not appreciate our Asian style of coffee grinds so she shared it. Nice of her to think of me.

Neighbor has been brewing kombucha and I have tried her batch done with Earl Grey tea. This weekend, she said she would be doing a batch with Pu Erh tea, a smoky and stronger tea. I am curious as to how it will taste. She is good at cooking and her brewing kombucha skills are good too.

In turn I shared one mooncake with 13 Points, only when she confirmed that can appreciate mooncakes. She is from UK and today we learnt the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, 96 years old. I am sad to hear it but life is such, there is an expiry clause. At 96 years old and being of decent health till the end, I am proud of her achievements.

Finally King Charles will get to the throne. He has waited so patiently for this and the consort Camilla becomes Queen (?)

I wonder if he will pass it to William though?

It will be a sad time for Britons this week as the late Queen Elizabeth has done much for England and I bet her corgis will miss her. I hope the family adopts her corgis.

Deepest condolences to the citizens of United Kingdom on the passing of their beloved Queen. May she rest in peace!

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Sunday Before National Day & Last Evening’s Sad News

It will be a lie if I said that I felt no sadness when I was told of two things: –

Loss of a life – my brother’s classmate whom I have met once or twice and

Potential job loss for someone’s spouse.

My brother’s classmate passed on 7 July 2022. It caught my brother by surprise as none of his group chat community knew about it till someone in that group chat chanced upon the late classmate’s sister’s post on FaceBook that he had passed.

No one was able to elicit a response from her to know cause of death as it was sudden and those who knew his family refused to speak about it.

If it was a Covid related death, I feel it was nothing to be ashamed of.

If it was a sudden illness death such as a heart attack or stroke or an accident, it was also nothing to be ashamed of.

If it was cancer, again it should not be a stigma to his family.

I was more worried if it was a suicide and this could be a plausible reason as to why his family will not share with the community. But it is sad if the decedent was not honored for his life spent thus far.

The decedent left behind a wife and 3 children; parents and siblings.

For me, even though I am not close to him, I felt truly sad as it reminded me of the fragility of life.

In his prime, his life was cut short. He will never get to enjoy being a grandfather to his future grandchildren nor walk his daughter down the aisle to be married off nor stand proud as his son weds a wife.

It also reminded me of mortality – we all cannot live forever and that my aged parents’ life span will also end. Can I face up to all this?

I am not worried about my own mortality as honest truth, I am ready to check in. I have done what I needed to do and eaten, enjoyed, tasted the sweet and sorrows of life.

But thinking of the decedent’s family, it is sad as they were robbed of a husband, a father, a brother and a son.

I was also sad when a good friend of mine expressed worry about potential job restructuring at her spouse’s company.

There is no iron rice bowl mentality these days. Companies change hands for dollars and there are no sentiments for the minions that once slaved for them. But I reminded my good friend of the Labor Laws and that any unpaid wages, one can seek assistance from the labor office to get paid.

Like any minion, I too am worried about job restructuring and potential job loss. Apart from singing the age old tune of upskill, be adept and adjust, there is little else to be done.

New minions will cost lesser than old minions who have put in time and effort to grow with the company and then it suddenly gets felled with one swing of the “axe” – it is worst if there were no warning signs of things that came!

My advice to my good friend was to let the spouse handle the issue on hand. If he was chill with it, it means he can manage it and or a possible golden handshake was negotiated and agreed upon. Again, if not, then off to the Labor Office to seek mediation. I will sincerely pray for a win -win outcome for her spouse and that a possible severance package is offered plus a new offer of a job. This would be the optimal outcome!

But like any loving wife, my friend will worry about future things. I can only offer a listening ear and prayers that things will pan out well for her and her spouse.

One cannot stop worrying.

One cannot stop mourning loss of any loved one.

One cannot stop feeling alone though surrounded by many people.

What I do know is that, one has to be strong to overcome.

It takes true grit and gumption to survive in this dog eat dog world. Employers will continue to be ruthless and minions will always be minions.

My view is that I am no longer loyal to any employer. It is just a job. I do my fair day’s work, I get paid and I speak only when spoken to. No need to be “smart” or “act smart” as no one asked me to be “smart” – in fact my strategy is best described by Chicken,

“Act stupid. Deliver grade C class work to get bonuses and increments is good enough. Not all work tasks need a grade A standard.”

Troll? But true!

Coping is important in today’s life’s journey!

We plod on!

My deepest condolences to the bereaved family of my brother’s late classmate. May he rest in peace and gain eternal peace and happiness.

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Losing People Or Pets We Love Or Care About

Last week Friday, was the start of the 7th month of the Chinese Lunar calendar, where the gates of Hades opened.

I know this month, will claim many lives as it is typical Hell’s month.

Yesterday, a good friend, business colleague, Mr Alvin Yeo, a gifted legal eagle and member of Parliament, passed after 2 years battling cancer.

I remember his gentle demeanor, never a show off despite his high rank in society as well as a truly good legal eagle.

I am sure his loss will be deeply felt by society as well as by his loved ones.

I also learnt of the passing of Lil Binky, a beloved cat of https://angelswhisper2011.com/

It is with sadness that we bid any living thing we spent time with farewell when the time comes. I used to enjoy seeing Lil Binky walking through Granny’s garden of https://angelswhisper2011.com/ and the art that is created for this beautiful cat.

Life is precious, love the ones you love, as time on earth may not be very long.

Rest in peace Alvin Yeo and Lil Binky. I am sure you will both be free from pain and enjoying your new lives till you reunite with those you love and hold dear.

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My Host Mother, Lucile McKenzie From Eugene, Oregon

When I started my university studies in USA, Eugene, Oregon, as a foreign student I learnt of host families.

Host families help foreign students adapt and integrate into USA’s cultural and social aspects such that we as foreigners will not be left alone, felt depressed coping with a new lifestyle and passing exams.

I enrolled into the program and was assigned a family with 2 children (16 & 18 years old). I felt awkward with them as they were uncomfortable hosting an Asian student. It is easy to sign up for a host kid with a host family, but on pairing, and there were no synergies, it is best I exited the arrangement.

My first term, I signed up for Art History 205 taught by Professor Allan Dean McKenzie. He was in his late 60s and I loved his class. He was perfect to me as a Host Dad and I boldly sauntered up to the podium to ask him. I still remember how big that classroom was…it was an auditorium for more than 120 students.

I told self at most he rejects me. But he did not, instead he said he would ask his wife, Lucile. Yes, Lucile spelt with one “L”

I was delighted when he told me at next class that he and his wife were delighted to host me during my stay in Eugene, Oregon.

Host Mum, Host Dad whom I fondly called “Prof” hit it off. They cooked meals for me. I learnt about pumpkin pies, coconut cream pies as Host Mum baked these pies for Thanksgiving dinners. In turn I shared our Chinese cuisine and invited them to my town house area of Singaporeans for spring food fest. 8 of us in 4 townhouses hosted all our host families. It was fun and these host parents brought us things that we could use for our homes. E.g porcelain plates, place mats etc.

I admired Prof’s art pieces in their home, Le Petite Chateau, and watched slide shows of his travels and seeing different art historical icons or buildings…doric columns, ionic scrolls etc.

Prof and host mum never stopped staying in touch and even visited me in Singapore post graduation. Sadly Prof passed away couple of years back after battling Alzheimers. I was very sad when Host Mum shared with me his violent traits and ultimately had to be put in a nursing home where he passed peacefully. Host Mum misses him alot as they were a loving couple.

Host Mum is 89 years old now and we still keep in touch. She managed to get a friend to take the following photos below so that I can see her lovely patio of home grown plants in her unit. The sprawling home they used to own was sold as it was too huge for Host Mum to manage.

My Host Mum Lucile, whom I love very much!๐Ÿฅฐ

Thank you both Host Mum and Host Dad for taking care of me in USA and making my experience in Oregon a beautiful one.

I will always love Eugene, Oregon because of you both.

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Flowers Taken In India

These pics were shared with me by the photographer, Samy, my physiotherapist. He told me that he photographed these flowers that were happily blooming in the gardens of the sidewalks! So pretty!!

I love the daisies one most as Samy used it for his screen saver and it was very pretty!

Samy is from India and is working in Singapore under a work permit.

He is hoping to be able to bring his mum over to live with him in Singapore as his father passed away recently and his sister has a job offer to work in Czechoslovakia and his other brother is working in Qatar.

Samy will soon be match maked to a bride and he will marry her as he has been unable to find true love. He is nos in his forties.

I hope he is able to have his mum over and his future bride too.

All the best Samy!๐Ÿ’ž๐Ÿ’ž๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

Photos are courtesy of Samy

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Felix The Cat Is Dead…

Remember Boy who adopted 17 year old Felix from the shelter at a month or so ago?

Felix began to show his age and despite Boy giving him vitamin jabs, Felix went to Kitty Heaven last week.

Boy was sad but he was glad he spent the last month with Felix and was with him, till he passed.

I consoled Boy. The relationship was not long and his parting will not be too bad compared to if he had Felix since it was a kitten.

At least he still has Emma to keep him company.

Rest in peace Felix. Though you scared me, I am sad I never got to hold you nor offer you a treat.

I will remember your feisty character and prefer to see you as that spunky cat instead of how Boy described you as a feeble and weak cat when you departed.

โคโคโค๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒป๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ‚๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ‚Rest in peace Felix.

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Why Lil Red Dot Did Not Shut Up On Ukraine’s Situation

Many netizens have come out on social media to ask our men in charge not to say anything about the war between Russia and Ukraine. Their thinking is that we are too tiny and being tiny, we may aggravate the great mighty Russia to take action against us.

Whilst I can understand Lil Red Dot being a tiny sovereign country, the fear of antagonising the big and powerful is real. But the argument our men in charge held was that, being a sovereign state, what happened to Ukraine and also happen to all other small sovereign states. Hence the need to speak up and against this atrocity waged on Ukraine. The laws must be upheld as no country should invade the other without provocation.

I am sad that in this day and age, war is taking place. I would have thought with round table peace talks, arbitration and mediations will suffice and treaties brokered between any warring states.

As a non Ukrainian or Russian, I can only hear “she says” and “he says” – some of which I pondered over.

So and so is described as an actor. As an actor, publicity can be drummed up.

Someone reminded me that with Russia given all its might and power, it could have taken over Ukraine in days! Yet, we see photos of women walking to get groceries and garbage trucks still collecting rubbish.

What is the real truth behind the war?

I do not know. Only Putin and the Ukrainian leader knows.

Isn’t there enough loss of lives on both sides?

Isn’t there enough strife for those evacuating and seeking refugee status in Poland, Hungary etc?

I was told that men are not not allowed to leave Ukraine, just women and children.

I am sure both sides have seen casualties.

Russian soldiers commanded to wage war on orders. What is in their hearts to commit to fighting this battle?

In one of the news circulating on the internet, a soldier wrote to his mother and was subsequently a victim of war.

So Lil Red Dot has joined in to impose bans on the financial Russian institutions here and prevent funds movements – economic sanctions if you will.

I do not understand geo politics.

All I want is world peace – cheesy Ms Universe quips as uttered by Ms Sandra Bullock when she went undercover in that Movie, but real to me.

World peace equals prosperity and progress for any nation.

We have enough on the war front with Covid-19 pandemic, yet why must a deliberate altercation ensue between the 2 warring countries.

I sincerely hope that a country, any country can intercede and broker a peace pact for both. OR by some miracle, Putin decides to withdraw troops, not as a sign of loss but on a magnanimous approach that Ukraine has suffered enough.

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