Garfieldhug's Blog

This & That Including What Ails

Look What My Mum’s Neighbor Gave Her

Mum’s neighbor is a staff nurse at a restructured hospital. She is a frontline warrior as I call her as she braved Covid-19 and up till now, have not been able to take annual leave.

Staff Nurse lives with her brother. Both are singletons and they dote on my parents, helping me by getting my parents their meals on weekends as they work shifts.

Staff Nurse’s colleagues are very creative and used hong bao wrappers to make a nice basket for me.

This is the year of the Rabbit and the hong bao wrappers all carry images of the Rabbit

I find this paper basket useful to hold tissue paper for my use. It is also handy to hold my knick knacks like eraser or that elusive pen or a small bottle of embrocation oil like Tiger Balm or a tube of Bengay.

I had no space to take one of these ornate Chinese New Year decorative centrepieces.

Beautifully done, it decorated my parents side cabinet top and dining table.

Yes, admittedly, nurses are talented artists too. 😀

I am grateful to my mum’s neighbors who shower my mum and dad with love too.

Thank you both for helping me.

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The Year Of The Rabbit Begins On 22 January 2023

Chinese New Year is here again and this year, it is the Year of The Rabbit. Reunion dinner will begin on 21 January 2023 and I will be having my parents over at my place as Neighbor will be cooking for us.

I will probably add 1 to 2 simple dishes that is either steamed or boiled or blanched veggies. I am not a good cook and can only do dishes that cannot go wrong.

I have a new ailment added to my list of medical issues – it began in August 2022 when all of a sudden my gums became heavily swollen and started to bleed for no reason.

It hurt when I ate or bite things. It stung when I ate curries or chillies.

I saw 2 periodontists and finally on Friday, I chanced upon my dermatologist who shared with me that under their specialization, they too can take care of this condition.

I am now diagnosed with Oral Lichen Planus – The specialist at the National Dental Centre was the most candid.

  1. Unable to do a biopsy as the swollen areas are everywhere and it makes no sense to cut the entire mouth and end up with more issues.
  2. It is Oral Lichen Planus and we just have to wait for cancer to manifest, if it manifests! Hmm, this is re-assuring.

The reason cancer was brought up by all 3 specialists was because the constant bleeding and irritated cells will turn cancerous over time.

Ahh well, Dr Doom of National Dental Centre then said in response to me, ” what’s next” after this – Head and Neck Onco Surgeon!

Hmm….life sure is exciting for me!

There is nothing much I can do except try every sort of mouth swishing therapy and to numb the pain.

Lidocaine, Chlorohexidine, Hydrogen Peroxide, Salt water etc – I am not good at following through except for Chlorohexidine and Salt Water. Brushing with mint based toothpaste is painful.

I am kinda tired with a new diagnosis every now and then. Nothing much I can do except struggle on until life decides to ooze out of my body and join the third realm perhaps.

Mr Nice is into his 20 odd radiotherapy sessions and will end on the 33rd session. He tells me it drains him of energy and gives him mood swings.

Mr Lawyer will visit me from Land Down Under in March 2023 and I look forward to meeting him. It has been several years with the Covid lockdown and I do miss his intellect and kindness.

I am not doing any frantic shopping for Chinese New Year. I need to declutter but with my right paw being painful (pending another surgery) I decided to take it easy and do what is necessary without aggravating the paw further.

My spine, post surgery has given me new pain and both surgeons are expecting me back in hospital when I fix my paw.

So, I do have an “exciting” journey ahead…Bugsy…you had better behave and give me and others a better life!

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About Socks From Shoppee & Food

SGD15.80 for 10 pairs

Ms Gen Z was kind to point out to me that Shoppee, the online store had Garfield socks on sale. I then sought her help to buy me 10 pairs as I hate to shop online. Plus, I was told of horror tales of wromgful delivery.

So instead of Garfield socks, some socks with a smiley face and pig like ears. Aargh!! The same fate of wrongful delivery has also occured to my order.

Ms Gen Z tried contacting the seller based in China for more than a week before they decided to replace my piggy ear socks with my original order of Garfield socks. I finally got my Garfield socks on 31 Dec 2022, New Year’s eve!

Chinese New Year of the Rabbit is on 22 Jan 2023. Today the restaurants started putting Yu Sheng or Prosperity Salad with smoked salmon on the menu. For $38.60 before 10% service and 8% GST, the portion was indeed tiny for 3 of us.

For dessert, I had a delectable piece of carrot cake at SPRMKT at Dempsey and a latte!

Perfect!

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Fear Of Not Being Agile Or Adept In Embracing Change

As a minion of people management, I often see how minions are resistant to change or refuse to change.

A floor above mine, is Yul Brynner’s Pop’s Kingdom. Pop is the scion of investments and the one with the Midas touch. Yul Brynner I feel, is Pop’s preferred child above the other docile one.

Pop’s kingdom is like T Rex land when compared to Yul Brynner’s turf, which is IT savvy, paperless and completely in tune with digitalisation. Hot desking, shared spaces and truly an open concept without distinction of hierarchical class in space for directors and above.

If you walk into Pop’s kingdom, people minion will say if they adopt change or digitalization, they will walk. People minion rule the kingdom and Pop is okay with it as he is also of this generational mindset.

Whilst we toggle with laptop to beam our digital presentations onto Smart TV screens and or large Dell monitors, Pop’s kingdom uses projectors.

I was told by IT that Pop is now adopting our style of using 75″ or above smart TVs and will finally adopt and use it. This is indeed a stride in the right direction.

But they will still like the feel of paper and have claims filed using old school paper copies, with sign off before minions get credited.

Mindset change is important and I am always singing the mantra in my heart that we must all be adept and agile to change – adapt or be left behind.

Gen Zs and millennials are not a problem – post baby boomers, Gen X, Gen Y are less savvy whilst the Strawberry Gen is caught in the middle.

I was very sorry to hear from Piglet that her spouse was laid off as the industry changed and evolved under new management. I likened it to the case of my MR EX when he realized that his real estate business was in a dog eat dog world in the 1980s and till 2000s. Had he remained in it, today is boom town Charlie for him as head honcho of real estate business as rentals are sky high, sales are booming.

MR EX diversified into coaching and mentoring business. He sold services based on ” saliva” as capital, not assets. The Pandemic taught him to innovate and use Zoom. Today he is on Tik Tok trying to catch the trend.

When I compared to Piglet’s spouse, I felt for Piglet who is stressed by her spouse’s state of worklessness at this current time.

When I reflected on Piglet’s spouse situation, it was akin to my charge of minions when I had to say goodbye to a chap who worked with us for 15 years as he refused to change with the digital world. He lost the fit for his role.

I asked self if Piglet’s spouse had also lost the ” fit” for his old role and if he will be able to bounce back to a rejuvenated environment where paper sales is extinct and one sells different things to different folks?

The fear is real when moving towards change. But as I always tell my charges – one must change with the times or be changed out.

If one can afford to be out of work, then it is fine else those in their mid 40s and above will find it hard to reintegrate back into society’s working world.

My only advice for those struggling to get a job back is not to be afraid.

Take a step down, to take a step forward.

Abandon or perish the thought that you will still get the same salary for what you used to do. There are younger folks out there, willing to work for lesser and can deliver the same, faster or take on more work load.

Change industries if need to and you will survive as you get down and dirty to learn the new ropes, new trade and begin your new journey to excel in it.

If I can do it, so can you.

I was under evil lords, like Electrical Lord and Scorpion Lord. I am glad I left them as they are not doing well, especially Scorpion Lord. As for Electrical Lord, if not for his siblings, he would be down and out.

I learnt, I adapted and I moved on.

I am also aware that there is no iron rice bowl (Mao’s theory back then in historical China) and no one owes anyone a job.

This is also painfully true as to why Singaporeans cannot afford to retire as there is no free handouts to allow anyone to choose not to work.

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National Day Awards – Public Service Star

HRH President Halimah on stage taking us all in the hall through our National Anthem
These 3 men are Aides De Camp. They are professional uniformed men in Police Force, Army or Singapore Civil Defence Force. Major Ang from SCDF was assigned to take care of me. She and the other ladies were just superb.
The prestigious medal

I was treated like a star, fom start to the end! My car was escorted to a specially reserved lot and I was met on arrival by Major Ang.

I was personally shown to my seat. My dad was given the same VIP treatment.

I saw men decked with medals. I stopped and chatted with an Assistant Superintendent of Police at Marine Parade station. He showed me his scars from fending off a crook who slashed him. I am glad he is okay and still proudly serving as an officer.

I met a high court judge, who was also coroner and now heading the investors compliance unit based in Prime Minister’s Office.

Thank you Singapore, my lil red dot for letting me serve you.

I share my medal with my team of doctors who have kept me alive so that I can continue to serve society.

Without them, it would be impossible.

Thank you Drs Boey Wah Keong, James Tan Siah Heng, Lim Yi Jia and Lui Hock Foong.

Goodwood Hotel was the official caterer but the wide variety of food from Malay, Indian, Chinese, Dessert, International stations were cold when it should be warm.

My dad and I did not enjoy the food and so we left. I was so lucky to see that Neighbor hung food on my gate. Fried noodles!! Yummy!

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The Long Awaited For Moment

Tomorrow is when I get to meet yet another Duchess of Yore and the other Dukes and Duchesses for the award ceremony.

Mr Nice texted me to ask if he needed to publish a congratulatory note in the newspapers for me. My reply was candid – “who am I?” and “not necessary” as I do not need the pomp, pageantry and fanfare.

To be honest, I did not like donning a monkey suit to go on stage and get the award. Such acts of dressing up is such a chore as I am so used to dressing down since Covid-19 threw fashion vogue out the window.

I have decided to wear my black New Balance sneakers and pray that my right leg and spine co-ordinates for me to climb those few steps to get onto the stage and shake the hands of Duchess of Yore. Yes, I will need to sanitize after to ensure I do not take home any unwanted viruses.

I have put in my father’s name as plus 1. I felt if he saw what I did to garner society’s accolade, he might stop looking down on me and feel that comparatively speaking, I am a little better than his useless other 2 children. But I know it will never happen as I am always a pariah.

I did inform the aide de camp managing me for the event that I will be bringing my father who has cognitive issues and that he needs to be eyed over when I am on stage in case he needs to use the bathroom facilities.

Aide de camp are honorary active members of the forces who serves the President of the Republic of Singapore. I was told there are 103 of them appointed by the President to manage events of national or international significance.

The event will take 5 hours as I need to sit through all the awards ceremony. I cannot leave after taking my medal.

In 2015 when I received my first medal, I could bring both my mother and father to witness my ceremony. But since Covid-19, the organizer has restricted to only 1 guest.

Last night my right hand middle finger started to trigger and it was entirely stiff. My right leg was also stiff with pain. I sincerely hope my limbs behave tomorrow to make it up the stage and down without embarrassing me, myself and I.

Strangely, I am not proud of myself. I should be but perhaps it is because I do not see a need for a medal to show or remind me what I have done. Life is impermanent and after I am gone like dust in the wind, these medals are of no significance to me.

It is not as if I have a loving family to honor my existence. Besides, I did what I do to help society as I know what is it like to marginalized or looked down upon as an insignificant person. My family taught me life’s lessons and I looked outwards to serve and gain what I felt could benefit others like me.

In fact my parting words to the head honcho of Singapore was that I could help society but not myself.

Such a shame I felt.

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Money Bags and Tax Man

Money Bags is in a spot of trouble with the Tax Man for audit. It seems that before my era, the department I now head, was poorly managed.

Records are not there and it was a tad challenging to decipher what my predecessors did.

Still I managed with Ms Newbie to dig out the information Money Bags needed for the Tax Man.

Through this process, I also learnt that whilst the company can provide benefits in kind to minions, minions will be taxed for amounts of gifts more than SGD200.

Inland Revenue of Singapore states that prescription eye glasses or spectacles and contact lens are taxable from one cent upwards. I guess the rule of their thinking is that the unique prescription benefits only that staff in question and hence, it will be taxed.

Our tax concessions are for benefits that benefit ALL staff. Interesting, as I learnt alot after ploughing through the website to learn about Tax Concessions on things that Tax Man agrees on or disagrees on.

This means for my Ms Newbie, she will need to collate the data of those who did claim for spectacles or contact lenses to submit as earned income for the minions who did so.

Luckily for me, I only claim for dental (given the amount of trouble my chomps are in) and dental is not taxable.

Traditional Chinese Medicine or “TCM” is also non taxable and those that sought ” Tui Na” or ” Cupping” or consulted a TCM specialist will also not be taxed.

2022 is fast approaching the end and there are lots for me to do for the world of minions. Income Tax submissions for all minions, year end bonuses, submissions for awards etc.

I don’t even want to think of Christmas. I have nothing to look forward for or to.

Although I have walked away from my parents, I know they are quite pathetic without anyone to help them. It pains me, but I have no choice. I need to have “me” time and in reflecting back, I realized how much I took on at the expense of my own sanity. I do want to be able to see them but in so doing, I will get self sucked into the world of doing their bidding again.

Anyway, I digress.

Money Bags has to dig skeletons in his closet to bring financial numbers to tie with his big scheme of things.

I am a mere key to open the dusty cupboards, shake out the dust on the skeletons and process a clean skeleton for him to make good with the Tax Man.

I am sure he can do it as otherwise, his name as Money Bags will be an embarrassment to himself.

Meanwhile, I dread the Goods and Services Tax hike from current 7% to 8% from 1 Jan 2023 and from 8% to 9% from 1 Jan 2024 onwards.

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Prof’s Diagnosis – I Might Be In Trouble

Today was my appointment with Prof.

He was very kind to let me know that he has spoken with a very good dental surgeon colleague who is not only a qualified peridontist but a pathologist. He felt that this dental surgeon would take very good care of me during the procedure and will be able to figure out why my gums keep bleeding and are heavily inflammed.

I appreciated Prof’s care as he counselled me by advising me to let go of my stressors. It was clear to Prof that my stressful dysfunctional family was wreaking havoc on my health, stirring my autoimmune disorder to rear its angry head.

I asked the same hard question that I asked my earlier Peridontist if this condition is symptomatic of cancer?

Prof’s reply was the same as that Peridontist. Constant inflamed cells will possibly turn cancerous. Hence the need to tackle it.

For now, topical application of Oracort E up to four times a day and or gargling with crushed Dexamethasone 4mg per dose.

Long term oral consumption of Dexamethasone will drive adrenalin and increase blood sugar. So it is not a good drug for me to take long term.

To help me save consultation fees, Prof will help me by speaking to his identified surgeon on if I can be seen as a subsidised patient. In Lil Red Dot, subsidised medical care doea not allow anyone to have a surgical doctor by choice. It has to be by the luck of the draw and usually a junior doctor to manage such cases.

I am tired. The last year has seen me undergo 3 major surgeries back to back. I do not want to battle cancer again 🙄

Meanwhile I wait for Prof’s email to confirm date of the biopsy I need.

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Why Forgiveness Is Hard – The Proverbial Argument

I hate it when soothsayers or motivational speakers verbalize words or throw out saintly advice such as ” Forgive” and you will be happier! Or ” Forgive and feel better!”

I admit I cannot do it. Easier said than done in my opinion. I look at a murderer who for example murdered someone and the family members are “expected” to grant “forgiveness” ? This is a tad hard I feel.

Or I present a less stark example – a cheating husband. How will the wife feel? Forgive and pretend it never happened? Will things be the same?

Marriage counselling they say and a divorce is managed. But how can the wife believe that the man will not stray again?

I cannot understand how motivational speakers can do a song and a dance or a jig amidst blaring music to whip up the aura of forgiveness just like that!

I had the opportunity to hear off the lips of the same motivational speaker who tells me what he spouts at these thunderous and prosperous sessions to sign up unsuspecting victims to part with their monies to buy their motivational books or digital recordings that it is all “crap” and that they prey on the emotions of the people they want to earn income off!

How nasty is that?

I read on Facebook, posts about “forgiveness” and literally roll my eyes.

In honesty, I find it hard to forgive. Even if I can bring self to forgive, I can never forget how nasty people have behaved towards me, took advantage of my kindness for weakness and for that matter, my own family.

I would be silly to begin to believe that such persons can change and the secret silent wish of them changing is taxing as I tend to get sucked back into the abyss of fakeness and the whole vicious cycle begins again.

I have learnt to say “NO” and I have not yet learnt to forgive 100%.

Sure, if I can genuinely forgive 100% it would be a medical reason as in amnesia, or dementia. Otherwise, I can never achieve 100% forgiveness really!

Can you sup and shoot the breeze as if nothing happened with the same partner who used you for your business contacts and when all means are exhausted and you find self cast aside?

Can you sup and shoot the breeze as if nothing happened with the same murderer who killed someone you loved?

Can you sup and shoot the breeze as if nothing happened with the same person who drove into someone you loved?

Can you sup and shoot the breeze with the wife or husband you married who had a string of extra marital affairs?

Can you?

Honestly, I can’t!

Sigh!

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Monday Is Almost Over…Garfield’s Happy!

The wet weather has prevented me from dunking Garfield into the washer for a wash, spin dry session.

I am a silly adult who refuses to let go of a cottony furball that brings me solace and comfort in times of sadness, pain or frustration. It is easy to pretend to be an adult but it is harder to let the inner child out.

I am not psychotic but Garfield has become a coping mechanism of life’s realities and ugliness.

Everyone has a coping mechanism I feel. Some turn to vices such as gambling, drug addiction or medicines to find the relief.

I am too cheap to do any other method except hug Garfield and it works, without harming me.

I know I will be in trouble if I hear Garfield having a conversation with me but so far, I am pretty sane! LOL!

I believe everyone has an Achilles heel of sorts. Even the most endowed or blessed have something that makes them tick or work.

Chicken found solace in meditation.

I found solace in Garfield.

Ms B took to loving her four furkids and be lost in her world of work and furkids.

JerkFace is happily in retirement, showing tours of his estate to friends though I did advise him to charge a fee and run a full bed and breakfast as no harm being paid to do it and feel of use. But I guess he is doing well and can afford not to earn dollars! Lucky him!

Mr Nice flew back from Bangkok last Friday evening and is now packing away to fly out to Europe, Italy and the Romance countries for a spot of wining, dinning and enjoyment. This comes after he and his brother battled prostate cancer. He will need to return for radiotherapy after his Europe trip. So, I can understand his need to have a bit of fun.

I am unsure what I can do when it is time for me to retire? I have not put any thought in it as there is still alot of life left in me to work and plod on.

Surely I want to retire? Yes but not at the expense of being poorer for it.

The world economy has veered off course. Inflation is up, everything costs more and mortgage loan interest is killing a lot of good folks.

I suppose when the time comes, I will live in a tinier pigeon hole and be part of an integrated community though I must prefer to have privacy in my life.

I do not want a life of public scrutiny and want to have the power of dollars to do what I choose to do with volunteers and continue to make a difference. Big words, but in reality, I know that the next few years are going to be hard challenges for a lot of folks.

I hope to be able to continue on with my job and still contribute.

Will I have physical mobility functions intact? I saw how my peer born with Muscular Dystrophy is living life to the fullest through the use of a motorized wheelchair. Will I end up like that? Big question – if it does, I must plod on right?

What if I need more surgeries on my spine in my 70s – will I survive it and overcome the recovery and therapy attached to it?

Surely my strength and gumption to overcome will wax and wane over time?

Maybe I am looking at things all wrong?

Maybe there is that golden glimmer of hope to find true love and live happily ever after with that missing knight in shining armor as we tiptoe through the sunset years?

I shudder to think of the positives as my life thus far have sent me smack into negativities.

I am afraid to think positive as it is a fallacy of sorts and then I set self up to fail.

Go ahead, say it, ” I am chicken shit!”

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