Monday, March 31, 2008

Bad news

Goodbye, friend.

We knew as soon as we got up yesterday from a text on L's mobile. But L didn't want to postpone the surprise party that he organised for me, even though he was very upset.

I didn't think I'd spend my birthday at a wake.

Life is short. Call that friend.


... a bunch of people came over

... some of them sang along to the Guns n Roses and Bon Jovi that was playing on my iTunes while others entertained the dogs

... and I had a happy birthday!

PS -- More pix here.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

I'm watching

First, a little background: Queeni eats just outside the kitchen, her dish set down next to the communal water bowl. Rupert eats in the study, where a baby gate keeps him away from Queeni when he's done eating because he eats twice as fast as she does, and then wants to help her. And after he's done eating, someone needs to stand at the gate to keep a watchful eye on him or he'll start to do some, erm, instant processing for the want of something to do since he's stuck in there till Queeni is done.

Just now, L was standing guard over Roop. Then he had to go off to do something. "Watch him," he told me.

That was when it hit me as I took over the shift and watched Roop through the bars of the baby gate. That dog is more watched than that escaped JI terrorist. The prison wardens let JI Guy go to the loo alone while we watch Roop poop. And pee. And do all manner of things. Just about the only time we don't watch him is when he sleeps. Oh wait, I do that. I have to confess that sometimes I watch the dogs sleep -- it's more fun than you think and definitely more interesting than what's on TV most nights.

Now They want us to help spot JI Guy. Maybe when They finally catch him, They might want some extra wardens. Maybe I should volunteer.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Ready to chill out

I got a bunch of books from the library (one serious and two fluffy -- sometimes I want some brainless zero-calorie reading) and baked a batch of shortbread cookies today -- I'm ready for a week's leave from work.

Not that I have nothing else to do to fill my days for the coming week. I need to get a microwave (the existing one gave up the ghost after six years' service); do an Ikea run for a bedside lamp (the last in the set of two pretty but cheap ones from Thailand finally blew; it isn't the bulb -- L changed it but it still flickers -- and I don't trust it because the other lamp in the set previously tripped the electricity for the whole house); get my passport renewed (I'm thinking of getting the new biometric one); get a haircut; get Queeni groomed; and she also has an appointment on Friday with Dr T for her quarterly post-cancer check-up.

So... busy, busy, busy. I think I'm busier when I'm not working than when I am.

Monday, March 24, 2008

What Black Monday?

It is always nice to get a Monday off. It is especially more delicious when it comes after a long weekend and the faces you see trudging off to work seem even blacker than usual.

What's that Geman word for it? To enjoy someone else's misery? Although this feeling on Easter Monday does not apply to those in the UK where today is a bank holiday. It especially does not apply to students in the UK -- you know who you are, the one cavorting round the Kenilworth countryside.

So I'm going for a leisurely meal in an empty cafe where service will be twice the speed of what it was yesterday, and then go grocery shopping where I don't need to bump carts with anyone else because the aisles will be mine, all mine.

Hey, I earned today off, OK, I worked Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Horizon envy

No real reason for this pix other than I got envious when a friend, now studying at my alma mater, posted pix of the countryside surrounding the campus. I am tired of seeing buildings out of every window, of concrete blocks stretching into the distance. I want to see space; see a horizon where earth meets the sky, with no buildings in sight; feel my soul expand with the expanse of space around me.

I think I need a holiday.

I am just lucky that I have a tree outside my window. If I manouvre myself correctly, I can see leaves and flowers, and sometimes an oriole or two, and ignore the buildings at the peripheral.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Queeni to the rescue

Which dog do you think looks more ferocious -- the little one that looks like a teddy bear, and with teeth like toothpicks; or the one with the mouthful of vampire teeth and a solid muscular body that one of our friends call the Missile?

L was walking the two furkids when I was at work. Coming up the stairs, he had Rupert on leash in one arm, and Queeni scooped up in the crook of his other arm (she has never learnt how to climb stairs).

When Roop stalled on the stairs and refused to go up, L didn't realise why and tugged at him. Then he turned round and saw the stray cat on the landing.

Missile Boy didn't quite know what to do with Cat. Cat wasn't going to wait and took the initiative first. By snarling and lashing out at Roop. That was when Teddy Bear leapt out of L's arms with a mighty growl. Luckily, she was still leashed and the end of the leash was looped round L's wrist, so she couldn't reach the cat, which then turned tail and legged it down the corridor. Otherwise, L was sure she would have done some damage. And probably got damaged herself. Cat claws are pretty sharp.

Queeni has always liked cats but I guess just not the one who was about to eat Roop. So now we know. She can get uptight and grumpy with him, but she's also protective about her little brother. Nobody messes with him. Except her.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Home alone

I'm a little concerned about the papillion upstairs. Harvey's people have gone for a short holiday. We know this because L met the guy at the mail boxes and he told him about the trip and asked if we wanted anything from Hong Kong.

L, in typical dog parent nature, asked what about Harvey. Harvey would stay home alone, and an upstairs neighbour would pop in daily to feed him. L, a bit aghast, offered to take Harvey in. Or at the very least, even if he didn't stay over, we could walk him daily. No need, he was told, Harvey would be fine, he does his stuff on a peepad and doesn't need to go outside.

Well, I hope so. I worry about the little dog who's home all by his lonesome. I look up everytime we're downstairs walking the furkids, I don't see any sign of him by the window where he usually is. And the windows are shut tight, so I hope he isn't too hot and has enough air.

Harvey may be used to being home alone most of the day, but being on his own at night in a dark house is a bit too much. Just a daily feeding visit isn't enough company for a hyper little dog like him.

Yesterday afternoon, there was a tremendous thunderstorm. There was a crack of thunder almost overhead which made Queeni nearly jump out of her fur and run straight to her Daddy for comfort. She was lying next to me but apparently I'm not comforting enough. Sniff. And I worried about the little dog upstairs.

I don't even trust Roop home alone for more than a few hours. I wonder what Harvey is going to do, home alone for a few days.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

A dog of many names

Most of my gentle readers would probably already know some of Rupert's nicknames. Roop the Poop is fairly obvious, because of his carefree toilet habits.

Depending on the nature of the transgression, he is also called RuPEE or sometimes, Bloody Leakhead. (That one is mostly from L)

And then there's Vlad the Confused. Vlad because of that little snaggle tooth that shows up vampire-like against his black muzzle. Confused because of his carefree toilet habits.

Now, there's Rupert Zero. L came back from the vending machine with a new Coke variant -- Coke Zero. Which really is the Coke Formerly Known as Coke Light, Formerly Known as Diet Coke. Same zero calories, just newly packaged and freshly marketed. Rupert was watching me drink, tail wagging in anticipation of sharing. Not. And that was when Zero seemed to be another good suffix for him. The dog of big heart but little brain. And carefree toilet habits. Rupert Zero.

Queeni has no nicknames. Royalty is not amused by that sort of thing.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Sunday evening in

The windows were thrown wide open and the furkids were lying in front of it, enjoying the breeze and watching what L calls the 84-inch window TV. So I drew up the deck chair alongside them and watched with them.

As soon as the sun started to go down and the day cooled, the dogwalkers started to come out. The first to go past was the Schnauzer owned by the guy with the speech impediment so we never really caught the name of the dog. He's usually the earliest dog walker. Rupert saw them off with some frantic barking.

Ten minutes later, Junior the Schnauzer trotted briskly past to more barking from Roop. HRH joined in with a few sharp yips but mostly left Roop to do the work. There's royalty for you.

Junior was soon followed by Milo the Jack Russell, off leash as always, but quick to respond to her Daddy's "come". My two seemed so astounded by that fast recall that they were struck silent.

In less than five minutes, Mei-Tei came along. He's yet another Schnauzer, but for some reason, his tail has not been docked. He must've been groomed recently because the tail is naked -- and it looks like it belongs more on a rat than a dog.

Then Junior came by again -- he sometimes does several rounds of the estate if his mum is feeling particularly energetic.

Next on the scene was the white Japanese spitz that we've nicknamed Devil Dog because he's such a tough aggro little fella. No barking from Roop or HRH -- they've learnt to leave him alone.

By then, L had gotten out of the shower and it was time to take our two out for walkies. Or Roop would almost certainly wee in excitement at seeing so many of his friends go past the window.

By the time we got downstairs, Junior was back on his third tour. All the dogs had a prolonged sniff session after all that long-distance barking from upstairs.

Then Ginger the springer spaniel came downstairs too, her entire rear end wagging in greeting. And the dog socials continued.

Oh the things I miss when I work evenings.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Saturday night out

Yay for LC's wedding banquet last night. Finally!

L and I found ourselves at a table full of former colleagues so it was like a Streats (lookit that, we're in Wikipedia!) reunion. Even though most of us still work in the same building but in different newsrooms, there were also a few who had left and it was nice to meet up with them again.

Almost all who had left the organisation were the Foreign Talent, and many did so as soon as they had been in Singapore long enough to get their Permanent Resident permit. And the next step after getting a new job seemed to be buying a new house, especially with the rents so high and now that they are PRs, they can own property. And then some bought cars, others employed maids, as their families expanded. So not surprisingly, the talk went on to the price of property, this car versus that car.

To put it simply, the PRs out-Singaporeaned the Singaporeans.

Friday, March 14, 2008

My life in rock n roll

Got stopped again by a promoter at a shopping centre. I could fill in a lucky draw form and win a holiday, she said.

I knew what was between the lines -- the holiday was a time-share and to get there, I would have to sit through an hour's presentation and buy the damn thing first. And they might throw in high tea or something after the presentation, to make me feel like a winner.

So I decided to have some fun as she filled in the form for me.
"Your name, ma'am?"
"Ruby Tuesday."

She got as far as writing Ruby but she hesitated over the surname because of the spelling and not because of anything else.

"Here, let me fill it in for you," I offered.

She handed over the pen but continued to read out the entries I had to fill.
"Your occupation?"
"I'm a honky tonk woman."

"I'm in between moves. Cos papa was a rolling stone."

And she still didn't get it.
"Why do you shop here?"
"Can't get no satisfaction anywhere else."

She still didn't realise anything. I was beginning to feel bad.

I think people are not listening to enough rock n roll.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Three dog night

No room on the couch for me ... all I did was to leave my seat to go to the loo and when I got back, all the space was taken up by furry beings.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Weather like leather

Keith Richards is the new face of Louis Vuitton. I suppose it helps if you have a face like 100-year-old leather.

I'd have thought he'd make a better spokesperson for Jack Daniels.

Or maybe he's doing it because he failed to get his doctorate in astrophysics like Brian May.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008


L finally got round to getting Rupert's dog licence so he's now legitimate. It cost us $14 for his right to live with us. The dog, that is, not the husband. :P

Roop also has a new harness since the last one was getting a bit frayed -- he used to bite it when he was younger. He's stopped that now but this new one promises to be bite-proof. Well, at least the label says that it won't fray when bitten through.

But I have a feeling that Roop, being Roop, will once again prove to be the exception.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Cats in the family!

I have a new cousin and it's a cat!

Two, actually, Chloe and Cyrus, a brother and sister pair of American curls. This is Cyrus, the more outgoing one of the two. E was very protective and wouldn't put Cyrus down but I think Queeni wouldn't have hurt him. She was certainly very intriqued (she grew up with a kitten and likes cats) and when E brought Cyrus back upstairs, whined after them. Rupert was restrained off camera, nuff said.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Weak in English?

I'm sure the person behind this DIY ad stuck at the bus stop is a very good science tutor. He just needs an English tutor.

One of the perils of subbing must be the constant desire to take a red pencil to everything you see. *Must activate shutdown*