Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Spotted as I walked across the playground on my way to the office today: A young kid was having fun kicking his football up the two levels of the low-incline handicap ramp leading to the playground. He was so pleased at being able to manoeuvre the ball up the incline that when he reached the top, he punched the air in celebration.

What he didn't anticipate was that after the ball rolled to the top, it rounded the landing and started to roll down the stairs next to the ramp. It then gathered momentum and started to roll down the stairs very rapidly as it followed the law of gravity.

The boy's look of joy turned rapidly to one of anguish and he had to run quickly after the ball before it got away from him at the foot of the stairs. And then he started kicking it up the ramp again.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Yoga With Dogs

Following the Catswhiskers' brilliant treatise on Yoga With Cats, I was inspired to embark on a course of Yoga With Dogs, with my two in-house yogis.

I should add that I'm already a long-time follower of the nocturnal version of Yoga With Dogs. It's a gruelling session that can go on for up to 8-9 hours, with one yogi at the foot of the bed and another at the head of the bed. The one at the foot of the bed specialises in his ability to hold an asana (and hence my position too, following his leadership) for as long as 5 hours. The one at the head of the bed takes us through more positions at the nudge of her snout. If we don't follow instructions promptly, the gentle nudge becomes a sharp dig, the snout is now a shovel and the cute button nose starts to quiver with indignation.

No, what I bravely embarked on was a course of day-time Yoga With Dogs. Up until now, I had left the yogis on the other side of the baby gate while embarking on such exercise because the routine rapidly evolved to Weight Resistance Training as one particular yogi insisted on leaning against, then sitting on, and finally bouncing off various body parts.

But this time, the Weight Resistance specialist merely lay down quietly beside me, yawning encouragement. Perhaps it helped that it was after his lunch and he had embarked on his own Weight Resistance Training (Internal Version).

As I huffed and pulled myself into position, the older yogi strolled in, glanced at me and assumed Downward Dog position (pictured below), expertly, fluidly and silently, compared to my efforts which were accompanied by the sound of popping joints. Then she looked at me insouciantly before yawning further encouragement.

It's so unfair, she has genetic advantage when it comes to Downward Dog.

Downward Dog is expertly demonstrated here by Yogi Sera from Sydney, and used with kind permission of Compaunmeri because my own yogis, despite their dedication to my personal fitness, were entirely camera uncooperative.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


It all started when L, just for fun, put my dinner bag round Rupert's neck.

Is this bag me?

How about this one?

The only bags he's useless at modelling are clutches.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Household art

Dog leashes, hanging out to dry after being washed ...

... became a Hockney piece from L's perspective.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

That'll do

So I'm a coward when it comes to watching a dog movie with potentially sad moments. So instead of going to Marley and Me, I'm spending my money on another John Grogan book instead. Anyway, the movie still isn't here yet.

I follow Grogan's blog now and then and I know this isn't his latest book. But it's only just got here. His newest book is not about dogs but about growing up in a Catholic family. No familiar ground there for me, so I'll stick to the doggy things. I don't think this one will make me cry. Thank goD.

Friday, January 16, 2009

So many toys, only two dogs

I was sweeping the floor, and as I went along, I picked up all the dogs' toys and placed them on the couch. That was when I realised all their toys take up the whole couch. Great, now there's no place on the bed for the humans, thanks to two small dogs stretching crosswise, there's also no place on the couch.

Ours, all ours!

So many chewies, only one mouth!

Thursday, January 15, 2009


The baby gate has rusted after two years of Rupert jumping and drooling on it when he's shut away for the brief minutes between when Queeni gets served lunch first and when his dish is set down.

Yesterday, we installed all-new plastic ones -- plastic so rust won't be a problem this time round. Let's see what sort of Rupert damage this lot will have to endure.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Watching the watcher

We met a new dog downstairs yesterday. Jacky, a black mixed breed that looks like he has some Schnauzer in him, is two years old but has only moved into the block opposite us a few months ago.

Rupert, friendly to both dogs and humans, went up to say hello to Jacky's owner after sniffing Jacky's butt.

"We've seen a dog just like you!" she exclaimed as she patted him. "On the second floor. We can see him through the window and he's always jumping around when we walk past."

"Err, that would be Rupert; that's us on the second floor," I admitted.

So for all the times we've been watching dogs from the window, they've been watching us too.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Weird neighbours

First, someone upstairs threw out of the window an electrical appliance that landed on the roof of the pavilion next to our block.

Then, someone in the next block left a fridge by the ground floor staircase landing. It sat out there for a couple of days before it just as mysteriously disappeared.

Maybe the rag and bone man took it away. He does take TV sets and small electricals, I know. Maybe I should tell him about the one on the pavilion roof.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

I really tried to shop

Would you pay me $50 for these old jeans? Levi's would. They have a promotion now, part of their "wear only the original" campaign where they will give you $50 for a pair of old jeans, any brand, and you can use that amount towards the purchase of a new pair of Levi's -- provided that it's priced at $100 and above. That's at least a 50% discount, I thought at first, but further browsing at the Levi's store revealed that most of their jeans cost closer to $200.

But a bargain is a bargain and I only had one requirement of them. If they took my old jeans, they had to give me a similar pair -- ie, capri length, preferably with embroidery trimming. This no-name brand pair was bought at a discount store, probably for less than $50 -- which made the bargain an even better deal. It's comfy but the stretch material has stretched so much through years of washing that the waist is too loose for me now and I need a belt to hold it up.

Only thing was, Levi's didn't have anything like this. They had straight cut, boot leg, skinny jeans but no capris. And definitely nothing with an embroidery trim. I wanted girly jeans, they only had "jeans" jeans.

I guess I'll hang on to this pair for a while longer.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Marley and Me and me

I don't understand the movie distributors here. Milk opened today but Marley and Me still isn't here yet. I seriously doubt if the average Singaporean knows who Harvey Milk is. Maybe a gay rights activist would, but that's still doubtful, there's no local context.

But who doesn't love a dog movie? Actually, to be honest, I'm almost scared of watching Marley and Me, as I confessed to a colleague yesterday. She fully understood. You know, just in case we make a mess of ourselves with Old Yeller-like endings.

I should add that this colleague wept when the sabre-toothed tiger died in Ice Age and I wept when the Jack Rusell in Babe 2 momentarily died and found himself leaping at butterflies in Heaven.

Marley and Me the book had already reduced me to tears, and that was even before the first chapter, the preface had already left me a basket case.

I went back to my archives to see what I wrote about it two years ago, and I can't believe that I actually blogged then that I bought the hardback because I didn't think a dog book would be popular enough here to make it to a paperback. (And that picture of the shelf of Prachett from that hardback post, well, that shelf is double-parked now.) And now, it's a movie. And not only did we have the paperback, we also had it in a promotional form where it came with a free leash -- a thin, nylon one that Marley would had for breakfast.

I also can't believe that I wrote I was ready to read Marley and Me because I had a prospective puppy coming. Maybe I should bring the not-quite-a-puppy anymore along with me to watch the movie version. Just so I have something to snuggle into, in case, god forbid, I should cry in public at a movie that's supposed to be generally feel good.

For what it's worth, the movie My Dog Skip never made it to the cinemas here. I bought the DVD but having got it, put it away in a drawer for almost six months before I could bring myself to watch it. Because I knew how the book ended.

I guess there's no way Marley and Me will bypass the local cinemas, not when there's Jennifer Anniston and Owen Wilson in it.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Work mate

Here's Roop doing his own silly thing -- sleeping on the bag that I carry to work, which I've discarded on the floor. It's hardly comfortable because there're poky things inside like a collapsible umbrella (it's monsoon season again), a wallet, diary and walkman, which must be jutting into his ribs. But then again, as L and I sigh when Roop does unexplainable things, "he's Rupert".

He's done this a few nights in a row, and now my bag is covered with fur. I don't mind it really. Sometimes at work, I'd look at the furry bits and smile when I think of my silly boyo.

And then, just for fun, L put round his neck the little cooler bag that I use to keep my packed dinner warm. I've got to say a fox terrier with a dinner bag looks more welcoming than a St Bernard with a brandy cask. But then I'm biased.

Sure wish I could take him to work with me though.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

I'll be Crouching Schnauzer, you'll be Leaping Fox Terrier

I was enjoying an afternoon off on my deckchair by the window and the dogs and I were having fun watching two boys play at swordfighting downstairs.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Christmas is over

We hang the Christmas stockings at the window in lieu of a fireplace. Here's a pix of what our window looks like from the inside and outside before I take the Christmas decorations down.

My mother has always insisted that the Christmas decorations must come down by Epiphany or it'll be bad luck for the rest of the year. I think that's just a veiled threat to make sure that you don't have the tree up still in June. It's like how I think the custom of not sweeping the floor during Chinese New Year lest you sweep away the good luck was first started by a housewife who wanted a break.

But at least this year, the Chinese New Year decorations can go up as soon as the Christmas ones come down.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Things that go bump in the night

Late on Saturday night, at about 1.15am, there was an almighty crash outside that set the dogs off and got L out of bed. Nothing seemed amiss when we looked out.

The next morning, this was what we saw. I can't make out what it is, maybe a DVD player or a PlayStation or something. Certainly an electrical appliance of some sort. Somebody upstairs must have been incensed at a choice of DVD or at a teenager still up and playing games at that time of the night, and hurled the thing out of the window.

They're jolly lucky it didn't break anyone's head when it landed.

No one's claimed it after a day. I'm wondering if anyone will.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Dinner at home

This is specially posted for The Catswhiskers, L said to show you what we had for dinner last night. Beef stir fried with leeks, and bitter gourd with fish in black bean sauce.

it's not Chinese New Year food, I didn't break my promise to you of not posting CNY goodies.

You can get your back on L by posting pictures of real ale and Five County cheese.

I must be more Singaporean than I think -- I've started the year off by posting about food!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

And now, the New Year food post

New Year's Eve is even quieter than Christmas Eve for us. Last year, we missed the countdown entirely because we were already in bed. Another year, we didn't even realise that it was midnight when we were out walking the dogs until we heard cries of "3,2,1, Happy New Year!" from the surrounding flats.

This year, I worked on New Year's Eve and Day -- payback time for getting Christmas Eve and Day off. But working hours were much earlier on New Year's Eve, designed so that everyone can push off in time for a celebratory dinner, instead of working through the night as usual.

So we decided to make something a little different. We roasted a duck. And we did that "muffin potato" thing, this time with a little egg as a binding agent and they came out pretty and perfect.

Happy New Year, everyone. May your plates always be full of shiok things.