Thursday, April 30, 2009

Working boy

I sent off for a dog haversack as the furkids have eaten enough dogfood and accumulated enough coupons to redeem it.

Rupert was proud and happy to be given a job (Queeni just looked askance from her perch on the sofa).

L thinks he can now have beer on walks with the dogs.

But I'm really thinking that Rupert can now help to carry the groceries home from the supermarket.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Fracas at the vet

It's not good when it's your dog causing the drama. That is to say, Queeni, back at the vet's yet again, this time to remove stitches, decided that enough was enough and decided to eat a husky for breakfast. She leapt out of her carrier and went for a dog five times her size, lip curled back, teeth bared and snarling.

The husky tried to hide from her, under a chair. It couldn't even fit under the chair. But anything was better than nothing against the wrath of a fed-up schnauzer. It would have been funny if Queeni's behaviour wasn't so shocking.

And then a guy with a mastiff type dog walked in. He saw the schnauzer trying to eat a husky and decided that it was safer for the mastiff to wait outside in the carpark.

Never get in the way of a Queen who's not amused.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Stuck fast

If there's one thing more annoying than getting an earworm of a song stuck in replay mode in your head, it's getting an earworm of a Hindi song (or maybe it's Telegu, I really don't know, because the dance master used to act in Telegu movies) -- you don't even understand the words and can't really sing along.

This, I've discovered, is the latest side-effect of taking that Bollywood dance class -- and it lasts longer than the aching knees.

Up until now, I hadn't really stopped to listen to the music, I was too preoccupied with the counts -- I was stepping to the counts, not dancing to the music. But 3 weeks of repetition -- of moves and music -- have produced a muscle memory that's taken over so now I'm actually starting to listen to what I'm moving to.

The supposed cure for an earworm is singing. You sing it out of your system, so to speak. I don't even know how to start searching for this song on YouTube. It's destined to wind its way through my head forever. I'm struck by the Bollywood curse again.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Romeo + Juliet

In this day and age, the latter-day story of the star-crossed lovers would involve a same-sex couple. Because they are not legally permitted to love whom they choose, and marry whom they love, the only way that Romeo can live with Juliet in her country is to get a job there and hold an employment pass.

And then hardship fell across the land, and Romeo's employer went into financial difficulties. In an attempt to save $50 in fees, it did not renew Romeo's employment pass. And with it, went his right to stay. And so, Romeo was forced to leave the country.

He did try to get an extension, but the government official told him that he couldn't grant that as Romeo's been illegal for the past six months because the pass wasn't renewed that long. He did tell Romeo that it wasn't his fault, but his ex-employer's fault. But all that was not of much comfort to Romeo, Juliet or Romeo's dog.

Whenever Romeo wasn't home at night, the little daschund would refuse to settle in bed with Juliet or her dog, even though he loved them both. He loved his daddy more. He would pace the house in the dark, searching for his daddy because he just wasn't used to not being able to cuddle up with him.

When Romeo packed his bag to leave, he left it open and went to the kitchen to do some laundry. When he came back, the little dog had crept into his bag and snuggled into it, as if willing his daddy to take him along.

And Juliet's heart broke twice. Once to have Romeo leave. And again to see the little dog pine for Romeo.

All this is a true story. Juliet is one of my closest friends. And Romeo left this morning.

All for saving $50, three lives are wrecked in a little family, not to mention their circle of friends.

OK, so the ex-employer is in a lot of financial trouble and is being sued for a whole lot more than $50. But if they'd even said something before things fell apart, Romeo would have gladly paid the money out of his own pocket. That would have at least given him some time to stay on in the country, some time to find another job.

Hell, I'd be the first one there with a $50 bill. But I want to stuff it up the nose of their CFO. And then get the daschund to pee on the friggin bastard.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

T-shirt model

The red carpet welcome has gone back to a two-dog duty. HRH is coming out of her sulk. It's not so much pain or discomfort, but the T-shirt that she's been forced to wear. She just doesn't like wearing stuff.

The doggy T-shirt a gift sent from our KCMO friends years ago. It was meant for Spock, the Jack Russell in residence before Queeni came into the picture.

So royalty's basically reduced to wearing hand-me-downs.

Signs of the times, ain't it?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Still out of it

(The T-shirt was the vet's suggestion, to protect her stitches from being scratched out. It's a more pleasant alternative than getting her to wear a satellite dish on her head.)

One of the joys of dogs is the way they drop everything when you step through the door and come racing up, jumping at you, pawing at you and covering you with slobber in their delight to welcome you back.

I only got the half treatment last night. Rupert poured out his usual enthusiasm and then went on to do his happy bounds round the living room, on the couch and off the couch. I guess he now qualifies as the Emergency Back-up Dog.

Queeni, usually the more vocal of the two, was absent. She was in bed, under the covers, between L's legs, and she wasn't going to move. When I peeled back the covers, all she did was to give me a Look.

I'm being punished for leaving her at the vet's and subjecting her to all sorts of horrors.

L was being punished too. He couldn't move his legs for as long as she was lying between them.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Queeni's favourite stuffed toy is getting a neurological patch-up while HRH herself had surgery to remove a lipoma. The vet is 99% certain it's a benign fatty lump but will send it for histopathology just to be on the safe side, given her mast cell tumour history.

Meanwhile, she is carried everywhere, spoonfed, and gets the most comfortable cushions.

Every inch a queen.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

No place like home

It was nice to have taken last week off and spending the time just being home. You know that I had such a great time away from the office when I totally forgot my password when I got in to work today and tried to log on.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Possibly the worst job in the world

Foreign Bank Incorporated in Singapore must be worried about losing customers. I, for one, had withdrawn quite a bit from my savings account, leaving just the sum that was covered by the deposit guarantee scheme. On top of that, I had also cancelled my credit card.

Now, printed across the bottom of the monthly statement of account, is a gentle reminder that deposits are covered by the guarantee scheme. I have a a feeling that more than quite a few people withdrew their money.

One of their reps called me, introducing himself as my new personal banker, exhorted me to call on him if I needed any of his services, and left me a whole string of numbers at which I can reach him, short of giving me his mother's home phone number and maiden name. I suppose dog walking doesn't count as a service I can call him for.

I had gone through 4 or 5 personal bankers in as many years. The last but one was an analyst in his former job and must've seen the end coming because a good year before the financial crisis broke, he quit to set up a business in Vietnam manufacturing souvenirs. Anything but banking.

So the new guy kept reiterating: "Please give me a call, I'll be glad to be of service."

"So you just joined the bank?"


"You poor, stupid bastard."

And I really felt sorry for him.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

"It don't matter if you're black or white"

Although I would imagine that the cover which lists Neil Gaiman's name first would be black, in line with his all-black wardrobe.

The 1991 edition, which is the one I have, has a technicolour, action-packed movie-style-poster sort of cover. Were things always like this back then?

If there is one thing I would like to thank Terry Pratchett for, other than the pleasures of Discworld, it is for introducing me to Neil Gaiman through this book.

My mother banned me from reading comics when I was a kid, she felt that I should read "proper books", ie publications that had proper sentences running into paragraphs instead of coming out of balloons from mouths.

That's why I never got into Marvel and DC superheroes, and also couldn't care less when years later, they emerged on film.

By missing out on comics entirely when I was a kid, I also missed out on graphic novels when I was much older. I made good on this much later in life. But I'm still left with an impairment when it comes to comics. I still like Gaiman more for his books than his graphic novels. And you can blame my mother for this.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Virgin win

Funny the World honoured me with the Premio Dardos Award. It was April Fool's Day but it wasn't a joke.

My very first Internet award. Thank you very much. Here's more about it:

Premio Dardos means "prize darts" in Italian and is awarded for recognition of cultural, ethical, literary and personal values in the form of creative and original writing. The rules are:
1. Accept the award by pasting the graphic on your blog along with the name of the person who granted the award and a link to his/her blog.
2. Pass the award to another 15 blogs that are worthy of acknowledgment, remembering to contact each so they know they have been selected.

I'm ashamed to say that I don't follow enough blogs to name 15 to confer the award on. Does that mean I'll have to return it?

I'm giving the Premio Dardos Award to some of the blogs that I follow, but excluding the so-high-volume-that-we-have-to-close-comments and we-get-money-from-doing-this ones:
Milly's Muse
The Cats Whiskers

Thursday, April 02, 2009

It's made from a dead tree

No real reason for uploading a picture of something as commonplace as a bus ticket except that I haven't actually had to buy a bus ticket in years, ever since the introduction of the smartcard for use on buses and trains.

I had to buy a bus ticket yesterday because there wasn't enough value left in my fare card for the bus trip and had to pay cash to the bus driver who issued me a bus ticket for my ride.

An actual bus ticket. Made from paper. Part of a dead tree. Maybe bus tickets aren't really so commonplace after all. Was it so long ago when buses had conductors whose job it was to collect bus fares in cash and issue you a ticket for having paid? The ticket had all the different fares printed on it, and the conductor carried a hole puncher which he used to punch out the corresponding fare on the ticket.

There you go, the newly mid-middle-aged person is reminiscing already.