Monday, August 24, 2009

Dog nap

I have a Peantus cartoon strip clipped out of the paper from many, many years ago. Each panel shows Snoopy sleeping, in a different position, curled up, stretched out on his front, on his back with his paws in the air. In the last panel, Charlie Brown is explaining to his teacher that he didn't do his homework because he was too busy watching his dog sleep.

I could say the same, just watching mine. Rupert had his chin draped over the edge of the bed, so as he fell deeper into sleep, his head lolled forwards, and the motion awoken him a little. When that happened, he wagged to himself and then fell asleep again. And then his head dropped again and he was awoken again and he wagged to himself again and the whole cycle continued. I never saw a dog who enjoyed napping so much that he'd wag in his sleep.

The cats must have been on to something a long time ago. Catnap is a legit word, but not dognap. And kidnap is a bad thing for kids.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Giving voice

I don't know what it is about a soaring tenor voice that gives it the capacity to make you go weak at the knees. Or sit up and take notice. Well, both, really -- even if it seems like mutually exclusive actions. Like the Three Tenors, Bocelli. Put a few tenors together like Il Divo and you've got the effect quadrupled. And it also helps that some, like Josh Groban, are nice to look at. It also doesn't matter if others, like Britain's Got Talent winner Paul Potts, aren't much to look at. The voice is everything.

Then I stumbled across a tenor boy band that can give Il Divo a run for their money -- The Priests. Thus called because they are priests. Irish priests. Catholic priests. Irrevocably single priests. Lordy, I gotta stop being such a tenor slut. :)

Friday, August 21, 2009

Another dog day

When I got into the office and booted up my PC, a single strand of white dog hair was very noticeable against the black keyboard. I don't know how Rupert's fur can be found in the office he's never been in. But I didn't brush it off. I looked at it and smiled, and placed it gently on another part of the keyboard where it wouldn't be knocked off as I worked. I like having my dog with me. Even if it's just a piece of his fur. :)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

More dog days

Jon Katz has more explaining to do. I started on Dog Days where, after the flyleaf dedication and before the title page is his note: "No dogs die in this book", a nod to a promise made to a reader in his previous book.

No, but a donkey dies in Chapter One. That's bad enough. And a dog with a troubled past that has romped through his past two books is not in this book, already dead before the narrative begins. There's a short backstory in Chapter Three -- it was put down after it bit several people.

That's already quite sad even if it's not exactly Old Yeller and l disagree with Katz: a dog does die -- even if it's offstage -- in the book.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

And after that

Quite by chance, I started on A Home for Rose after weeping over The Art of Racing in the Rain and was comforted right at the preface where the author says that no dog dies in this book, a promise that he made to a reader. Whew.

L eyed the pile of books on my nightstand and I told him The Art of Racing in the Rain was particularly brilliant but I also added the disclaimer that the dog dies. He dropped the book immediately like it bit him. Maybe he should start on the "no dog dies" book first.

So he started on The Dogs of Bedlam Farm. And it was only when we were both halfway through our respective books that we realised we were reading the same book -- just different titles for the US and UK editions. I've seen books that have different covers for different sides of the Atlantic, but never different titles before.

WTF. I bought two versions of the same book. Jon Katz had better explain his publisher's motives or he owes me another book.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Racing through

I stayed up all night and read The Art of Racing In the Rain right through at one go. Let me say this first. The dog dies. But it's a fictionalised novel. I wept anyway. And had to get up a few times to pet my sleeping dogs. All the events are what Enzo the dog recounts the day before he dies. Still, it's best book I've read in quite a while. Move over,

Friday, August 14, 2009

Dog days

I walked into the bookshop to get a book. Just one book. It's a dog-related book, which meant that I had to go into the pet section. And of course I walked out with more than just one dog book, my credit card about $200 lighter. Of course you saw that coming.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

More nutty ads

Given that Avalon is where undead kings wander around, I'd think twice before putting this in my mouth.

Incidentally, there's also a condo here called Avalon. Maybe Arthurian faerie folk co-exist peaceably there with human Singaporeans. I'm not sure that I want to live there though. You'll never know who's coming to dinner.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Say you're sitting at home and someone a few deities short of a full pantheon says that God told him to swim across the lake to gatecrash your house and warn you that someone will kill you. As a result of that, *you* get sentenced to 17 months' imprisonment. (And he gets 7 years' hard labour.)

Now, the EU is preparing sanctions against Burma that include restricting trade with state-owned firms and barring top junta officials from entering the bloc. Singapore's Foreign Ministry merely expresses "disappointment" at the sentence that Aung San Suu Kyi received. And the country continues to Burmese gems and lets the junta leaders fly in for medical treatment.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Michael Jackson

Finally. Buried. Laid to rest. Took a while, didn't it? You'd think they'd bury a body before it started to decay. Funny thing is, the alleged burial is all over the British tabloids and Indian papers, but there's hardly a peep from the US press.

I didn't blog about it when he died. I think millions of people, bloggers or otherwise, the world over had said enough. There was no "where were you when you heard" moment for me. He wrote some good music, was an even better dancer but I didn't think much of him as a singer. To me, a greater voice was silenced when John Lennon was shot, when Freddie Mercury died.

Poor Farah Fawcett. Died on the same day as Michael Jackson, and after a prolonged battle with cancer. And buried within days without any hoo-ha. I guess angels don't need as much fanfare as kings of pop.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Keeping watch

Yesterday, the neighbour downstairs held the annual festival to honour Kwan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy. They set up the altar a little distance away in the garden pavilion that was out of our line of sight so we didn't see the rituals but we had a grandstand view of the entertainment afterwards, which included a puppet show and some dancing lions.

Here's the three dogs (L is born in the Year of the Dog, he considers himself one of the Three Dogmigos that live in this house) watching a few very big cats.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Let's get real

First, there was yogurt with "real fruit", then almond-flavoured soya milk with "real almonds", then dog food with "real meat".

I could have gone round the supermarket snapping pictures of "real" food.

I've had mock meat before, made from soy gluten for vegetarians, but if fruit and almonds weren't real, then what's the alternative? Pretend fruit and bluff nuts? Or worse, meat masquerading as fruit since soy can be disguised as meat?

So what are you having for dinner today? Real food?

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Only in Singapore...

Will there be a Chinese national manning the Indian prata stall at the food court.

And no, she couldn't toss a prata, she could only reheat pre-made ones. And if you wanted thosai, that had to be freshly made, you had to wait till the regular Indian cook got back.

Happy National Day.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

More incredible TV ads

Voiceover to scenes of grass rustling in the wind, ocean waves crashing in a swell
"You won't always see me...
But you will feel me...
For I am here...
For a higher purpose..."

You'd think that God Himself was advertising.
Nope. Just the Air Force. Almost as good as God.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

What's in my Walkman

Once in a blue moon, there comes a new CD release that you know you won't be wasting your money on even if you bought it ... err, what's the aural equivalent of sight unseen? Sound unheard?

Like the Travelling Wilburys, Chickenfoot's pedigree is enough to make you sit up and take notice. Quite literally, they are Satriani meets Van Halen meets Red Hot Chilli Peppers. What is there to go wrong? In a nutshell, they sound like Satriani with singing. Finally, a Satriani album you can sing to.