Thursday, December 29, 2011

And To All, A Happy New Year!

A very wise man once said:
Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.  - Einstein

As we start our countdown to celebrating the dawn of 2012, I can't help but smile when I think about the thousand and one "meanings" we attribute to a new year.

For some people I know, it means a whole night of drinking in total abandon and spending the first day of the year in a drunken stupor or with a massive hangover.


For several, it means a little more sedate, like revisiting a tattered list of resolutions made in the past year, only to re-write them again, on a new page, under a different chapter, but pretty much the same list, albeit with minor editions.


For others, it means rekindling old friendships and building new ones. Or trashing old ones and choosing a totally different route. Moving on from past mistakes, making a vow never to take the same route ever. 


All of these, remains to be seen, remains to be lived. We don't know really, there are no guarantees in this life, new year or otherwise.

I take a more simplistic approach to a new year. Something I can wrap my fingers around. Something I can completely and honestly relate with. Here's a quote that sums up, roughly right, my new year dictum; from Anthony Robbins, a motivational speaker in the 21st century:

"Live life fully while you're here. Take care of yourself and your friends. Have fun, be crazy, be weird. Go out and screw up! You're going to anyway, so might as well enjoy the process. Take the opportunity to learn from your mistakes: find the cause of your problem and eliminate it. Don't try to be perfect: just be an excellent example of being human."


Sounds simple enough, but tougher than you think. Being human, characterized by compassion and kindness is fundamentally tough and a stretch for most of us. For me, in particular. I reckon I start from somewhere based on birthright, year on year. And I continue to be a work in progress. The Dalai Lama is right, absolutely everyone in the universe, regardless of race or faith, can not survive without human affection.




If only for a day, or a week, or a month in 2012, people can see and act on an opportunity for kindness for other human beings and other forms of life, then who cares if the Mayans are right? The sun can explode on a universe of mankind that shines brightly in a sea of compassion.


So my dear friends, here's to making an end, a new beginning! My wish for you and yours, a wonderful New Year ahead! Cheers y'all!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

HATE ON THE NET

The age of technology has paved the way to fingertip access to information; e-buying and e-trading; e-reading; bridging distance via web-based communication; facilitating simulated and vicarious learning; among all the other attendant consequences of the Internet Universe. As I write this post, someone would have likely invented a gadget more powerful than what either of us are using now to read this.


It is however unfortunate that for every breakthrough humanity is given, we almost always naturally destroy its inspiration as we ascribe power to ourselves to use these advancements as an edge to further improve our skills on hating, bullying, segregation, bigotry and worst of all, increase our cowardice as we hide behind the comfort of an electronic tool to commit these acts of inhumanity by judging and ridiculing other people, trusting that we are protected by some distant, geographical servers.


Do you really matter at all? Or what you think? Or what you say? I mean, seriously. Do you believe all that is possible just because ...?


In real life terms, there are very few people in this world who really matter to any one other person. In the same way, for anyone to matter a great deal to someone, all the time, is rare and far between. 


The downside of the Internet community and the social networks has unfortunately increased man's capacity to delude himself by completely fracturing his mindset to think AND believe that the total number of Friends that like you on Facebook or Follow You on Twitter or play games with you, are in any way a good substitute or equivalent to warm-blooded, tactile, present and real-life friends and loved ones, living right outside of the dark closet of your laptop or PC.


It's sad, no, I correct myself, it is tragic. People have grown accustomed to the "home-ness" of the little black (or white or alien) box, and the relative ease in using one of the most abused 3-letter word on the keyboard ...DEL. Delete, my dear friends, is not considered homicide.




The sky is blue, the clouds are white, and the air we breathe (as the last time I checked) is still tax-free.  The world to date has 7 frickin' billion people. There are around 100 billion galaxies and approximately 30 sextillion stars in the observable universe. And here is something I hope everyone who would chance upon this post would appreciate and feel humbled - an entire galaxy is seen as a small bright dot, a speck.


If you happen to love and be loved by one other real-life person in this magnanimous galaxy, consider yourself lucky.  Otherwise, you don't matter. Nor do I. Or anybody else. 


I can't, for the life of me, explain all the hating and judging, whether in cyberspace or in real-life.
I can't simply rationalize why one person can feel so superior over another.
How can one race be more intelligent?
How can one creed be more righteous?
How can one gender be considered more fortunate?
If your preferences differ, how can you think your preferences are better than anyone else's?
Wealthy and affluent? Who the hell cares? You're still smaller than a dot.


Now, (getting off my soap box), I am fortunate enough to have found a handful (emphasis on the handful), of online gems and another handful of loved ones and significant others who make my little speck in the universe glow with spectacular brilliance.


"It is better to be hated for who you are, than to be loved for someone you are not."







Tuesday, November 29, 2011

DYING YOUNG

It took quite a lot of thinking for me to write this post, but I figured it was something worth writing about. I really don't want to be dampening the holiday spirit but anyway ...


I remember a time in my life when I thought myself to be immortal. I drove fast, hell, I raced. I practically drank everyday and if there was no reason to drink, I will invent one. I love taking risks and daring the devil and found myself in situations when I look back on it today, I still cannot imagine how I managed to get out of it unscathed. Maybe some bruising and wounds, but aren't they supposed to be battle scars?


I remember those great fun times and I remember them.


She was envious of the coming out party of a friend.  So we said we'll make hers even more fabulous. The theme would be rainbow colours because she loved them all. That night, we all left the party irresponsibly drunk, but we had a driver. She was left behind somehow, so the next best thing to do to catch up with us in the Club we would hit was to ride in a bike. Vivian was really tall, statuesque even, because I remember she towered amongst us girls, and to call her a stunner was an understatement. Something went terribly wrong that night. The bike she shared with her cousin skidded when he tried to maneuver away from a big rock on the road, and she flew out of the bike and hit a tree trunk. We were laughing hysterically over nothing in the bar when the news hit us. On the day of her burial, we let go of a 1000 rainbow coloured butterflies.  She never made it to 18 years old.


Olivia had always been goofy looking, but don't let that fool you, she was tops in the Vanity list and her physique was deceiving. We played a mean tandem in the volleyball team. I stopped and tossed, she spiked them hard. She's the only one I know who goes to a parlour before a volleyball match.  Win or lose, she was properly coiffed. She loved life and everything beautiful about it. She always said she had something wrong with her blood, but in those days, who believed who? Everything was said in the spirit of jest and good times. One Saturday, I was told that she was rushed to the hospital, yet she was fussing over her manicure. Apparently, she refused to be ushered into the Emergency Room with her manicure colours cracking. We realized then, that her congenital cerebral disease was truly fatal. She died 2 days later. It was quick, too quick. We missed her spot in the Graduation Ball in High School. She wore her prom dress in her wake. She was vain till the end.


Carol and I are speed freaks. We have a need for speed. We both raced in the Circuit. And Carol was a damn good driver. Carol's family is half-Chinese and extremely superstitious. They believed in signs, stars, numerology, astrology, name it. I guess when she was a young kid, Carol always had an illness or was accident-prone during her birthday month. Her parents always managed to tie her down when she was much younger and kept her in detention before she further harms herself every month of September. Some Chinese I have met believe August or September to be the Death Month. She wasn't supposed to drive, but that day, my big brother had the car and he promised to drop me off wherever we would hang out and collect me back when I wanted him too. We needed one more car, Carol, of course, volunteered. It was one more week before her birthday in September.  Anna, Frieda and Lourdes rode with her. She was not even driving fast, but the truck driver that hit them from behind probably was. Her car toppled twice and hit the side of the road landing on its top. Anna recalled Carol's voice asking if everyone was alright. Everyone was alright but Carol never made it to the hospital.  She died on the spot. She was going to be 21 years old.


I was doing my internship in my graduate school in Psychology when I chanced upon one of my Mom's closest girlfriend, Bernie, in a shopping mall. I have known Aunt Bernie since her kids were babies, Claire and Anton. Anton is a boy genius and I have been cruel enough several times to use him as my lab rat when I was doing my Psychology papers. Claire and I shared a lovely bond, so she took up Psychology because she wanted to be something like me. Aunt Bernie and Claire was out shopping that day, which was the usual time-killing hobby of the people that I call, have tons of money to burn. Claire had just turned 18 and she had a new sports car as a present, and now she wanted to join me in the Special Children's Clinic I was doing internship in, for a paper she had about Autism in her Abnormal Psychology Class. I told her to come over to the Clinic the week after as I will endorse her intent to the Head Clinician. That was October. I never saw her which then I thought was rather odd because Claire sounded so enthusiastic. When December came, one afternoon when I got home, I saw my mother's face fresh with tears and I asked what was wrong. She shakily told me Claire had passed just under a week ago due to some rare viral haemorrhagic fever. I was shocked to say the least. I told my Mother of the brief encounter I had with Claire and Aunt Bernie just a month ago and Claire looked so lovely and healthy. It was completely unbelievable, I said, they lived only 2 blocks away from a good hospital. Apparently, she never took her recurring fevers seriously. (I could swear she felt immortal) By the time they took her to the hospital, she was bleeding in all the holes of her body. I was stumped and completely in denial that the following weekend I drove to their place to check on Aunt Bernie, Anton and Uncle Alex. A caretaker met me at the gate with a Guard. The family had flown to an unknown destination. They left the house, the cars, everything they owned, intact. I was told they just flew with the clothes on their backs and the caretaker has not heard since. I dared a peek and I saw Claire's brand new red Corvette parked in the huge garage along with the other Beamers, Benz and Volvos. So much money and they couldn't save the life of their only daughter. I can only try to feel the agony of being in so much wealth and yet so helpless in the time of death of a loved one. Claire was 18 when she passed and I still remember her bright eyes and very charming smile.




Today, I don't think of myself immortal. I just think I'm blessed and lucky to still be around to enjoy whatever is worth enjoying in this transitory existence. I remember all these girls I have shared my life with and now they are gone; constantly reminding me that I should live my life fully as any time and in any way, it can easily be snatched from my hand. I have so grown up to consider everyday is a day of Thanksgiving. I am thankful I am still alive and whatever it is that is out there I still have to conquer, I will, whilst I still have the time and I still live. Call me foolish, but to everyone who will read this post, Happy Thanksgiving Day!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Having a Bad Day/s?

I was told by my wise grandfather that there are no bad days or there is no such thing as bad weather. He said, it's all a matter of how you make of it. 


I had no idea what he meant then, since that conversation took place when I was around 6 years old and I had deficient selective attention. (Fine, the conversation could have happened yesterday and I'd have the same lousy excuse.)


As I was saying, all I took away from those words was a lame attempt of my granddad to make me smile because every time it rained, there was no way I could be swinging from the trees and running around in the small puddles. Not a lot of the kids in their neighbourhood were allowed to run and soak under the rain. Since there were no playmates, I sulked looking out the window, wishing the sun would come out and make it a better day.




In the present day.


Have you ever been jolted out from your sleep with the thought that you may have hit your alarm clock way too many times that you could have missed it? Then you realize, holy guacamole!, it's not a thought or a dream state, you did manage to wreck your clock by whacking it and you are an hour late! You jump out of bed way too fast you stub your toe on your bedside table. Who freakin' thought of putting a bedside table anyway? You limp across the room and run into the bath. Still blinded by sleep and a parked brain, you step on your cat and get a glorious good morning scratch on your shin. And it's the same foot with the throbbing toe! Just crap! 


Fortunately, you manage a bath and brushing your teeth without further injuries and you tread on, still in haste. You grab the hair dryer for a quick fix of your 'do then something snaps, crackles and pops! The dryer explodes right in your hands! What the? You used the 110 dryer out and plugged this into a 220 volt socket. Curses! So you grab a hair clasp and up your hair goes. You hope the people in the meeting would ignore the water dripping from your hair onto your coat's collar. You plan to smile broadly all the time as a decoy.


You ran downstairs, grab a cup of coffee and take a gulp. Double crap! It's scalding hot and you burned 8,000 of roughly 10,000 taste buds.  Worst of all, you spilled coffee on your white shirt and there's no time to rummage soda water in the ref as you need to hit the road. You grab your coat, and will have to move around with a closed jacket to cover the stain spots. Unfortunately, even with all the buttons of the coat closed, the stain peeks out and it's obviously a brown coffee stain. You plan to con the people who may ask to buy into the excuse that you're breastfeeding your baby with cappuccino. But wait, you don't even have a baby!


You remain bullish and undaunted by all these signs, you move on. You grab your shoes, wear it, a sudden pain remind you that your toe is now swollen. You grab another pair, an open-toe one. You give it one look - the right toe is way bigger than the other peeping toe ... but what the hell? 




You get to your car and just when you have almost hit the highway, you scream as you realize you left your laptop back home, where your entire meeting presentation is stored. And because you are stubborn and downright competitive, you didn't want anyone else to have an advance copy of your sheets, you decided not to send an email to have the files (at least) be in the Office server.  You start to tear up and worry about smearing your mascara then you remember, you hardly have any make up on. 


You grab your mobile phone to call the Office to tell them that you may be running late and find that there is only one bar left on your mobile phone battery. You call a colleague but the number can't be reached. You try the Office land line and pray someone picks up the phone; hopefully those jerks are not busy horsing around or having breakfast or tea in the pantry. Somebody answers!  Yes, your luck just turned better. You are screeching in the middle of a hysterical, panic attack and the person on the other line tells you to calm down; the meeting has been reset to a later date, since one of the key decision makers had to fly urgently out of town. In both excitement and annoyance, you accidentally slam on the brakes, the bigger idiot behind you whams into your car! Just as you stepped out of your car, it rains.




I was told by my wise grandfather that there are no bad days or there is no such thing as bad weather. He said, it's all a matter of how you make of it.


Surely not all of my days are as eventful as this one, of course, it's not a bad hair day either. It's just a series of things happening to me and could be happening to someone else, and I consider them to be just that... things going wrong. And if I have ever learned one thing in how I make it out of a day like this, things can really go from bad to worst, but I believe there are better days. 


I simply just let it go for the day! 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

SOME THINGS NEVER CHANGE

THE MORE THINGS CHANGE …
… the more they stay the same.

I was told this is an old French saying but I find it rather apt to declare it quite a universal tenet. Besides DEATH and TAXES, there are certainly a lot more things around us which I reckon would never change. These things may have been with mankind since the Beginning and will probably remain with humanity till the dawn of the Zombie Apocalypse.

For instance:

1.       RACISM

You can argue with me relentlessly about this, but I believe that for as long as our vocabulary and intellect can define discrimination, segregation, bigotry; amongst a few I can think of, there will always be class differentiation as a function of diverse beliefs, lifestyle preferences, religions, colour that naturally breed hatred, intolerance and the conception of superiority of one over the other.

Painful truth but nonetheless if we have learned anything at all, we should know that whilst we can hope for changes, racism will always be here, or there, or everywhere.


2.       WAR AND CONFLICT

Go ahead, pretend to be as wishful (or perhaps tritely, as beautiful) as any of the beauty pageant candidates and dream of World Peace. I hate to burst your bubble, but seriously? The fact is, once there are opposing beliefs, between states and nations, protection or preservation of rights and territory; aggressive competition and downright hostility, (even between two individuals or parties); then we will always be in an open season for war and conflict. We have gone to war for the most stupid reasons, and yet we are. There will never be any winners in a state of war either, albeit human nature loves to win.  At war, there will always be casualties and collateral damages, nobody wins. Period.

Autonomy, freedom, independence and survival – we go to war for reasons that are noble, and we justify our losses for the nobility of the cause, not the insanity of the process.


3.       GEOGRAPHY

I did not invent nor discover it.  I grew up leaning that there will always be the quadrants that divide the earth into polarities. These days I could talk to a friend in France and chat with someone in a Casino in Vegas virtually; share a joke with a friend in Sydney and debate the concept of BPD with a colleague in London. Our globe has shrunk into a small gadget, through fingertip access enabling interaction and communication via the advancement of technology; however, there is no arguing that we will never be able to really close the gap in the “physical distance” sense.

I can’t imagine how to work around the fact that if I wanted to have a more direct, face-to-face and physical interaction with my friends from the different parts of the internet universe, I still have to buy myself an airline ticket to get where they are.  Whilst geography remains a constant, it makes a lot of sense why war and conflict and racism will likewise remain constants.



4.       THE MOST ICONIC 4-LETTER WORD IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE

(Note: for the extra-sensitive readers, if you haven't guessed at this point, this is my Editorial Post.  So if you tend to squirm about certain words, I suggest you stop reading from this point.  Thank you.)

Undefined, debatable and used loosely across scenarios and boundaries of time and space: F-U-C-K.  This word can be used as a noun, a verb, a word intensifier, a descriptive expression, an adverb, an adjective, you name it. We have various reasons for using the word but I fearlessly predict, “fuck” will stay in our vocabulary till kingdom come. 

I have yet to come across another 4-letter word (besides LOVE of course) that has been used in so many different ways and stands alone in a class for its unique versatility. This word has grown tremendously over the last two centuries I don’t believe there is any stopping its momentum.


  • We have used it in one whole sentence whose meaning liberates itself from definition: Fuck those fucking fuckers.

  • As a descriptive word for a contemptible person: That guy is a total fuck.

  • As an expression of disbelief and surprise:  Good grief that is so fucked!

  • As a verb to initiate action: Just fuck off! or Go fuck yourself!

  • As a word alternative: I don’t give a fuck.

  • Or just plain and simple, not profanely but the literal meaning of the word:  “copulation” – They fucked in the car.

Somehow, the vulgar nature of the word has lost its eminence as it is broadly used as part of several iconic songs of this generation and in various musical genres, not limited to gangsta rap and rock. (Trust me, this word is totally overrated but will live on and on.)


5.       CHANGE ITSELF AND THE FEAR OF CHANGE


Humanity’s greatest test, the capacity to change, runs parallel with the attendant nature of mankind - fear of preserving the status quo given the unknown outcomes; risks aversion; and the terrifying threat to one’s current well-being. I quote from the one of the world's most brilliant minds, (the fact that he was a jerk is not the issue here) -

Winston Churchill quotes

 Life can either be accepted or changed. If it is not accepted, it must be changed. If it cannot be changed, then it must be accepted. 

Friday, October 28, 2011

My Personal Thanks to Bambi!

When my Father died, it wasn't very easy to explain to my little girl why there were so many people weeping and why my mother seemed to be catatonic and inconsolable. I didn't exactly understand how some people can have an endless wave of tears when they have a loss, not until then. When your soul grieves, like mine did, the wave of pain came in succession, albeit intermittently, but each with increasing to eventually decreasing intensity.


Why am I talking about this? I have realized that one of the most difficult things to explain and illustrate to a young child is the meaning of death. Well amongst other things. The beginning of life and where they come from is another challenge altogether. 


I have not taken to the habit of underestimating a child's capacity to understand nor do I discount children's intelligence. I have met a lot of kids with far greater intelligence than their parents. I bet you have to agree with me on that one.


However when it comes to your own children, explaining "death" does not come easy. And this is where I attribute my appreciation to Disney's BAMBI.


Bambi with Thumper and Flower


Well if you will recall the plot of this film, it is not unlike the usual staid formula of any Disney movie. The meaning of friendship, love, ever after and all that jazz. But unlike other Disney movie I have come across myself as a child, Bambi's plot struck me with a certain amount of sadness and melancholy. Growing up, I was unable to discern exactly why. As a grown up, I realized the power of the message the old buck said to the young deer, "your mother can't be with you anymore".


So when my little girl asked me what was going on as she watched me sink lower into depths of grief and agony, I did not have enough strength nor coherence to explain the "loss" I felt, and the thin line that connected my logic to my brain told me to rummage through the old DVDs and watch the movie BAMBI with her. 


Just as my own experience taught me, her tears welled up exactly on the scene where Bambi desperately sought her mother who had already been killed by MAN. And just as conclusively, one of the most unforgettable lines in my entire Disney movie watching history, the father explained the mother's absence to the young fawn.


Right in the middle of our tears as we watched BAMBI, I told my child, my father can't be with us anymore, for he has passed.


Sometimes we ran out of words to express how deeply and intensely we feel about certain situations in our life, I personally feel I owe a lot to this old and simple movie having helped me explain my life's greatest pain.


On this day, El Dia de los Muertos, I write this post in memory of my life's first love and whose love for me have always made me feel like a Princess. I miss you Papa, not a day goes by that I am not missing you.



Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Legend of the Sleepy Hallow's Eve

Uhmmm ... not really, I have no intentions to talk about Ichabod Crane and his investigative assignment. That stuff is for your English Literature class. I am just making a countdown to one of the most celebrated events throughout the world adapted from the mystical Celts, Hallow's Eve! (more popularly known as Halloween).



In other countries, this is aptly called the "Dia de los Muertos" or the Day of the Dead. Fancy that. Full 24 hours just for the dead.

If I am roughly right, it is a Pagan ritual. I know it is Celtic but the Irish would have their own claim to fame for this tradition. It signifies the end of summer, or so I was told; "Samhain" in Gaelic signifies the end of harvest. It's probably the oldest holiday and one of the most popularly celebrated. I reckon people celebrate it without even thinking of paganism or anything nearly occult. Perhaps some do, hmmm ...

I personally don't understand the feverish hoopla and excitement that surrounds the preparation for celebrating a surreal and tragic cause such as the people who have passed and gone to another dimension. Nor the dizziness of having to choose the creepiest "look" to fit the occasion.

Have you ever stopped and wondered what is the story behind good ol' Jack? (Not Daniels because I can devote an entire series of posts for that one);  Jack O LanternYup,  the dude in the Irish folklore who conned the devil? Well you better read up before you slay another squash! Boo!
My take is that we love to celebrate this holiday to remind ourselves that we are still alive. How else do you logically explain the festivities, food binges and booze? The costumes are mainly donned to create a theatrical effect of miming the most dreadfully spooky evil spirits and elements our imaginations can create.

Then there's Trick or Treat
Why do kids these days actually believe they deserve the treats without doing a Trick? You have to be ready to do a triple cartwheel or perform your infamous fire-eating trick before I even give you a chocolate bar! Just because you are dressed up like Snow White with the 7 fugly Dwarfs does not make you entitled to any treat! I want to see Snow White eat the apple without using her hands. Yeah, seriously. It's not about costumes and make up. It's about "living out" the Zombie Apocalypse in my doorstep. And how dare these little creatures call me a cheapskate when I swing my chainsaw at them asking for a Trick. "Come on my little Georgie ... thrill me!"

Honestly I find the whole concept more like a successful marketing campaign. Half wit kids will goad their parents to buy them the most fashionable and trendy Halloween look. Of course, the pushover parents will spend their hard earned dollars to pay for costumes that are priced too exorbitantly for a one-off use. Absolutely ridiculous! The amount of investment is not justified by the rate of return. I dare say, Halloween is one of Capitalism's finest moments.

Imagine, you spend on costumes and treats, some families even prepare a Halloween dinner buffet with flowing drinks for silly house guests in masks, for one whole freaky day in a year that is absolutely insignificant to you, unless of course, you're a ghoul, a vampire or an undead. Now, if you happen to live in a farm and you celebrate the end of harvest season, then it makes sense if you slay a pumpkin and a turkey. But in the city? Don't you think you have just been gypped? Darn, I just think the whole Halloween Holiday is foolish, irreverent and downright absurd!

End of editorial.

I truly prefer my Halloween celebration sticking to the basics. A masquerade. A totally acceptable excuse to live out for just one day an "image" I probably wouldn't be caught in on any other ordinary day. Last year I was Pennywise, but I managed to spook even myself.

This year I am thinking of coming in as a chilling Zorro! The Antonio Banderas' Zorro, not the Zeta Jones type. I could try to get my Palomino brought into the city, except that it could be a little overboard, you think? I reckon it would be a riot to come in with the full gear; mask, hat, sword, a whip and of course, riding a horse! Damn! I could feel myself turning into a masked bandido right this moment. 


Really, if you can't beat 'em at being the creepiest fool then I may as well be the most sinister looking and intimidating character! Happy Halloween y'all!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

I Would Like To Say That I Am Good At It ...

 .. but hell, I'm not.  Just being honest here, I suck at "waiting."
If you've ever had to wait, you know what I mean.  Waiting ain't easy, damn, it's hard!


There are a thousand different reasons why we all have to wait.  Some of us wait for seasons.  Some of us wait for things that are pegged on schedules. Whilst some of us probably wait for significant occasions and events. A few may be waiting for answers, solutions, the "right" one, decisions and one of the toughest would likely be, waiting for "what's next?"

Life has its endings and beginnings. But that's the easy part. The trying stage is everything that happens in between endings and beginnings. Arguably you would say, it's not "why" we have to wait that matters, it is "how" we choose to wait. Yeah right, like I said, I suck at it. My rational mind tells me there is a reason for every 'pause' in a man's life but not knowing what is next can be both frustrating and discouraging. 

Perhaps there are some of you that find meaning in the wait; the romanticized wrestling with hope and uncertainty; the element of wonder in your heart that keeps it beating in the anticipation of what happens next; the enigma of trying to grasp at something beyond your reach ... bullocks! I wish I could feel the same sentiments. The waiting without knowing test is something I have consistently failed at. I keep asking myself why I keep getting an opportunity for a re-test! Isn't it always easier for the impatient like I am to say, "Let's get this show on the road and get it done and over with!" Somehow, I have more comfort in languishing with questions like, "why am I still here?; why don't I have it?; why is it taking so long?'; why hasn't this changed?; why isn't this fixed, yet?"

But then again, there are far more challenging and tough reasons for "waiting" and I think about families and loved ones who have been told, possibly the most dreadful set of words in the English language: "We have done everything humanly possible and now all we need to do is WAIT." I just know how that stabs the spirit. When I heard that from the cardio-thoracic surgeon of my Dad, my soul wailed. I reckon our souls know about endings than beginnings.

Look I know. I am not the only human in the "wait" because we all are, for different reasons in varying circumstances. I also know it is never about why we have to wait but rather at how we wing it whist we wait. And it is during these times when my rational mind has run out of meaningful arguments with myself that I throw my hands up in the air and rely on my life's dictum: FAITH IS BEING SURE OF WHAT WE HOPE FOR AND CERTAIN OF WHAT WE DO NOT SEE. 

You see it is not about why we have to wait but it is about believing that what will be, will be. Albeit I am still completely a douche in the waiting game, I "keep my FORK" and I wait.


And now a Story that needs to be shared: 

Keep your fork!


There was a woman who had been diagnosed with a terminal illness and had been given three months to live. So as she was getting her things "in order", she contacted her pastor and had him come to her house to discuss certain aspects of her final wishes. She told him which songs she wanted sung at the service, what scriptures she would like read, and what outfit she wanted to be buried in. The woman also requested to be buried with her favorite Bible. Everything was in order and the pastor was preparing to leave when the woman suddenly remembered something very important to her.


"There's one more thing," she said excitedly.


"What's that?" came the pastor's reply.


"This is very important," the woman continued. "I want to be buried with a fork in my right hand."


The pastor stood looking at the woman, not knowing quite what to say. "That surprises you, doesn't it?" the woman asked. "Well, to be honest, I'm puzzled by the request," said the pastor. 


The woman explained. "In all my years of attending church socials and potluck dinners, I always remember that when the dishes of the main course were being cleared, someone would inevitably lean over and say, 'Keep your fork'.


It was my favorite part because I knew that something better was coming...like velvety chocolate cake or deep-dish apple pie. Something wonderful, and with substance! So, I just want people to see me there in that casket with a fork in my hand and I want them to wonder 'What's with the fork?'. Then I want you to tell them: "Keep your fork....the best is yet to come".


The pastor's eyes welled up with tears of joy as he hugged the woman goodbye. He knew this would be one of the last times he would see her before her death. But he also knew that the woman had a better grasp of heaven than he did. She KNEW that something better as coming.


At the funeral people were walking by the woman's casket and they saw the pretty dress she was wearing and her favorite Bible and the fork placed in her right hand. Over and over, the pastor heard the question "What's with the fork?" And over and over he smiled. 


During his message, the pastor told the people of the conversation he had with the woman shortly before she died. He also told them about the fork and about what it symbolized to her. The pastor told the people how he could not stop thinking about the fork and told them that they probably would not be able to stop thinking about it either. He was right.


So the next time you reach down for your fork, let it remind you that the best is yet to come… keep your fork!


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Raindrops on Roses

 ... and whiskers on kittens.

Know the song?  A timeless classic.
I am feeling totally mellow and uber touchy so I collected a couple of photographs that make me go "Aww ..." I want to share them with you in the hope that one or two of them will be your own favourite and make you smile. It's almost the weekend, I am feeling so stoked!


Kitties in a cozy huddle
warm cupcake cookies with milk
Love & Friendship CAN last a lifetime
Catching a baby's breath whilst yawning
Garden of tulips in springtime
A soft kiss
A candlelit dinner that concludes with
Breakfast in bed
Watching happy kids at play
Colours of Fall
A quiet day at a glorious white sands beach
Kissing in the rain
Watching a promise unfold at sunrise
Staring at a captivating sunset
Ice cream when you're craving for it
A puppy that needs my company
Little creatures like baby otters and
Cute and pink little bunny
Gawking at a soaring eagle AND
Harry Winston diamonds
Yeah, the last one is just keeping it real. I would have posted shoes and bags but my Blog Space is limited.
Note: Photo credits to tumblr and others.  Thank you for your inspiring shots.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Veni. Vidi. Latri. (I came. I saw. I rant.)

Whilst I prefer to argue that as an individual, I have an extremely high tolerance for quirks, deviations, atrocities including what would normally be considered, criminal; certainly I do have my own share of totally 'bad hair' moments.
There are just days that you wake up from a horrifying nightmare that you are surrounded by evil, sinister creatures that are about to get you, then realise, in your actual waking hours, that there ARE evil, sinister creatures about to get you!




Much has been written about families, but amongst these, here is my favourite quote from someone who ironically chose to remain nameless:
"Families are like fudge - mostly sweet, with a few nuts."
Or said another way, "You can pick your friends.  You can pick your nose.  But you can't pick your family and your friend's nose."


Now that's awfully displaced, but like I said, the nuts in the bloodline are given albeit some are acquired by affinity. However I try my best to ignore their very existence, there are just times they crawl under my skin!


I have my fair share of the hypochondriacs in the family. 
Geesh, enough already! If you're really dying because of all the complicated diseases that semi-paralysed you, can't you just be sick quietly and gracefully? I enjoy spicing my meals with Red Wine but not with graphic descriptions of what the freakin' endoscopy found in your gut! I don't understand why every family 'get-to' needs to be ruined by the latest "lump" you found in your armpits!




I hate to mention them on this post because they love being talked about. This creepy family member is so self-absorbed they incessantly babble about their "own realities" that no body really cares about. What really gets me, are the 1-2 other family members who actually pretend to listen to your stupid stories. They don't really care, you know, and they are bored out of their wits but chose to listen to you than watch the DVD re-run in the Family Room and too damn lazy to help out in the kitchen. You are NOT the centre of the universe! Not yesterday nor today or ever!




Oh did you know that the most primitive of all defence mechanisms is denial
If you don't have the gall to admit to your own family you had something fixed, why have it fixed?
C'mon, admit it! You had botox injections! How else do you explain those displaced bulges and your sudden incapability to show expressions such as fear, joy, sadness, amongst others? Why do you have a permanent 'overwhelmed' look? Or is that a smile or a grimace? Okay if nobody else will tell you, I will. One word my dear Aunt, FAIL!




And to that breed of young humans sitting in the corner chewing a blade to get some attention, Yes you, I am talking to you. Why do you see anybody else in the shadows behind you? Snap out of it or I will shoot you myself! And get a haircut.




I have a couple of good reasons why I often shun family reunions. I do have a wonderful family I love. But it's a shameful dishonesty to say I love them all. Except they are just there. Sometimes funny. Other times, interesting. Often, just a nightmare.