Facing the Future

IMG_9104.JPG

I just tweeted less than 5 minutes ago on the topic of Rene Zellweger’s new found face. I figure that since most people on social media are so hyped up about her looks, I might as well join the bandwagon and comment on how ‘different’ Miss Zellweger has become. Apparently, she akin her new face to a healthier and happier lifestyle which is pretty ironic because from my highly judgmental point of view, she looks nowhere near to being healthy. Her hair is just way too limp and needs some major highlights (or a cut), her eyebrows are kinda bushy and don’t even get me started on those wrinkles around her eyes. It is pretty dubious to claim that no plastic surgery was involved, especially when the changes are so obvious even I, possibly the only person in New Zealand who have not watched Bridget Jones, noticed when she made headline news on tv.
Then again, maybe the ability to drastically change ones face is already a common trend except that now, we are dealing with a famous Hollywood star and Rene gets noticed. How many of you heard about the Chinese man who divorced his beautiful wife when the children she bore him were so hideous and looked nothing like both parents? Found out later that the Mrs had gone for a major plastic surgery and duped him into marriage. So if a lay-person can afford a major re-shuffling of the face that God gave them, why is Rene getting so much flack? Is it because she is a public persona and hence the public feels like she owes us an explanation for changing a part of her that we feel we have ownership?
We humans are such a strange lot aren’t we? We care but then again, we really don’t care. We allow freedom but then again, freedom comes with a price which value we set. We give but we also expect in return.
Honestly dogs are better. All they ever want is a pat on the head and food in their bowl. Could not care less about how her owner looks. Diva dog loves everyone and everything. C’mon Chloe!!

Let’s Be Friends

We human beings are an interesting lot aren’t we? As I write this post, I am sitting among a sea of people attending a conference that involves quite a percentage of people from all over New Zealand. All around me, majority of individuals are mingling with each other, some making small talk (not that I’m eves dropping) and some actually genuinely interested (well, at least they seem interested judging from their body language) in what each other have to say.

As the world evolves, we ourselves are evolving in that how we communicate with each other now is a reflection of how technology have enabled the forging of relationships especially where distance is concerned. These days, the availability of social platforms especially Facebook, makes meeting people and getting to know
one another much more convenient and easy. The psychology of communication dictates that once someone gets onto your ‘friend list’ on Facebook, it does not matter whether the person is a new acquaintance, someone you just met at a conference such as the one I’m in, this person automatically gets into your sphere of influence so that the next time you meet each other again, because you both are friends in the FB realm, you become friends in real time as well. In that regard, perhaps without social media, we would probably have less friends. We are now more social, more available and more important (so to speak).

The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.~ George Bernard Shaw

Then again, you have people like me who detest small talk, limit friends on FB and rather sit and blog…a total introvert who prefers the company of her black ‘diva’ dog.
IMG_7214-0.JPG

We Laugh, We Cry

IMG_9084-1.JPG

It has come to my attention, yet once more, that the state of my life since adopting Chloe “dog diva extraordinaire” six years ago have brightened up stupendously. So much has she enriched, not only my life but the rest of my household, that to imagine waking up without her daily presence is just..well..unimaginable.

I can only conclude that this is the curse of having a pet that has become an entrenched part of the family, the agony of loss no different from that of losing a husband or child. We all dread the day of her passing because this will, for sure, leave an empty cavity in all our hearts.

Such short little lives our pets have to spend with us, and they spend most of it waiting for us to come home each day.
It is amazing how much love and laughter they bring into our lives and even how much closer we become with each other because of them.”
~ John Grogan

So for now, there is nothing to do but enjoy every living minute with the ones we love (be this human or dog). Take the time to laugh, to embrace and once in a while, enjoy the silence that company brings.

5 Random Facts About Chloe the Diva Dog

IMG_9040.JPG

1) Thinks she is human:
Although everyone can plainly see that she is of the canine family, she herself does not see it that way. Hence, when we humans sit down at the dinner table to partake in our food, Chloe the diva looks up at us with those judging eyes as if to ask, “human, where is my plate?!”

“Dogs do speak, but only to those who know how to listen”
~Orhan Pamuk

2) Likes a tummy rub but LOVES a good scratch at the base where her tail starts:
This is when her eyes glazes over and she does this stupid tongue protruding thing…

“In times of joy, all of us wished we possessed a tail we could wag”~
W.H. Auden

3) At sharp 6pm, she expects to be fed. Pronto..:
Otherwise, she will stare you down like a rattlesnake in heat..

“After years of having a dog, you know him. You know the meaning of his snuffs and grunts and barks. Every twitch of the ears is a question or statement, every wag of the tail is an exclamation” ~Robert McCammon

4) Loves a walk, hates getting wet:
When it starts to drizzle outside, Miss Diva will look towards to sky, look towards me, then runs to her bed. As if to say, “Human, how about YOU go for a walk…”

“It’s hard not to immediately fall in love witha dog who has a good sense of humor” ~Kate DiCamillo

5) Hates cats:
Need I say more?

Now, here’s 15 random facts about a human child I know who although is not as cute as the diva, can be pretty weird herself..

High on Lows

So It Begins

Today I am reminded of how surreal life can actually become. Take having children for example. Now, being a mom with four teenagers has it’s fair share of ups and downs, and no doubt, I am not proclaiming to be an expert mother and a perfect saint but I am pretty confident that I have done a pretty good job raising my lot. All that diaper changing, snot wiping, hair pulling…I can go on forever with what went on in my life’s chapter when my children were little but now that they are in their teens, all of a sudden, the tables have turned and instead of me instructing them to do things, I now have to listen to them in order for things to be done. Surreal. Surely. But frankly, I would not have it any other way. We have made raising confident and fun loving children intentional and looking at how far these slave drivers have come along, my husband and I can’t hide the fact that we are pretty plum proud. Here is a clip for you to have a taste of how crazy two of them are. Who knows! Maybe next time, they may just showcase Diva dog…

High On Lows

Liberty.Tax. A Slice of American Pie.

photo

Week one away from kemosabe and living life in the land of the free.  I can’t quite say that the clan and I now have our living patterns smack in the bag since we are yet to lay “witness dawn’s early light” owing to a severe case of jet-lag, but we are just about close to “catching the gleam of the morning’s first beam”.  Almost.  Maybe give it a few more days.

Had the pleasure of calling in for a visit the other day to the US Bureau of engraving and printing in Fort Worth, Texas where I was told listening through a prehistoric mobile looking piece of contraption placed close to my ear, that 80% of the American smackers and moolas are printed here in Fort Worth for this country’s Reserve Banks.  Walking along an elevated platform witnessing how clean sheets of what seemed like B4 sized paper undergo the process of transformation and come out as freshly printed one dollar and hundred dollar bills, I could not help but reflect on a quote once made by Franklyn Roosevelt,

“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”

Having spent time living here in the past and now returning back in the guise of a tourist, I am afforded the fortuity of surveying the abundance and resources bestowed upon those residing in this country.  Now living in New Zealand, I cannot help but walk the local shopping aisles here, with their huge product range at a wide assortment of prices and not not feel slightly cheated that I am unable to get the same mode of offerings in my home country.  Life is indeed unfair.  All around me, people are surrounded by what can only be recognized as ‘materialistic abundance’.  For example, I walk into Walmart with an aim to simply (in my head) procure a bottle of shampoo.  What I end up with, an hour later, are four bottles of hair products –   a ‘clarifying’ wash, a ‘deep’ conditioning wash, a ‘leave-in-even-deeper’ conditioner, and a dry shampoo spray for days when I am in a rush and don’t have time to wash.  The problem is not that it took me forever to decide on what brand or product to choose from.  The issue is not even the assortment of prices to pick at.  The dilemma I have is that I thoroughly, wholeheartedly, enjoyed that shopping experience.  I love, love choices.  I just delight and relish in this whole experience of skimming the shelves and oogling at all the different types of, in this case, hair care products provided to the American public.  It is crazy! Mind numbing.  But, nevertheless, however, on the hand – do I really necessarily need so much empowerment when it comes to picking a simple item?  How do I draw the line between what I need and what I want? Lionel Shriver once said,

“A lot of people get so hung up on what they can’t have that they don’t think for a second about whether they really want it.”

Perhaps just because we are not able to get something does not necessarily mean that we need that item in the first place.  Perhaps the mere presentation of so many ‘stuff’ around us makes us believe that we require these so-called provisions.  As Bertrand Russell eloquently said,

“It is the preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else that prevents us from living freely and nobly.”
So, as much as I desire choices and pickings, I think I’d much rather be a Kiwi with a black dog and living a totes amazeballs life, the simple way.  Maybe it is by living simply, without the frills and thrills that makes me more sensitive to those around me who are afforded even less than I am.  Maybe.

“Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity! I say let your affairs be as one, two, three and not a hundred or a thousand… We are happy in proportion to the things we can do without.” – Henry David Thoreau

Missing Kemosabe

photo

In a couple of days, 38 hours to be exact, the whole family and I would be on our way to our much-anticipated holiday in United States for five weeks.  My mental state is however, at this present moment divided into half, bisected, even-steven.  I am so torn between wanting to go and needing to stay.  One side looks forward to some rest and relaxation with the clan whereas the other side soaks me in apprehension, annoyance and heartache.  Apprehension because I am having to leave all that I am accustomed to; my regular, my normal, my everyday behind in stasis while I adopt new ones as you do when you land into unfamiliar surroundings.  Annoyance because every big and minute detail of my otherwise sedentary life now seem to crop up screaming at me to get done before I go.  And heartache because I will not have ‘kemosabe’ by my side for five weeks.  Chops licker will be at home taken care of by two lovely people who I am sure will be doting on the mutt so much so that when the time comes when I do return, black mama will be missing them.

These few days of trip preparation has made me realize that human beings are at the very core, creatures of comfort and familiarity.  We of the flesh draw comfort from knowing what comes next in our daily routine and even though we find ourselves wish that life is not so conventional, we are at the very depth, bland and monotonous.  We draw comfort from the expected and ordinary because it provides us peace and some dominance over our lives.  We grow, we learn, and we inspire within the proximity afforded to us by routine.  I believe that routine has received a fair amount of ‘bad rap’ in these modern age of the YOLO culture.  You do only live once but to foolishly go against the inevitable habitual of life and purposely tempt the unnatural for the sake of flicking the middle finger at life, well, seems pretty dismal to me.

“We all have our routines,” he said softly.”But they must have a purpose and provide an outcome that we can see and take some comfort from, or else they have no use at all. Without that, they are like the endless pacings of a caged animal. If they are not madness itself, then they are a prelude to it.” – John Connolly