Posted in Thoughts

You Are My Sunshine

I’ve seen the 2 of them together. Two heads of silver framing their line-ridden faces, always accompanying each other. She in a wheelchair and he in a walker, shuffling slowly through the hallway. I never ask their stories. Were they husband and wife before they came to this long term care facility? Were they newly- discovered companions in the sunset of their lives?

There is no couple’s suite in the facility. I wonder what the policy is if a couple request to be put together? Most of the residents require a team of dedicated caretakers to help them get up, get washed and get dressed. Sometimes I could see residents deteriorate week by week when we visit. They would be moved to an intensive care unit and sometimes their rooms become empty and new residents move in.

I knocked on the door and entered. She was on her single bed and he was sleeping in the corner sofa with his walker in front of him. The room was small and tidy. Doctor and I filled up the remaining space. She sat up and smiled, “Come in, come in!”

I positioned Doctor next to her bed as she stroked his fur. She waved at him, “Bob! Bob! Look who is here!”

He opened one eye, then slowly massaged the other eye open. Recognition kicked in and he grinned. I brought Doctor closer to him, sandwiched between the bed, the sofa and the walker. The dog stood still, letting him pat his head and her patting his back. He murmured, “You are so beautiful” to Doctor.

Suddenly the two of them broke into a song in unison:

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine

You make me happy when skies are gray

You never know dear, how much I love you

Please don’t take my sunshine away

I watched them serenading my dog, their voices match each other in harmony. A song that invokes so many sweet memories and sorrow. I couldn’t help but get misted up. It was a very unexpected and beautiful gift.

 

 

Posted in Thoughts

My Lucky Day

“Traveling by yourself?” The ground staff behind the counter of Air Canada asked. 
“Yes.”

Remember the good old days when they asked you if you’d prefer an aisle or window seat? When I was younger, I always wanted a window seat. Now I prefer aisle with little freedom of access.

Couple years ago, someone built a website called seatguru.com. I would reference this site while doing online check-in. It lists airlines and the craft models and have comments on the leg room and other potential problems. It is a good guide. Not always a hundred percent but when traveling long haul up to 20 hours, it was nice to have some choices.

When did the airlines catch on this lucrative opportunity to make extra money? Within the last 2 years, one could pay an additional 50 dollars to be able to select these “prefered seats”. You are still in the same cabin class, but it’s all “location location location”.You could still select the rest of the seats based on the map without extra charges. 

Then this year, Air Canada decided that if you want to choose the rest of the seats ahead of time, you can do that by paying them 16 dollars, otherwise you will just get a randomly assigned seat. Never mind that when you joined their reward program they asked you about your preferences. I wonder if the airline is working with real estate agents nowadays…

When I checked in for my flight last night, I struggled a little bit. I could see that I was sandwiched in a 3 seater and the flight seem to be fully booked. My only choices now were the $50 prefered seats. Do I want to change it? Would it be worth it? 

In the end, I decided against it, mainly because the flight is only 2.5 hour. It won’t be unbearable. Though I don’t know what I’d do if the flight was longer.

Back at the counter, the ground staff informed me that she changed my seat to an aisle since I was traveling solo. My guess was that some family wanted to sit together and there were still some wiggle room in the seating chart. I thanked her (and my lucky star). This trip appear to be off to a good start!

Posted in Just for Fun, Thoughts, Writing

A Year of Blogging # 1-Message in a Bottle

Jordan from Collective Voice (formally State of Liberation, I will put the link up as soon as I can… the site is being re- launched so be patient lol) was always coming up with prompt ideas for us writers. I’ve always intended to follow suit. I am a few weeks behind but it is still great exercise to get some ideas for blogging/writing. The first prompt of the year is

Prompt:

While at the beach you decide to write a message in a bottle. What would it say? Who would you like to find it?

What would you want to put in the bottle and who do you want to read it?

In his post, Jordan wrote to his younger self. I sat here and thought who I’d write to. Do I have some words I need to tell someone? Message in a bottle is almost like a message to the universe. If I write it down, was I ready to send it out? There were a few relationships where I felt the stories could have been more complete if I had been able to find the words. However, if I opened that dialogue, the story would never end because they’d have to respond, and I don’t necessary want the stories to continue. So I think I’d just leave them as messy cliff- hangers. Not everything has to be tidy does it?

So who would I write to? Would I write to my younger self? It seems like a good idea, but somehow I felt that my younger self should figure things out on her own. She had to stumble to get to where I am. My younger self already existed, I had already seen her stories and she is already part of me. So I thought perhaps I’d write to the future me… Here it goes…

 

The Message

Hey. How are you? Have you achieved everything we’ve set out to do? I want to let you know that I am doing as much as I can to become you.

What are you like? Are you as wise as I’d want you to be? Have you continue to build our dreams? Does this blog still exist or are you still a big procrastinator?

The year is 2017. There’s a lot of uncertainty in the world. On one hand we are seeing so many innovative ideas coming forth that’s supposed to make the human lives easier. There’s talk of building a solar city, the sharing and gig economy gives people more options for traveling and picking up extra cash. Driver-less cars promise to make us more productive. Or could it be another invention to chain us to our work like cellphones and emails do?

The pendulum is swinging wildly. On the other hand, there are people who are set on centralized power as more people demand basic choices of freedom. The internet has educated and misled the mass. Virtual reality seems to be inevitable.

I hope you keep on dancing, no matter how stiff our body become. Do we age well? Or has science invented something to freeze time? What about our SO? Did we pick a winner?

Are you still working at the same job? Or have we finally quit the rat race to travel the world? I would hope so but then it’d mean that the dog and cat are no longer in the picture. Please invent something to make them immortal too, because I cannot imagine life without those annoying furry beasts. Or perhaps quarantine law would have changed so much that it’d be very easy to travel oversea with the 90lb polar bear and 10 lb tiger-wanna-be.

Have you learn to forgive yourself for all your mistakes? Are you still grateful for everything you have? Do you miss me and my naivety? Are we stronger and kinder? Or has life made us cynical and lose our empathy?

And why do I feel like crying when I am writing this letter? Why do I get goosebumps as I am reaching across the time barrier to reach you? Is it because ultimately you are the only person who truly understands me, as we are one separated by time, never to meet, but only an echo to each other?

I am like the pesky little kid with 101 questions. Will you be able to answer all of them? Do I necessarily need to know all the answers? Are you going to just nod your head and act all sage and say, “In time, you will see…”?

Just at least tell me we’ve somehow managed to play an alien on Star Trek or X-Men.

 

Yours… from the past

 

Thoughts?

What would your message in a bottle say? If you own a blog, post your response and link me back. If not, feel free to share in the comments below, or you could email me to have it posted.

we3mammals@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

Posted in Thoughts

Thank you Thank you Thank you!

I was meeting a friend for the Interior Design Show yesterday. After checking my coat, I wandered slowly over to the ticket counter. I must have a lost look on my face, as I often do in unfamiliar places. I like to switch my brain off when I go to a show, preferring not to use any faculty.  As I lined up I had thoughts of hesitation, “Am I in the right place?”

A voice said, “Are you getting a ticket?” I turned around, confused because I wasn’t expecting my friend yet, and saw 2 men standing just outside of the rope. I nodded, “I guess this is the line for the tickets.”- I thought they were asking about where to purchase the ticket.

One of them thrusted something at me. I took it without thinking. “Here. We have an extra ticket.”

My reaction was slow. I looked at the ticket, not quite sure why this was happening. They explained, “One of our group didn’t show.”

The brain switched back on. “Wow thank you. Let me pay you back.” I made to retrieve my wallet, but they waved their hands and left.

To the strangers at Metro Toronto Convention Centre, thank you thank you thank you. I hope you guys enjoy the show as much as I did. Thank you, universe, for arranging life’s little surprises here and there. It was a wonderful gift.

 

Posted in Just for Fun, Thoughts

Erasing Scars- Scientific Breakthrough

A team of scientists from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania however, believe they have found a way to do the previously impossible – allow skin to regenerate using fat cells.

via The End of Scars: Scientists Discovered How to Regenerate Human Skin

Imagine the possibility- Harvesting some fat (from your love handles, your cellulite) and use it to regenerate and heal defect on your skin.

My vanity saw this article and pray for the day when this technology can be used like a liquid band- aid on acne scars or cat scratch (not from my Chubby of course!)

Vanity aside, this is something that has tremendous application. Aside from regenerating skin for cosmetic reasons, I am pretty sure the researchers’ ultimate goals would be to use it to treat more serious injuries such as burnt victims and grafting for non- healing wound.

Posted in Just for Fun, Thoughts

Turns out I was a trendsetter all those years ago…

The first and only time I wore mismatched shoes, I was 13 years old. If I had known that this was gonna become a trend, I would have worn my mistake proudly instead of dying of embarrassment 😝

For one, no matter how groggy you are in the morning, you will never, ever leave the house in one sneaker and one loafer—I can almost guarantee it. You will notice the height difference right away and make a U-turn. For another, mismatched shoes are an entirely respectable trend that have been a long time coming.

via Mismatched Shoes Trend – How to Wear Two Different Color Shoes

 

It was 6am in the morning. I was tired as always from chronic lack of sleep due to late night of studying. This was back in Asia where students were expected to be study robots and not get any sleep. I had to catch a 615am bus for an hour long trip to my school. In my haste, I did not bother to turn on the light. I slipped on my sneakers and off I went.

I went about my day as usual, dozing off during classes in preparation for play time during recess. Then a friend came up to me and asked, “I am just wondering, are you wearing 2 different shoes?”

I looked down at my feet and couldn’t believe my eyes. There was no mistake. I was wearing 2 different shoes. What was worse, I had the right shoe on my right foot, but the right shoe from a second pair on my left foot.

Okay let me backtrack a bit… Students were required to wear uniforms back home. Part of the uniform was that we were supposed to wear white sneakers. To make each pair last longer, my mother had thoughtfully bought 2 pairs. They were just simple, plain sneaker with different shades of white. In the darkness, I couldn’t tell them apart.

And how did I not notice that I was wearing a right shoe on my left foot? Yeah well that was the embarrassing part. I suppose that being so tired all the time dulled my sensation. I also happen to have pretty narrow feet, which means that sneakers that were wider at the front don’t hug my feet that much.

Anyways, after my friend pointed this out too me. I quickly snuck back into the classroom. For the remainder of the day, I stayed glued to my seat and ran out of there as soon as the last bell rang. I was glad that only one person noticed this blunder…

My mom was waiting for me when I got home. She was standing in front of the shoe case with the displaced partners of the shoe couples I broke up. She couldn’t hide her laugh. “I just wanted to see it for my own eyes.” She said.

This episode becomes a recurring family joke.

As I grew older and more thick- skinned, my mind becomes less bridled about conventional fashion sense. One of my favourite is a pair of slip-on that I have worn for 10 years. The pattern on the right and left are totally different but they fit together. Of course this is designed on purpose, not like my youthful mistake.

From time to time, when my socks go missing in the laundry, I’d worn 2 different  socks under the thick woolen uggs. No one could see and my feet were kept warm. I’d also experimented wearing different coloured leg- warmers to my dance classes.

One thing my dance instructor tell us repeatedly is that don’t worry about your mistakes. If you fall, make it seem like you did it on purpose. Make the stage your own. If you forget the choreography, make up your own. Dance is supposed to be fun, joyful. Wear your mistakes proudly and it might even become your signature move.

So there! I was a trendsetter, I was just too much ahead my time 🤣

Posted in Thoughts

Push notifications liberated us from the tyranny, and promise, of an unchecked inbox | National Post

In truth, email and the manner in which we relate to it has transformed so radically over the last 10 years that it hardly seems true to describe it as the same platform. The catalyst was a simple development: the push notification — which, by alerting us to new messages only when they arrive, relieved us of the unrelenting need to monitor our inboxes.

via Push notifications liberated us from the tyranny, and promise, of an unchecked inbox | National Post

Posted in Just for Fun, Thoughts

Why Women Wear Makeup: Spoiler, It’s Not for Men | Glamour

In the florescent glare of that Florida bathroom, Kate and I stared at each other. My own front teeth were widely spaced, my belly was baby-round, and my hair was cut in a too-short bob that was totally unsuited to its thick, wavy texture. The pink splotch of lipstick over my mouth resembled a welt. Neither of us looked remotely grown-up or beautiful. In fact, we both looked deranged. We screamed with laughter.

via Why Women Wear Makeup: Spoiler, It’s Not for Men | Glamour

Posted in Just for Fun, Thoughts

Happy Dancing, all around

I love how Pam Grout gets so elated for someone else’s joy. Her heart is vast and knows no limit. Also loves the song she shared in this post

Pam Grout

“Life is a paradise for those who love many things with a passion.”
― Leo Buscaglia health-benefits-of-clapping-ths

My friend Joyce recently reminded me of a story Leo Buscaglia used to tell about a Sunday school class who was putting on a big performance for their parents. Everyone was given a part.

The youngest girl, who couldn’t yet read or memorize lines, came to Buscaglia in tears: “But what do I get to do?”

“Your job,” he told her, “is perhaps the most important of all. Your job is to clap.”

And that’s what I feel is my job—to clap for all of us who are finally figuring out that there’s a loving force that wants to guide and bless us.

Here are a couple stories for which I’m clapping:

1. Songwriter Neil Gama wrote to me back in September. He said chapter 2 of my book, Thank & Grow Rich

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Posted in Just for Fun, Thoughts

Magic is afoot…in Egypt, in Bhutan and anywhere you happen to be right now

The picture of flute player on the mountain peak…such beautiful imagery…

Pam Grout

“To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries.”– Aldous Huxley

fullsizerender-2Joyous Friday, my friends. I’m back from two amazing weeks in Egypt. If we’re friends on Facebook, you may have seen some of the pictures.

I’ve been mulling over the millions of things I could share. I could recount my adventures, particularly my spiritual insights which tend to slap you in the face when you’re traveling in an ancient, mysterious place that happens to be one of the planet’s great energy vortexes.

Suffice it to say, manifestation happens really fast in Egypt. Whatever you’re thinking (both good and bad) shows up near-instantly.

Here’s one small example.

I mentioned to Taz, my daughter who was traveling with me, that I’d love to get a picture of a youngster driving a donkey cart. In Siwa, a beautiful desert oasis not far from Libya, it’s quite apparent that you don’t…

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