Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Life's Lesson Number 1286

there's a tub of icecream that had gone bad. my mom bought it before she left for the UK, and i didn't see it until this week. it had gone slightly slushy, had a strange smell, and funnily enough, the entire block of icecream seems to have contracted and shrunken.

i tasted it and it tasted funny. so it was time to dispose of it, i guess. i removed the entire block of icecream and dumped it into the sink, splashed some detergent (icecream IS oily, after all) and rinsed everything with running water from the tap.

then a sudden thought hit me - i should try to flush it down the toilet!! haha - i proceeded to grab a fistful of icecream and flushed - once and then twice, before i realised that the icecream was floating!

so no flushing, and i had to clean with chemicals just to make sure mom doesn't find out.

if i had a dog and he drank out of the toilet, he'll have a grand day.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

mom's home

after spending Christmas and New Year's away in the UK and Iceland, that is. and she's got the British flu, and jetlag, and she's completely disoriented and sleeping now.

so it's quiet again, the house is sleeping and it's cold outside. it's been raining the last few days, quite heavily too, so the world is much cleaner.

i feel good tonight, i've laughed quite a bit today, and i've been listening to a gorgeous song by Colbie Caillat - Bubbly. amazing, she's only 21. how do people become so talented at so young an age? what was i doing when i was 21?

this is an aimless post - every blog needs one every now and then - i've got not much to say but yet i want to talk anyway.

my intellectual contribution tonight is: PUNCTUATION is key to expressing one's self. add exclamation marks, and your prose achieves urgency! put Capitals, and you sense importance. add a comma for pause, and emphasis. put brackets for hidden (or naughty) thoughts. an ellipsis keeps people guessing... oh you get the picture.

and i went through this entire post without an exclamation mark, when i usually liberally pepper my prose with !s. this entire post was written with only hyphens, full stops and commas - i think tonight i am at peace with myself and with the world.

ah, play it again, Colbie! *smile*

Thursday, January 03, 2008

and the clock strikes two

It’s been two years since my father passed away in a traffic accident. Those who have experienced a death in the family weren’t kidding – time does lessen the intensity of the hurt, but what they didn’t tell me was that time also replaces the intensity with a different kind of emotion.

I think I’m a merchant of words, but yet I cannot find a word (or even a combination of them) to describe how I feel. In a million small ways I am reminded of my father every day. I’ll be making coffee and I’ll be thinking that he wants it piping hot. I’ll be driving to work and a song comes on and I’ll be thinking that he used to sing it. Eat somewhere and memories come to mind about how once we ate there.

His collection of cans of Coke, his photographs from the SLR, I even still wear some of his shirts. Honestly, wearing them is not for me to feel closer in spirit to him – the shirts are still in excellent condition, and it’s what he would have done anyway. But I realise that everytime I wear his shirts and somebody compliments them (my dad has pretty good taste in clothes, I guess), I’ll very proudly say that they’re my dad’s! The end result: a momentary stop in a busy day to think a little about how special my dad is.

I still meet people as I go along who remind me who my dad really is. I go on an ambulance and the driver suddenly tells me that he used to drive in Kuala Kangsar for the Vets Department, and that my father helped him out in some way or another. I am writing in a patient’s notes when an attendant comes and invites me to her sister’s wedding and tells me that her father used to work with my father in Taiping and insisted that I come. I speak to a patient whose husband kept staring at me, and finally asked “Bapa kamu dulu kerja Haiwan?” – Did your father use to work at the Vets?

Yes, my father used to work at the Vets. He was boss for 6 years in Kuala Kangsar, but he wasn’t boss all his life. He didn’t have titles or Datukships. He didn’t drive a fancy Perdana to work. He wore work boots a lot of the time, despite having an essentially desk job. He was down in the field, working with the ambulance driver, the attendant’s father, the patient’s husband – working with people.

Yes, my father used to work at the Vets. It didn’t define his life for sure, but how he worked at the Vets defined who he is – and he is someone that no one can forget. And I have living proof of that. And I’m sure I’ll continue to find proof of my father’s greatness, even when the 20th Anniversary of his death has passed.

I miss you so very much, dad. I still pray I can be just half the man you are.