31 May 2009

Heigh-Ho Heigh-Ho


In the 1937 Disney animated movie Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the dwarfs had a "work song" called Heigh-Ho. They sang this song on their way home from work in the mines digging diamonds and rubies. So the lyrics can only be " Heigh-Ho, Heigh-Ho. It's off from work we go. " Mr. B. told me the lyrics as he remembered it was "It's off TO work we go." And the the dwarfs were actually on their way to work. The amazing thing is, after my extensive research, I found out that majority of the people all over the world who has ever seen the movie thought the same thing! To think that the movie (see clip) clearly shows the 7 dwarfs actually going home from work.
.

How can that be? Could it be a matter of mass delusion?


There is of course a BIG difference between being "off FROM work" and "off TO work" and Mr. B. would be the very first to agree that there is nothing to heigh-ho about in the latter. Come to think of it, after our happy vacation, it's off TO work for Mr. B. tomorrow, Monday! I can see him cringing now.


That said. There is one creature who wouldn't care less being off TO or FROM work. This creature pictured here.


That is a koala. And it's not a bear. Koalas are just IT. After seeing a few of them during my holidays, I have decided that I don't like them. They sleep most of the time (curled into a grey ball between branches) and the only waking time they have they spend munching on eucalypt leaves (at least their breath must be clean smelling). Another lazy species who don't have to work for food. They just sit there and let people take their photos.


For the rest of us, we dig, dig, dig, dig, dig, dig, dig...

30 May 2009

A Room With A View


Sometimes when we are so engrossed with the humdrum of life, we forgot to open our windows and look out, for inspite of what we think is the whole world that is our problem, there is a big world out there. That is the biggest lesson I learned from my recent holiday trip with Mr. B. and D. We took a photo of the view in our balcony at dusk and couldn't believe how beautiful the sky can be, how clean the air smelled and how much joy and happiness appreciating these bring to our hearts.

It was a very fulfilling trip for all of us. Mr. B. and D. met up with friends, catched up on what's happening with each other's lives. We enjoyed the fresh air, the wonderful views, great food and great company. D. shopped a lot. Mr. B. didn't buy anything. I bought fudge for Russell (he likes them a lot). I wasn't able to find clothes my size so I am still wearing the same shirt.

All in all, fun was had by everyone, especially me. I hope there will be more chances for us to go on holidays together.


Photo by D.

21 May 2009

Leaving On A Jet Plane


I'm so excited about my upcoming vacation! The reason why I won over all the other bears is because I own this blog and I promise Mr. B. to post some vacation pictures here. Our destination is still a secret to me but I was given a photo as a clue (see photo). Maybe someone can help me figure out where we are going.

Since we will be away for a few days, I shall not have access to computer and will not be able to update my blog. I apologize to all my fans. Rest assured when we come back, I will show you a lot of pictures from our holidays!
Mr. B. says he is very happy to be away from the farm if only for a few days. He and D. promised each other that there shall be no mentioned of anything pertaining to their respective farms once we board the plane.
I shall miss you all for a few days!
.
PS: Mr. B. just told me the clue on where we are going is in the text. Hmmmm... can anyone help?

19 May 2009

I Don't Have The Heart


We have been following the local news at home lately. This is mostly due to the fact that Mr. B. wants to be updated on the development of that damned flu that was wrongly blamed to the pigs in Mexico. Mr. B. rarely watched the local news, he hardly watched anything local at home to be exact (except when D. wanted to watch his favorite talent program on weekends). TV for Mr. B. is for entertainment and not for harsh realities of life.

So what's in the news the last few days:

1. Department of Health Minister Yeh Ching-chuan being heckled by so-called "overseas students" at a dinner in Geneva, where he is attending the World Health Assembly (WHA).

2. The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) 24-hour sit-in protest on Ketagalan Boulevard in front of the Presidential Office.

3. President Ma Ying-jeou said Tuesday his measured approach to rival China has led to Taiwan's participation at a U.N. body for the first time in 38 years while not compromising Taiwan's sovereignty.

4. The two men, 68 and 67-year-old, hit by police car after participating in riot.

"Something is wrong with me," Mr. B. declared. "Why don't I care?"

Why indeed? To him, the hecklers should have been slapped hard in their faces, twice each, for putting the whole of Taiwan into shame under international media. To him, few thousands of people in a sit-up can hardly move one strand of the president's well-combed hair. To him, sovereignty is only understood by a small group of people who has intention to make more wealth without China's interferance. To him, the family of the 2 old men should be slapped hard for allowing them to participate in a public riot like that.

"I just can't find the heart to care about any of them or anything of the thing they are fighting for," said Mr. B.

Coming from someone who still shed a few tears watching videos of the People Power Revolution in the 1980's, it must mean something. Perhaps he never found it in him to care about the place he now calls his home.

"Mr. B., you are going to start some heated debate in my blog..." I said.

"You think so? You think people really do care?"

17 May 2009

There Will Come A Day


Mr. B. attended his friend's 50th birthday dinner tonight. It was an intimate affair filled with good food, great wine and laughter. Then it suddenly dawned upon him that HIS day will come as well (albeit many, many years from now).

Fifty. Half a century. How can that be, he wonders? He cannot imagine himself at that age. He will wake up that Tuesday morning (yes, it will fall on a Tuesday) and everything would be going down hill from there.

"It's not all that bad," I told Mr. B. "Think of all the people who are 50 this year - Luc Besson, Irene Cara, Sheena Easton, Suzanna Vega, Chris Lowe, Marie Osmond, Simon Cowell, Sarah Ferguson and Uliuli Fifita just to name a few!"

"Who the hell is Uliuli Fifita?" Mr. B. said.

"A wrestler from Tonga!" I answered.

"Oh. Still... I can't imagine myself being 50. And, those people you mentioned are accomplished and rich. They don't care if they are 50. Wealth can make them look young!"

"But you have achieved so much too! You live a comfortable life, you have friends and family, you have D. and you have me!"

"That doesn't change the fact that I will be 50. And you! You will still look the same when you get to be 50!"

"That is true. Didn't you promise to still be as glamorous when you turn 50?"

"Yes, I did."

"So why worry. Let's have a big party on that day. Food, music, friends. No more crying like you did in your last one. All of us bears will be there too singing the Happy Birthday song."

"You promise?"

"Yes."

"Okay, I feel much better now."

"Great! By the way, Uliuli Fifita works for Toyota in Florida now. And, this is the 50th post in my blog too."

13 May 2009

Eeny, Minnie, Miny, Moe


It's past midnight and Mr. B. can't sleep. As much as he promised himself not to take work home, something from work is bothering him. Some important decisions he had to make.

Decision or the process of making one can be regarded as an outcome of mental processes leading to the selection of a course of action among several options, keywords being mental and process (just reading them makes me tired).

Humans make a lot of decisions during their entire lifetime. From the daily what to wear? what to eat? to life-changing decisions such as whom to marry? and what do I do when I get old and still poor? I think the crazy thing about decision is that once you made one up, you can never go back to change it, because your decision will set a series of events as a result. I guess that is the reason why most humans avoid to make them as much as possible, or until they have their backs against the wall and have no other choice but to make one. They even have classes that teach people how to make decisions (which I find that quite amusing).

"Why not use eeny, minnie, miny, moe?" I asked Mr. B.

"And you will be responsible for the outcome?" he retorted.

I decided not to answer that question and turned away.

10 May 2009

All About My Mother


Unlike humans, we bears only get to stay with our moms for about 2 years. After that we're on our way to live our own lives. Most often, we never get to see them ever again. But that doesn't mean that we're not close to our moms. Like humans, our moms take very good care of us and teach us many important life lessons - like how to catch salmon in the river (a skill I don't get to use anymore, although I can scratch you if you make me angry). They would take us little cubs by the stream and catch salmon for us to eat while we wait by the bank (because the current is so strong and we're afraid to be swept away). We also spend a lot of time playing and cuddling in the grass, which I really like.
Mr. B.'s mom is a wonderful human being. While she didn't catch salmon for him like my mom did, it was from her that Mr. B. learned to appreciate the finer things in life - arts, food, music, film, theater (his mom is a good artist, good cook and was an actress/singer in her youth). She is a constant source of inspiration for everything Mr. B. does in life.

I do think about my mom a lot, so does Mr. B. When we do, we would hug each other. We are each other's mom, dad, brother and friend. I know we will be together not only for 2 years but for a very, very long time.

To all human moms and bear moms - Happy Mother's Day!


photo credits : Mila Zinkova and Mr, B.'s dad

09 May 2009

Complete

Mr. B. works in a company that makes tablets claiming to be complete, meaning, it is good for you. It really doesn't matter how many ingredients the tablet is made from, it is complete, because they said so. But that is not the topic of today's post because I personally don't care about their product. I only need my berries, roots and salmon, and I'm happy.

37-year-old Welsh Jamie Pugh is a warehouse van driver by day and delivers pizza by night. The one thing that would make him happy is to sing in front of a large audience with a full orchestra. Only problem is, he has a tremendous stage freight that cripples him when he is on stage. So I guess he must have mustered a lot of courage to finally decided to stand in front of thousands of people under the critical eyes of 3 judges to sing Bring Him Home from Les Miserables (quite a difficult song to sing too). The response as you can see in the video was so overwhelming that he was totally dumbfounded after the performance.

"Just for this brief moment, I feel complete." Jamie Pugh recalled.

What really makes a person complete? From what I understand about humans, I could think of many: a partner, children, money, car, house, career. The human society seems to dictate that the lack of one or more of the above means that your are wanting as a person and therefore could not be complete and happy.

For Jamie Pugh, that few minutes on stage must have been a life-changing experience - at once terrifying and fulfilling. It could have been all that he ever wanted and nothing more. Whether he made a career out of that, I believe, is not the point of his story and most probably not his major intention. Not the fame and not the fortune. For one day, he will look back and recall this moment in his life and remember how good it was for him.

He has found the ultimate vitamin for the soul. How many of us, humans and bears, can say the same?

07 May 2009

There's More To Love


Mr. B. decided to watched DVD tonight to take his mind away from energy suckers. He chose to watch Arthur Hiller's 1982 movie Making Love. I don't understand why he chose to watch a movie that would make him cry in the end. Maybe only a stronger emotion can eradicate the strong feeling of helplessness he is experiencing in the farm (yes, the funny one again).

The film is close to Mr. B.'s heart for several reasons. It was when this film was shown when he joined the Writer's Studio (a screenwriters workshop) and he chose this film as an assignment to analyze scene by scene, frame by frame. He had to watch it 3 times to get the sequence treatment on paper. In the process, he became fascinated with the way movies are structured, the way scenes are written and how storytelling through visuals and dialogues can create strong emotional connection with the audience. He told me he watched the movie with his heart the first time, then watched it again second and third time with his brain.

Second reason was Kate Jackson. Mr. B. was a great fan of Charlie's Angels in the late 1970's. Watching one of his favorite angels in a dramatic role in what was supposed to be a ground-breaking cinema (and eventually a cult cinema, in my opinion) was even more spellbinding to him. The very last scene where Kate Jackson whispered "So long, Zack." then turned around to watch his ex-husband leave in his car never failed to bring a tear or two in Mr. B.'s eyes. (And really showed what an underrated actress Kate Jackson is, in my opinion again).

Third reason was Making Love, the song. Right when you start feeling that lump in your throat, Roberta Flack comes in with her heart-tugging rendition of the movie's theme. It makes you want to stay on and savour the bittersweet ending of it all - two people, once in love, now going to different directions in their lives.

Further research told me that Making Love did not make good in the box office and a lot of people walked out in the middle of the screening. It was supposed to break Harry Hamlin's (one of the main actors) career. And Canadian Michael Ontkean (the other main actor) did not quite make it big in the US.

But I say, a good film can withstand the test of time. Humans will remember this film for its honesty in dealing with subject matter way ahead of its time.

06 May 2009

Nothing To Wear


While everyone at home is excitedly discussing who gets to go with Mr. B. on holidays, I got one problem. I have nothing to wear. I mean, I can't go because I simply have nothing to wear. Russell has a number of colorful shirts, leather jacket, pants, jeans and shoes. The twins Bonbon and Jonjon have their matching tropical island shirts and shorts. Cornelius is still wearing his Christmas costume (stolen, well, borrowed from Harry of Harrods). Even big guy Bradson has a nice, blue green Hawaiian shirt. But me, all I got is a t-shirt that says "TV Bear". Not that Mr. B. doesn't take good care of me. He tried very hard to find something that would fit me but just couldn't find any. Most clothes are just too small for my size. Needless to say, I refuse to go on holidays without pants on. What would people say?

Mr. B. told me he has the same problem. Within the last year or so, he has grown so fat he couldn't fit into any of his work shirts. Two months ago, he decided to spend a fortune to have some shirts tailor-made for him. Better than going to work with his front buttons threatening to burst any time. He also bought super size pants that were so big the waist is almost around his chest. He already ripped a couple of his work pants while at work (hopefully no one noticed) with just a simple action of bending over to pick something up. It is at once funny and sad to see how much he struggles to keep his weight down. I think he is one of those people who gain weight just by breathing air.

I personally think his problem is not his weight but his height. If he were 3 feet taller, his weight would be perfect.


photo credit : www.fotosearch.com

03 May 2009

Times Of Your Life

Today, Mr. B. and D. bought a new digital camera in preparation for their upcoming vacation, Mr. B. was not feeling very well that he forgot which brand and model they bought. After all, he reckon he wont have to read the instruction manual. Someone would do it for him and tell him where to press. That is how technologically savvy Mr. B. is.


Anyhow, he wasn't feeling well perhaps because he has been working hard over the weekend. He even had to take a couple of his farm's (the funny one) higher ups for a day tour in some boring old town where life revolves around temples, pork buns and oyster omelets. But so much for that.


He and D. are really looking forward to this much-deserved vacation. In fact, we bears are having a vote as to who will go with them (I could see Russell jumping up and down and screaming "Me, me, me, me ,me!". Very annoying). The only hitch to their vacation plan is the bunch of even annoying pigs who couldn't contain the flu within themselves and had to pass it on to human! (But that is another story that I want to write to address those swine!) Who knows what will happen in 3 weeks time when Mr. B. is due to leave.


Being one who is always optimistic, I am sure everything will go well and we shall all have a good time. With the new camera, I am sure we will be able to record happier times of our lives without Kodak films and Paul Anka singing in the background. Come to think of it. Mr. B and D. do not have much pictures together. I could already hear them snapping away...





... although the male lead would be way fatter than that in the photo now.


photo credit : Corbis

02 May 2009

Learning The Truth

Angst. An intense feeling of strife. A profound and deep-seated spiritual condition of insecurity and despair in a free human being.

Angst. The first time Mr. B. learned of that word was in his late teens. But he distinctively remembered he was around 10 when he started wondering about what life is all about when he passed by the exact same places going to and coming from school. What else is there aside from me, he would asked himself. At 12, struggles about roles and identities, social and sexual; acceptance and abandonment. At 16, questions about higher beings; submission and resistance; piety and iniquity.

In 1975, Janis Ian opened her heart and soul in an almost poetic fashion with At Seventeen then.

Now at 58, Janis Ian revisits that angst. Perhaps stronger and wiser. But somewhere in her eyes, the scars left behind by the valentines that never came when she needed them most.


I learned the truth at seventeen
That love was meant for beauty queens
In high school girls with clear skinned smiles
Who married young and then retired
The valentines I never knew
The Friday night charades of youth
Were spent on one more beautiful
At seventeen
I learned the truth
And those of us with ravaged faces
Lacking in the social graces
Desperately remained at home
Inventing lovers on the phone
Who called to say come dance with me
And murmured vague obscenities
It isn't all it seems
At seventeen
A brown eyed girl in hand me downs
Whose name I never could pronounce
Said, Pity please the ones who serve
They only get what they deserve
And the rich relationed hometown queen
Married into what she needs
A guarantee of company
And haven for the elderly
Remember those who win the game
Lose the love they sought to gain
Indebentures of quality
And dubious integrity
Their small town eyes will gape at you
in dull surprise when payment due
Exceeds accounts received
At seventeen
To those of us who knew the pain
Of valentines that never came
And those whose names were never called
When choosing sides for basketball
It was long ago and far away
The world was younger than today
And dreams were all they gave for free
To ugly duckling girls like me
We all play the game and when we dare
To cheat ourselves at solitaire
Inventing lovers on the phone
Repenting other lives unknown
That call and say, come dance with me
And murmur vague obscenities
At ugly girls like me
At seventeen


At Seventeen: music and lyrics by Janis Ian

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