26 July 2009

Are You Serious?

Today, Mr. B. and D. decided to go shopping after sleeping off most of Saturday because of the heavy rain. Mr. B. wanted a decent bathroom scale because the last one broke years ago. Upon trying out the merchandise, he was completely horrified to find that his weight has gone up unbelievably high. He tried another one and it gave the same result. It was truly devastating to him to say the least. He started formulating several theories on why his weight has gone beserk.

1. D. has the habit of rubbing his tummy so it got big as a result.
2. The energy suckers in the farm made him eat to compensate for the frustrations caused.
3. Sitting in meetings too long increases fat storage in his body...

The list goes on but nowhere did I find anything pertaining to his eating too much and moving too little.

"My life is over," he proclaimed. "This is the bottom of the barrel, the end of the road."
"Are you going to do anything about it?" I asked worried.

"You bet I will! I will ask D. never to rub my tummy anymore. I will not succumb to frustrations over the funny farm energy suckers. I will only attend meetings that last for only one hour." he said indignantly.

Then as he turned to prepare his chopped vegetables for tomorrow's lunch. I was suddenly overwhelmed with the feeling of compassion to this poor soul who has struggled all his life with weight problems. I know that from today on, things will never be the same again.

Sophisticated Ladies

In our household, we are all males. Somehow, there isn't any female bear in the house. I am not sure if Mr. B. intentionally adopted only male bears but that was just it. My only encounter with female species was when I went to the Philippines with Mr. B. and met Lisa Whitfield, a female bear from the US who liked nice clothes as well as Russell (maybe because they are the same size).

From my research about humans, I learned that the female species is a very complicated one so I asked Mr. B. if this is true because he gets to met a lot of them everyday.

"It's a very complex subject matter! Stick with topics you know otherwise I might get into trouble!."

"But I want to learn more about them!" I insisted.

"I have a few encounters with some of them. That's all I can say." said Mr. B.
My persistence paid off when he started telling me about some of the colorful female characters he came across in his life.

1. The one who likes chatting with Mr. B. on the phone until very late in the evening but would fall asleep halfway. Almost every time. Either she was really tired or he was really boring.

2. The one who wrote a long love letter to him asking if they can be together (as a couple). Before Mr. B.'s ego bloated, he found out that the she also confessed the same thing to his good friend. I guess either one of them would be good enough. She is not taking chances.

3. The one who hit him repeatedly with running shoes because she was so drunk and Mr. B. refused to let her out of the door to confront her then boyfriend.

4. The one who got pregnant and had a baby without the boyfriend knowing it until the day she delivered the baby. They live together in the same house. And slept in the same bed. Every night.

5. The one who is so ambitious she placed a voodoo slipper in her boss' office to have him fired. It worked. Big time. Be very afraid.

6. The one who uses Mr. B.'s apartment to cheat on her husband. Mr. B. told me it's the husband's fault.

7. The one who spent a fortune trying to beautify herself when the money could be put to better use feeding children in Africa. I saw her picture. I voted for Africa.

8. The one who claimed to be a martyr homemaker until Mr. B. found out that the reason for her forever immaculate kitchen is because she only boils vegetables for her kids and husband, and can't fry an egg properly. (Go to Patrick's Egg Watch in the right-hand column).

"It takes all kinds. They can be as complicated as male species too." Mr. B. concluded.

"Do you ever dislike them?" I asked.

"Only if they try to act cute."

Photo: "Sophisticated Ladies" acrylic on canvas by Lynne Sinclair Taylor

23 July 2009

He Wanna Be A Pop Star

His first ambition at 16 was to be an architect simply because he liked drawing. A couple of years later, he decided he should make a living out of singing in a band because that was the coolest thing on Earth. He also thought about becoming an evangelist when he decided he wanted to serve God. Then he imagined himself writing screenplays and novels because he enjoyed telling stories.

Fast forward. His first job was window dressing and decorating a then prestigious department store. Three years on, he relocated and became an advertising executive, scouring pad marketer, instant camera marketer, newspaper executive, regional honcho for digital products and now, marketing drugs.

That was Mr. B. in 2 short paragraphs. Me, I just wanted to be a bear because that is what I am good at.

Sometimes, Mr. B. wonders what he would have became if he would have done this or that.

"I think you will end up in the same place." I said flatly.

"You think so?"

"Yes. Because you will always be you," I replied. "You still doodle a lot, don't you? Especially when people in the farm bore you to death."

Mr.B. chuckled at my discovery.

"You still love music and sing. You decorate the house. Only you haven't completed your novel or served God." I said.

"So you think I was all that!"

"And you will always be all that. It's always been in you all these time."

Mr. B. then gave me his rendition of Ken Hirai's Pop Star complete with his own choreography. "Nobody has seen me do that before. Not even D."

"Make sure nobody will." I replied as I turned away.

22 July 2009

Total Eclipse Of The Heart

Today is such an unusual day. Millions of people in Asia turned their eyes skyward to witness the longest solar eclipse of the century. It will be until 2132 when the world will see a solar eclipse longer than today's.

Needless to say, we were all so excited to be able to be part of such a wonderful phenomenon. We all gathered together and joined other human beings in looking at the sun slowly being covered by the moon.

"Did you see it? Did you see it?" I asked Mr. B. excitedly, knowing that he had a meeting at work around the time when 80% of the sun was covered.

"For a few seconds, yeah."

"That's it? You didn't watch it slowly, slowly disappearing?"

"I had work to do. Didn't have too much time for that."

"Will you have time if it were a nuclear bomb dropping?"


Strange. Humans are missing out of the best things in life because they "had to work". Their lives have been overshadowed by report to finish, meetings to attend, staff to evaluate, people to fire. Perhaps their hearts have been totally eclipsed by mundanity.

18 July 2009

Do You Wanna Dance?

Dance is a form of non-verbal communications which is basically the movement of the body to the rhythm of music. It is commonly used as a form of expression, interaction among humans or presented in the context of a spiritual worship or performance. Humans do it for recreation and entertainment purpose as well.

Mr. B. said that in his younger days, he enjoyed dancing a lot. He used to go to some of the best dance clubs on Saturday nights. That was how he came to love dance music and aspired to be a disc jockey. He talked of the various places he went to and their distinctive features: Lost Horizon (the place where they have bubbles coming down on the dance floor for people to burst while they dance), Apres (the first dance club with lighted dance floor just like the Billie Jean video), Stargazer (the one with skylight where one can dance to the stars when it opens up at midnight), Isis (the one with Egyptian theme) and Rumors (the first dance club to use laser effects extensively).

"Did you know that the speed of dance music is in sync with the average pulse rate of the population?" said Mr. B.

From him I learned that dance music in the 1970's and 1980's were mostly 100 beats per minute speed or lower. In the 1990's and 2000's, speed gradually increased up to 130 beats per minute. Some trance and other electronic music even went beyond 150 beats per minute.

"People's heart rates are becoming faster and faster." he proclaimed. "That is why a lot of young people find it hard to dance to early music. It is not fast enough for them. Older people also find it hard to catch up to the beat of new dance music now."

I never knew dance could be such a complicated science.

Then I saw a clip of bears doing the Riverdance and thought that I should catch up quick!

12 July 2009

His First Time

It was in July of the year 1993 when Mr. B. first saw The Phantom of the Opera in London West End. For him, the trip was a several "firsts" - the first time he visited London (a city he came to love), the first time he watched a West End production, the first time he was reunited with the then love of his life after almost 3 years of separation.

The Phantom of the Opera was an emotional journey for him. He remembers being overwhelmed at once by the onstage spectacle and the music of Andrew Lloyd Webber. He remembers shedding tears to the soaring romance of All I Ask Of You and the heartbreaking Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again. He remembers the passion and obsession of the Phantom, hiding his face so the world will never find him. Such unrequited love.

The day he left London that summer, he handed a letter to W. where he wrote the lines from Think Of Me - "Think of me, think of me fondly when we said goodbye. Remember me once in a while, please promise me you'll try." He remembers that precise moment when he turned his back and went up the escalator in Gatwick. He shook uncontrollably and cried knowing that his life will never be the same from then on.

16 years later in the same month of July, Mr. B. watched The Phantom of the Opera yet again, this time in Taipei, Taiwan, and this time with D., the new love of his life. He cried a litttle. He remembers the first time. He remembers the many other times he watched this show. Most importantly, he reminds himself of just how fortunate he is to have D. by his side sharing this wonderful moment.
At last, the Phantom found his heart along the way.

05 July 2009

Simple Happiness

Today, Mr. B. bought me a new shirt. It is a multi-colored, beautifully-patterned Baby Gap shirt perfect for the summer which D. commented gave me a Southeast Asian look. Mmmm.....

This is the very first shirt that was specifically bought for me. Before, I used to wear hand-me-downs or borrowed from another bear (like the shirt I wore during my vacation trip which was actually Bradson's). I feel very happy having my own shirt now. It's just one, but it's mine. And I don't mind wearing it everyday. I understand that humans are different in this regards. Humans like to buy as much clothes as they can afford, even when they don't really need them. Perhaps it is the personal satisfaction of knowing that they have the ability and power to buy things with their money, or maybe they want other humans to see how stylish they are because one is more respected when they are more stylish, I was told.

I am not here to judge shopaholics. I am just a simple bear who is happy with his new shirt. It reminds me of the musical You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown. In the very last number, Charlie, Lucy, Linus, Sally, Schroeder, Snoopy and Woodstock came together and sang Happiness to express what makes them happy. Mr. B. himself likes the song as much as I do. It speaks of the simple things in life that most humans fail to notice yet bring a lot of joy to the heart. I remember a few of them, but the line I loved most is - Happiness is singing together when day is through and happiness is those who sing with you. For me, happiness is my new shirt and having Mr. B. and D. as my best friends. For happiness is anyone and anything at all that's loved by you.

Video Credit: You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown. Music amd Lyrics by Clark Gesner. Created by Charles M. Schulz


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