28 February 2010

Something New

"Mr. B., when you were young, what did you want to be when you grow up?" I asked.

"I think I always wanted to be an architect - to design buildings, homes, that sort of thing." Mr. B. answered while washing the dishes. "Why do you ask?"

"Because you are not an architect now so which mean you never realized your dream." I replied hesistantly.

"But that is fine. A lot of people set out to be something and ended up being something else, and they still do well."

"Do they ever go back to their original dreams? Or try to fulfill them?" I wondered.

"Some do. Some don't." he said returning to the dishes.

When humans are young, they dream of becoming someone or something when they grow up - doctors, teachers, singers or lawyer. Some of them realize early on that their dreams can never be, perhaps because of their socio-economic environment or simply they discovered that they simply don't have the talent. Others succeed in attaining what they aspired for early in life. I am just wondering who among them is happier?

"But of course, I was able to fulfill some of my little dreams." Mr. B. suddenly looked up from the dishes and talked to me.

"Really? Like what?"

"Well, I wanted to travel and see the world. I was able to do that. Not all the places yet, but I've done that a lot," he answered proudly. "I wanted to be a disc jockey and I was able to do that for 3 years."

"Do you still dream of new things, Mr. B.?"

He wiped his hands and carried me to the couch. "Sometimes, yeah. Like the novel that I wanted to write that I never really started." he said. "I wanted to have my own house, too."

"Then you can be the architect of your own house?"

"Something like that."

I realized that a lot of humans do not stop dreaming. If old ones fail, new ones come. Perhaps that is the thing that keeps them going - to wake up to something new, too see a different view, architects of their own little and big dreams.

23 February 2010

Old World, New World - Part 2

"I met my high school classmates tonight!" Mr. B. declared one night during our trip. "I haven't seen them for decades!"

"Did you recognize them at all?" I wondered.

"Oh yes, I did. They are all very successful now. Doctors, dentists, businessmen, making lots of money, with kids in high school or college." Mr. B. added.

With that last statement, I saw a hint of melancholy in Mr. B.'s eyes.

"I miss those carefree days." he said. "Things were so simple then. I wonder how things get complicated as one gets older."

I don't understand too. Mr. B. showed me a picture of him with his first teddy bear Bonami, an understuffed pink and white creature in oversized shirt and shorts. "He must be in Toy Heaven now." Mr. B. added. "I think I was happier then."

"Are you not happy now?" I asked.

"I am, but it was just different when I was younger. I see my classmates being parents now, some with marital problems, some with kids problems, and I think to myself, how did we get to this?"

I didn't answer Mr. B. I think that is part of the human experience. One goes to school, learn some craft, work, make money, raise a family, and the whole circle of life begins again.

In the end, I believe Mr. B. was thankful that the people he once shared a few years of his life with as a young boy all gathered to see him again. It was an evening full of stories, of catching up and a promise that they will keep in touch. They may have grown apart over the years, but they all have something very precious in common - a shared childhood.

As for me, I am happy to take the place of Bonami as Mr. B.'s loyal companion in life. If Bonami was a part of Mr. B.'s old world, I am a part of his new world. And I promise never to leave him.

22 February 2010

Old World, New World - Part 1

The first thing I felt was the heat. So different from the cold and wet city we came from. Mr. B. warned me that too much exposure to the sun might make my fur fade! So i wore my Benetton hoodie to make sure I am protected. It was a tiring flight from Taipei to Manila. But I am glad to see Auntie B. and my human cousins there to pick up us with their big, red shiny car.

"You will stay with us, Becker," Auntie B. said with a promise to buy me new clothes from Baby Gap (which is my favorite). "And Mr. B. will stay with Papa B. and Momy C."

I agreed to the arrangement because I like to go around the city in the big, red shiny car so it won't be too hot.

"Will I have access to computer, Auntie B.?" I asked because being nominated this year for the Best Pop Culture Blog is a big thing for me and I don't want to disappoint my readers by not updating as often as I can. She said yes and we were on our way.

Thinking back now, Mr. B. and I staying in different parts of the city offered us different experiences. Mr. B. saw a lot of the old world - places, food and people he knew as a child; while I got to explore a newer world.

"The world moved on without me." Mr. B. declared as we both lie tired and exhausted from the week-long trip.

"Would you have wished it didn't?" I asked him.

"No. Not really. Maybe just not that fast. Slower maybe." his answer confuses me.

Our trip brought back a lot of memories for Mr. B. while I busy myself having frozen yogurt and shopping. On my last night, I remembered looking at my human cousins. They've all grown taller now. One day they may not like me anymore. Then I thought, perhaps my world moved without me too.

12 February 2010

Lost And Found

Yesterday, Mr. B. received his St. Valentine's gift from D. - an expensive Agnes B. cap which Mr. B. wanted but was reluctant to buy. It made him very happy to know that D. remembered the day when Mr. B. tried it on in the shop but decided not to buy it.
Too bad they will not be together on this special day because Mr. B. is taking his Lunar New Year holidays back home and D. had to stay to be with the family.
After D. left, Mr. B. tried the cap again and looked at himself in the mirror. He had come a long way since his first love, he told himself. When he was younger, all he could afford was a single rose. Not even a bouquet. Just one single rose from an expensive flower shop. It was a big deal for him. He said he was happy then, and he is happy now.
J. was Mr. B.'s first love from a lifetime ago. It was an innocent yet passionate 3-year until Mr. B. decided to leave home to pursue a better life abroad. He never saw J. again.
With W., it was a rollercoaster ride in all of the 3 years they were together. They were young, proud and indeed very happy until W. decided to leave home to pursue a better life abroad. It was hard on Mr. B. as history repeated itself with the roles switched. But they eventually become very good friends and still are. W. is married to a wonderful man in London and they are visiting us this March.
L. was a totally different story. It was a year of delirious passion. It was also a relationship that none of Mr. B.'s friends believed would last. Their break-up was devastating to Mr. B. and it was then that he had to undergo medication for depression. I entered the picture and provided the much needed solace. L. is now somewhere down under and they lost touch for their own good.
Then along came D. - the person that made Mr. B. believed in love again - gradually. Almost 7 years on, Mr. B. and D. are still together. They surprised even themselves for this feat. In D., Mr. B. found a friend, a lover, a confidant, a home.
They say in life, you win some, you lose some. Nothing can be truer for Mr. B. and I am very happy for him.

06 February 2010

Goodbye To Love

27 years ago on 4 February, Karen Anne suddenly suffered a heart failure in her parents' house. She was brought to the hospital but pronounced dead 20 minutes later. The cause - complications due to eating disorder. She was just 32. Her full name - Karen Anne Carpenter.

Together with her brother Richard, the Carpenters sold over 100 million albums and singles worldwide, which is quite a feat if you consider this was way before the age of downloads and pirated copies.

Aside from their distinctively soft musical style and beautiful ballads, the main reason why this duo is well-loved is of course Karen's soothing deep alto voice. There was just no comparison in the richness of her lower register and she used that to her advantage.

One of the Carpenter's most memorable song is Goodbye To Love. At the time, it was heavily criticize for infusing fuzz guitar in the middle of the song, something never ever done before in a love ballad. Many of the Carpenter fans were not happy about this. Even radio stations refused to play this song, which is the reason why it never became a number one hit. Mr. B. also mentioned to me that there are passages in the song where Karen sang long verses without stopping to breathe! Looking back now, one can really appreciate the uniqueness of this creation, thanks to the wonderful vision of brother Richard.

27 years on and a whole new generation may still be listening to Top of the World or singing every sha-la-la-la. I think Karen Carpenter is one of the greatest humans who ever lived because of her unique gift and the generations of people she influenced with her music.

The world will never forget Karen Carpenter.

Video : Goodbye to Love by The Carpenters

02 February 2010

The Tower Of Babble

According to the Bible, humans once decided their city should have a tower so immense that it would have its top in the heavens. This Tower of Babel was to be dedicated to the glory of humans, to make a name for the builders and not to worship God. So God was not happy about this, came down and confused their languages and scattered the people throughout the earth.

Fast forward to modern times. Still so confused are humans that they don't even understand each other even when they speak the same language. Worse, some humans continue talking regardless of whether they are understood or not. The point is to say what they have to say, and not to communicate their thought to another human.

I learn that in the world of humans, there are those who can only talk, there are those who listen but do not understand, then there are those who don't talk but only do. The first one is called the Talker. The last one is called the Doer. The middle one is just stupid.

Mr. B. said he is more of a Doer than a Talker. I believe him because he doesn't like to express himself too much. Someone he knows is a Talker. That person talks, and talks, and talks yet accomplishes very little else. The other person he knows only listens with blank stares, so you know the words do not travel right through the ear canals. Put the 3 of them together and you have 2 Energy Suckers and 1 whose energy is being sucked up very rapidly.

"Why do you have to put up with that, Mr. B.?" I asked him.

"I am not sure," Mr. B. wondered aloud. "Maybe that is just my role in life."

Poor Mr. B.

Photo credit : The Tower of Babel by Pieter Brueghel the Elder (1563)


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