Plenty of Bunnies who are Jerks too

The other day, I was talking to a friend about Zootopia. He didn’t like it. I was like WHAT?!?!? In fact, he said it was a story that has been told time and time again and it was boring. BORING?!?! The proverbial tale that we’re all different yet the same, that there’s always more than meets the eye and change starts with me – the individual.

Ok, I do agree with that. It isn’t a new story and you do have to be careful of the wolf in sheep’s clothing. Except in Zootopia it’s the harmless cute sheep you have to keep an eye on. Yet it is a tale as achingly relevant in our 21st century as it was a hundred years, heck a thousand years ago. Kinda like how To Kill a Mockingbird can’t go out of style.

In a Trump Presidency world where fear led by ignorance creeps into every facet of our lives, I take heart that in a seemingly children’s tale like Zootopia we needed the effervescent bunny, Judy Hopps to remind us that someone can be ” a jerk who happened to be a fox. I know plenty of bunnies who are jerks.” In my last 42 years of my life, I’ve learnt that no one race, religion, gender, sexuality or age has dips on being a douche. Everyone can be a douche and if you take the time to have an open dialogue, get to know the person, you or at least I’ve come to realise that they can be as big a douchebag as I can be and in the greater scheme of things, they are capable of being kind, honest and supportive as I try to be everyday.

So I remind myself as much as I don’t like having to share this world with rude self-serving douchebags, the rest of us decent functional beings have to make the best of what we’ve got. The alternative reminds me of a sad tribe in the last season of The Walking Dead – hiding, pretending that we don’t exist as the douchebags try and take over the world. We just can’t have that and with more meaningful words of Judy Hopps,

“Real life is a little bit more complicated than a slogan on a bumper sticker. Real life is messy. We all have limitations. We all make mistakes. Which means―hey, glass half full!―we all have a lot in common. And the more we try to understand one another, the more exceptional each of us will be. But we have to try. So no matter what type of animal you are, from the biggest elephant to our first fox, I implore you: Try. Try to make the world a better place. Look inside yourself and recognize that change starts with you. It starts with me. It starts with all of us.”

That’s my theme for this week – how can I make it start with me?

zootopia-wallpaper-cover

 

Fur Nieces and Then Some

My cousin has kids and I have nieces and nephews.  My sister has fur kids and therefore I have fur nieces 🙂  While part of me thinks animals should roam freely, the other part knows there’s nothing like the exuberance of a dog when you come home or how a kitty curls up to you that makes all your problems seem inane.

Since my husband and I have agreed to a no pet policy in the Tan-MacLaughlan household, I live vicariously through my sister and Jen who are proud humans to Wagsy and Moxie.

My sister headed off to Perth to visit our parents and Wagsy is over for her ‘boot camp’.  Yes, I’m the no nonsense human who does not tolerate accidents :p  Maybe it is a good thing we have a no pet policy at the moment.

Meanwhile, I’ll enjoy the next couple of days with Wags!!

And out of nowhere, back to a more regular programming of human babies, here’s the latest picture of my little-est Goddaughter, Natalie.  She’ll be 6 months in a couple of weeks and feeding all the baby needs I have now 🙂

You can’t tell me that gorgeous smile doesn’t melt your heart!!  Can’t wait to cuddle her 🙂

Wags Has a Cousin

What that just means, is that, we had a visit from my cousin who recently bought a new puppy.  A Corgi puppy too!!

Here’s presenting Bailey!! Isn’t she such a cutie 🙂  We’ve never had a Corgi in our family and I’m personally excited coz I reckon Corgis are so so cute.  How can they not be, with their large heads and short legs it’s such a lovable look :p  Like an SD anime character but alive and kicking!!

What would I give for this to be last Sunday and there’s a short weekend to look forward to :p

The Other Ann

Before Annie came into his life, Erv already had an Ann.  She’s his beautiful ragdoll kitty cat.  I’ve met her a couple of times and she’s definitely more shy than playful.  He showed me this pic of her the other day and I couldn’t wait to write a post on cats.

I love cats.  Unlike dogs who seem to love you regardless, which is why I’m crazy about dogs in the first place but cats seem to be a lot more discerning and for some reason that intrigues me.

My family has been mostly a dog family but thanks to my animal loving sister, I grew up in somewhat of a menagerie.  We’ve had dogs, dogs and more dogs, we also shared our home with bunnies, turtles, fish, hamsters, birds but we only ever had one cat.  A little stray kitten that lived with us for over 10 years.  I miss him but what I loved most about him was that I could go away to school in Perth for months and when I came home, the discerning kitty of mine would curl up in my bed to sleep with me.  It was like I’ve never been away at all.  He was discerning, knew that I loved him and loved me right back 🙂

Unlike my sister who’s first ambition was to be a vet, my love for animals was a gradual one.  Here’s where I took after my Mummy and my sister after my Daddy.  I now have no problems with any animal … err … I stand corrected … except for the feathered kind … I’m still not hot about birds :p but I reckon it’s important for kids to have pets.  That relationship with a pet builds empathy and compassion that I don’t think a human one can ever teach you so effectively.

They are a lot of work for the Mummies who often end up being the one who keeps them clean but when I have my own kids, I do hope to have a family pet too 🙂  Hopefully, it’ll be a little kitten.

Puppy Tales

This post is for Michele 🙂 The least favourite thing I enjoy about puppysitting is the mornings when I leave for work. My sister’s puppy has an incredibly sad face that she puts on the minute she realises that you’re leaving her for the day :p

While I’ve enjoyed the last couple of days alone, I’m so glad my sister is coming home tomorrow. Then this face wouldn’t solely be just my responsibility.

After 3 Years

I was on MSN with my cousin the other day when she wished my husband and I a “Happy Anniversary”.  Yes, May 12, 2010, my husband and I celebrated our 3rd anniversary 🙂 And when I told my cousin that, she reckoned that it feels like we’ve been married way longer than that :p  In truth, it does 🙂  That’s because we’ve been together for 8 years and had lived together for 7, give and take a couple of months … so it’s more like our 8th anniversary :p

So last Wednesday, we took off for the day and headed to Pulau Ubin, which meant I didn’t have to go to work too 🙂 Double joy *happy dance*  We packed a lunch, some apples and water and headed towards Changi Village.  For $2.50 per person, you get on a little boat and about 10 or so minutes later you’re on Pula Ubin.

The thing about Pulau Ubin that I really like is how instantaneous it feels like I’ve jumped on a time machine and am taken back in time.  Literally, on the island I feel all of 4 years old and wandering around my Great Grandfather’s kampung home.  The memories are vague, to say the least but when I’m on Pulau Ubin, they squeeze out of the cervices of my mind and make themselves clearer.

So we rented our bikes and headed towards Chek Jawa.  Here’s a word of advice for all those who have been uninitiated into the ways of renting a bike on the island, please check that your bike changes gear properly before heading off too far.  Yes, my dinky little bike was stuck at gear 6.  Gear 6!!  The island is full of slopes going up and down and my bike was stuck at gear 6!!  It felt like I was paddling but the bike wasn’t even moving … so needless to say I had one hell of a work out :p  I was so glad to arrive at Chek Jawa where we could get off our bikes, walk around and encountered some wildlife 🙂

Before we did anything else, we stopped and had our lunch, where Pulau Ubin ants showed me a thing or two about teamwork.  Here’s a stalk of my spinach that fell out of my sandwich.  It was awesome to have the time to watch ants lift the stalk and carry it a whole 2meters away and to think I was all so excited with ants.  After lunch, we were just sitting and talking … I was still exhausted from peddling … in fact, I had fallen asleep for a bit too … when out of nowhere a wild boar appears!!

I’ve lived in Singapore ALL my life and never seen one just wandering around.  I was very excited and so was my husband who has only been living in Singapore for the last 7 years or so.  This was just the tip of the iceberg on Chek Jawa.  On the walk we saw birds … definitely heard some that sang beautifully, schools of fish that seem to move like one body, crabs that seem to be connected together by an invisible string, a monitor lizard wandering in the low tide.  It was a lovely day to be out in nature.  We were worried about the rain but not one drop fell 🙂  We even made some German friends, Lufthansa stewardesses in town for a couple of days.

Then we headed back to catch the evening ferry for an early dinner at our favourite organic Chinatown place.  And yes, I was completely knackered from the insane non-moving bike I had, that I was happy to be sitting on the ferry and just chilling.

Till next time, Pulau Ubin, thanks for a wonderful anniversary.  We enjoyed ourselves so much that we can’t wait to be back.  Next time, with stronger bug spray and a better bike 🙂

Puppysitting

Other than little people a.k.a. children, I have an extreme soft spot for animals so I really don’t mind when my sister takes off for a couple of days.  That’s because when she does, my husband and I get to watch her little puppy Wags.  So when she and I missed each other as I came home from NYC and she took off to Perth to share CNY with our Daddy and Mummy, my husband had to watch her for a couple of days.  That means it was him and Wags ALONE with each other … so needless to say, they were both excited to see me when I came home from NYC last week 🙂

And they were both so game for an afternoon out.  My husband though possibly wished that I left my iPhone at home :p  He took the following picture because he says that’s all I ever do now … looking at my iPhone :p

So much so I was even thinking of giving up my iPhone for Lent … but without a spare phone to use … … I guess I can’t do that :p  I’ve decided … maybe giving up sugar for Lent is the next best thing alternative 😉

Back to the walk, Wags, this mini of a Maltese has a serious case of Napoleon complex.  She, one, thinks she’s bigger than the biggest dog in the park and two, actually thinks she’s human.  So you have been warned, proceed with caution when you encounter … …

It isn’t often that we get time to relax, enjoy the balmy afternoon breeze and just relish an afternoon with a puppy.  So that we did, my husband and I caught up, trying to figure out what to have for dinner, why we both love the Botanic Gardens, what work excites us and even how the future can be scary.  That’s the other half of how exciting the future can be too, I guess 🙂

Meanwhile, I’m learning to be grateful for such simple pleasures for life could be so much more worse.  I am a lucky puppy myself 🙂

Day At The Zoo

When we were in Perth, my nephew and niece made plans with me to go to the zoo so today was the day.  I got up early for a Sunday and found myself two very well behaved children all ready for the zoo.  I have to say they honestly made me very proud today, not one problem through out the whole day.  We all know what that means, there will be more days like today 🙂

So after the first picture with their baby sister who is sitting the day out at home (at slightly over 3months, Godma here isn’t quite ready to take her and the other two munchkins for a day out at the zoo) we were off. We got there fairly early at about 10am and the zoo was already crowded!!  Guess there’s not much to do with kids in Singapore :p  It has been a while since I was last at the zoo and so it took me longer than usual to find the ticket area, the washroom and the entrance.  It was like 10:30 before we started exploring, which worked out well because that’s when my little friend, Nicole joined us 🙂  With her Mummy having to work on a Sunday, her Daddy, Jason figured it would be a good idea to spend it at the zoo.

There we were 3 kids and 2 adults, trying to make a day of it.  Since it was only me that hasn’t been to the zoo for a while, I was truly intrigued with the animals and I have to say the Singapore zoo does a really good job.  I typically don’t like zoos but I have to say the animals at the Singapore zoo don’t have a bad life at all.  The kids got on peachy too.  The girls were with me most of the day and Jason was learning that caring for one boy is pretty much the same as two girls 🙂

After a few animal sightings we headed to the kids area of the zoo and I’m not sure who had a more fun time, me or the kids 🙂  There’s a huge water play area where we cooled off from the heat and just played 🙂  After a couple of hours we showered, had lunch, a couple of rides before checking out the polar bears and the wolves.  Then the adults had to call it a day, we had to tell the kids it was time for their naps but I think truly it was us who needed one 😉

On the way back in the car, my two munchkins were completely knocked out and my nephew managed a ” I like Uncle Jason” before fading off .

And Jason messaged me that his angel was looking for my niece, Mabel.  So I guess there will be more days like today.  I should be so lucky 🙂

India Restropective: Part 4 – Wildlife

One reason why I like spending time in nature is the wildlife. Where we were in India was pretty much rural India. It didn’t feel like there were a billion people in the country and in the 2 months I was there I was pretty much shielded from the horrors that plague most people when there are there for holidays. I was in a bubble where people were sweet and the environment was clean. Honestly, it just felt I stepped back in time. The slight disorder in the village I was in reminded me of Singapore in the 1970s … albeit, my own memories of those times are faint and most are from what my parents tell me. Children run freely along the streets, no one seems to lock their doors but at the same time electricity isn’t reliable :p Nothing in this world is perfect but I reckon nature is pretty close. That’s why flora and fauna of any place is what draws me to it.

So in Nawan Nagar, I was pretty surprise to find birds that laugh … seriously they reminded me of the kookaburra from Australia, they’re grey and really simple looking but they cackle like the witches from Macbeth. It was funny and infectious that my husband and I enjoyed just listening to them everyday.

My favourite though has to be the chipmunks 🙂 like little hamster they love dried chapattis. Indians do not eat overnight chapattis so we break them into little pieces and feed the birds and chipmunks. Here’s my buddy Clarence. I saw him everyday … actually I saw a few of them everyday but he’s the only one that didn’t dart away when I came close for a picture. Such a cutie, right?

Ok, I do not like birds. My husband reckons I was a worm in a past life that was gobbled up by a bird but whatever it is I’m not too found of them. In India though, they have wild parrots and peacocks and they are beautiful. Their vibrant colours among the simple surroundings just make them stand out and look quite regal. And the hawks, when spring came, they were out nearly everyday. I couldn’t take a picture that would remotely do them justice but there’s certainly something about hawks soaring through the sky, that’s rather captivating.

The funny thing about cats in India is that they get chased by the birds!! So maybe I was a cat in India in my past life 🙂 The cats are beautiful but I was warned not to touch them. While they look like pet cats, they are not. They are smart though, they know where to go to beg for milk and chapattis but they never come close enough so you can pat them.

What surprised me were camels!! I’ve never thought about camels and India in the same sentence. Most of them aren’t quite wild though, they was used as a form of transport. It was quite a sight to be this up close to one.

Of course, there were cows everywhere. The cows are like giant stray cats and dogs in other countries. They roam freely and everyone gives way to them 🙂  Also, when the weather started to warm up, the bugs started to appear and my husband actually saw a lizard eat a bug.  It was a Nat Geo moment, just that he didn’t have a camera :p