Thursday, 26 June 2008

Death

Warning: Extremely negative post so you may want to skip this post altogether and come back another time. This is really not meant for most people. Don’t let your curiosity kill your mood. Darling, you should seriously not read this too because I know for a fact that you will not like it. I know you will be curious but seriously I know you will not be able to handle it.

I’m writing this post with a rather heavy heart because I just learnt that a friend of mine was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer only yesterday. Needless to say she and her husband (also a friend) are in a state of shock right now.

She is so young (around 30, I think) and they have a son who is turning 1 in a few months time.

I am feeling so sad now not only because they’re my friends but also because I can relate to a certain extend. We’re all about the same age and had just started a family so I imagine myself being hit with such news I know my world will come crumbling down.

It was only a few weeks back that they were consulting me on their plans to purchase a certain condo and who could have thought then that they will now have to face with arguably the biggest challenge thrown at them thus far.

As I am typing this post they are at the hospital doing all sorts of scans and tests and discussing with the good Doctor on their options and how best to tackle this cancer. There must a million and one things going through their minds right now and I imagine the one thing that she must be thinking of the most right now must surely be “why me?”.

I cannot say that I am at all familiar with cancer, breast cancer or other kinds because thankfully unlike the people around me, I have never had an immediate friend diagnosed with cancer before. That is until now so my experience in this is really nonexistence. Could this also be the reason why I am feeling the way I am now? Because they’re my first?

What is stage 3? How many stages are there? What can be done? How did this happen? Can it be completely removed? What are the options available? Imagine me, a friend and I already have so many questions then what about them?

On one hand I really would like to be with them to show them support and encouragement but at the same time I’m afraid it will be awkward as I do not know what to say. I guess they will probably not appreciate anymore unwanted attention so I’ll let them have their own space for now but will make a conscious effort to check back with her husband regularly.

I am not saying or suggesting that her stage 3 cancer will surely lead to death and of course I am keeping my fingers crossed for them, those of you who are religious do include this friend of mine in your prayers, but as I type away I cannot help but to include the topic on Death that I had wanted to blog about for the longest time so I included it here in the second half of this rather long post.

Darling, this is your final warning before you hit the point of no return!

Recently I understood that people who are most afraid or death are really people with a lot to lose. I have not given it much thought in the past but after I have Isaac I quickly discovered that there is so much more to live for. His first day in school, his fights, his girlfriends and breakups; his first job; his promotion; his wedding and I have not even come to my grandchild yet.

If I were to die tomorrow, there are probably 2 big regrets for me. Firstly, I did not keep up my end of the bargain that I must outlive the Mrs. She has specifically requested for this because she knows that the “luckier” one will get to go first.

Secondly, I will not be able to see Isaac grow up and be involved in the process of his growing up. I cannot see his expressions when he learns that his dad kept a blog on his conception right up to his birth. I would like to see his amazed look when he sees the video capture of him in the Mrs’s tummy. I planned to do this when he is much older and can fully understand the whole picture of course. Or the embarrassments he will get when I show his wife-to-be pictures and videos of him drooling and spitting.

I know the Mrs is not ready to touch on topic like this because she will get all teary every time without fail. I remembered once I told her a few years ago that I had not pledged to donate my organs but this is my wish so in case I die suddenly then she should carry out my wish. I even told her that although she is the sole beneficiary for my insurance payout, she should give some of the money to my parents.

I even went as far as to tell her what I want for my funeral. I think I got this idea from the movie Philadelphia, you know the one that Tom Hanks won Best Actor for portraying a dying man with Aids, that instead of mourning for my death, I want everyone to celebrate my life. Instead of wearing black and dull clothes and being so solemn I prefer for everyone to wear bright and colourful clothes. Play music that I like (although this will be tough since I do not have a distinct preference) and maybe even show montage of my happy pictures with also reference to this blog. Click here to know what I mean.

The Mrs refused to listen and entertain to all that I had to say so she told me to tell someone else. She said I was “crazy” but I know that that was her way of avoiding the subject. So guess what?! I called my sis immediately and told her all my wants and wishes. Well now that this is documented here, guess someone will be able to come back and refer in the (hopefully) not too near future.

Monday, 23 June 2008

'R'

I entitled this post 'R' because this is one post that is full of stuffs that are rated 'R', hence the disclaimer below. Do not skip the disclaimer before proceeding.

Disclaimer: The below posted videos contain nudity, scenes that most will find disgusting as well as languages that most will not be accustomed to. They are definitely not for the weak stomach so view at your own discretion. I will not be held liable for any adverse effects that you may suffer from viewing. You have been warned!


Nudity:


video

This video was taken at the shop selling the neck float at HarbourFront. Isaac was allowed sometime in the specially designed tub to test out how he likes the float. He loved the first 5 minutes of it but soon turned cranky. Have not had the chance to test the neck float out at a proper pool yet but will keep you posted once this has been achieved.

Spit:


video

This was taken at home by the Mrs. There was a time when Isaac will not stop with his spitting habit and there is absolutely nothing we can do to discourage or prevent him from doing it. After having put us through this ordeal I think the Mrs wanted to document this disgusting habit to blackmail him in the future into doing chores when he is old enough to bring girlfriends home. Oh...... ok; ok, it is my idea to blackmail.

Language:

video

Isaac seems to be a talkative boy. We are not experienced parents but according to some, we do not have to worry about him being slow in learning how to talk because they believe he will start talking very soon at the rate that he is going. The footage you see here is on a typical journey in my car and out of the blue he will start this ranting and sometimes he will gradually get more agitated. But there were also times like during dinner last night when he will go on and on and louder and louder without getting agitated. But without control he can go pretty loud to the extend that the Caucasian family eating at the next table had to turn around and play with him. Maybe he was trying to get their attention or simply want to join in their conversation or perhaps he was merely looking for some compliments because they did say that he is a beautiful boy.


Reward:

video


This footage is to reward you for having sat through the above 3 videos. This shows that you are indeed Isaac's fans or maybe you're just taking a break from your work in the office or simply bored with nothing much to do. Whatever the reason I believe you deserved to have some laughter in your life.

In case you're wondering Dino was in no way harmed or abused by us during the filming of this footage. He merely found us strange since he wasn't doing anything and yet we kept on calling his name. I believed he was justly rewarded too for his effort on that day.

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Insurance

I have never really been a firm believer of insurance but I think that's just the "younger and let's worry about tomorrow tomorrow" me.

Even after we got married, insurance was never really on our agenda. The way I felt then was I make my own leaving so I don't really need the insurance money and honestly this is also not something that I look forward to receiving. Maybe because I felt this way hence I assumed the same applied to the Mrs so I did not insure myself much.

However all these changed after the Mrs started her new job. Where she is now, she is constantly exposed to people having to go through high risk and high cost operations and there are often people who regretted not buying insurance when they were younger and healthy. These are the people who also said that they rather die then to burden their family with the hefty medical bills. This definitely left a deep impact in the Mrs.

Another turning point was when Isaac's Godpa, Tzse who happened to be an insurance agent (think they are called Financial Planner these days) asked me to look at it not from a death's point of view but rather from a disability or terminally ill point of view. In this day and age sadly it is cheaper to die then having to go through all the treatments to fight the illness.

It was then that it finally dawned on me that I should insure myself to prevent my loved ones from having to suffer financially. It is bad enough that they had to suffer emotionally. So I talked to Tzse and insured myself for S$500,000.00 (don't be fooled by the zeros. there is a decimal point there somewhere).

I do not think that half a million is going to do a world of good a few decades down the road with the inflation of prices on most commodities but the premium is what I'm comfortable at this stage of my life. The plan was to increase it later when other projects in my life start to kick off.

Then came the Great Singapore Sale!

Actually I'm not sure if it is really related to GSS but coincidentally we received invitations from AIA to take up another plan during this GSS period. I have the option to take up another accident plan with S$500,000.00 or S$1 million coverage. According to Tzse the premium offered during this promotion is very attractive. It is about half what one had to pay normally.

Without second thought I knew this is a good opportunity for me to insure my family's future further and I told the Mrs that I would like to sign up for a further S$1 Million.

The only problem here is that these are accident plans which means I will only get paid if I die or become disabled from an accident. But hey at least the accidents are "taken care" of so all I have to now is to go back and look at how to increase my other life policies cause these are the ones that will be paid out no matter what.

Currently my non accident plans have coverage of about S$600,000.00 so if I were to really die from an accident then the Mrs and family will be receiving about S$2.1 million. So it looks like it is my time to go it better be an accident and not from the unhealthy food and lifestyle that I am currently leading! Oh, I better add "accident with no suffering". You can never be too careful with what you wish for right?!

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Domesticated!

According to Dictionary.com, Domesticated means:

1) to convert (animals, plants, etc.) to domestic uses; tame.
2) to tame (an animal), esp. by generations of breeding, to live in close association with human beings as a pet or work animal and usually creating a dependency so that the animal loses its ability to live in the wild.
3) to accustom to household life or affairs.

Looking at the above definitions I’m beginning to believe that I am now domesticated. Explanations (1) & (2) make sense since we are basically animals and I have been “trained” to take care of more work at home which brings us to explanation (3).

As bad as I made it sound, I don’t really look at this as a bad thing because really it is not. This came about from a conversation that I was having with the Mrs one Sunday about 2 weeks ago while driving. I was relating to the Mrs about my coffee time (an example of ‘Me’ time) with Mike and Kat while she was out shopping with my MIL and she found it amusing that at one stage of our conversation Mike and I touched on the Sheridan bed sheets (which is pretty costly if you ask me) that they bought during the sale and we were actually comparing thread count. He was saying how many was his hence the hefty price while I told him that the Mrs has always been very happy with Aussino and we used 340 thread count ones. I went on to explain to Mike that we do not want to spend so much on thread counts because I honestly can’t feel the difference plus Dino is always jumping on the bed.

The Mrs had a good laugh and actually praised the fact that we know about thread count and were actually having a discussion, although a short one, on it.

It suddenly dawned on me that I have been domesticated!!! I laughed then and told her that this will make an interesting post on my blog so here it is, some two weeks or so later.

Looking back now I should have seen the earlier signs because a few months ago while having lunch in the office, my female colleagues were actually impressed with the fact that I picked up the used tissue with the chopsticks and wiped down the oil and grease from the bowl before bringing it into the pantry for the cleaning lady to wash.

They immediately sang praises of the Mrs for doing a good job in “training” me. Honestly I did not even notice that it was anything unusual until they mentioned it. Now looking back I really don’t see many people let alone guys doing it. I must have picked it up from the Mrs because she is always doing that. Before we had a maid, I was usually tasked with washing the dishes and I believe the Mrs wanted to help by removing the oil and grease from the bowls and plates first so that it will be easier for me to wash.

Not sure if the type of movies count but we went to watch Sex and the City, the movie last Sunday and I thoroughly enjoyed it even though it is a major chick flick. This was expected because I enjoyed the series as well. I have always liked the humour and honesty from the writers. Oh, erm…. and in case you’re wondering, I watch many regular guy shows as well. I am so looking forward to The Incredible Hulk!! Hulk Smash!!!

Being domesticated also means I like to spend most of my free time at home playing my Xbox instead of clubbing. Then again I have never really been the clubbing sort. What I do like is to arrange for coffees and dinners with friends (wives and girlfriends included of course) and my sis and we will eat, chat and laugh for hours.

Mike made an interesting point sometime ago; he feels that the guys who cheat on their wives are usually those who do not have a hobby. We, the ‘gamers’ (note: this word is used very loosely here) will usually cheat in another form. We research for cheat codes on the Internet to beat the game or in the most recent case we cheated on our wives with a lady named Michelle in Grand Theft Auto IV.

Then again, maybe Mike is just trying to convince Kat to allow him to buy another game console as he already had two.

Are we Domesticated or simply the Sensitive New Age Guy (SNAG)? You tell me.