Sunday, April 23, 2017

21 april is typically a melancholy day for me, but before i tell you about that, let's talk about pets! the reason i've been wanting to bring the topic up is because my cousin bought a dog. i've interacted with it a few times, and it seems to me that it has some slight behavioural problems. the biggest of which is that it sometimes tries to bite people. it's probably in a playful way, or sometimes in self-defence towards a perceived threat, but i think dogs should be trained out of all forms of biting, towards the owner, at least. i understand if guard dogs have to bite. anyway, i was just thinking to myself that my aunt and uncle are spoiling the dog a bit. i've been joking with my cousin that his dog leads a better life than i do, and that i wouldn't mind trading places with it. but taking good care of a pet isn't spoiling it. the spoiling which i'm referring to comes in how they're not taking a tough stance on some of the dog's negative behaviour (biting being a major one), and they're generally a bit too indulgent. for my part, i am stern when i see something that shouldn't be encouraged, but considering i see the dog once a month maximum, it doesn't really help. and i think my philosophy is kind of different. from volunteering at the shelter, i realize that an effective way to discourage or stop certain behaviour from the dogs as it's happening is to be stern, ie. raising my voice. the sharp exclamation is usually in the form of a phrase like "stop it!" to focus the tone. my aunt tells me that the dog doesn't understand what i'm saying, and i agree. of course the dog won't understand english. but it understands the tone of the message (disapproving, fierce) and knows that the behaviour it just did is wrong. i was actually stressing about this issue for a while, like how can i help to train all this bad behaviour out of the dog? after thinking about it on and off for a while, i came to a major realization: it's their dog, not mine. however they decide to train it, or if they decide to train it is none of my business. people keep pets for different reasons, after all. if i had a pet, i would want it to be a well-behaved companion. but that's just me. some people keep pets to show off (eg. this is the most expensive purebred dog in the world), others keep their pets around for entertainment, and there are those who want to care for and nurture something too. none of those aims are wrong, as long as the animal in question is being properly cared for. so yes, that was what i wanted to say about pets.

on to 21 april. this date is a bittersweet one for me, and it's significant to me for a couple of reasons. the first reason is that it's the anniversary of the passing of my maternal grandmother. it's the 18th anniversary this year, in fact. she passed away when i was 11, meaning that she's been gone for more than half my life now. it was also my first real personal experience with handling death. of course, princess diana passed away two years prior (to name a high-profile death in the approximate timeframe), but it didn't mean anything to me since i didn't know anything about her. to be honest, i don't remember much about my maternal grandmother, mainly because my paternal grandparents stayed with us while i was growing up, so the memories of them are stronger. there are photos of me and my cousin (our birthdays are very close) as babies on my maternal grandmother's bed, so i'm sure she helped to take care of us as well. two particular memories of her stand out in particular, that she used to buy lor mee for breakfast when i stayed the night at her place, and that she made great prawn fritters. the rest is mostly stories passed down from the previous generation and older cousins. from those stories, i learnt that she worked ridiculously hard and suffered a lot. i do wish my grandparents (3 out of 4 of them, at least) had lived long enough to see me grow out of my awkward/weird teenage phase. but yes. that's reason #1 for a less-than-happy 21 april.

in a somewhat contrasting way, the second reason has to do with birth. 21 april is also the birthday of someone for whom i care greatly about. it's not the date; their birthday is in january. but anyway. my relationship with this person is good in general, but not as close as i'd have liked previously. it's kind of a bittersweet feeling, in that i am happy to be friends with this person, but sad that it'll never be anything more than friends. but i guess i've grown to accept it as the years passed. i sometimes ask myself what makes me care so greatly for this person in particular. so far, i haven't really got a good answer, except that there's something about them that makes me want to do it. i suppose that's reason enough. in case you're wondering, no, i'm not pining for this person or anything melodramatic like that. i got over that years ago, thankfully.

my car is in the shop for the parts replacement. i decided to replace everything that the mechanic recommended, except for the engine mount, which had been replaced sometime in the past 2 years. and since i wanted to give them a nice working environment, i thought that it was a good time as any to go through all the stuff that's been piling up in the back. ended up removing a fairly large box's worth of various stuff. the car looks so much cleaner now! i hope the procedure will go off well, and that its performance will be enhanced. i had thought that the procedure would be fairly fast, and that i would be able to collect the car on the same day. turns out that that wasn't the case. the nice guy at the workshop (with whom my cousin is acquainted) arranged to lend me a honda fit. i've had it for about a day, and it takes some getting used to. the driver's seat is really high, and all the reference points are different. nothing i can't handle, though. funny story - i was at the petrol station to top it up, and couldn't for the life of me find the lever to open the fuel tank cover. on my civic, the lever is close to the floor, to the right of the driver's seat. pushing it opens the fuel tank, pulling it opens the boot. so i was looking for something similar. after frantically searching for 5 minutes, and as i was about to call the workshop guy to ask how on earth i was supposed to refuel his car, an attendant came over and showed me that the fuel tank on the fit was accessed by pushing down on the fuel tank cover itself. i would never have guessed that, not in a million years. isn't it risky, though? seems to me that anyone can just pop the cover and siphon your fuel off. maybe there's a security feature that i haven't noticed, like it only works when the car is unlocked.

while on the topic of the car, i finally decided to renew the COE for 5 years. while the decision is based mostly on facts and logic, there are a few assumptions. the main assumption being that i can earn enough to afford another secondhand car by 2022. as for facts, having a spare $25000 right now would be nice. could channel it into more productive areas. not to mention the money not spent on the COE can be channelled into the parts replacement costs, as well as to the upcoming servicing. i do have some other plans for the money, but that's a story for another time. for now, i've got to get ready for tonight's date soon. the date had something on yesterday, hence we pushed it a day back.

-random thought of the day: Looking forward to getting the car back!-

No comments: