20.3.13

Blessed

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Chain....chain.....chain.....
Chain of foooooools mishaps! Damn it.

Have you ever felt like everything has to go wrong, when you're just trying to get a simple task done? For example, you're sent a contract of which you're supposed to print out, sign and send it back. But the day the email arrives, you're too sick to respond....then when you're well enough, your macbook has the biggest meltdown (swells up below the trackpad where the trackpad's almost bursting out, literally! Gosh, I thought it was pregnant) and you're forced to back up everything and migrate all your software to another mac before sending it to the service center, and then as you're finally about to print out the document using your replacement mac, you discover the printer's USB cable has been totally ripped apart by your puppy?!
Emceeing while having a fever and a husky voice....sickness shown all over my face!

My puppy's first step of destruction...
OMG.

That's only ONE of the chain of mishaps this month. Blech.

Fortunately, I'm wired to find humour in it all. I laugh when I slip and "hit the floor" unladylikely in public...and often stick my tongue out unconsciously before I crack up when I screw up. BUT, I don't laugh if my mistake is at somebody else's expense (for example, if I screw up a performance for a great product launch event - what? I'm not THAT crazy). In any case, it's laughing at all these sort of mishaps that gets me through and helps me stick to my tasks and see it through. That, and the loving company of a great family and friends.*smile*

Speaking of great friends, I just had an awesome hens party. I'm not getting married so soon....but my girlfriends decided to have the party-holiday early...and booked me on a trip to Australia, without my knowledge! I was forced to take leave as such, cos tickets were already paid for - but it was worth it! Visiting wineries after wineries, a strawberry farm, horse-riding, beaching, hot-tubbing, bbq-ing, drinking and puffing it up in the nights, playing uno and just doing all the "girls just wanna have fun" kind of things that should just stay where they are were just crazyyy. The good and needed kind of crazy. *wink* My fiancé's buddy said they need to do something even better for his stag night...well, good luck! Muahahahaha......

I came back to work feeling sick and depressed (from missing my girlfriends so much), only to be told off by my seven year old students... "TEACHER!!! WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN???!!!", I almost felt obliged to beg for forgiveness but then I realized I had already sorted out a replacement teacher since the beginning of the year and shouldn't be guilty since I'm at work even when I was sick, and I've done that more than once.....and as my tired brain begins to reason with all other sorts of things, they then cried out with big eyes, "WE MISS YOU!!!".

Aww....heart-melters.

I don't think it's a coincidence that I'm surrounded by much favor from all directions....it must be God's blessing to help me stay on track through the hiccups! *smile*

26.2.13

Fergie

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The other day, my fiance thought I'd enjoy a doggy animation - Frankenweenie.

It was quite a sweet show with a happy ending. But I cried heaps before falling asleep that night. The part in the movie where Victor expressed how much he wanted to bring his dog Sparky back described exactly how I've felt for over the last 9 months. I know it sounds silly, but I actually cried to God several times, asking how and when can I see her again, and if He would recreate her again in heaven when I get there. The thought of not ever seeing her again, or being able to run my fingers through her soft hair never fails to give my heart pang after pangs of sadness.

Just days after she passed (click here to read about her passing away), noticing how down I was, my brothers suggested..."Wanna get a new dog?", of which I objected over and over, because I didn't ever want to get attached to a dog the same way and then have to have him/her leave me again. I also knew that nothing could replace Rogue.

Then my brother decided to bring Fergie home, anyway.
What kind of face is this? She's too cute!

This little pup is not Rogue, but she surely reminds me of her!
Me and Fergie.

My BFF and Rogue when she was a pup.
I had mixed fillings over the first few days when we brought her home...was happy to have such an adorable pup to care for (though I dread the number of destructive things she would do in time to come...*gulp*), yet I suddenly reminisce even more about Rogue....not in a bad way, but I realise even more that I have not recovered from my grief over her, though Fergie is so much of a comfort for my loss.

One thing's for sure, new songs will be birthed from this episode.

15.1.13

A Little Hiccup

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Last month, in the middle of all the busyness, I decided to finally do my little surgery. I’ve dreaded and been delaying it for as long as I can, but I knew there was no better time than then as it was the only time that I could afford my hand being down for a while and not playing instruments.

Weeks after the surgery....
I’ve been having this little lump on my arm for about 2 years, and a doctor I saw said that it might or might not fade away if left alone, and to only remove it if it was causing me discomfort or grew any bigger – he said it was just a skin-deep thing, no need for any big concern.

Since it was not ugly, or even visible (unless I press it), I took his advice and left it. But then, it started to hurt a little and it did grow bigger. Damn it! Still, I feigned ignorance until another doc I saw to remove a corn on my feet (yeah, gross) touched it and implied that it may be cancerous. That sent my mom into a panic, and she started to nag me every day to remove it. I guess, looking back, I should say, my mom’s nagging saved the day, because just after a few days of nagging, I couldn’t take it anymore!

So, I saw two docs for second opinions and finally decided to remove it under local anesthesia. Going into the operation theatre felt kinda silly and scary at the same time. Silly because it was such a minor surgery, but scary cos I knew the surgeon was gonna cut in deep while I was awake! Eek!

Having someone cut something out of you while you’re awake doesn’t feel great, especially when you can hear him “sawing” your skin layer by layer. I did not look, although I was so curious as to how things were looking in my arm – I didn’t want to make myself panic or imagine any pain, since the numbness seemed to have settled in pretty well. But in the end, the doctor who tried to be cheeky, pulled his arm over my eyes (I had turned my face the other way around, away from my arm), dangling what was the lump in my arm in front of me. Why, thanks doc! Covered, in blood, it looked like a steamed-fish eyeball. Yuck. It sure didn’t look like a normal cyst.

I talked about driving myself home, as the doc was sewing me up. But then, he said, “What? You’re gonna go back to work right after this?”. I replied, “Didn’t you say I’d be okay? I could use my hand like normal right?”, of which he responded with,  “Don’t you think you’re driving yourself a little too hard?”
Just after the surgery, I instinctively tried to be a hero by reaching out to hold the door for the nurse (on my way back from the operation theatre to my ward)...blood oozes out.
Shucks. It was only after the surgery, as I tried to use my hand like normal of which I started to feel the difference - my arm was somewhat throbbing with pain. I was set on painkillers the next few days.

Memories of a similar surgery I had on my arse came back. After getting some stitches on my butt, taking the doc’s word for “you can do things as normal after this” to extremes, I went around shopping with my parents….walking great lengths, right after the surgery. I did feel the pain, but it was bearable, so I went on “doing things as normal”…only to eventually rip the stitches on my butt! OMG. My ass was bleeding by the end of the day! And I had to go back for a second round of stitches, only this time, they had to burn up the wound so that it would heal quicker! Tears streamed down my face, despite the local anesthesia they jabbed me with, and I’d never forget the smell of my ass burning. There was one thing I’ve learnt from that experience – after a surgery, NEVER push yourself to the limit just because the pain is bearable!

Back to the arm….

So after the surgery, I waited for about a week for the results of the biopsy. I felt a little nervous – cos I suspected that it was a tumour of some sort. Prior to the surgery, the doc had said it was probably a cyst. And as I sat there in his office, he had to break the news in the scariest way…

“You know, your case is VERY unusual.” I gulped…"Erm…okay…”
“Your lump wasn’t a cyst. It was a tumour.” I stared back at him wide-eyed, as he paused.
“But rest assured....it’s not malignant!”

Gosh, couldn’t he have just told me without the drama? Phew! So, it turns out, I was right! OMG. Thankfully, it was not malignant! And thank God, for mom’s nagging which led to my removing it before it could have evolved into anything cancerous!

It’s been about a month now, since I had this little lump of "hiccup" from playing instruments. The wound has healed completely, though I have a faint scar as I dreaded. Well, on the bright side, I can do things like normal again, and the bloody lump is finally out! *smile*

8.1.13

What's in a name?

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Yip.

That's my real surname. My grandpa for some reason spelled it "Yap" instead of "Yip" on my dad's birth certificate and now we are all Yaps.


Not to my disappointment, after all most people like to tease Yips about yipping...is that even funny? Lamers. But even with Yap, some people like to go, "yupp yupp!" after they call my name every now and then. Dumbos. Not funny, either.


No, I'm not gonna start b****ing about that. I've grown accustomed to nicknames and teasing at a young age, something of which I used to hate. But not any nickname derived from my surname, or even any of my names, only God knows how my nicknames came about. In any case, I have learned that nicknames are somewhat a form of endearment - I mean come on, that's how I came up with the name of this blog after all, the "B" in my Princess B Sharp actually refers to B****. My friends call me B Sharp, as in super B...but this is no insult. These days, B is not used as a derogatory remark, girlfriends (as well as gay friends) use it on each other as playful 'babe" kind or remark - simply using it on other people you don't know well or aren't close to however, still has some sort of negative connotations. For example, if you call your teacher a B to her face or some random schoolmate you see on the streets, be prepared to be slapped. Be prepared for slaps too, for calling any real Bs a B. And remember, although you can use B with your fellow siblings, it is highly awkward and downright wrong to use it on your parents (grandparents too, duh). Not cool.


Anyway, back to the surname. I can't write Chinese, but I learned how to at least "spell" my Chinese name. My surname, in it's original Chinese character is pretty darn complicated - to me, at least.





Thankfully, the modern simplified version of the character is a piece of cake. It looks like a square and a cross put together.




Charming, hey? I was quite amused when I found out what my surname meant too - "Leaf". When I first found out, I was like, "What? So I'm Janice Leaf?!" And then...."Hooray! That makes me SO special!" I sense rolling eyes.


Through out the years, I've met only a few Yaps. One of my first crushes...I think my second, was a Yap. And NO, he's not related to me! But being the little girl I was then, I believed what people said - you can't marry someone with the same surname, it's incest! (Is it, really? Err...) But at the same time, I wondered, but maybe I don't have to change my surname then? Gosh, looking back, what the heck? Why did I even thinking about marriage then and took forever to come to terms with getting married now? Strange how different you see things as you grow older. I also have a very close friend with the same surname...and believe it or not, we built a close friendship by harping on the fact that we are family, just because we have the same surnames - it worked. *smile* I also found out that through school, that Yap Ah Loy (gosh, this name is as chinese as it gets) was regarded as the founding father of modern Kuala Lumpur, who developed Kuala Lumpur as a commercial and mining centre during the mid-19th century. Only recently I found came across his pic as I was visiting the KL City Gallery. I was like, wooooh...he sure looks like a gangsta.




Anyway, I was just looking for some words of encouragement from one of my idols - Bruce Lee. I won't claim to be his super fan, as I don't collect everything that has his mark on it, and I don't know everything about all of his work, but I used to think he was pretty darn cool, and still do. Aw come on, who doesn't? Think Kung Fu and he comes to mind! Not forgetting his signature sound effects and mannerisms! What more, he's quite a hottie who speaks quite charmingly.




Here are some of his quotes that I really like:


"Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it."


"I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times." 


"Knowledge will give you power, but character respect."


"A goal is not always meant to be reached, it often serves simply as something to aim at."


"Notice that the stiffest tree is most easily cracked, while the bamboo or willow survives by bending with the wind."


DAMN! Those are one hell of few good quotes! I feel better already!


I then read his wiki and then all of a sudden as I looked at his martial arts lineage, recalled....whoala, his Wing Chun mentor was Ip Man (yes, the Ip Man movie with Donny Yen starring in it was about him), and Ip is actually Yip! Whoo hoo! My surname is officially a kick-ass surname.


If only a kick-ass surname was all it took to be really outstanding. Gotta work even harder, B Sharp!

1.1.13

Ending with a Bang!

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So, Christmas is officially over.  NooOoOoOOO!!!!

Strange, when I was younger, I'd really feel Christmas coming and going. These days, I don't feel much of Christmas at all...despite the Christmas decorations, songs and gifts. Perhaps less time with my family and also my closer friends on the actual day is what's lessens the "mood" of Christmas? My parents used to bring us to Christmas buffet dinners on Christmas eve where we'd dine the whole night through on all sorts of yummy delights, be entertained by the carollers, Santas and Santarinas through out dinner, and then watch the culinary team perform at midnight as we "steal" lots of helium balloons back home after the whole fiesta. Then we'd gather around the Christmas tree, with our collection of balloons and paper crackers (nothing compared to our Chinese New Year firecrackers!), and then open our presents together excitedly.

Perhaps such, was why the anticipation of Christmas.

As we grew older, we all had our own things to do on Christmas...and since my family are not actually Christians, we stopped celebrating Christmas altogether. We still give gifts to each other, but Christmas wasn't really a family affair/occasion anymore. Christmas is still special to me though, but for a different reason - Jesus. I know, Christmas day isn't the actual day Jesus was born....however, Christmas remains a day that celebrates His birth, no? *smile* And a day to remember God's love as demonstrated in his greatest gift to us, His only son. 

And as such, I almost never turn down an opportunity to serve God in church during this season. This year we started as early as end of October - I know, nothing to brag about when most churches would start auditions and such as early as March! But the church I go to was never really big on productions...so putting together a full-on musical production this time around is rare, and actually, we've only ever done it once!

I was initially approached to write the script, compose the music and write the songs, direct and perform for this musical. I agreed to all of the above, but perform. I felt it was time to step back and let some fresh faces take over for a change - I want to help build the team, and I don't mind serving from behind the scenes, as much as I enjoy performing. So, that was it. The team leaders agreed, and it would be the first time I'd take on a fuller responsibility as the director of the musical. Eek!!! Pressure, pressure!!!

Writing the script was as usual - painful and long. While I was the main scriptwriter, we had a team contributing ideas and changes to it - Pastor Karen Lau, Pastor Gwen Choo, Pastor Julie Khoo & Chew Hwee Yen. Girl power! As for the songs, I wrote most of the songs, and wrote one with Charisse Tay, while she wrote another one on her own, and Elisha Kee wrote another. We also used an MC Hammer's "Pray", with modified lyrics and Le'andria Johnson's "It's Gonna Be Alright", with some rap from Aaron Lui. As for directing, I shared the responsibility with Pastor Karen, who was also the producer of the whole production. Karen and I make good partners *wink* - she's super good with details, while I'm better at monitoring the bigger picture. Nevertheless, we were pretty much stretched in all directions.


Through out the whole period from scratch to the real thing, I was in screensaver mode. Totally engrossed, every time my fiance spoke to me about anything, I'd be giving him a blank stare, taking minutes just to process what he said as my mind was constantly preoccupied with the production (how to improve it, what lines to add, what scenes to add, what songs to add, what background music, how to develop the actors and the characters more & etc), and I also spent hours and hours talking and acting and singing out parts of the script. He thought I was going nuts when he called me one day as I was writing and recording the song "How Could I Unlove You", a song revealing the troubled relationship between the protagonist and his wife - because I was sobbing on the phone!

Yupp, I was behaving like a retard.

Here's a glimpse of me answering questions very slowly like I'm stoned...


I'm sure the rest of the cast also felt retard-ish as they engrossed themselves in their roles - there were some pretty hilarious and also emotional parts that were out of their comfort zones.


Grandpa (Raymond Phoon) was at first not all that comfortable with rapping, what more with a serious face as those old folks were working it...but he nailed it!

Thankfully, we had a great team. They were all volunteers, from all walks of life and all ages, but all had one thing in mind - to serve God. So for about 2 and half months, we spent weeknights and eventually weekends too to bring the production, "Freedom" together.

Here are some videos of our rehearsals...

"I am the Man" - the most egotistic song in the play....


"What A Night" (Reprise)


"What A Night" (Reprise, solo parts)


More rehearsing...


Running through other tiny bits before the full-run....

While this was going on, it wasn't a smooth sailing month for every member of the team, some fell sick or had family who fell ill, some were changing jobs or facing challenges at work, some going through final exams, some close to being disowned by their families & etc. All in all, everyone made some sort of sacrifice to be a part of this, and it was all worth it to see how many people were touched in the end. *smile*

I was kinda worried as the day got closer if things would work out. I felt like if it turned out like shit, it'd be my fault because I was the director. Thankfully, with prayer, great team spirit and God's annointing, everything finally fell into place! *smile* In the end, it wasn't about how great the show was...it was about walking away, knowing we've given it our best and that God will do the rest.
That said, I really believe God will never shortchange us. Entering this musical thinking it might take up too much of my time and fearing that I won't have enough gigs to sustain myself the last two months (with other unexpected problems and also health issues), I emerged with not many, but a few really good-paying events, and as a result, had even more time to contribute to the production than expected! Also, two of the songs I wrote for this musical are songs I could definitely include in my future album...songs of which I've had playing in my head for a long time, of which I didn't quite complete to my satisfaction until I wrote it around this musical. Perfect!

Here's one of them, the theme song of the musical..."I'll Never Ever Let You Go"

A perfect example why you should always turn UP the metronome while recording! 


It's a new year ahead...I hope to end this one with a bigger bang than the last!

Happy New Year! +_+

7.12.12

Why I Left the Supertank

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It's official. I've left the band, "Janice and the Supertank".



It was with a heavy heart to finally arrive at that decision because together with some of my bandmates, we've spent much time, energy and effort to build this band - I loved the band, and have always given a 100% effort through out our every endeavour. From the design of the logo, to the animation of our logo in our videos, to designing our single & album covers, to writing sponsorship proposals and press kits, to video editing, to rehearsals, to getting gigs, to planning MTVs, to songwriting, to seeing band members come and go & etc, I have given my best and have no regrets. 



I have much gratitude for the many supporters and friends we've made who have helped us come this far - from having no platform to perform, to appearing on every local TV channel and various papers & magazines, to topping FlyFM's Campur Chart at no.1 for 2 weeks (with "And You Know It", a song I wrote & composed many years ago), and XFM's top 40 charts at no. 1 for 18 weeks (10 weeks with "Kau Di Mindaku", a Malay adapted version "And You Know It", & 8 weeks with "Just Before I Sleep", a song I wrote and composed while studying in London) and charting on HitzFM's Met10 and EraFM as well. We've also been featured live on other radio stations, such as HotFm, CatsFM, AfoRadio & and performed at the reputable Hard Rock Cafe, Penang over many occasions (Pinktober, Penang Jazz Festival, Penang's Hard Rock Summer Fest, Indie Live at the Rock, Hard Rock After dark, our own first single and album launch & etc) and other venues alike. For a two and a half year old band, I am glad that we've gotten this far at all *wink*.



I once joked on the radio, during an interview, "I love my band more than my boyfriend...", but I was half serious, if you know what I mean. Though I am definitely in love with the man that I have agreed to marry next year, I have also long been married to music and nothing and no one can ever come in between. Thankfully, I have found a man who truly supports me in every way. *smile*



Hence, while being in love with someone doesn't stand in the way of my music pursuits, my music inspiration has been leading me to a direction different from that of a band. I had not planned to leave "Janice and the Supertank" this soon, however, after a series of events, I think it's a sign that it's just time to move from the less travelled path to the the even less travelled path! Eek!



So, the new journey begins... I'll keep the music playing... *wink*



Stay tuned!



Here are some pictures in good memories of our band....I placed them all down here, cos there are so many....


Our first single, "And You Know It"
Concept & design: Janice Yap
Our first EP, "Sleep Talking"
Concept & design: Janice Yap
Photography & Illustration: Kabus Studio
The initial design for the album cover...spot the difference?
 My sketch of the concept in the early stages

"And You Know It", the first MTV....

Singing into the phone for our MTV, "Kau Di Mindaku".
Yes, it felt really silly.

Another snippet from "Kau Di Mindaku",
hair was a mess while shooting this part with the window down!
"Di Syurga" MTV - I rented angel wings just for this!
Oh, the many painful hours touching up the other shots for the same MTV
just so that the whites would look a brilliant white!
The MTV for "Merry"

The cold hours in the studio...not my favourite, that's for sure! 
"Kau Di Mindaku", #1 for 10 weeks!
The chart was known as Carta X-25, which was then changed to XFM Top 40
Another 8 weeks at  #1 with "Just Before I Sleep"
Featured on CatsFM, Kuching
Coming up with a random song on AfoRadio
Performing "Di Syurga" live for CatsFM's Video Channel

Live Interview on HotFM
Performing "Kau Di Mindaku" live on XFM
Our first performance on a public platform - Battle of the Bands 2010
Laundry Bar
Pinktober at the Hard Rock
It was an outdoor stage...I'll never forget how warm it was that night!
On the Hard Rock Cafe Stage for the launch of our debut single, 
"And You Know It"  - much cooler inside!
Our debut performance at the Hard Rock Cafe
Penang Island Jazz Festival at the Hard Rock Cafe
Love that wall up there with that montage of the music legends....
Featured on Berita Harian...

The Star
Metro Rap
Hits
The News Straits Times
Cosmo
TV 1  - Our very 1st TV appearance
TV3 Muzik Muzik
NTV 7
8TV Quickie


19.7.12

Missing My Border Collie

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I saw Border Collies in my dream last night. I sobbed like mad.


My dog, or whom I'd normally address as "my baby" is gone. She passed away in May. When she left, as my brother would put it, "We suddenly realize that she had carried away with her many years of our own lives too. We all miss her." I feel my eyes well-up with tears as I remember her face and that same endearing grin she makes whenever she sees me.


I never really talked about it openly, the grief and madness that followed her demise. Mostly from me, of course. I was crushed beyond words, and I still have that void from her missing, one that I am starting to think nothing and no one can fill. 


Her name was Rogue.
My dog, too fat and big for her little bed....
The dictionary says:


rogue |rōg|
noun
1 a dishonest or unprincipled man : you are a rogue and an embezzler.
a person whose behavior one disapproves of but who is nonetheless likable or attractive (often used as a playful term of reproof) :



That wasn't why I named her Rogue, though I definitely didn't approve her eating-holes-through-the-walls when she was a puppy. She had many other peculiar behaviours and traits too that almost drove all my housemates mad. They dubbed her the "demon dog" even, when she was less than a quarter of the size she turned out to be as an adult dog, but again, no...I didn't name her Rogue because of that. I named her Rogue because of X-men - she had that same white streak and she seems like a "dangerously" loveable creature from the start. Or maybe I just felt it was dangerous at all for me to keep her because she was a secret dog - I wasn't allowed to have a dog then, I took her home without my parents knowledge/permission. I was studying abroad in Australia, and I had bought her with the little student savings that I had. It was the only time I've ever done anything "rebellious" - my dad didn't speak to me for a week when I told him a year later.


But over the years, my whole family grew to love her. She stole everyone's hearts. She became an angel of a dog, and I've never felt more rewarded. We really had someone special. 


I had a hollywood dog - our story sounds like the type you'd see in the movies. Right to her very last breath, she had an amazing love for me. We had the most beautiful farewell, one only most dog owners could have wished for, but even so...the missing goes on and on.


The last few nights before she passed, I spent hours sitting by her side. She could barely move or eat, and was vomiting. I'd try to feed her liquids and food from a syringe, but when her tongue started to stick out, I knew it was almost time. I read somewhere that I ought to take a moment to hold her and tell her how much I love her and cherished our time together, so I did. I'm so glad I did. I also took pictures with her, of which she managed to sit up and give a couple of grins, even though she hates cameras. Just the night before she passed, I sat down by her side and sang...I had a gig the next day that I couldn't cancel, I needed to rehearse those songs and at the same time I wanted to be with her. Thank God I did just that.


The next day I decided to bring her into the vet to put her on drips, as she couldn't swallow anymore. She couldn't seat up at all either. 


I was still trying to "save" her.


The doctor told me that if she was to feel better after the drips and anti-vomiting injections, but had to depend on the drips to stop vomiting, her organs are probably failing and systems are dying. I asked her how long more would she live, if that was the case (I was still hoping that it was just a nasty case of food poisoning), and the vet said a few days to 10 days. I broke down and cried like Niagara Falls. And then she went on to say, that I might have to consider putting her to sleep if I don't want her to starve to death or die suffering from convulsions and such. 


Later that evening, I brought her home as there wouldn't be anyone to watch over her through out the night at the clinic. I wanted to be with her again for another night. She seemed slightly better cos she could lift her head up for a while. I thought to myself with a little hope, "Yay! I'll bring her for another dripping session tomorrow!" and tried to think positive as I had to leave home for a sound check. My sis-in-law came over with my little niece to watch over her as I left. Before I left, I patted Rogue gently, and said "Wait for me okay? I'll be back....be a good girl and wait for me, okay? Love you."


At the gig, I blocked any thoughts or images of her from my mind. Just the thought of her,  I choked with tears  - I couldn't perform like that. It was not professional, and I didn't wanna screw up the gig. The gig went well, with many great compliments and praises from the crowd, but the moment it was over, I wasn't interested in any drinks or networking that night. I just wanted to go home immediately. I found the missed calls on my phone from my dad, brothers and fiance....and then the messages..."Come home quick, Rogue is waiting for you, it doesn't look she's gonna make it".


I fled home. I held back my tears and prayed that it wasn't as serious as it sounds. I didn't bother returning all the calls, just my dad's and told him I was coming home. The bloody road was blocked that night, and I have to make a detour and go through a little more traffic, but I made it. Finally. I came in, dressed in my formal gown...and my whole family was crowded around her. There she laid, her eyes without the normal glim they always had, her tongue stuck out and her jaw locked in a funny position. I called, "Rogue?" 


Her eyes rolled just slightly to catch a glimpse of me. I knelt beside her, and patted her and started singing the song I'd always sing as I played with her....I sang it halfway and started to cry softly as I realised that she was really about to go. I stroked her endlessly, and said, "It's okay Rogue...I love you...we all love you..." and I wanted to hold her close, but I was afraid I would obstruct her breathing. She was breathing in very funny intervals and I could see it was very difficult for her to make every breath. As I continued stroking her endlessly,  she suddenly makes a big stretch. I panicked, as I thought that was it. But then I realised she was trying with all her might to stretch her head back to where my thighs were. She took a sniff of me, and remained in that position, looking at me, her head almost on my thighs. I patted her and said, "Rogue, are you okay? I'm here..." And then she started to have convulsions. My brothers and I started calling out her name, really loudly, as if we could keep her with us by doing so...and then she stopped. She was still breathing. I felt a sense of relief that she wasn't gone yet...but I knew, "Anytime now..." so I bent down to kiss her on her forehead and told her I love her again...and then in just a few seconds, she stopped breathing. 


She had waited for that moment the whole time.


Needless to say, Niagara Falls happened again. I vaguely remember someone else sobbing behind me, but I couldn't stop patting my dog and wishing for some extra minutes so I never found out who. I think I just wanted to pat her as much as possible because I knew I would never be able to feel that same warm, soft, furry feeling in my hands again.


The final moment as we said "goodbye"
I guess the strangest thing about owning a dog, I've realised, is that the dog first becomes your child, you go through the parenting period that sometimes really sucks (having to discipline the dog even though it breaks your heart every time, toilet train, keep them entertained, give them all the attention and care they need, provide for them, teach them things & etc), then they sort of become your companion (it knows how to entertain you too, make some demands every now and then, welcomes you home, stays up with you as you burn the midnight oil, makes sure his/her is always by your side literally), and then suddenly he/she starts to grow old....much faster and older than you. It's like having a baby that you really feel IS your child, and then that baby suddenly grows up so much faster and outgrows you to the point of death. It's strange and it hurts to have your "child" go first, what more to go like an older person.


Well, I always knew she wouldn't outlive me, but it was still worth everything to have had her.


I miss you, Rogue.