... in which I kill time by the hour ...

Aug 22, 2013

The Kangaroo Chronicles - Not-Really-A-Part

My final Teaching Practicum is upon me and the pressure to not fail is so bad it hurts and I'm teaching the kangaroos this time and, surprisingly, actually having fun - like, I want to go there when I wake up in the mornings - but I am so beyond busy and stressed out I don't even have time to properly blog about this.

Most likely, I'll put up a post of word-vomit after this final TP ends in September.

Till then, Arvy vanishes off the face of this planet. Again.

Jun 27, 2013

Life Ruiners

Aren't they

just ravishing

I am so. fookin. done.

Even I don't understand my taste in men most of the time.

Jun 3, 2013

I can't think of an appropriate title

Because how do you spell 

I got my exam results and KAPOW~ HDs in all subjects including Islamic Eiquette and I also passed my 2nd TP. Miraculous, really, because this is that one semester where I actually did not put in much effort to study and memorise everything ever taught. 
After all this time, my first HD in Bio after spending max 2 hours to study for an exam. Makes sense.

I'm super happy, though. What with an additional fandom creeping into my load - my weakness for crazy adorkable older men knows no bounds - my Uni studies took a backseat for quite a while XD

That said, remember that time last year when I sobbed over my lost chance to go to Japan and how my dad tried to console me that my chance will come again? Turns out My Dad Is Always Right. I'm so happy, alhamdulillah!

Jenesys Cultural Exchange Programme to Japan, here I come~! There was another Arvy-fail moment where I saw the notice only on the last day, just four hours before the deadline again. But this time, my passport is fookin valid and the only additional thing I had to do was take a few photos to submit with my application. And that's all it took. I'm in! And off to the land where the sun rises in less than a week. 

I'm so excited, I just can't. It doesn't matter that it's only for five days, or that I need to drag a traditional dress I've never worn in my life along with me, or that the program is only centered around Tokyo and Yokohama. It's still Japan and I get to go and yep my dad was so right and I'm so grateful \(T^T)/

Don't worry, Rif. I'm already saving up and I'll definitely go there again with you next year, too. I have to. How else do I get me some Osaka and Kyoto, eh? ;)


May 15, 2013

Drabble fic: "Enough"

Title: Enough 
Pairing: Ohkura-centric, mild Ohkura/Yoko 
Genre: Borderline angst 
Summary: A little drabble on the theme of Ohkura's birthday and then some. 

Note: There is nothing really special about this tiny drabble. I was just overcome with the need to write a few nights back and I did. I don't have the confidence to put this up on LJ yet, this being the first thing I've ever written for K8 and also without a plot or anything. But it being Tacchon's birthday, I just wanted to share this somewhere. 

Sometimes, he thinks that Yoko will never be able to meet his eyes and smile genuinely to wish him a happy birthday again. Yoko’s birthday greetings to him have all boiled down to emails now. 

Straightforward. Monotonous. Just a simple acknowledgement that he remembers what day it is. 

However, as he holds up his phone and rereads Yoko’s simple message again, he thinks that this is more than enough. 

It’s more than enough that Yoko still greets him, no matter how impersonally. 

It’s more than enough that Yoko never forgets about Ohkura, even on his mother’s death anniversary. 

(Maybe, one day, Yoko will once more look in his eyes, smile bright and sincere, hand him a gift and wish him personally again. But for now, this is OK, Ohkura thinks. He saves the message to the little folder containing all of Yoko’s birthday greetings to him for the past three years.)

Apr 23, 2013

The Male' Chronicles - THE END

My procrastination skills don't hinder my OCD tendencies apparently, because I just couldn't leave this without "properly" ending my non-existent blogging of TP experiences.


The only things I want to remember about my TP are that
  • I made good friends with the other TP teachers (because we all suffered as one and gathered in the staff room after every lesson to sob and lament and be maudlin together)
  • Whatever I had with them brats was the biggest love/hate relationship I have EVER experienced in my life (now I know what it feels like, wanting to cuddle and murder someone - actually, about 60 adolescents - at the same time)
  • My master teachers were good and I liked them and they liked me (or I like to think so at least >.<)
  • And most importantly, I have mastered the art of yelling at and disciplining hormonal adolescent boys with thorns in their asses LIKE A FOOKIN BOSS and, as my Uni professor told me, "If you can handle them, you can handle everyone else now." (My dad was a bit less eloquent, "Now you have the ability to yell at other more idiotic classes.")
That said, I don't want to go into detail about all the bad things that happened - but let's just say that three of my classes flopped due to the school management's mistake and which I had to suffer for. (Now I know what it feels like to come crawling home and just literally cry for hours).

BUT. All that is done and dealt with. I'm not even thinking about whether I passed or failed. The end.

Mar 23, 2013

BEST OF THE 8EST (bad puns yay)

Right, so I was supposed to blog about my teaching experience - all the whines, tears, idiot moments and whatnot - but all my fandom feels have nowhere to go and I need to prioritize and clearly Kanjani8 over career so ... yeah.

Guaranteed spoilers ahead, so scroll down at your own discretion. But what the heck, if you're on tumblah and following Eito blogs, odds are nothing here would be new for ya. Also, this post will may reach monstrous lengths.

So. Yup. 8EST.
One thing I'm grateful for my TP? It distracted me during the wait for 8EST's release. Which was a good thing because, despite the pressure and stress of will-I-pass-or-will-I-fail that have haunted me for the past month, it was a healthier pain than the K8 withdrawals I suffered last year while waiting for the ExE con. I love Kanjani8 but dammit I don't want to suffer that level of unhealthiness ever again >.<

When I say Kanjani8 over career, I wasn't kidding. I watched it during my TP, with one week of assessed-teaching left. I know, I know. My priorities are messed up. I probably should care. Heh.
I actually used two internet connections - depriving parents of their personal connection for a whole day haha - to download both discs simultaneously like a mofo baws so I could have the whole thing done by last Friday night. I knew I couldn't watch during the week and no way in hell was I gonna wait for my TP to be over XD

Whereas the first viewing of ExE last year was by Neji and I alone, this time for 8EST we were joined by Donbz, who has made the transition to a true and out-of-Egypt fanboy. Round of applause please, ladies and gents. >8D 
While we're on that subject, I still end up giggling when I think about the night before our 8EST date: Neji and Donbz had come over to watch an SMtown (but ended up watching 700 Days of Battle first; darn I should review that - all the lulz xD) and, because I'd already dl-ed a bit of 8EST, I suggested we ought to watch just the first 10 seconds opening at least. Neji and Donbz gave in, we watched, flailed and squealed, and when K8 finally made their entrance in all their retina-abusing hot pink gay grandeur, Donbz murmurs,
'Wait, why am even I getting feels?'
The sheer monumental impact of that moment, yo. How do I words? XD (And then the first 2 seconds of the first song blared and all of us just literally screamed and Neji immediately turned off the video because the whole thing had still not finished dl-ing and youjustdonotbeginaconcertwithOsakaRomanesqueOK)

I have half a mind to take screencaps of all my favourite moments, but then there is the dilemma of omg-fav-moments-how-do-I-choooooooose because decisions decisions and my brain'd probably self-implode from the sheer feat anyway. 
In other words, I'm also lazy.
But it is a con so worth watching for many many reasons.

May I just say that I love the DVD staff forever for choosing the live at Nagai Stadium? I've grown quite fond of the Domes - Kyocera especially - but the open-air stadium performances are refreshing and made me feel like I was able to breathe (this is hard to explain, so don't ask >.>). I loved seeing the sky change colour, from light to darkness during the con and OK, I adore the fact that it was raining xD I don't know why, it's just such a different and refreshing feel. And those fans - you gotta love them. Eito over colds, too, apparently XD

Otoko no Eitaa - ahahaha xD No, this deserves a mention, seriously. 
I loved Hina forever for starting that trend from their Puzzle concert onwards (I still remember the look on Rif's face during that particular moment while we were watching Puzzle together for the first time; we mirrored each other perfectly) and I both adore it and find it hilarious that the number of men attending K8 cons seem to be increasing every year. Either that or the cameramen are finding more and more male fans to film xD I imagine a good chunk of them were dragged by girlfriends/wives, but it's great to see real and enthusiastic male fans in the crowd actually singing along to the songs and - my favourite part - screaming their lungs out and waving penlights whenever Hina goes all, 'WHERE MAH BOYS AT' XD i love it that hina loves dem fanboiz

That said, I hate Kanjani forever for starting off the con with Osaka Romanesque. One does not simply commit such an emotionally heinous crime as that, OK. It's like, 'here, let us rip your hearts out from the very beginning and reduce y'all to a pile of grossly sobbing mush just because we can'. Sure, Eito, sure. Start off the Dome cons with Aoppana and the Stadium cons with Osaka Romanesque, sure. I can see your logic.

And then to soothe the emotional beating we just took, BAM! there they go, our Irresponsible Heroes on their Foolish Man's Road and I didn't know whether to laugh or cry because what is this stupid emotional roller coaster ride you're taking us on, you adorable jerks? But the Zukkoke Otoko Michi performance was all sorts of relevant because there was that super cute moment where Yasu grabbed Yoko round the waist while Yoko was running by and almost got knocked over and Yoko gave Yasu that shy-looking grin of his and it was just adorbs x3

(Hmm. I really do pay almost equal amounts of attention to all of K8 now - whereas it was mostly NSKD in the beginning - and I squeal over any and every one-on-one interaction cos Eito is that rare shippable-every-which-way group, but I do have shipping preferences and really rare OTPs even here. :/ Without thinking about it, I pay extra attention to any possible interaction of theirs, I've noticed lol. And the more unlikely that pair is, the more shamelessly I ship it haha. Any fodder I get is special and precious. There was almost zero YokoYasu in ExE - though it's my fav con - but 8EST kinda made up for it ^^ Just give me more BaruKura and YokoKura and I'll be even happier)

Let me declare right now that the one performance of 8EST I'll forever look up when I need to hype up is T.W.L. The song itself is gives you such a kick, but that performance. xD Get your towels ready, folks, is all I'm sayin'. Also, I love the fans. XD

Band performances - LIFE, in other words - are always ♥ and but I died over and over again this time because - omg omg omg you guise - I love K8 sobbing forever they performed Heavenly Psycho which is, what, one of my favourite songs in existence? And the screen images of Eito performing Heavenly Psycho during Excite if I remember correctly and aslkhfasjkldfhjskladfhjsh all my feels have no where to go~
Don't get me started on Tsubusa ni Koi. I dunno which hit me right in the kokoro more: seeing the fans crying or the tears in NSKD/Subaru's eyes at the end of the song ;A;

I have such a love/hate relationship with their costumes this time xD I loved what they wore during ExE, but this time it's all sorts of gay and weird and i-dont-even-wanna-know lmao  Like, the perfs of Brulee and Dye D kicked so much ass, but I|was forever distracted by their clothes omg xD Seriously. I do not want to know. Let me just pretend that Crouton does not exist.

Also, all my creys at the sh!t-ton of old songs they brought back. It's My Soul hardly counts in the face of Cool Magic City, 8 o' clock, Tabibito and Osaka Rainy Blues! I loved each one of these performances  to death though.
It's My Soul because - apart from being the 2nd PV Nao showed me and which left me traumatized for life, not to mention it being one of Rif/Neji/my all-time favourites to make fun of - there was a typically classic fail!Yoko moment where he introduced the song all confidently, "KYU JOU SHOW!!" and NSKD yelled at him for such a stupid mistake while Tacchon just laughed like the brat he is HAH XD
Cool Magic City - I remember K8 talking about performing this song in Excite and how they were amazed when the crowd just simply loved it and joined in, doing the dance moves and everything. Looking at the audience this time, it felt like deja vu, a complete re-enactment of old times, and my feels went right through the roof.
8 o' clock - What disappointed me was they didn't perform the whole thing, which is sad because I simply adore the raps. Such accurate member-intros xD But what I loved overshadowed everything else: K8 shoots up on stage from below, wearing shirts like that of the Excite/Spirits concerts - back when Yoko was also green and I got sudden chibi!K8!feels and I swear they suddenly looked 10 years younger (granted, most of them don't look much aged at all even now, but you get my drift).
Tabibito - I'll admit, I didn't pay much attention to this song until they performed their band rearrangement of it during 8sai and I was like, 'omg I didn't know what I was missing!', but since then I've adored it and seeing Eito singing it again - while wearing those old tee shirts no less! - and sliding down the rain-wet stage and ... ;A; 

I've always thought K8 brought out the inner dork/freak in Ryo and man, I love seeing how much he's opened up and doesn't hesitate to act silly. NSKD holds the record for most (generally fail) stage sliding in Nagai xD Another reason why I love it that it was raining tbh. I suppose it must have been a little dangerous due to the slipperiness but Eito made it look so fun. MARUYAMA IS THE COOLEST STAGE SLIDER EVER. YOUR ARGUMENT IS INVALID. NSKD and Hina get points for enthusiasm and stupidity haha. Yoko is the most fail xD Poor guy didn't see the appeal of stage-sliding until the end and still failed though there was that one moment when he dragged Yasu into his fail sliding during Tabibito ahaha.
Ohkura just rolled around in puddles. /snort/

Moving on, YES. Osaka Rainy Blues. And Naniwa Iroha Bushi. Do I even need to say anything about this? The only addition to this I'd want is Oh! Enka, but these perfs were all sorts of nostalgic and perfection and lemme cry.

The Osaka Obachan Rock medley is the best thing ever because
1. Hina in drag. Is always a plus. An eye-sore-ful plus. Always. Don't argue with me.
2. It brought Sankyoudai back and my feels are still ricocheting in my chest because SANKYOUDAI. In their old costumes. Singing Purin out of all songs. And made the audience sing along. 
3. TORN. Well, hello there suggestive sensuality in all your homoerotic undertones.
4. Bringing back YAMADA. And their silly manzai. And the old ShoKura feels D':
5. And then introducing Aoppana and what are brain cells anymore? Hina the Osaka Obaachan going all out and flashing the audience with every flip of "her" skirt and yeah. 8D

KANJANI ROCK SESSION UNF. Began with their jammin' and I'm so freaking happy they kept the old tradition of Subaru coming out at the end and screaming that gorgeous MISETEKURE of his and nothing else is relevant anymore xD Do You Agree was awesome as always but the moment when I went HELL YEAH was when they performed Eightopop!! as a rock song xD It worked wonders, who woulda thought lol. Reminded me a little of them performing Tte!!!! during the 8uppers con's rock session. It's kinda awesome to round off cool hardcore rock songs with an upbeat fun rock song 8D


Encore was brilliant ;A; I hate them for killing us with more feels - My Home; just whyyy Eito - but yay for Kyu Jou Show and Monjai Beat and being just generally stupid and stage-slidey and idiots throughout it all xD 
Also, a ton of OhYass during the con and much shirt-stripping and semi-nekkid posing after the concert ended and moar stage-sliding and kicking water at each other and have I mentioned I love these dorks? ;A;

I put off talking about the Eito Ranger skit and MC but ASLKFJKLDSJF WHAT IS THERE TO TALK ABOUT EVEN. Snow White, random wolves, Eitoshirou, random passer-by ossan, light sabres, dance battles, gags, karaoke, Black Ranger shooting Green Ranger again, Yoko forgetting his lines and Yasu having to whisper it to him while NSKD laughs really loudly at Yoko's fail, intentional stage-sliding, slipping and stage-sliding, fail stage-sliding, fake Nasu Ranger, special guest Babun-man, everyone taking turns to troll fake Nasu Ranger (the poor staff-san xD), Yellow Ranger being an epic fail at tsukkoming Red Ranger's stupid fart-boke - need I say more? But it's one of my fav skits now and Yoko is freakin genius for coming up with it and there were all sorts of silliness and melodrama involved. But then what is an Eito Ranger skit, without any of that. lol

MC was love. because they celebrated Subaru's birthday with a letter from his okan - Tacchon and NSKD cried during it ;A; - and then Yoko turned the whole thing about to troll Subaru and all sorts of hilarity ensued. (I love how Yoko and Tacchon referred to Subaru's mum as just "Taeko". It's ... cute, somehow. That informality.) Fun and heartwarming MC was fun and heartwarming and I loved Eito for doing both an ER skit and an MC as well. Didn't expect to get both ^^

I dunno what I loved more, the tour itself or the tour making. All that gold Teichiku gave us - aka all the stupid fails and idiocy that ensue when you shove K8 into one room - and Neji, Donbz and I just generally lol-ed and died our way through it xD 
Loving the DVD staff forever for the digests and collections. The Eito Ranger skit parts are absolutely hilarious - especially the Babun man parts (and the utterly random Kansai ben verbal fight between him and Red Ranger which cracked me up most) and the Orange Ranger gags - but so much special love and lulz for the Red/Yellow Ranger boke/tsukkomi collection. Yoko is an evil b!tch and a genius mastermind for making NSKD the one to tsukkomi Subaru xD Because you just know that no matter what, the result would be hilarious anyway partly on account of Ryo just generally failing at being typical Kansaijin lol

Also, YES for birthday celebrations xD Yasu + dog!Hina was so cute it's not even funny and I died over Yoko's b'day gifts to Ryo and Maru. Way to please the fangirls, Kimitaka. :3

Picking on Yoko is the funniest thing ever 8D Not that you can blame K8 for taking every chance, since Yoko is the one who mainly trolls each and every one of them, but so much lulz at his fails and getting super teased for it. But I really really really do love it that the bonus disc included the bit where he got roped into singing Subaru's "aaaah aaaah aaaaah" part in Naniwa Iroha Bushi. Heard about it on Twitter, but seeing/hearing is so much better T^T ... A+ for effort, Yokoyama :D (plus, you get a hilarious MC segment to build up to that moment. Yay for troll!Eito)

The TORN pv was also released with Blu-Ray and I just snorted and mentally facepalmed through it while Neji died next to me because of TORN porn overload. It's about time they released that PV, but I couldn't help but notice just how NSKD-biased it is. Which, in all honesty, is unfair because it is a duet and Tacchon deserved more screen time because he sang half the song gdi =_= But hey, it's got all the suggestiveness you could possibly ask for (and Neji and I showed it to Donbz who felt really quite uncomfortable watching it XD) so go geddit and enjoy.

I'm also in love with the Kyocera Dome digest included in the Bonus, because it had the performances of the songs they didn't do in the Stadiums. 365 nichi kazou and Wonderful World 8D Maru's solo Magic Word still gave me the same wtf feels it did when I first saw it in 47 lol. Died over Hina's Babun Man perf because BABUN MAN and random Snow White and I just couldn't XD AND. THEY PERFORMED ONE. ONE. ONE. And it was so nostalgic because they performed it as SubaruBAND and all my kokoros and kimochis~ /crying/

You know the one thing about the Bonus Disc that did disappoint me? Lack of a Kicyu digest and the absolute zero appearance of the YokoYasu kiss. OK, so maybe a compilation of all the Kicyu-adlibs those two did was too much to hope for, but the least the DVD staff could have done was include the YokoYasu kiss! After the YokoRyo and YokoMaru chus, why not the YokoYasu? Especially since it had everything to do with Kicyu. What is more appropriate than a kicyu at the end of Kicyu ;-; And let's face it, everyone has wanted to see one in that song for years now.

But when it finally happens, it's not even there >.< I'm so glad I followed the Twitter reports, else I wouldn't have even known. So, here I'm compiling the Kicyu adlibs and kisses that I know of, for my own reference and satisfaction (creds to enshinge and paaaan on twitter :D):

The Kicyu on the DVD was the one where the adlibs went:
Yoko: Kimi mo ♪
Yasu: YOU-KUN mo ♪
Yoko: /total embarrassment and actually laughed a little/ Kodomo dakara chu nano kana, Mou YASU ga wakaranai yo ♪
Yasu: Dakara awasete YOU to YASU. YouYasu, YouYasu, YouYasu, You to Yasu ♪
Yoko: /more embarrassment and laughing ensues/

The Kicyu on 11/11/12 (at Tokyo Dome, I think):

Yoko: Kimi mo ♪
Yasu: KIMI-KUN mo ♪
And then the embarrassment xD Later, at the end of the song, Yoko got his revenge tapped Yasu on the shoulder, pointed at something, and when Yasu turned his head, kissed him on the cheek x3

The Kicyu on 01/01/13 (at Kyocera Dome):

Yoko: Kimi mo ♪
Yasu: ONII-CHAN mo ♪
Yoko: Kodomo dakara chu nano kana, Mou YASU ga wakaranai yo ♪
Yasu: Dakara awasete KYOUDAI DE. Kyoudai, kyoudai, kyoudai ♪
At the end, standing back-to-back, Yoko announced, "First kiss of this year", turned around and kissed Yasu x3


(Just look at that cuteness! There is absolutely no excuse for Teichiku failing to include that in the DVD >.>)

That said, 8EST is all sorts of awesome and filled with kokoros and kimochis and is all kira kira and I'll stop being a weaboo now, but yeah, the sheer amount of feels Kanjani8 gives me is ridiculous and Neji, Donbz and I were half-dead by the end of it.

For now, all that's left is wait for the day when someone subs the MC digest - and it needs to be subbed because it got an entire disc to itself D: - but yeah, so far, I'm quite satiated. I'll just wait for my next bout of K8 feels when there double A-sided single comes out in April >8D

PS: I'll just leave this here.
(Can't see anything out of the ordinary? *coughyokocrotchcough*)

Feb 20, 2013

The ... Male' Chronicles(?) - Prelude

Today, they announced to which Male' schools they have doomed us to teach in for the next month because they apparently don't have the budget to doom us to the islands this time. So, I gritted my teeth, hoped for the best, and went to Uni today.

Illustrated below is a gross exaggeration of what happened.

Le University:

Le Me: *first reaction*
Oh you~ so funneh

Le University:

Le Me: *second reaction*

You know what that means? Same gender classes. Doesn't matter if male or female. But same gender. A teacher's worst nightmare (one of them, at least).

Le University:

Le Me:
... that was not my point.
Well, in that case -
Just another science student from my batch. Just one. Prz?

Le University:

Le Me:

Le University:

Le Me:    Er, fine then, maybe I shall -

Le University:

Le Me:

Le University:

Le Me:

Jan 10, 2013

About time I talked about this

My next door neighbours have an African Grey on their balcony and the parrot is driving me nuts.

It sounds too much like Shimpoo...

This June, it will be three years since we lost Shimpoo - or rather, had to give Shimpoo away. I wrote out this long rambling post of absolute word-vomit containing all my feels and tears and 13-year-long history with our old African Grey on my dA journal back then. It's been three years, but I've come to realise that I'm still not over Shimpoo. I don't think I ever will be. 

And this new Grey next door? Not helping at all.

They got it sometime last year. At first, I had no idea my neighbours had brought in a Grey. I was in the shower when I heard a series of screeches and weird yowling noises through the little window in my bathroom, and they sounded almost exactly like the noises Shimpoo used to make. African Greys can be loud and the calls sounded like they were coming from inside my house.

I think my heart skipped a lot of beats that day. I didn't even finish; I just wrapped a towel around me and poked my head out of my bedroom, half-hoping and half-terrified to hope that Shimpoo had somehow escaped its new home and flew back to us and had come in through our open balcony and I would see it in the corridor outside my bedroom door, looking up at me with that mischievous face of its, from the spot where its cage used to be.

Of course, it wasn't so. But this episode repeated a few more times before my mother told me it was just the Grey from next door. I can see the Grey from my balcony. It looks so much like Shimpoo and yet it looks so different. And even Mum commented more than once, with a look of nostalgic awe on her face, just how uncannily like Shimpoo that Grey can sound at times.

It is not our Grey, though. I know this for sure, because despite how similar some of its calls are to Shimpoo's, I can hear the difference between their voices. Some sounds are blatantly different, others just the tiniest bit, but after thirteen years of being with Shimpoo, I can recognise that parrot - appearance and voice - anywhere and this one is certainly not it.

Not that I'd hoped it would be. But there is something that has been bothering me for a long time. I wanted to vent my feelings about it on here earlier, when I first found out, but I was feeling too emotional and upset then and I couldn't do it.

After that day in June 2010, I'd tried so hard to move on. Shimpoo had been family, but I told myself that it was better off in its new home, where it would have the freedom of flight and other birdly-company, instead of being with us - in a cage. I tried so hard to convince myself that Shimpoo was well-adjusted and happy in its new home and I should be, too.
Until sometime last year, when I finally found out from Dad that Shimpoo's new owners had lost it. They had been doing some work where the birds were kept and - perhaps in panic - Shimpoo had managed to find an opening and flew away.

I don't know what I felt then. Dad had kept this bit of news a secret from me for a long time, probably because he knew how it would affect me. It reminded me of the time when we had also once lost Shimpoo like that, quite soon after my brother had first brought it home. Back then, it used to be terrified of my dad - I think the beard had something to do with it - and when Dad was trying to untangle its chain which it had managed to knot up for the thousandth time, Shimpoo took the chance to fly off.
It took us three days to find it, and even within that short time, I kept dreaming of Shimpoo. I was so young then, but that incident really made me realise just how much I loved it and what that Grey meant to me. To all of us, because the entire family tried so hard, day and night, to find it.

What affected me most was the memory of Shimpoo's state when we finally found it. Starved, trembling and terrified. It had been just three days, but Shimpoo didn't stop eating for more than half an hour or so after we brought it back home.
And that led me to wondering, where was Shimpoo now? Was it anywhere even? A home-raised, domesticated, spoilt, picky-eating parrot that couldn't feed itself for even three days ... Was Shimpoo even alive? Had it possibly found food for itself? Had someone found it and returned it to the owners? Or at least, kept Shimpoo for themselves, feeding it and sheltering it and giving it a home?

Or was Shimpoo already ...? 
This question was inevitable, but it pained me so much that I couldn't bring myself to even contemplate it and I just cried.

(Later, much later, I asked my mother - if Shimpoo was out there all alone, with no food, no water, nothing, and ... well, dying ... would it think back to us, and blame us for giving it away? Because I know it remembers us, Greys and their powerful memory, and it had been with us for so long and I like to think it had been happy with us... Mum just smiled and said no, it probably wouldn't. I wonder if she believed her own words; I know how much she adored Shimpoo, too.)

Something that pained me even more-
Several weeks prior to Dad confiding in me that Shimpoo had flown away, my dad and I both had seen a large parrot flying about the roofs of some buildings a little aways from our house. We had both stayed on our balcony for a long time, squinting at it, because even from that distance, we could tell that parrot had been an African Grey - probably one that someone had lost, Dad said. I saw that parrot flying about that area for two or three days since then before it disappeared completely.
And then later after finding out about Shimpoo flying away, I couldn't help wondering if that lost Grey my dad and I both saw could possibly have been Shimpoo? Was it too much to wonder/hope/wish that it had tried to fly back to us, back to the place that had been its home for thirteen long years?
In retrospect, it hurts even more to think about it like that, because if it had been Shimpoo, then it means that Shimpoo couldn't find us again after all. And we didn't see it again in the neighbourhood. So, does it even matter?

What touched me most was when I found out another secret Dad had been keeping.
On the way to Athena Cinema - way before Schwack happened - my cousins and I would always come across a house with a noisy African Grey on the balcony. We always messed around with it, calling and whistling at it, on our way to the movies every time.

I found out that even Dad happened across this Grey once. And he wondered so badly whether it could have been Shimpoo - I knew from one glance that it wasn't, but I guess my dad either didn't or just wanted to make sure - that he went back to that street one time when it was completely empty, and then, standing below the balcony of that house, he began to call out our names and all the other words and phrases Shimpoo used to call and mimic. He kept it up for a long time - and must have looked like a lunatic to any passersby that happened across him - and he only gave up when the Grey did not react to any of his calls. If it had been Shimpoo, there surely would have been a response.

It really touched me that Dad actually tried so hard to find Shimpoo again - or at least, check whether other peoples' Greys were Shimpoo or not - because he is the one person who, from a long time ago, kept making remarks about how we should just kick Shimpoo out of the house (because the bird food cost too much, it's too much hassle looking after a Grey, its feathers give out dust when it ruffles them and other stuff dads love to complain about). 
I know he never meant it, that he only did it because he knew how much those comments would rile me up (and my father is the one from whom I inherited my troll-genes), but finding out about this, this little but meaningful proof of how much my dad also loves Shimpoo (and maybe even wanted it back) - despite the fact we had to give it away two years back - brought tears to my eyes again and I had to look away from him.

To this day, I wonder what happened to it. 

I don't talk about Shimpoo much because it still hurts and I prefer keeping it all in, but I particularly dislike talking about this sometimes because a lot of other people just don't get it. I do understand really, that people outside of my immediate family cannot truly empathise with how much that Grey meant to us. 
But it gets on my nerves so much when, I reminisce about Shimpoo or admit how much I miss it and want it back, people just flippantly suggest,

"Why don't you just get another African Grey?"
"This time, get a chick and raise it! Chicks are easier to tame than adult ones."
"You can buy a more beautiful-looking one than Shimpoo!"
I guess this is how the minds work of people who only saw Shimpoo as our cute little pet. In fact, I think only people who have owned and looked after a bird or animal etc for as long as we have or even longer can truly understand how there comes a point when that creature stops being just a pet and becomes family.

Shimpoo was - and I still believe is - a part of my family. Why do people assume it will make everything better if I just get another one? What makes them even think that I would want another one? I loved and miss this Grey so much, do they think I'm just looking to replace it? What makes them think it can even be replaced?

It was Shimpoo that kept me company during my lonely childhood years, when I had to spend the after-school hours all alone at home while my parents were at work and my siblings lived at their own places.
Shimpoo, who whistled along to Fiona's theme from Shrek with me. 
Joined me in howling like a wolf during my Balto phase. 
Competed with me to see who could laugh the loudest/most ridiculously. 
Tried to take a peek whenever anyone went to take a piss. 
Talked to me and amused me with its vocalisations and attention-seeking yells while I did chores around the house. 
The first (and most of the time, only) one to greet me ever so enthusiastically when I came home from school. 
Watched me in silence and kept me company when I sat down beside its cage to cry. 
Offered me its head to scratch and beak to grab every time I wanted to play with it. 
Coughed even louder every time my dad coughed. 
Called out all our names and mimicked all our voices to perfection. 
Mimicked sounds of burps/farts like an epic troll. 
Guessed who was coming into the house by the sounds of jiggling keys alone and screamed their name before they could step foot into the house (and had never guessed wrong). 
Yelled out "Hello" before anyone else can answer the phone. 
First one to call out "Bye bye, see you!" when we got ready to leave. 
Mimicked my whining voice perfectly every time I whined to Mum about something. 
Laughed rambunctiously every time I held a tuition, making my pupils lose their concentration and giggle incessantly while I yelled at the damn parrot to stop showing off.
Took bites out of all the women, but whored up to all the men in the family - because it was either a female or a male that swung the other way (Dad's brilliant theory).

It was Shimpoo that was always there, the one I love, miss and want back. That does not equal the random baby chick or the beautiful glossy-feathered Grey on sale in the nearest pet store.
How would you like it if I suggested you go replace your mother with a stepmum? That is pretty much how I feel when people callously say to go buy something new.
(I mean no offense to stepmothers. They can be great and you can love them deeply, but it will never be the same way you love your own mother - in normal circumstances, if your mother had been loving and kind and took care of you from day one. I can love another Grey or just another pet in general, but they will never be Shimpoo. When I say I miss Shimpoo, this is why I wish people would stop making stupid remarks.)

I don't even know if its alive now. If anybody ever found it. I don't think I'll ever stop wondering and I doubt I'll ever get over the loss. Days when I don't think of Shimpoo do go by, but the memories crop up suddenly out of the blue and they're always a little painful. Lately, thanks to the neighbour's Grey, it's happening even more. Even today I heard its calls when I was in the shower and I wanted Shimpoo back so badly it hurt.

Maybe some would say a parrot is just a parrot in the end, dying and will turn to sand in the afterlife, but all the same, I keep wishing that somehow, by some miracle, Shimpoo is alive,  happy, healthy and safe.