Always Yours

This is a love letter, the first I have ever actually finished.

I am sharing it with the world, because it is something I will never, ever be ashamed of.

Always Yours: A Love Letter - ShiBytes.com

To My Dearest

You came into my life when I most needed someone like you in it.

Life, as it always is, had been particularly cruel and I was running away and hiding like a wounded animal.

When I saw you on the fateful evening, I knew that maybe you will be someone to heal me.

You are like an angel rising from the ashes of my razed hopes. You are everything I have ever really wanted – someone true and brave, someone strong and unselfish and so beautiful of soul that sometimes I think I don’t deserve to be next to you.

We have weathered so many storms and grown up so much since the beginning.

I love you. No matter what happens.

~Always, Yours

For Love of Pikachu

Last January, after many years of waiting, I was finally able to purchase a domain name that I so wanted for such a long time, Pikachu.nu. I launched the website late last month but I wanted to dedicate a blog entry, and a piece of my heart, to the dog whose name it bears.

Pikachu, who was shamelessly named after my favorite perky, literally electrifying Pokemon, was my pet, my baby. She was a beautiful Japanese Spitz, all white and furry and fluffy. I last saw her on 14 May 2015. She passed away later that year.

For Love of Pikachu - ShiBytes.com

Pikachu up close

For Love of Pikachu - ShiBytes.com

Pikachu from another angle

For Love of Pikachu - ShiBytes.com

Pikachu and me!

The above photos were taken back in 2007, give or take few months before I left for Oman. I found all these files from the memory card of my long-retired Nokia 6600. Apologies for the not-so-high quality of the images!

Pikachu was not a pure Japanese Spitz. Her mother, Choco, was, but her father was apparently a strapping poodle. Thus, you can see that Pikachu had inherited her sire’s big eyes and floppy ears.

For Love of Pikachu - ShiBytes.com

Taken October 2006, this is one of my best photos of Pika!

She first came into my life in May 2003. She was so tiny when she first arrived at our home, being only a few months old back then. She didn’t know how to eat from her pet bowl, but would guzzle milk like there’s no tomorrow.

Pikachu grew fast and shed and grew back her thick white fur even more quickly. She liked to eat my favorite food as well – chicken liver, baked ziti with mixed tomato and white sauce, roasted and butter-fried chicken, among many others.

When I last saw her, she was already pretty frail from old age. Her right eye had gone blind and there was a lump in her belly.

However, she never forgot me until the last day we were together. She remained the same in her endearing ways: loving and possessive of me, excited for the food she’s always preferred, and utterly jealous of my husband 🙂

What else is left to say, but, “Pikachu, I choose you!” in true Pokemon fashion, because I always will.

Lessons from Candy Crush Saga

I have been playing Candy Crush Saga created by King Entertainment for the past couple of years now. Initially, I used the Android app on my Samsung tablet, then synced it up on FaceBook and eventually my Galaxy mini smartphone.

Lessons from Candy Crush Saga - ShiBytes.com

In a nutshell, Candy Crush Saga is a video game, specifically a match-three puzzle similar to the classic Bejeweled. It was released in April 2012 online and November that same year for mobile. Each level has a minimum score and/or task required in order to proceed to the next one.

True to its name, the game’s pieces are candies in various colors, such as red jelly beans and yellow lemon drops. The other elements are also candy-themed, with chocolate, toffee and meringue among the obstacles, and with striped, wrapped and bomb-style candies among the power-ups. The main character is a little girl named Toffette, nicknamed Tiffi, who goes around Candy Kingdom helping its residents solve various problems, around which the gameplay unfolds.

Over these past years, I have picked up lessons from the game that can be applied in real life:

1. Real friends will get you out of a tight spot. They will give you spare chances, another try at the game, and they will help you move forward. To be a good friend, you must also help others out. Friendship is a two-way street, baby!

2. We have limited chances to reach our goals: limited moves, limited time, limited resources. We must look into our own selves for the solutions to our obstacles, not rely on nebulous power-ups and/or luck.

3. We sometimes have to step back, gather energy and strategy, and wait before we give difficult challenges another shot.

4. Every move has a consequence. You choose one way, and the other options might be lost afterward. Choosing right and thinking ahead are essential.

5. There are just some candies and jellies that are too sticky to eliminate. Bad habits die hard. Hammer them away (with a lollipop) – act now and don’t wait for the right combination or any bloody future date!

6. The quest never becomes easy. You just get tougher and smarter.

7. Keep your eye on the objective. Always make your moves toward your goal. All effort will be inconsequential if nothing happens when your time is up.

8. Finally, it won’t be so good if not for the challenging nature of the game. Life won’t be beautiful without its challenges, too.

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