Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A Really Amazing Race

In my sluggishness has trapped self in my room channel surfing for hours on end. So much to be done--all my action figures have decided to topple each other again, my laptop needs a lot of maintenance stuff, my toilet bowl was acting all weird, and other stuff to whine about. Chanced upon the final episode of the latest Amazing Race, a show I haven't seen for quite a while. Back during the teambuilding frenzy JD-Lu had initially assigned me to make the clues for the supposed five-stop Amazing Race from the hospital to his resort in Batangas.The first clue, I told him, would be revealed in the hospital lobby, and it would read like this "Proceed to L'Caraz Beach Resort in Batangas by car." They would then race to L'Caraz Beach Resort. A native would then welcome them and say "Welcome to L'Caraz Beach Resort!", then someone, probably Dondee, would say "This is your first and final pitstop. Congratulations. Our first activity: Sleep."

HIV thankfully took on the clue-writing job.

Apologies To You All For Thinking You Were Inarte

I need to grow biceps. Huge ones. This resolve is not necessarily new. Back in 2005 when I was still in internship the surgeons I was assisting would get quite annoyed at the wimpy way I would retract. Troglodyte at one point said, “wag ka na ulit mag-aassist ha”. Of course once the rotation was over I’ve forgotten all about this resolve, contented with my matchstick arms. Occasionally there would be resurgence, specially whenever I would have the urge to have the entire Justice League tattooed on my left arm.

A few weeks ago I once again had my colicky abdominal pain. The radiologist has confirmed the presence of stones a few months ago, and whenever I get sick I transmogrify into The Annoying, Whiny Patient. “Magpaopera ka na,” Tessieloopagoop said as she pointed at the disgusting stones on the printed ultrasound image. “Huungh, sob, whine—wala bang pampatunaw?” I whined to Tessieloopagoop. The latest attack was very pedestrian, but I decided to inject myself with pain meds. I injected my left arm using my right hand, and my arm was so thin that I felt the needle nick the bone. “Gaaaaaaaaah!” I caterwauled, apologizing in my head to everyone I’ve done bone marrow biopsy to. “Ooooouch,” I whimpered, or as the sosi group in 2002 would say, “Arouch!”

“Hindi naman yan bukol?” I had asked the radiologist. I am very paranoid about cancer. I don’t give ten bowls of crap about predictive values and crap when we’re talking about cancer. Back in 2004 I had severe unexplainable weight loss and one night had nosebleeds. I immediately ran to ENT, and Uni-horned Beef Jerky Alanis Whore’s sister attended to me. I told her that I suspect I have nasopharyngeal cancer—what can I say, I was watching The X-Files episode Momento Mori a lot around this time. She peeped through my mouth and nostril and did some poking and stuff, and told me that no, there’s nothing there. “Walang cancer sa ilong or lalamunan mo,” she said. "Pero namamayat ako," I said. "Pwede namang sa ibang organs ang cancer," she reassured me.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Going Batty

In the spirit of materialism, has recently acquired Batman: The Animated Series DVD box set volume 2 from Music One in Greenbelt. It is quite annoying when people talk and write about stuff that they have recently acquired, basically because I easily get really envious and I want everything to be Mine! Mine! Mine! but my acquisition of Batman: The Animated Series DVD box set volume 2 speaks of my will power, perseverance, and procrastination. It also shatters the dogma that everything can be downloaded. You see I’ve seen this exact box set one year ago, also during Christmas season, in the same store and I wrestled then with myself whether I would get it. When I’ve finally decided that I would, the set was gone, and the personnel said they wouldn’t be getting any more of it as it was out of print. Obviously they’ve only misplaced it under heaps of copies of Sex in The Philippine Cinema Volume 1-7. And yesterday, it was unearthed in the same store by Namtab Pots who rushed to me as I was listening to, er, cool jazz music in the listening station. One of the special features in the DVD is called Robin Rising, with the excellent Paul Dini and Bruce Timm talking about the history of Robin and how he was incorporated in the show. Robin, oh, Robin. It was like looking in the mirror.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Helen of Troy

I am strangely fond of my stint as Robin during the recent residents’ Team Building. Usually I would be embarrassed of embarrassing things, but my green, transparent sequined briefs only validated my long held belief that for my age I could still be the next Robin. How many were there anyway? Let’s review: first there was Dick Grayson, whose trapeze acrobat parents died when they moronically flew the trapeze without any safety net on. Then he graduated to become Nightwing, and Batman took in Jason Todd, whom Batman caught trying to steal the Batmobile’s wheels. Todd eventually died in A Death in the Family, a decision made from phone-in votes. I was happy to see him get resurrected, no matter how stupid the execution was. In Todd’s absence the third Robin was Tim Drake, who was quite competent and noble. For a while Stephanie Brown took the mantle as the fourth and first female Robin, but before I could read any of her adventures she died, although it was later revealed that she just hid in Africa or something and is in fact, right now, Batgirl. When Bruce Wayne died and Tim Drake decided to call himself Red Robin, Dick Grayson, the new Batman, took Bruce Wayne’s son, the evil Damian, as the fifth Robin. I would be the sixth, in case Damian discovers the 666 on his scalp and decides to be a full-blown devil instead. This entry, however, is not about the Robins, or me.

Whenever someone wanted to see my photo in the Robin costume I would show them the only photo I have in my PDA, the one with Helen of Troy beside me. I would expect ooohs and aaaahs and utter amazement and words of encouragement that yes, I look the part and I could be the 6th Robin, but instead they would comment on… Helen of Troy! “Ay, sino yan?” they would ask with glee. “That’s Helen of Troy. Do you think I would make a good Robin? Do you think Bruce would be proud of me?” I would reply with a fake pout.

Helen of Troy. Just to answer all your queries, that’s Cheapo. Cheapo is Helen of Troy. In the spirit of self-centeredness and histrionics and the desire to always make things be about me, it was I who coerced Cheapo to take on the mantle of Helen of Troy. Obviously, I’ve created a monster. Back during our first ever Miss Universe-themed team building our batch was assigned European costumes. A few minutes before the fellowship night Cheapo was yet to have a karir costume. So she pulled down a huge white curtain, covered her body in it, tied the ends over her left shoulder and voila—Ms. Greece. Or so I thought.

“Cheapo, you have to be Helen of Troy with crowns and stuff. That way you would come full circle from being a peasant Ms. Greece to being a royalty,” I demanded.

“Hindi ako Ms. Greece nun. I was Ms. Italy, harrumph,” she harrumphed.

I was tasked to create the invitational posters for the team building. I printed a huge, full body shot of her as Ms. Greece/Italy, with everyone else in the batch but mere thumbnails around her and put up the poster in the audiovisual room for everyone to see. She never forgave me.

Glee!

Recently met up with high school friends and one of them invited us to watch Rent or Cats. Now I’m not particularly fond of musicals, always finding the theatricals really awkward and the intermittent blaring into songs quite jarring. The closest thing to a musical that I like are the 90’s 2D Disney features, with The Lion King on top of the list. Back then my brother and I would rent a betamax copy of The Lion King from a video renting store called Sierra Papa, and we would watch it repeatedly, paying special attention to and doing multiple pauses on the infamous SEX subliminal message. SEX subliminal message—probably why I’m such a depraved, pervy adult now.

Which just suddenly reminds me—I sort of find The Sound of Music corny, although I did enjoy much the cartoon series The Von Trapp Family Singers or something, the one being shown on Channel 2 at 10 am on weekdays back then. We used to have a high school teacher whom we perceived to be a mega-fan of The Sound of Music. While he was assigned to teach Grammar we were surprised one day when he came in with a guitar. We wondered what the guitar was for, we thought maybe he came from some choir practice or something, until he went: “Today I have a special treat for you.” He started strumming. “This is from The Sound of Music. Raindrops and roses and kittens and mittens… these are a few of MY FAVORITE THINGS!!!!! When the dog bites! When the bee stings! When I’m feeling sad! I simply remember… MY FAVORITE THINGS!!!!!!”

We were stuffing our mouths with spitballs to prevent ourselves from laughing, but the dude could sing. A few weeks later he again brandished his guitar and made a birit rendition of Basil Valdez’s You. Yes, even back then we already had our very own Mr. Will Schuster.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Quadruple Negatives

Now that Smoketh and the rest of the gang have fled from the hospital and are now studying their brains out at home I am having some extreme withdrawal symptoms, my daily routine now drastically altered. No more music appreciation sessions! No more pot sessions! No more unabashed whining! In an attempt to develop new daily itinerary this afternoon I ill-advisedly ran to Quiapo to look for those surplus, cheap cameras. And of all the stupid things to do too, to do it on a church day and two days before Christmas. I never did find the source of Smoketh and Thines’ contrabands, but I did see a lot of optical shops and porn DVD stalls. You would think that porn DVD buyers would have some level of sneakiness and have sheepish looks, but one guy was carefully inspecting the cover of a DVD and looking at it from different angles, checking out the minute details of anatomy and such. I failed to find any camera shop, but at least I didn’t have to walk—I only needed to stand and the constant movement of the people transported me from the abortifacient stalls back to the jeepney terminal.

Which reminds me, back in internship in OB…. Mmmm everytime I try to recall OB internship I am always assailed by smells of lochia and blood. They were everywhere—the smells were—on the chair, on the cold Wendy’s hamburger, on those many, confusing, OB forms. Back to the first sentence—which reminds me, back in internship in OB, one resident ordered the husband of a pregnant woman to buy some drug and gave him a prescription, telling him that only Mercury Drug in Quiapo probably carries the meds. Excited husband went to Quiapo and came back with… a Tanduay bottle with brown fluid and some twigs in it. Sometimes you just have to spell it out.

Eventually my routine would have to change anyway, entering the final year of residency and crap. Which reminds me, now that I am one of the people required to facilitate the student endorsements and such, back in clerkship we were always trembling in fear come 7 am, clutching our X-rays and ECG’s and photocopied charts as senior residents were already screaming and scolding us for something even as they were entering the room. Yesterday tried to attend one such morning endorsement, sipping my coffee as I took my seat. In the room were Marth V., Hurricane Katrina, and Pyro, asking questions from their wealth of knowledge. Pyro has the tendency to ask very confusing questions, ie, “What laboratory finding, which if you do not find it, will not suggest, but probably—not possibly—but probably confirm, that the patient does not have pulmonary alveolar proteinosis but some exotic interstitial lung disease?” After two sips of coffee I whispered to Hurricane Katrina, “I’m bored. I shall leave now.” And I left. And went back to the callroom to re-read my hardcover Superman/Batman: Supergirl. In it the one true Kryptonian Supergirl is re-introduced to the DC Universe after twenty years of being an earth angel/morphing goop/matrix substance. Getting easily bored is fun, it enables you to review your complex DC Universe history.

Stretching Out An Entry

While walking sluggishly around the callroom yesterday has majorly hit my forehead against the low-beamed cement entrance. I know I am given to using MILLIONS of exaggerations, but let me tell you without exaggeration or histrionics that as I heard the crack of my skull I had a very lucid vision of a very long, golden, radiant flight of stairs surrounded by angels, and at the end, open gates letting out more beams of light, telling me that it's all right, Will, it's all right, you're dead, but it's all right. Obviously I'm trying to stretch out one pointless non-experience into a blog entry, but indeed I got very dizzy for a few seconds and imagined a small vessel in my head leaking out blood. I immediately consulted my neurologist friend Neurologist Shipper Jack Knight, and she performed complicated, expensive tests on me (pronator drift). In the end her diagnosis: "Wala yan," she said.

I am blogging about this during my 24-hour observation period so that if anyone finds me unconscious, or let's say, dead, you would all know what caused the malady and not perform other tests. I know you all love writing out long diagnoses, but I don't want to see any rule out cerebral gonorrhea or something fancy in there.

Lurvivor

Recently saw Tits, Pyro, and HIV hunched together in a corner in the callroom and I knew, I knew that they were scheming. I wanted to pull Tits aside and pretend that I would like him to accompany me to get some firewood, but HIV and Pyro wouldn’t buy it. They’re very astute. So at lunch when Tits and HIV were away I told Pyro in a hushed tone, which was actually unnecessary because nobody else was around, “Look, Pyro. I know that you three are tight, and that if we reach the final four you, Tits, and HIV would probably vote me out immediately. But if you promise that you wouldn’t vote me out, I would take you to the final two if I win immunity in the final immunity challenge. We have to vote out HIV. We HAVE to vote him out. He would sway the judges with his eloquence.” Pyro had no idea what I was talking about.

I’ve seen so much Survivor, all 19 seasons of it so far (except the local version), that I think I could win the blasted competition without even trying—essentially I would bank on my weakling image. Image, okay, because in real life I’m a well-toned athlete. Even in the callroom I always assume that someone is always plotting to vote me out if they so much as claim that they would go out to buy lunch. In the recently concluded Samoa version, the winner is (spoilers, as if anyone still watches it) the bombshell buxom blonde Natalie whom I was rooting for. Handsome, vapid, boring, snoozefest doctor Mick was third with zero votes from the jury. That’s what med school does to you: it turns you into a vapid, boring, snoozefest doctor, and not necessarily handsome. Not necessarily handsome, more like old and fugly.

“If,” I went on with Pyro, “if I win the next immunity challenge against the three of you, you would have to vote out one of your own. I say vote out HIV. This would be your chance, he could win the final immunity challenge otherwise. The final immunity challenge could be Boggle or Mortal Kombat for all we know.”
“Anong pinagsasasabi mo,” Pyro exclaimed.
“Survivor. I’m pretending we’re in Survivor,” I had to explain, exasperated.
“Wala akong pakialam! Hindi ako nanonood ng Survivor!”

Obviously I needed a back-up plan in case Pyro maintains his wishy-washy disposition. I chanced upon Cheapo eating by herself a few days later. Cheapo is very tight with Gracielou and Cryola.

“Hey Cheapo,” I said, taking furtive glances, in case someone was eavesdropping behind the bushes/water dispenser. “If you, Gracielou, Cryola, and I are the only ones remaining in the final four, obviously you would vote me out. But here’s the deal and I want you to listen, if you don’t…”
“Syempre ikaw ivovote out namin!” Cheapo said between mouthfuls of COOP tuyo and ginisang monggo. “Ikaw. Ikaw ang ivovote out namin.”
This game ain’t over yet, Cheapo. I’ll work something out. This game ain’t over!!!

Let Them Eat Cake

The danger of parodying someone or something or some concept or whatever is that you tend to transform exactly into what annoys you, in the same way that FBI serial killer profilers become serial killers themselves. Back in college I’ve parodied the cono lifestyle and their way of speaking for around one semester, and we’ve had a couple of laughs in the beginning, until Groin slapped me one afternoon and admonished that “can you make tusok the fishball for me, Groin,” no longer sounded parodycial (don’t look it up, it’s invented conjugation). Or back in high school and college, when I absolutely reviled boy band/ girl band music and would always say with much disdain that I looooved it, until I realized that I could sing their songs in videoke without looking at the lyrics. And you all know what happened when I started parodying whininess—I’ve transformed into one infernal whiny whore.

I don’t even remember how it started, or who I was trying to parody, but in the quarters I’ve been ordering people around and telling them to do stuff in the most demanding, annoying, spoiled brat way. “Hey JD-Lu can you get a black plastic trash bag from ward 1 and place it on the floor beside my table so I can throw my trash?” for instance, which of course resulted in JD-Lu straightening a piece of wire clothes hanger and threatening to hook out my pituitary transnasally with it—I know, he’s probably seen the X-Files episode Teliko. Occasionally someone would indulge me, and it is to Cryola’s credit that she has sustained preparing breakfast sandwiches for me for quite some time. And I have sustained the demanding mode, which resulted in a rather puzzling exchange a few days ago.
Me: Ooooh, cake. Hey Cryola, can you slice some for me and place it on a paper plate so I wouldn’t have to wash anything afterwards?
Cryola: Opo.
Pyro: Ako rin.
HIV: But you can’t have some cake.
Me: Because you can’t have some cake and eat it too.
Pyro: But as Marie Antoinette said, “Let them eat cake”.
Indeed, let me eat cake. Lots of it.

All This Whoring Will Catch Up With You Soon

Being in the medical field gives one perspective on various things, one in particular being the value of saving money, which is why I’ve started to scrimp this morning by stealing hard galletas from a patient’s rationed breakfast. Seeing the hospital ward patients, you know you’ll be old and have one or ten of these thousands of infirmities soon, and you know how bleeping expensive things would cost just to keep you alive. I’ve started saving, because in a few years I might need dialysis twice a week, or an angioplasty or valve replacement, and I might need muriatic-acid level antibiotics to kill the concomitant nosocomial infections. I might need hundreds of thousands of pesos for systemic chemotherapy, but before I might even get there I would need costly body scans and blood tests and aspiration biopsies and such just so I could establish that I have this cancer. And those biologicals and stuff, in the event that I develop some autoimmune motherfucker. Not to mention the PF’s and the hospital stay, which might prove quite expensive as I would demand that my hospital room have a theme, particularly, I would want it to look like…. The Bat-Cave!

And what about the complications of treatments themselves: I might have HAP on top of CAP (who invented this fun phrase anyway?), and my cancer might have cancer—all those years of drugs, smoking, booze, and whoring would eventually catch up. I’ve started saving, but just realized that with the amount of salary I get I would probably have just enough funds for, let’s say, an IJ catheter insertion. An IJ catheter insertion?! You mean you wouldn’t be able to sustain dialysis?, you snootily ask, then why start at all?! Good point, so I’ve just decided, right now, not to save—at all!!! Because really, save for what? For a few years worth of lease on life? And for what? And don’t spoil my ranting…I mean sound introspection… by arguing back with theologicals and inspirational stories and virtues and stuff—you’ll ruin my train of thought! What if I don’t want any diagnostics? What if I don’t want any treatment?!? For anything?!?! I’m formalizing it right now: I don’t want any of those! You can keep your expensive interventional procedure thingies, your antibiotics, your chemo, your anti-virals, I don’t want any of them!!! What’s that you’re saying? Why am I leaving the painkillers out? Oh yes, painkillers. I’ll probably save for painkillers. I love painkillers.

Friday, December 11, 2009

So Fast

Time is.

The title and that first line are pure plagiarism of an old entry of blogger-mate and hostess extraordinaire Lalaloo. Indeed, time has raged on faster than expected. A senior Fellow oriented us on our first day that getting into the program in this institution would give you the advantage of seeing patients in three years others would see in ten in terms of amount and quality, but you would also age ten years faster. Indeed, I am feeling the effects of this rapid aging. I climbed a flight of stairs this morning and I was panting by the time I reached the top. Wait, you mean it’s the smoking, the alcohol, and the drugs?

In a few days Smoketh, Rina Renal, Thorn, Omar, Mikeylou, Queen Mum, and the rest of my original batchmates will be leaving, and I’ll miss them horribly. Athough not really because they’ll be back in a few months as high and mighty subspecialists. I think I’ve been a good friend to them, so here’s hoping they’ll be kind when they slave me around in my rotation with them. Farewell, people, sleep till 2 pm on December 17!

SPF 10,000

And so Djana and I had no choice but to come up with activities—there are more people to disappoint this time, three batches of residents to be exact, if we commanded that the only activities would be sleeping and drinking. To annoy everyone we came up with a horribly difficult obstacle course, and we scheduled it at the beach at 3 in the afternoon when the sun is at its cruelest. We underestimated everyone’s karir mode, as everyone gamely joined the obstacle course after swathing themselves with SPF 10,000. Tora Olafsdotter was the most intense, as he slipped and made ngudngod himself on the sand a few inches before he could transfer the water from his bucket to the pail at the end of course. Instead of wasting time standing up he stayed prostrated on the sand and stretched out his hand to do the final transferring.

Fellowship night came and everyone posed in front of the camera for a photo op. I came as Robin, the Dick Ward 60’s version, the one with just a pair of green briefs on and no long pants. To spare everyone from my horribly hairy thunder thighs I put on a pair of flesh-colored tights underneath. A few days before I lent our househelp my 80’s Super Powers Robin action figure and ordered her to fashion a similar costume. The figure’s green briefs had small corrugations on it, and if you would check the 60’s comic books the briefs really had scales on them. She couldn’t find any scales, so she made the briefs out of sequined green translucent material. The sequins were the only ones keeping the briefs from being totally see through.

It has always been a major dream to wear a superhero costume, and in last year’s PA night while Pam, Tits, Fulet, and Jonds looked really interesting in their X-Men costume I was a lowly back-up dancer in a brown shirt. I didn’t care much about Marvel characters anyway. I finally got this chance, and no one could stop me from becoming a pedophile jail-bait Robin whore. It was the tightest costume, though, as it was fitted on my brother who is half my size. Years after the campy 60’s TV series Batman and Robin starring Adam West and Dick Ward have ended, Ward sued the production company accusing it of turning him sterile after years of wearing those really tight green briefs. I don’t care if I get sterile, I love them shiny green briefs.

Again, Blackest Night Updates!

The Blackest Night has been running for almost six months now, with the main title on its 5th issue and a lot of its tie-ins having completed their run. It sort of gets redundant and repetitive after a while, with the pattern of memory downloading, a full page splash of the dead rising (RISE!), the meeting between the dead and its loved one, and the ensuing battle going on and on. Still, it’s particularly fun to see Ted Kord, Maxwell Lord, Zor-El, and the other dead rise back and go on a killing rampage, so my attention is still holding up. Important updates and spoilers for whoever would care, then!

1. Issue 5 is wonderful, with the Rainbow Raiders finally complete and uttering their oaths at the same time in one fun splash page. Orange Lantern still has no oath, and although he is accused of being a one-note character he is still funny.

2. Still on issue 5, how annoying is it that after a long wait Batman finally rises only to be disintegrated again after just a couple of panels? Intensivists claim that that is not really Bruce Wayne Batman, as his corpse is safely kept in the Batcave, although there is also another Batman marooned in the past painting on caves. Interesting.

3. Just when we were getting kind of bored with “RISE!”, Geoff Johns might have noticed it and came up with something new and really really fun… “DIE!” Quite frustrating though that just when Supes and Wondy are finally getting in on the battle they are ordered to die and they die. Sort of.

4. Kyle Ryner is dead. I think. He sacrificed himself or something, I always get confused with the action in Green Lantern corps because the space opera histrionic art tends to get in the way.

5. All the colored lantern corps combine their powers to defeat Nekron, but they fail. This is great, because we don’t want to see a Carebears Care ending. Truly there seems to be some gigantic twist in the end. There has to be.

Queen Mum

Queen Mum has recently told me that my appearance devolves as an ER duty day progresses, and here I thought I couldn’t devolve any further. At 2 pm she said my polo collar would be skewed to the left. At around 6 pm half the collar would be up, and the upper most button would be unbuttoned exposing more skin than anyone would want to see, with my hair starting to get totally disheveled. At 3 in the morning all the bangs would be standing up in major kunsime fashion. I hadn’t noticed this, as I’ve always thought I have the same horrible appearance all the time on the rare occasion that I check the mirror. One post-duty day I took a bath at around 7 and ran back to the hospital. Thines saw me, and asked if I have foundation on my face. “Hinde. Nahugasan lang lahat ng grime at oil,” I said.

Self-Imposed Shutting Up

Amazingly I have managed to shut up for almost a month, abandoning this blog thinking that it would write itself. I once asked Namtab Pots and Smoketh to ghost write something and try to pass off as me, but they were busy with real life concerns. The previous month has been quite a challenge—strike that, not a challenge, why try to make things sound positive all the time anyway—the previous month has been crap, and there is no point in writing something in such a hellish state. Unlike other writers who find inspiration in their most lonesome moments, I find no inspiration whatsoever in being miserable. There’s nothing funny to write about when you’re annoyed.

Self-imposed exile, however, is great in that you could accomplish a lot of things. Blogging, as it turned out, is quite time-consuming. So in my exile:
1. Was able to arrange all my action figures in the ultimate super hero pose. I decided to highlight the Silver-Age versions of the Superman Family and place them in the middle, with Marvel Legends relegated to the least noticeable levels of the eskaparate. Red Lantern of Rage Atrocitus looks wonderful beside Green Lantern Kyle Rayner, Green Lantern Hal Jordan, Yellow Lantern Sinestro, and the Violent Lantern of Looooove, Carol Ferris Star Sapphire! Of course by the time I got back home the following week Supergirl fell from the upper level and toppled everyone down. She has very weak knees.

2. Went to the IM Team Building in a Robin costume, an excellent one if I may say so myself. I usually don’t care for these things, except that everyone in the batch is so karir about everything that I felt compelled to go with the flow. The theme for our batch is Epic Movies. Truly there is nothing epic about Robin, or the Batman and Robin movie for that matter, but one of my dreams since childhood has been to wear a jail-bait Robin whore costume. Everyone came in their most karir costumes, the incoming 2nd year’s theme being cartoon characters, and the incoming first years as horror movie characters. In terms of awesomeness my top picks would be Cruella de Ville, Daphne of Scooby Doo, Elizabeth Swan, Cousin It, Helen of Troy, and Fred Flintstone. Special mention to Cat Woman, someone I could interact with and indeed, she whipped me bad. Special mention also to Tinkerbell, who looked really fun and interesting when she got drunk.

3. Collected all seven rings of the multi-colored lantern corps from Comic Odyssey to join my previously acquired Black Lantern of Death. They are really ugly and look really cheap, and as Namtab Pots pointed out, they look like those freebies from Chikadees. But they are really fun to wear. I will one day require seven of my batchmates to wear them and we will pose for a peeeeeeekchur.

4. Went on to write more serious stuff and got self published on a couple of nationals. Was last week’s writer in Philippine Star’s National Bookstore book review competition, wherein I wrote about Gerard Jones’ Men of Tomorrow: Geeks, Gangsters, and the Birth of the Comic Book. That competition has been my sole source of annual bookstore shopping money, and the contest has thankfully allowed me publication air time for the past four years. Some of the books I wrote about for the contest in the past years: Atonement by Ian Mc Ewan, Identity Crisis by Brad Meltzer, and something with no book in particular but in which I just related some of my weird childhood experiences. H&L editor also said he published my insomnia article for the December ish of Health and Lifestyle, but I am yet to see a copy.

5. Went back to writing short stories. The last one I wrote was around five years ago, and it shows. I wrote something I was planning to submit to a magazine while I was in GJ’s with Smoketh, and I asked her to read it with the tongue-in-cheek disclaimer that it’s a totally sell-out piece written with the sole intent of getting published, and she agreed. She told me never to submit it.

6. Went on a semi-brief reactive psychosis, just in case you can take one more whine. I’ve never had BRP’s because I think they’re corny, but when you’re having the most severe, debilitating allergic rhinitis attack while being alone in the OPD clinic with huge amounts of patients to see (whine whine whine), the feeling of being trapped made me miss Zolofta. No offense, Prozy, Zolofta rules.

7. Presented in the much-dreaded Endocrinology Conference, which was far scarier than my two audits. Had Smoketh not been my partner I would have totally gone loony. While cramming for it at four in the morning I typed with Smoketh in their fraternity-sorority tambayan, thinking no brods or sisses would see me and give me dagger stares. I’m a barb. Two medical students suddenly walked in, however, and started to extend their hands to give me their secret handshakes. Smoketh stopped them in time thankfully, for I might have had my CSF sucked out of me had I given them the wrong handshake. After the conference Smoketh and I wondered if we had been made kain by the consultants. We are dense to being made kain, someone has to point it out first.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Of Course. What Else.

While eating alone in Kenny Rogers (for some reason I always have interesting seatmates whenever I eat alone in Kenny Rogers. There was that one gay hotel corporate powerful person who was leaking interview secrets to a male applicant who was muscular and wearing a tight shirt, and then there was the kid who brought a huge amount of toys and went on to destroy them, both stories I've already blogged about and I'm sure no one remembers), so, while eating alone in Kenny Rogers three days ago there was this 7 or 8 year old boy wearing his school PE shirt eating rice with gravy, for some reason he only wanted the gravy, and he was reciting some math stuff that he'd learned, some spelling stuff that he'd recently memorized, and then the mom went, "hey what about the new poem?" and I nervously told myself, obviously, the poem couldn't possibly be, I mean it couldn't possibly be....

"Alms, alms, spare me a piece of bread! Spare me your mercy!!!" the boy started to recite. Complete with facial expression and hand gestures at that.

I think he's gearing up for a declamation contest. He would lose, he doesn't look at all that poor. Unless of course his mom gets into Stage Mum mode and smears his face with uling. That would get the judges. For sure.

Infinite Crisis

Recently read a Facebook note by Lloydie about missing certain things. Lloydie is presently in Malaysia or Singapore or somewhere searching for himself, training in the various modes of Asian self-defense. He is travelling the world for all sorts of spiritual fulfillment and discovering his chakras or something, like what Batman did after the events of Infinite Crisis. You would think that after 70 years of existence there is nothing left for Bruce Wayne to learn, but he leaves Gotham nevertheless in the hands of the reformed Two-Face, the Birds of Prey, and such. And now he is gone again. Why? Because he is dead. Or trapped in the past after being hit by the beams of Darkseid in Final Crisis. Or something. For sure he doesn’t appreciate The Black Hand licking his skull.

In Infinite Crisis #4 Batman torments himself in the Bat Cave as he watches his own creation the Brother Eye wreak havoc in the universe. He hits his giant computer screen with a chair, keels over, and cries in anguish. He remembers the pivotal events in his life—the death of Jason Todd at the hands of the Joker, the shooting of Barbara Gordon at the hands of the Joker, the death of his parents. He cries “I wish I could go back”, at which point the Superman of Earth 2, Kal-L, shows up and says that indeed he can.

Been recently finding—or losing—myselves in such a state, the desire to go back. Memory can indeed be confounded. Obviously I wouldn’t want to rotate in OB again, but memory works in such a way that the past always seems much simpler, much funnier, much more comfortable, such that I only have fond memories of being with Ditz the Titz, Mrs. T, Smoketh, Ol, and the rest in the backdrop of a strong lochia stench. Or the memories of childhood. We would always get annoyed when the then-adults would tell us that we were lucky that we don’t have worries, that we shouldn’t rush to adulthood. They were right. The bullies, the boredom, the annoying Hanabishi family computer cartridge that wouldn’t work—they are fleeting, they go away after a while, they are inconsequential. But not the confusing crossroads of career or non-career. Or being in a genuine financial rut. Or the torments of relationship or non-relationship. Or the diseases and the deaths. Or the intangible yet very real crisis of self-discovery. And we are not Bruce or the thousands of DC heroes and villains who would die, become Black Lanterns, and somehow manage to live again to be in new ongoing story arcs once more. We wish we could go back, but we don’t have the Flux Capacitor, do we.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Learning. Is Overrated.

A few months ago I texted my friend Vampirella inquiring about the cellphone number of Ysmault, and after a few minutes she replied with the number. Genuinely grateful I texted back, "Gee, thanks!" I know, must be all the comic books I've been reading. Incensed Vampirella replied with, "Why do you have to be so sarcastic? Nasa ER ako and ang daming patients, etc."

Hurm. Come to think of it, putting a "Gee!" on something may indeed sound sarcastic, unless you live in Riverdale and are ordering something from the Choklit Shop. And it probably didn't help that Vampirella was in the ER. I told this once to Smoketh, and whenever I would use the word "Gee!" she would immediately reply with "Whydoyouhavetobesosarcastic?!?" Working on the concept of learned behavior, etc. I started to automatically say the entire exchange whenever I have to thank someone for something. For instance:

Me: HIV, paabot ng asukal.
HIV: Here.
Me: Gee, thanks, whydoyouhavetobesosarcastic?!?!

or

ME: Smoketh, pwede bang ikaw na ang magrounds. Tinatamad na ako.
Smoketh: Sure.
Me: Gee, thanks, whydoyouhavetobesosarcastic?!?!

I've used this around five times once with Cheapo around. She snickered the first time. Asked me to elucidate on its origin the second time. Made kebs the third time around. By the fifth time she wanted to slap me.

As a project during our Behavioral Psychology back in college Groin wanted to cure me of my attention deficit, so whenever I would turn my head to watch people while in Jollibee Philcoa she would feed me some hot sauce. I must have consumed half a hot sauce bottle, but up to today I still could not sustain attention for more than ten seconds. In return I sought to cure her of her fear of snakes. I proposed to our instructor that as a first step I would surprise Groin by throwing a bunch of fake snakes at her face while she's studying. It didn't get approved.

And For Today's Psychotherapy: It Wouldn't Have Made Any Difference

We can think about these things, think of them as needles slowly burying themselves in our heads and in our hearts and in our spirit and feel unable to escape and rise above these obstacles, think of them in the middle of work, in the middle of conversations, in the middle of our daily tasks and tell ourselves we are in pain, unbearable and unrelenting, or we can physically draw deep cuts on our body so we would feel this, this pain, because we need to express this melancholy and this rage and this torment, place ourselves in a widening gyre, jump in between giant, interlocking gears, or we can drown ourselves in alcohol and drugs and sex to shield ourselves from this pain, or express them in art or music or writing or psychotherapy or sertraline, or we can do all of them at the same time, all at the same time, but it wouldn't change a thing. It wouldn't. Change. A thing.

Trainspotting With Renton, JAPT, RBTDS, Namtab Pots, and Ruth Marx

I arrived quite late for Namtab Pots’ birthday party. I was told that some of my closest high school friends were coming and I haven’t seen them in a long time, and I needed to see these people. Namtab Pots, RBTDS, JAPT, Ruth Marx, and Renton have been some of my closest friends since high school, but in the recent events Renton hasn’t been showing up. We haven’t seen him since 2004 but Ruth Marx did see him once back in 2005 in Puerto Gallera, and he said that Renton was terribly inebriated and dancing on the sand, totally red, half-naked, and seemed to be in another plane of consciousness. No one has heard anything about him ever since and he wouldn’t reply to any text message or email. He would occasionally send us some new cellphone number, which would again be unattended after a week. By 2007 he just suddenly vanished, physically and from our collective consciousness. But this time, Namtab Pots said, Renton suddenly promised he would come via a Facebook message. We all waited in anticipation at what sort of person Renton is now after five years—Is he now totally wealthy and would just attend to patronize us lowly employees? Is he now married with five kids? Is he now a druggie? Is he now a girl with huge boobs?

In he came, wearing a black beret. He was thinner than before, but not asthenic enough to be categorized as AIDS cachexia. “What happened to you? Are you now wealthy and just attending this party to patronize us lowly employees? Are you now married? Five kids? A druggie? Huge boobs?” we asked in quick succession.

“Nawala ako nung 2007,” he started. “Dahil pumasok ako nun…”

“Sa rehab?!?!” we gasped collectively. But it was a totally fake gasp. Because we knew. We knew all this time. How dare he not share those drugs, I thought in annoyance.

“Pumasok ako… sa seminaryo,” he said.

This was totally out of character, but Namtab Pots suddenly related that back then Renton was corresponding with him regarding the prospect of being a priest. This was quite surprising, as I would have thought it were more possible for him to be, let’s say, dead than being a priest. But apparently back in 2007 he had decided to be a Jesuit and entered the seminary where he stayed for an entire year, with no connection whatsoever to the outside world. This of course begged the question:

“ Bakit ka lumabas? Dahil sa tawag ng laman?” one of us asked. I think it was me.

We then proceeded to a coffee shop where we interrogated him on his missing five years. I noted that his five years were very interesting, trying, significant, full of relevance. That in those five years he found love, lost it, found love again in the arms of God, but decided to rediscover Him elsewhere through a more mundane existence. That those five years were dedicated to finding clarity, and a sense of self, and a sense of hope. That those five years are, in short, very bloggable. Write a blog, Renton, write a blog.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Blackest Night Updates

Self-serving comic book-related entry. Last chance to stop reading.
The Blackest Night series is now on its issue #4, and as with any huge event it is very interesting, very huge, very wide-screen, and as a consequence each issue seems very, very short. When they said that you can read Blackest Night without reading all the tie-ins from other titles they lied. You have to read all the tie-ins, all twenty or so of them so far, in order to fully enjoy this mega-blockbuster.
Important points, and therefore spoilers:
1. Garth also known as Tempest, Hawkman, and Hawkgirl were recently killed and are now Black Lanterns! They join Aquaman, The Elongated Man, SueDibny, Firestorm, and thousands of other heroes and villains who have been dead for quite some time in sowing terror in the DC Universe.
2. Mera, the widow of Aquaman, is now cool and involved in some of the cooler scenes in Blackest Night. This proves that with excellent writing and art you can make seemingly lame characters cool. Aquaman can stay dead and Mera can take his place in the Justice League after all this is over.
3. But one other female character is way cooler, and it is Indigo-1 of the Indigo Lanterns. And she can speak English, although most of the time she prefers to say “nuk nuk nak nok nek” or something. And she has a cool staff with a purple orb in the middle.
4. The Superman: Blackest Night tie-in is one of the best Superman stories in quite a while, with Ma Kent and Krypto being utilized excellently. The Batman: Blackest Night tie-in is also great, but inferior in art and pacing, though I really dig that scene with Oracle and Commissioner Gordon eluding the Black Lanterns. Titans: Blackest Night is also highly entertaining, and I am genuinely concerned about Donna Troy’s well-being after she was bit by the tiyanak version of her son. She can now see in the colored emotion registry! She will survive this ordeal, but I hope she retains this sort of power.
5. And in one of the best lines in the series, Agent Orange Larfleeze as he is being chased by Black Lanterns: “I want I want I want… help!” Hahahahahahahahahaha!
6. And finally for this update, the proof that Geoff Johns can strike directly at my beating geek’s heart: Firestorm Jason’s girlfriend is transmogrified by the Black Lantern Firestorm into… a pillar of salt! Aaaaaaaaaaieeeeeee!

Not Beating Around The Bush With Tits

Maybe because the end of the year is nearing, but I am feeling a terrible sense of ennui. It’s one of those blog entries, I know. Ennui ennui ennui. Whine whine whine. Be morose. Morose morose morose. But we can’t be joking around and being happy and facetious all the time, can we. Or can’t we? We can’t. Indeed. And it’s not a terribly good sign when I’m beginning to talk to myself, with confusing tag questions at that, in a corny blog entry no less. It’s not just the need for a better financial well-being, but I’ve been ruminating on some other career options. Things are just not rewarding anymore in any financial or emotional sense. Awww, look at the poor trainee, feeling sorry for himself. Why not try digging coals for a job or something and you wouldn’t feel these pretentious, fleeting feelings of self pity, I ask. Digging coals? Here? Of course, where do you want to do it, in 18th Century America? I’m no longer sure how many personalities are talking. I’m confused. I’m confusing myself. Myselves.

Anyway I’ve overheard Ruthie and Tits talking recently about this very attractive career move—being an apple picker in New Zealand. It would allegedly earn you hundreds of thousands of pesos in a much shorter while. They might be talking about mountains of apples here, but the phrase “hundreds of thousands of pesos” was enough to stop everyone on their tracks. This confused Tits, because it seemed more attractive than the initial prospect of milking cows.

“Apple picker,” Ruthie started. “But is there such a job as a cherry popper?” to which everyone within earshot snickered. Tits then put on a perplexed expression, which always happens to him in these sorts of conversation. “What cherry popper?” he of course asked. Sometimes we wonder if he’s just pulling our leg with this kind of naivete—he is named Tits after all—but no one really bothered to ask.

“Eh di cherry popper! Special Agent Fox Mulder, kindly elucidate,” Ruthie asked.
Now I was comfortably ensconced on the corner bed, reading the wonderful, extremely pleasant Superman: Secret Origins #2 by Geoff Johns featuring Clark Kent’s first meeting with the Legion of Superheroes. I had no time to beat around the bush, sidestep away from the cracks, or baste around with the garlic, so I just said, “First time fucker. To have your cherry popped is to be fucked for the first time.”
“Huh?” Tits said, facial expression getting more unconvincing. “But why cherry? Why pop?”
“It’s the hymen. The hymen is the cherry. To penetrate the hymen is to pop the cherry,” I said quickly, resuming my reading. I sometimes pity my friends whenever I become this profane and graphic, but issue #2 is just so great to waste time on metaphors, simile, onomatopoeia, etc.

More perplexed look.

Mental note: Bring colored crayons and an illustration board next time.

Friday, October 23, 2009

More Fucking Dramatics!!!

The entry “Too Much Drama” proved to be such a raving success and elicited a HUGE amount of responses (grand total of…3, two from the same person under different names—eh, Mexican Devil Alanis Whore?) that The Great Crematorium has reminded me of some more dramatic moments in my two-year stay here. These are things that I’ve never expected real people to say in real life, but then again, we are not real people, we are alien mutant androids. Some are pure drama, some are pure karindihan, so ladies and gents (in Rod Serling voice) I hereby present to you… More Fucking Dramatics/Maximum Karindihan.

“Mheff, naging mabuti naman akong senior sa ‘yo at naging mabuting junior ka sa kin at malalim ang pinagsamahan natin, so if one day you decide to throw me in a box where you keep people you would never talk to again, at least give me a sign, a warning, a portent.”

“Mheff and Dawn (junior residents), you are the primary motivation why I always want to wake up in the morning and run to the hospital and work. You make me excited to come to the wards and look at the patients, because I know you have shown great care to and managed our patients wonderfully.”

“Cover? Cover na naman?! Blablablablablablablabla cover na naman? Unfair! Huh? Bakit ako? Cover? Bakit ngayon lang sinabi?!? Uuuuuuunfair!!!! Blather-blather-blather! Uuuuunfair!!! Blag!!!”

“Chit chat! Chit chat! Chit chat! Puro na lang chit chat! Tama na ang chit chat!!!”

"Tinatamaaad na ko. Ayoko nang mag rooooounds. Lur tayo."

Cheeezums!

This is how cheezums are translated in this hospital. A few months back during the AH1N1 scare Bubble was on her leave and she went to Italy where she ate pizza, drank wine, and rode a gondola. At that same moment Ernielou was on his Neurology rotation, and he suddenly fell ill with colds and had to take a sick leave. At that time Bubble was still in Italy. Versions of these two stories went rampant, but this is my favorite so far c/o Faciphaga Emasculata, a high rank person in Neurology who (whom?) I overheard narrate this to a consultant excitedly complete with hand gestures and alar flaring.

Faciphaga Emasculata: “Grabe, ang dami nang may H1N1. Si Ernielou, absent tuloy ngayon sa Neuro, confeeeermed H1N1. Nakuha nya to dun sa batchmate nya na galing sa America… si Pebbles.”

I don’t know why, but the incoherence of this entire anecdote suddenly reminds me of an encounter with a super anemic patient (SAP), with a hemoglobin of 28.
Me: “Taga-saan po kayo?”
SAP: “Baboy.”
Me: “Hindi. Tinatanong ko kung tiga saan kayo. Sinong kasama nyo?”
SAP: “Baboy.”
Me: “Lekat. Nahihilo ba kayo?”
SAP: “Baboy.”

I’ve never really thought of it before, but SAP might not have been encephalopathic—he could, indeed, have been calling me baboy. Well, SAP, you didn’t look so good yourself. And you kinda stink! And remember when I told you that your mother was just out to buy you lunch? Well she wasn’t! She was making tsismis with the other bantays! She was making tsismis that you are already in your forties yet you haven’t kissed a girl yet! What do you say now, SAP, huh? What do you say now?!?!

More Ritalin!

Atrocitus

Ran last night to Comic Odyssey not expecting I'd find it, I ran, ran, ran, crapping in my pants. Until I realized it was unnecessary, because hanging in the pegs are two figures of... Atrocitus The Red Lantern!!! Atrocitus is a Red Lantern of Rage, with blood-like vomitus forever spilling from his mouth!!! I clutched it like Orange Lantern Larfleeze, crying Mine! Mine! Mine!!! as a Chinese dad dashed in and threatened to buy the last Atrocitus! Chinese dad immediately pulled the remaining Atrocitus and hugged it like the Orange Lantern of Avarice that he is. "I want I want I want!" he cried. But my Atrocitus is better I hissed, because the red lantern accessory of his Atrocitus has chipped paint on its handle. Chipped paint I tells you!

I paid for my better Atrocitus and life went on.

The New Chief Resident---Revealed! (Spoilers!)

A few days ago the list of the newest batch of residents has finally been released, much to the thrill of some. We had our own personal bets, and a few weeks ago JD-Lu, HIV, Uni-Horned Beef Jerky Mexican Devil Alanis Whore, and I have constructed our own list. We got 15 out of 21 right. As we looked at the list we discovered that the successful applicants could be divided into 3—those who were shoo-ins and are therefore boring, those whose appearance in the list is quite a surprise, and those whom we haven’t heard of before.

The next object of thrill (yes, we derive thrill from these things) would be the result of the race for the chief residency. Everyone’s licking their chops in anticipation, but everyone is told to wait. I asked Cloydie what he would say if he were being interviewed for chief residency, and he said that obviously, all he would say, in the spirit of Thimes, would be, “You mean, you’re just considering me for the position because of my… looks?”

In the hurly burly no one bothered to ask me who would win, thinking that all I know about are drugs and porn, unaware that I am chummy with the powers that be, and that with just a single text they have all told me who has been the ONLY genuine consideration all this time. Apparently, all the other, hee-hee, “contenders” were just, how do I say this nicely… props. That the “interviews” were just… hee-hee… how do I put it properly… a show. Because really, the only person being considered, and that the only deciding factor is if he would accept—and he WOULD accept—is ME. Yes, you got that right, I’M your next chief resident!!! And as soon as I take over there will be NO EXAMS!!! There will be no REQUIRED TRP PERFORMANCES!!! There will be NO GENERAL MEETINGS!!! NO AUDITS!!!! Occasionally to spice things up I would have to call surprise meetings… and give a SURPRISE QUIZ!!!! On comic book history!!!! And in the wards, there will be… 20 General Medicine Services!!!! That means… only one patient per resident!!!! But don’t get too comfortable, you spoiled first year residents, because you will be required to include in your daily charting… GENOGRAMS!!!! And SCREEEEEM evaluations!!!! And I will check them!!!! Daily!!!! Are you liking me yet?!?!?

There, now that I have adequately ridiculed myself maybe I have now sufficiently disqualified myself from the chief residency race for next year, because really, I think some of my other batchmates may be more qualified than me. Wait, are you saying that I will not be a consideration at all anyway? That even if all my 20 batchmates turn the job down they will still not offer it to me?!?! But what if I say that I really really want it and that I’ll try my very very best? Wait can I sing another song?!?! Can I just sing another song, please, I really really want this! All my friends say I’m a good singer and now you’re saying that I am not qualified for your stupid little show?!? Can I just have another try?!?!? What if I do an interpretative dance?!? Screw you! Screw you all!!!!

Dawn, Dawn, Dawn. Dawn.

While reading some ECGs in the ECG room who should come in but a bevy of students—an entire ward service at that. Now the ECG room is that tiny, tiny room where we are required to do an official reading of ECG’s. The entire exercise of reading ECG’s is actually far more boring than it already sounds, but the room does have its benefits. Early last year I had a patient who was all of a sudden for operation the next day, it was already 8 pm when this decision was made, and a superior person has been calling and texting me to the point of MK—Maximum Karindihan (term originated by Uni-horned Beef Jerky Mexican Devil Alanis Whore). I would be receiving text messages on top of text messages and long calls for hours on end, so I ran to the ECG room where there is absolutely no cellphone signal. The patient got operated on the next day without a glitch so see, there is really no need for MK to facilitate things.

So the students came rushing in, and apparently they were herded in by Dawn. As they all sat down I caught Dawn doing an intense teaching rounds with the students. This last sentence probably reflects my decrepit value system—malicious deeds are marveled at and blogged about with delight, while good deeds and acts of diligence and academic excellence are “caught”. I pretended to put on my iPod earphones but secretly I was listening in on the intense teaching rounds. It was, indeed, intense. Granted it doesn’t take much to impress my metamphetamine-shrivelled brain and all around stupidity, but I still “oooohed” and “aaaaahed” in my head as Dawn narrated complicated ECG stuff with ease, exhibiting genuine expertise at this heart thing.

I immediately told this to Smoketh who has been Dawn’s senior a few months back. Smoketh could only marvel at Dawn’s expert hand. In a line worthy of being in More Fucking Dramatics, Smoketh could only say: “Para sakin pinaka-grabe ang learning curve ni Dawn. Like, from nothing, to something. From no one to someone. From nobody, to somebody. From zero… to hero.”
More Fucking Dramatics!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Too Much Drama

Indeed, there is. Too much drama. If this were Survivor that would be one of the reasons why a particular castaway might get voted out—if he is full of too much fucking drama. But then again, we should always think of the ratings, and drama rakes in millions of viewership. And in the hospital setting there is a lot of venue for Infernal Dramatics—everyone always feels that they are the most toxic, or the most abused, or the most overworked; everyone feels like they are not properly compensated, or that the emergency room is too hot, or that there is too much poverty. And poverty—oooh, that opens up doors and doors of opportunity for endless drama. That you have to shell out your own money—lots of dramatic potential there. That the patient comes to the emergency room with only his clothes on and nothing else, that the patient acts all snooty, that the patient is totally evil—infinite drama at its best. And of course when I talk about the dramatics I pertain merely to the complaining and whining and groaning and dramatic pronouncements that go with the situation, and the tendency to create a huge story about everything. And with that, let me quote the most dramatic quotations of the various hospital personalities of the past months.

1. “I’m so hating poverty na!!!”

2. “You’re giving me all the bad schedules just because I’m the single, uninteresting, boring guy in the batch!!!”

3. “Ganun naman talaga eh. Ano ba ang silbi ko sa batch na ito kundi maging isang hamak na punch-liner.”

4. “Don’t you dare!!!”

5. “Hindi ko titignan ang patient just because kilala ko sya. That’s nepotism.”

6. “Mumurahin ko sya. Mumurahin ko sya! Sanay ako magmura dahil bata pa lang ako nagmumura na ako!!!”

7. “Ngayong gabi ako ang pinakamakapangyarihang doktor sa ospital na ito!!!”

8. “Hindi ko alam ang diagnosis nya dahil ang silbi ko lang dito ay mag vital signs!!! Mag VITAL SIGNS!!!”

9. “Ngayong magaling na ang pagkalason mo, gagamutin naman natin ang kabaliwan mo.”

10. “Until she apologizes, I vow never to talk to her ever again!!!”

11. “You mean for all my kebs-ness and total detachment to the department and everything I am still being considered for the position of chief resident? You mean I am just being considered for my… intelligence?!?”

12. “Mommy!!! Ano na lang ang sasabihin ng baby mo pag nagkita kayo sa langit? Na nilaglag mo sya???”

Keep those dramatics coming. We love them.

Beware JJL's Wrath

One night back when we were in the 1st year’s callroom I was positioned snugly in the most coveted bed. The others in the room with me that night were JJL, Dondee, and Lloydie. The 1st year’s quarters is a nice place to sleep in because there is enough room for everyone to move around. But no amount of space could buffer Dondee and Lloydie’s deafening snores.

JJL couldn’t sleep because of the infernal snoring. She tried the prone position and covered her head with a pillow but to no avail—Dondee and Lloydie’s snores which were of varying pitch but of competing intensity could penetrate her flimsy pillow. Finally JJL couldn’t take it anymore. She let out one high-pitched, annoyed whine:

“Dondee and Lloydie ang ingay ingay nyo!!!!” she cried.

Dondee and Lloydie’s snoring instantly stopped. JJL got her sleep.

Beware JJL’s wrath—It can cross the REM barrier.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Whining About Whinification

Lately there has been a resurgence of the culture of whinification. Whinification is of course as old as the Sumerian tribes before they were abducted by aliens, because everybody whines. You whine. I whine. A lot. But mostly in this blog. Patients whine. Co-residents whine. Even Len-Len and Marth V whine (only on one or two occasions in the past many years, at most). It is all well and good, and we enjoy hearing whines. We stop enjoying hearing whines, however, when they are unfunny. And when they are high-pitched. Because really, whining in itself by definition is high-pitched, but a high-pitched whine can break through the time-space continuum. Also, whining in a very crowded, moist, fetid, noisy, place, ie, the emergency room, can make everyone within earshot go nuts, because it’s difficult to work with tinnitus. In Survivor, one of the indications for getting voted out is if you whine a lot. In residency, whining should be an indication to get kicked in the ass, physically. Write a blog or smoke a cigarette in ambs, damn it, and stop whining.

P.T.N.

Some people accuse me of being nice. There is nothing worse than getting accused of being nice. Actually there are much worse things, like being called unfunny, whiny, studious, etc, but permit the hyperbole. Eyebrows are probably shooting up in space at this pronouncement, conversely accusing me of not being nice at all, saying that I am, in fact a mean person. I may be generally mean, but the niceness people accuse me of having is within the context of work. That I don’t make toxic anyone. That I will take someone’s patient or work without complaining. That you can switch schedules with me anytime. That I don’t turn down referrals in the middle of the night, even the really stupid ones. That you can coerce me to see your referrals for you and all I can respond with is, “what bed?”

The fact is, all the aforementioned examples are not borne out of niceness at all. I won’t go so far as admit that they are out of stupidity or meekness, but they are, in fact, borne out of laziness. Laziness to argue. Laziness to think. Laziness to think of questions. Laziness to complain. Laziness to whine. Laziness to ruffle the feathers, rock the boat, ripple the water, milk the cow, agitate the aardvark, and other nonsense. It’s just too exhausting to try to seem superior and righteous and think of ways to entoxify (not a real word) someone. This becomes a venue for abuse, so I am now enrolled in the 12-Step Kathy Lei Program To Being Feeerm.

This whole laziness-as-the-operative-concept-in-everything can be traced as far back and is a virtual plagiarism of an old blog entry of Walking On Water. Because indeed, laziness is a pervasive force, but it does give way to doing things fast. In Smoketh’s mantra: PTN—Para Tapos Na.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Groin-Staring at 7-11

A few days ago while in 7-11 two women were staring at my groin.

“Bakit kayo nakatingin sakin?” I asked.

They pointed at the nail cutter dangling from the keychain on my belt.

Since Grade 6 I have always been carrying a nail cutter with me—I just have this weird genetic condition wherein the cuticles around my fingernails always get loose and fucking painful that I would have to cut them off immediately. It is the uncoolest thing ever but I always carry it with me. My mom insists that I developed this condition because I once cut my fingernails on a Good Friday.

“Pwede ba naming hiramin and nail cutter mo,” one of them said. “Ipambubukas namin ng lata ng sterilized milk.” She lifted the can of milk she had bought from 7-11 to illustrate.

I stared at them with total exophthalmos, hissed, and they ran away.

Thank you, Dondee and Extremely Nice Samaritans from Merville!

After hours of running wet the seven of us finally found refuge in a total stranger’s house in Merville. We deserved to be in that predicament because none of us listened—we were too excited to push through with our once-a-year weekend off from the hospital that none of us was rational. We were more like insane. By the time we left PGH there was already a massive downpour, but all we could debate about was: La Luz or Nasugbu? For three seconds we actually thought we could get there unscathed—“Tumigil na ang ulan!!!” I screamed crazily, until we realized we were only under a fly over. We only admitted that total morons we were by the time flood waters were rapidly filling The Great Mutato’s car. We immediately left it and ran through the flood in SLEX opposite the direction of the traffic—yes, it’s Deep Impact or Godzilla or any B-movie minus the rampaging monster. Of course we were all in summer wear—The Great Mutato’s was thin and white, and with a few raindrops it turned in to a transparent magic kamison. “Pohtang pekpek shorts ‘to!” Vampirella screamed out. Of course no one could let that near-drowning opportunity pass—we had to take some peeeekchurs of ourselves on the street. Misery is temporary, but peeeeekchurs are forever.

The 7-11 in Merville was filled with people clawing at each other for that last piece of hotdog in the warmer. Tessieloopagoop crossed the street, ran through the rains and got all of us some doxycyclines. Everyone in 7-11 was calling everyone on their cellphones—some worried about their loved ones, etc etc etc, but most importantly, everyone was trying to one-up each other on who was more miserable.

One of our batchmates, Jondi, who was already in Batangas informed us that he knew someone living in Merville who would let us stay the night. After a season’s worth of reality TV competition misadventures such as getting in the wrong house, staying under the rain for hours, watching a house burn, failing to complete a Road Block since it’s a task only one member of the team may perform, contracting leprosy, and such, we finally found the house. We were afraid the owners would require us to declaim “Alms, alms,” in the rain before letting us in, but they were extremely nice and accommodating. While dining with the extremely nice owners I was trying to assess just how close Jondi was to them. “Ah, si Dondee. Oo mabait na bata yang si Dondee,” extremely nice mom told us.

To our contingent’s credit everyone was still extremely funny and giddy despite the lingering stress. I ran out of punch lines and witty remarks by the time it was dark. "Magpatawa ka," Tempus Fugit demanded. "Wala! Naubusan na ko," I whimpered. At one point I was unaware that my repertoire had already turned to repeat mode. Prior to being fed, in sheer hunger I told Fulet Esplana, “Hey Fulet, napanood mo na ba yung movie na Alive?” I asked. “Nakwento mo na yan 30 minutes ago!” she harrumphed.

During our batch outing last year there was also a massive storm and blackout but we managed to get to Subic. This year we haven’t even gotten past Bicutan. So for our batch outing next year we’re watching a movie. In Robinson’s.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Excursion

For some reason the batch assigned Djanah and me to come up with the activities for the overnight batch outing last year. Djanah and I of course didn't prepare anything. Off we went to Subic, and of course there was a massive, massive storm, rendering the beaches unsafe for swimming and causing a huge black-out. Painfully bored everyone turned their attention to us, pressuring us to lay out our prepared activities. Djanah and I went in front.

"Walang activities!!!" I announced.
"Wala! Mag vivideoke tayo mamya at mag-iinuman pag nagkakuryente. YUN ang activities!" Djanah hissed.

Which led to genuinely annoyed gruntings and prolonged lounging around. By 7 pm the rains stopped and the power came back, everyone got drunk and nude and sang the most intubatably birit songs, and totally forgot about our absolute non-planning.

Until last month, because come this weekend we are once again going to have our batch outing, or as we like to call it in true elementary school fashion, EXCURSION, and who should everyone assign to prepare the activities but me and Djanah. Someone tried to make sense of this totally irrational collective decision-making.

"We know you don't have organizational skills, and we want you to develop it," Y Tori Can't Read informed me as she sat back and crossed her arms, a self-satisfied look on her face.

"Organizational skills mo mukha mo," I said.

Obviously it will rain once again. And just to patronize Y Tori Can't Read, Djanah and I are indeed harnessing whatever organizational skills we have within us.

"Magdala tayo ng Boggle," I told Djanah.
"Sige. Boggle. YUN ang activity," Djanah affirmed.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Exams...

How I suck at them. All those questions that look nowhere familiar, all those choices that look the same. It doesn’t matter that the multiple choices render a small percentage of getting it right, if I pick something randomly it’s bound to be wrong. It doesn’t mean either that I’m good at the more practical stuff, or in anything else non-academic. You see, kids, no matter what they tell you in school things are not always mutually exclusive—you can suck at everything. Oooh, self-deprecation. I love it.

And don’t even mention the move exams. What’s with the fixation with move exams anyway? My entire life I’ve probably undergone hundreds of move exams, from the botany exams identifying that a leaf is caudate shaped, to those histology exams identifying lamina somethings, and now to actual diagnoses based on a fictitious case. A 35-year old female farmer. Hah. A 65-year old woman with regular monthly menses. Hahaha. If I have my way it would be a 24-year old clerk abducted by a Papua New Guinean tribe who engaged in cannibalism. You know what I’m driving at—Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease!!!

The only good thing about these totally stressful exams is that no matter how you sucked there is always a huge wave of relief immediately after and a communal thirst for beer, singing, and oily food, and most importantly a communal urge to rant, rant, and rant. And my batchmates’ rants are always hilarious. They crack me up.

Over 3 years ago Ditz the Titz and I would always try to annoy everyone after a very difficult exam by parodying infernal GC’s (Grade Conscious). Ditz and I finished the infuriating OB-Gyne Internship finals in 30 minutes (after randomly answering all C’s), and as we walked along the aisle in the middle of perspiring GC’s we pumped our fists and vigorously exclaimed, “Yes! Yes! Samplex! Wooooh! Yes!!!”, giving each other high fives and laughing hyenically. Everyone shot us an annoyed glance. Hah.

Voltaging

TT recently pointed out that I could have probably finished an entire volume of Harrison’s if I’ve read it instead of all those thousands of comic books under my belt. Wrong, TT, wrong. I could have read BOTH volumes of Harrisons. Thrice. The DC Comics Encyclopedia itself is worth half a volume, and I’ve read it multiple times. Yes, TT, or as I fancy calling you now, Tits, I could have mastered Harrison’s inside and out including those chapters on bioterrorism and prions, but why would I? Yes, they will help me care for my patient in the future, and they can actually help me pass those exams, and they can make me look less stupid in general, but really, isn’t it more interesting to find out who the leader of the Black Lanterns is? Isn’t it more engaging to read the adventures of Yorick Brown as he tries to discover in 60 issues why all the creatures with a Y chromosome, including those sperm in sperm banks, just died automatically? And isn’t Wonder Woman wielding her Magic Lasso of Truth a billion times sexier than those peripheral blood smear photos? Yes, yes, occasionally I would have to take a stab at the important chapters that will help me care for patients, but Tits, Tits, Tits, we have to know our priorities.

And another such priority is music appreciation. While sipping Voltage in GJ’s and pretending to read Harry this is how study sessions with Smoketh turn out:

Smoketh: Ano’ng pinapakinggan mo ngayon sa iPod?
Me: Jesus of Suburbia by Green Day.
Smoketh: Green Day.
Me: Yes, it’s the 9-minute track from their epic album American Idiot released in 2005. It won rock album of the year in the Grammy’s, and the song Boulevard of Broken Dreams got record of the year. Billy Joel Armstrong and the boys later released a live version album of the songs called Bullet in a Bible, and it rocks.
Smoketh: Pakinig! (reaching at my left earphone).
Me: And this one’s Satellite by Dave Matthew’s Band. It begins with the guitar instrumental tututututututututututut. Tututututututututututut….
And thus are 3 hours consumed.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A Re-evaluation of Old Values and Beliefs in the New Millennium For the Betterment of Tomorrow

No longer will I scoff snootily at the diagnosis “shock secondary to poor intake”. I can already hear you scoffing snootily, high and mighty intellectuals (HAMI). But I’ve recently had severe gallbladder pain, vomited just once, and didn’t eat or drink anything at all for just one day, and my blood pressure already plummeted down below normal and stuff. What, now you’re asking if there weren’t any other causes of hypotension, you HAMI—what, this is now an audit?!

In my delirious state I heard Jaydeelou make a formal announcement to everyone in the callroom: “Announcement,Agent Mulder is hypotensive. This is not a joke, hypotensive talaga sya”, and on cue Renrerenrenren immediately pulled my hand and fished for my wriggling veins. I woke up cogent the next morning and while everyone was looking away I pulled out the IV line and ran out of the callroom crazily in true PGH absconding patient fashion.

See, this should teach you (or just me) about scoffing. I am now re-evaluating and reflecting back on the things I’ve scoffed at before: the efficacy of pinulbos the penicillin, pasma, the concept of lagnat sa loob and goiter sa loob, usog, and chanting in front of dead chickens for wealth. So scoff, HAMI, scoff.

Smoketh? Smoketh! Smoketh? Smoketh. Smoketh? Smoketh! (and so on)

In a few months Smoketh will finish residency and will yet again be in a confusing crossroad. Crossroads suck because they are confusing, and I get easily confused. Back in 1997 when I couldn’t decide whether I would go to UP or to the other universities I applied to and all the deadlines for confirmation were looming we just boarded the car, took the C5 road for less traffic, and realized it was already approaching UP, hence UP. But this entry is about Smoketh and her confusion, not mine.

The options for Smoketh are, of course, a wonderful year-off, or a wonderful immediate training for some subspecialty. There is just no end for being a freshman in something, is there. We just keep on starting something, completing it proudly, only to be faced with a new, long, arduous task to begin. These series of tasks are endless, although this is not necessarily true, since all series of tasks actually do end, but they end in death. But again this is not about my annihilist introspections, but about Smoketh and her crossroads.

Crossroads. I just suddenly remember that this is the title of a Britney Spears movie back in 2002 or something. I was eating in Pizza Hut with my neighbors who apparently were planning to watch this horrendous film with some other friends after lunch. I got dragged into the movie, which featured Britney in all sorts of fetish costumes. For camp value, however, nothing beats Glitter. Glitter is the gold standard of camp.

Back to Smoketh. To correct an earlier statement, there is actually a 3rd option for Smoketh, which is to take a totally new career turn such as singing or conducting some choir while travelling somewhere far, or she can probably manage a band and travel in the bus with them and get all Almost Famous-y, singing Tiny Dancer and such. Almost Famous is a great movie, and its soundtrack a great album. My favorite song in the album is It Wouldn’t Have Made Any Difference by Todd Rundgren. Because indeed, I know of hundreds of times I could be in the most unfaithful arms that you always picture me… but those days are through!!!

Recently everyone has been prodding Smoketh to take-up training in a kidney subspecialty. This gets her mightily confused, as she has just, a few months ago, set her mind on a year-off. She always quotes that Jollibee breakfast commercial where a family just stays in bed and wouldn’t get up. Now that’s a huge attraction if there ever is one, staying in bed and not having to wake up at any specified time. I assure her, though, that she will get bored after doing it straight for one week, and that she should reserve such sedentation (not a true word) for old age. So now that the deadline is looming looming LOOMING, Smoketh is going to pick up that form, submit it to the renal office, and get ready for two more years of fun, excitement, and Voltaging.

Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie

So you have a crush (all together now: Yiiiiiiiheeeeee!!!!). You are what, 28, 30 years old and you are still having crushes. She is very pretty after all, and more importantly, you haven’t seen her before in this stagnant quagmire of a dump. You pine, you ache, you get elated all at the same time whenever you get proximal to her. You start playing Always On My Mind in your iPot on eternal repeat, all the 7 versions that you have—of Brenda Lee, Elvis, Willie Nelson, Michael Buble, Fantasia, James Marsden, and even the sucky one of Anoop, because indeed, she is always on your mind. You pine and ache when you don’t see her, and you pine and ache more when you do, but you just know, just know deep in your heart of hearts (because you are anatomically weird) that she is the ultimate, ultimate person for you. And then you notice a wedding band. You freak out.

Get a grip. In the first place, single or not, it’s not like you stand a chance anyway. In the second place, whether you stand a chance or not, it’s not like you won’t embarrass yourself and turn from a genuinely witty, funny guy to a total moron when you approach her anyway. In the third place, you are a genuine moron anyway.
And besides—remember your first ever crush in, what, Grade 4? What about the second one? Or the fiftieth?! Didn’t you tell yourself then that in your heart of hearts she would be the one? And then what happened? You parted class sections, you got busy, you got into drugs, and you totally forgot all about her. Or you saw her one day sneezing violently with a booger shooting out and landing on the floor with a “plop”, and every looooove that you had just fizzled away. Just think of all the fifty-two crushes you’ve ever had—what if you married one of them? Doesn’t the thought make you laugh out loud hysterically now?!? What makes this particular person different from that?!?!? Huh?!? Huh?!?

As I said, get a fucking grip.

Comic Con Carne

In the middle of roundsing at 10 am, this text message from Agent Orange Larfleeze: I’m already in Mega Mall for the Comic Convention. Ako pa lang ang tao. Can you refresh me on the story of The Orange Lanterns?

This got me rushing things, which is not advisable while roundsing—you get confused, you write all sorts of incomprehensible turd, you order all kinds of stuff for which you can get sued months later. And for more agitation, more updates from the already ongoing comic convention from Agent Orange: Parang maganda ang Orange Lantern T-shirts. Meron din red and blue.

Orange Lantern T-shirts! For the uninitiated, this boring catch-up: There are now Red, Orange, Yellow, Blue, Indigo, Violet, and Black Lanterns in addition to the already iconic Green Lanterns. Indeed, ROYGBIV + Black. Each one operates on a specific emotion, and my favorite is the Red Lantern of Raaaaaage. Upon receiving the message I started having weird facial tics, fearing that by the time I get to Mega Mall all would be left are the T-shirts for the Indigo Lanterns of Compassion or the Violet Lanterns of Loooove.

Apparently not too many people were interested in them t-shirts, because they sort of suck, obviously made from simple silk screening. The Orange Lantern of Avarice shirt was too thin, the Black Lantern of Death too thick, so I just got myself the Red Lantern of Raaaaaaaaage and Blue Lantern of Hope shirts.

A huge crowd was already in frenzy by the time I got there, some in costume which I happily did not recognize because I know zip about mangga and Japanese comic books. With so many toys and comic books I sort of panicked and I kept on bumping violently into people. I turned to apologize at one of the dudes I bumped and he just smiled a dead smile to match his bleary eyes, flashed me a peace sign, and droned, “duuuude”. Welcome to a drugged seventies hippie convention!

While crouching and rummaging through huge box of DC Direct figs at 70% off I heard a familiar voice amidst the noise, looked up, and saw Warburger. Warburger was a high school classmate geekazoid who was into collecting all sorts of things back then—X-Men comic books, Bong Barrameda trivia newspaper clippings, weird words, and such. While having a regular conversation with him back then he would suddenly blurt out of nowhere: “SPIZORINCTUM!!!!”--he did that sort of thing. I had a long fight with him back in 2nd year high school because he promised he could get me a ticket for the 1995 WWF Manila Tour, but he ended up getting just a ticket for himself, then went on to regale everyone with stories of how Bret Hart beat Owen Hart to a pulp the day after the event. I haven’t seen him in 10 years.

“Warburger!” I yelled. He stared for 15 seconds before recognizing me, and I noted that in his hands were bags and bags of toys and comic books. I had in my hand two cheap shirts. He now works in some oil company and is totally rich.

Fucking medicine.

“Hey haven’t see you in years!” he screamed amidst the crowd noise. “I now collect all sorts of things—stamps, comic books, statuettes, coins, action figures, and they are all in my room, which is not quite organized, my room is still a work in progress!!!” he continued. “I’m meeting someone who would sell me Marvel Universe figs, which are inferior to the 2004 Marvel Legends mind you—but the Red Hulk is so rare so I’m getting it—but I can’t seem to find this guy!!! And I haven’t seen him before!!!”

I proudly wore my Red Lantern of Raaaaaaaage t-shirt the next day while roundsing. JDpoop saw me in it, and asked why I was in a pambahay garb. One of the Red Lanterns is called Atrocitus, and he constantly vomits boiling blood to represent the uncontainable rage within him. He can also clamp his fangs around an enemy’s head and tear it off its neck. Ya hear that? Raaaaaaaage!

Simple Annoyances Part 2

Because truly, if we could derive happiness from, let’s say, a rock, then we also deserve to derive annoyance and throw a major tantrum from, let’s say, a whiny person. So here goes:

1. All these charger wires entangling with each other. Not getting entangled with, but entangling with. Because they are secretly alive.
2. Reverse Toilet Flushes: you pee, you flush, water rises, and somebody’s feces spring up out of nowhere.
3. Patay na Coke light.
4. Any duty phone beeping.
5. “1 unit platelet approved”
6. Mang Inasal Chicken Oil that can induce severe gallbladder pain
7. Med rep pens that don’t write. Cute med rep pens, but they don’t write.
8. The long and infernal road before blood can get hooked for transfusion
9. When, as the waiter places down your food on the table his forearm brushes against your drink’s straw
10. People starting their kwento with “Nakakatawa, kasi ba naman kanina…” because then I’m required to laugh.

Simple Joys (Insert Touchy-Feely Music Here)... Part 2!

Yes, there was a part 1. Back in the Friendster blog era in 2007, I think, when it still wasn’t spammed by invites for orgies.
As I’ve intro-ed then, there are simple stuff in everyday existence from which we can derive joy, which is a very trite (but still very true) concept anyway. But unlike my touchy-feely feel-good crap motivation then, this new list is written to snap me out of this 3-month old anhedonia. I am not making inarte—every food has been tasting bland, every conversation has been dragging, every comic book or toy has been… wait, they’re still fun. I love comic books and toys. They’re fun.
So in the spirit of that crappy white plastic bag flying in the air or whatever in American Beauty, here are some… barf… simple joys in life. Part 2!

1. The callroom phone being dead for one reason or another.
2. Writing these five wonderful words: Signing out from daily rounds.
3. Getting the free iced tea for placing first in Lazer Tag. I haven’t won it, I suck. But HIV has won gallons of the thing and I’m being vicarious.
4. Ambulance parking lot. Because you can schedule ambulance conductions there.
5. Fun facebook photos, of which there are only two so far: The Beef Jerky Uni-horned Mexican Alanis Whore photo, and the Nude Red Tyanak Climbing Mount Doom photo. Both alter-egos of Pam Patdu.
6. Finally finding a missing chart hidden behind a window or on top of that huge air humidifier thingie after hours of searching in the ER.
7. Voltage with Smoketh and Frichmond while fake-studying.
8. The Blackest Night.
9. A patient’s bantay finally showing up after missing for days on end.
10. Nubain. Mmmmm, nubain. It can make you vomit, but mmmmmm, nubain. No, wait, I’m joking, I’m not a junkie. But mmmmmm, nubain.

Once Again, Hair. Hair Hair Hair.

Because it’s that time of the year when the shadow of my head looks like a weird, alien mobius chair from the huge crop of hair I am always too lazy to cut. See my twenty other old blog entries on the topic, and see how I’ve failed to grow out of this problem, this constant annoyance at having to cut my hair. Constant annoyances and failures to grow out of specific problems are fun, if only because they let you regurgitate old blog entries and brandish them with new, annoying whines.

In my laziness to go to the barbershop I always end up applying a disgusting amount of gel to make my hair seem shorter, and when I went home for the weekend five days ago what should I see in our bathroom but my brother’s hair wax. I haven’t tried using wax before, but if the promise of the label is true that it would enable me to mold my hair into any shape I want then it would help me flatten my hair into a short-looking turd. So I swathed my hair with a huge amount of the wax and was amazed at how, indeed, I could shape my hair into a pear or a galleon.

Ecstasy followed, until I had to wash it off. No amount of shampooing could get the fucking wax off. It has now been five days since I’ve used the damn thing, I have never re-applied it, I have taken a bath multitude times since then, and I can still shape my hair into a fucking anvil.

I should have learned from past experiences that these weird grooming thingies of my siblings that just magically appear in our bathroom are booby traps. I’ve once seen a pink liquid soap in the bathroom called Dance, Dance, Dance, and it gave me major allergies. I’ve once seen some blueberry with milk and grains whatever body soap and it caused major exfoliative dermatitis. Yes, my brother and my sister are out to kill me.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Tales of a Gym Buff. A Gym Buff, I Tell You.

I’ve discovered how out of shape I am (indeed I only need to look in the mirror, but don’t interrupt) when I checked on a patient one day and discovered that he was dead. I looked around for a nurse or a manong, but there was no one sight so I yelled “code” as loud as I could and started the chest compression myself. So I compressed the chest one, two, three, and after the third compression I was… panting. I was out of breath, making a weird panting-yelping-whining combo sound as I gasped. Luckily someone barged in to save me from embarrassment (an insensitive thought really, when what I should have said was someone barged in to save the person from totally dying). It was once taught in basic and advanced life support that some of the reasons to stop resuscitating are if the person is brain dead, if there are already signs of lividity, and my favorite, if the one doing the resuscitating is exhausted. So don’t ever fall dead if I’m the only one in sight, I'd pronounce you in two minutes.

In the summer of 2004 I actually went to the gym for the first time. I know. There was a new gym near our house—it was new but it looked run-down, and you can use their treadmill with just your tsinelas on. After 30 minutes of walking down the treadmill I got totally dizzy, went to the bathroom and hurled. Then I tried those dumb bells. My arms were shaking and getting all wobbly from lifting those 10-lb dumb bells, but the flimsy girl beside me was doing the bench press with ease. The instructor or whatever must have noted how anxious I looked at that moment so he approached me, touched my shoulder, and said with much patronizing encouragement, “Iho… kaya mo yan.” And then some huge, muscular guy once asked me to spot him. I didn’t know what the fuck spotting meant, the word spotting instantly triggering thoughts of imminent abortion or something, so I said yes, and realized it meant I should watch over him as he bench pressed those crazy, enormous barbells. I was afraid—for him. If he got crushed under those huge things it would take me hours to dislodge them from his crushed sternum. The sheer boredom of that summer enabled me to frequent that gym for two months, and I remember making the vow that those two months worth of exercise should be good enough for five years. This is the fifth year, but fuck all if I should step in a gym ever again.

Die, Kid.

In particular, you with whom I’ve had the misfortune of having an encounter in the rest room of Robinson’s Place. I don’t know what you were thinking, or if you were thinking at all, or if you really have no control of your faculties, but did you really have to pee on my foot? You were peeing in a urinal, I was peeing in the urinal beside yours. I was doing an excellent job shooting my pee, but what did you do? You saw I was wearing tsinelas, aimed your wiener at my foot, and bathed my foot in warm, fetid urine. Yours. So maybe yours was the type that sort of leaned to the left, but the more I think about it the more I think you did it on purpose, a very nefarious one at that. Drag you kid, drag you to hell. And I don’t think it’s far out, remember in the excellent Sam Raimi movie Drag Me To Hell the first person dragged to hell was a kid who just stole something. See, he just stole something and he got dragged to hell, so tremble, kid, tremble.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Yelp!, I Yelped.

Without having read a very old blog entry (Set-up a Bleeping Cheese Trap, Lloydie!) Lloydie has finally set-up a bleeping cheese trap. The callroom was bombarded with ultraviolet rays a few weeks ago in an attempt to kill off some spreading virus, but the UV has obviously caused the rats to mutate. Not in the expected transmorphism into biped rats or cock-a-mouse, but them rats have definitely developed… an attitude. They are now bolder, and they care less about your feelings. They would eat a dropped biscuit in front of you not minding if you cross your arms or tap your foot in annoyance. They would continue nibbling, occasionally taking a glance up to check if someone would step on them, but otherwise they would just not care. Eventually the callroom became theirs, with us staying there out of their kindness. It was high time to revolt, and revolt we did. Lloydie set up an extremely sticky rat trap, and laced it with a bunch of fries to entice the 3 frivolously frolicking fuckers. In a few hours one of them was caught, and we delighted at the sight of him squirming and squirming and crapping from stress. Just two more rats to kill, we thought.

Until I woke up this morning at 3 am and saw, clumped in the trap, twelve—TWELVE!!!—disgusting rats, squirming, clawing at each other, trying to get a bite at the French fries before they die—DIE!!!—from dehydration. "YELP!" I yelped, but after 2 seconds of yelping I marveled at the future carcasses (carcassi?). This was a cause for celebration, and everybody was in a good mood because of that. Until we realized that if there are twelve, then surely there could be… thousands. Willard!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Lur! Lur! Lur!

I've recently asked TT who he thinks he is a reincarnation of, and of course he rebuffs me immediately, going on a lengthy theological argument that reincarnation is not true. So I just asked him, if he could get reincarnated into the past, ie, he would die and his soul would live on as a person in the past, who would he be? For his benefit, I told him he could be any of the Bible characters. TT then went on a lengthy theological argument that reverse reincarnation is not true either. Since the conversation was going nowhere, I insisted that he answer this question: If you could get reverse reincarnated as a Bible character, who would you be, the pig possessed by the seven (or twelve?) devils, or the harlot beside the dragon monster thing in the Revelations? Come to think of it, the choice is not merely between the entities, but actually between the concepts of reverse reincarnation and reincarnation, since the harlot is still yet to appear at the end of times, so I'm probably more complex and less shallow than I give myself credit for. TT said neither, but just so I wouldn't feel offended he offered that his favorite Bible character is David.

Djanah then sprang out of nowhere and crooned "Lur! Lur! Lur!" and off I went.

WSOL

In the jungle that is the emergency room where there is very little room to move around, where the general smell constantly shifts from the usual diabetic foot to fecal stench (and just yesterday, an extremely strong mutant urine smell that pervaded the entire complex), and where the charts can be found taped underneath the tables and hidden in some other secret spy panels, traipsed a walking shaft of light—specifically, an extremely white oriental-looking dude who seemed to be an exchange student from Japan or somewhere. We feared for his safety, more specifically, for the safety of his skin, like he would grow full-body allergies in any second. Shuta and I immediately thought that we should fix Walking Shaft of Light (WSOL) up with our batchmate JJL, who is also a walking shaft of light in her own right, and a taller one at that. We excitedly told JJL of the existence of this potential mate, and things would have come to pass until we realized that WSOL is twenty diamond peels whiter that JJL. The quest for JJL’s perfect mate continues.

The quest for charts that vanish at 2 and 10 pm also continues, and what an epic quest it is. It used to be that they would just be hidden behind that supplies cabinet or in drawers but now they can totally disappear without a trace. I got so desperate once I looked inside a trash can.

A lot of foreign medical students always seem to be fighting their way to take their electives in this hospital. Last year I was paired up with med students Huang and Lauren, who were interesting kids. It was a busy month, and we barely had any time to interact significantly. They were very nice people and showed a lot of interest, asking a lot of questions and such. The only question they asked me that I can remember now, however, was something I could not answer. “I’ve just loaded my cellphone last night and haven’t used it since then but now the load’s all gone. WHY???” Huang asked one morning. “Uh-huh,” I could only mutter. “Hey, want to read some ECG’s?”

Foul-Mouthed Motherfucker

Mexican Devil Alanis Whore has been lingering at the Emergency Room for hours now, and she is already off-duty. She has been there during her entire 24-hour duty, and she looked tired. She has done well in her shift, and the reward should be immediate egress and sleep. Still, hours have passed since she has been relieved, and she was still sitting there, writing something, talking to her patients. I don’t know what gripped me, I couldn’t stop myself, I just had to tell her and I did: “Hey, Mexican Devil Alanis Whore, go home. Go home and fuck.” Mexican Devil Alanis Whore didn’t slap me, but she did grumble something incomprehensible in sheer sleepiness.

Maybe it’s all the Irvine Welsh I’ve been re-reading, or maybe it’s the heavy metallic and rap music playing repeatedly in my player, or maybe it’s the bunch of Vertigo comic books I’ve been recently obsessing over, but I’ve noticed that I have been extremely potty-mouthed the past few days. Irvine Welsh, of course, is the writer of such cult classics such as the novels Trainspotting and Marabou Stork Nightmare, and the wonderful short story collection The Acid House. His novels are always filled with white trash European characters beset by the same problems—addiction to drugs, addiction to alcohol, addiction to sex, etc. For those who want an introductory read I highly recommend The Acid House. Stay away from Filth and Ecstasy. His Porno I haven’t read yet.

Back to me and my attempts at making excuses for my potty-mouthedness. Just a few days ago I was attempting to suction the ET of a congested, anuric patient with overflowing frothy secretions, and the patient coughed, spraying a huge amount of lung fluids all over my face, at which point I just screamed unabashedly, “Fuck!!!” I was reporting on black walnut toxicity three weeks ago in front of them consultants, and the black walnut bottle fell on the floor and rolled away, and I muttered as I ran after the rolling bottle, unmindful of their highnesses, “FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK!” How burgis, you point out, trying to stretch the issue, so let me just say that those were the only times I’ve said FUUUUCK in recent memory. 99% of the time I would utter the more piquant “P()T@!”

Just so you’d know—If you care—I am not always like this. I tend to use these cuss words in my short stories when appropriate, but in real life I always manage to contain these words in safe thought bubbles. I’ve brought up this issue with HIV while eating in the callroom, and he pointed out that I might be having some unresolved issues these past few days that bring about this cussing spree. This is an interesting theory, except for the fact that being a totally shallow person I rarely have issues. I usually finish the things I have to do, move over to the next task like a zombie, and whenever I have to complain or stress-out over something I blog about them. Wait, that could be it. I haven’t been blogging the past few weeks from sheer laziness, so maybe the whirling thoughts of nastiness had to be cathected some other way. Cathected. What a totally poser word.

The Blackest Night

Has finally started. The premise: The DC universe has suffered hundreds of deaths of major and footnote characters alike over the years, and while some (actually, most) of them have been resurrected like Superman and Tora Olaffsdotter, a few have remained dead. The Green Lantern Corps is the peace-keeping corps of the universe, and in recent months we’ve learned that there are actually red, orange, yellow, blue, indigo, and purple corps as well, each one operating on a different emotion in the emotional spectrum. The color bit might seem a bit excessive, cloying, and very 80’s at first, but once I found out how each one is fully fleshed out I realized how they are all actually very cool. But now there is a new corps—The Black Lantern Corps. Black rings are raining down all over, recruiting none other than the dead characters of the DC universe as members of its corps. In the first issue of The Blackest Night we see the first Black Lanterns: Elongated Man, Sue Dibny, The Martian Manhunter, and the dead Green Lanterns from all various sectors. The Black Lanterns need to charge up their rings, and to do so they have to kill people by ripping their hearts off their chests. Excellent first issue, although I doubt if the series, or if anything, can live up to the hype and excitement and build-up that have accumulated over the 2 years we’ve been teased about it.

I had my first issue reserved, but as in the case of Jim Lee’s X-Men # 1 released in the 1990’s, I knew there wasn’t any reason to panic—there were boxes and boxes of copies waiting to be bought. Being in a post-duty temporary insanity I also got a copy of the wonderful Superman and the Legion of Superheroes trade paperback also written by Geoff Johns. To top everything off, I also got a plastic replica of a black ring of the Black Lanterns for forty pesos. It was a very cheap-looking, ugly replica, but I wore it in the emergency room in our next duty.

The zombified DC superheroes who are now Black Lanterns have various issues. The Martian Manhunter, for instance, tells Green Lantern Hal Jordan and Flash Barry Allen, who have both been dead for quite some time until they were resurrected recently, “YOU SHOULD BOTH BE DEAD!!!” If those black rings can make their way in our universe I foresee all my mortalities rising up and accosting me and ripping my heart away.