Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Calling Mark V.

Went to the wake of Donna Troy’s mother a few nights ago, and as with any huge family events Donna Troy was not familiar with all the visitors. And before the night was up who should come in but a local celebrity.

“Ate,” Donna Troy made kulbit (is there a direct English translation to this? Called the attention of?—too formal. Fingered?—too weird) her sister. So Donna Troy made kulbit her sister and said in star-struck awe, “Ate, ate… si… si Helen Gamboa!” Sister Rehab looked at the celebrity. “Tangek, si Boots Anson-Roa yan.”

Donna Troy told us this anecdote later in the parking lot, to which Frichmond said, in between derisive laughter, “Ha-ha-ha… matagal nang patay si Helen Gamboa no!”

“Tangek, si Helen Vela yun,” everyone collectively said.

To entertain ourselves I quizzed everyone on the filmography of Boots Anson-Roa over huge amounts of ice cream. We couldn’t come up with anything. Truly, we all need to brush up on our local celebrity factoids. Calling Mark V!

Addendum
I did inform Mark V of this non-event, and he only had one thing to say: “Shame on you all!”

Monday, February 23, 2009

Esplode! Esplode!

I wanted to watch something explode so I went through some old episodes of the excellent Batman: The Animated Series, wherein something explodes every 8 minutes. Nothing gets more explode-y, of course, than the excellent feature, Batman: The Mask of the Phantasm. Sometimes you just need to see something explode, minus any real injury or death of course. Yes, sometimes you just need to see something explode. Explode, I tells you!

File Under: Too Much Information/Self-Deprecation

Way back in March 2006 while typing the census in the interns’ callroom Ditz the Titz caught me listening to Kelly Clarkson. I wasn’t particularly a fan, but her songs were in my computer. So she’s catchy, sue me. I knew I wouldn’t hear the end of it, and true enough the whole day Titz would rib me about it. This culminated in her ripping out a pin-up of Kelly Clarkson from one of her showbiz magazines and taping it at the back of my charting clipboard. And I couldn’t tear it out—Titz could dislocate my shoulder with a single pull, remember. So I would be interviewing a patient and he would be staring at Kelly Clarkson at the back of the clipboard the whole time.

Titz is the ultimate source of American idol information. That year was the one where Elliott competed, and she would know his entire repertoire. We were both rooting for Elliott to win and we would both be requesting for an earlier “rest” post during the ICU duties just so we could check that Elliott wouldn’t lose to Bucky Covington, or to our ultimate object of annoyance, that Ace guy. It was while in the Malate church for the baccalaureate mass that Titz texted me in anguish, “Guess who’s in the top two. Somewheeeeeeeere over the raaaaaaaaaainbow!!!!” Eventually we would learn that Elliott pinoy fans are called Yaminoys. This might sound rather corny, until you learn that Mc Phee pinoy fans are called Mc Pheelippines.

Back to Kelly Clarkson. Over coffee Smoketh who has just started watching American Idol last year asked me if Kelly Clarkson were any good. Without thinking or restraining myself I said something to this effect:
“Kelly Clarkson is the 1st winner of the competition. She won over the curly-haired guy Justine Guarini with whom she had an ill-advised movie From Justine to Kelly. Her 2nd album Breakaway which has the songs Breakaway, Since You’ve Been Gone, Because of You, and Behind These Hazel Eyes went on to win her two Grammy Awards over Mariah Carey’s The Emancipation of Mimi. My December, her follow-up album to Breakaway didn’t win her any acclaim because of its darker and rockier edge, but the recently released All I Ever Wanted which contains the hit My Life Would Suck Without You promises to be entirely composed of pop ditties of the Breakaway mold. Any questions?”

Any questions?

F*uck

Yes, the asterisk stands for a U, ie, fuck. I was re-reading my old Friendster blogs out of boredom and was reminded at how the word fuck, or any “salacious” word for that matter, invites a barrage of spam comments advertising some porn site. Truly, Friendster has been infiltrated by all sorts of spammers. I haven’t checked my Friendster site for quite a while, and discovered that 35 people have checked my profile. And who should these 35 people be but Gabrielle, Candy, Bernice, Candice, and such, all blondes of the buxomest variety, all pleading for me to… to… to… to look at their cunts. There, I said it. You can now press the objectionable content button and report me to the blogspot admin.

A college acquaintance explained years ago that the word FUCK is actually an acronym for Fornicating Under the Consent of the King. Apparently there used to be some sort of legislation or whatever that would require a bride to have sex first with powerful people in the royalty, ie, F.U.C.K. Interesting theory, but my high school friend Ruth Marx posits a more believable etymology. According to him the word “fuck” originates from the sound created when two pelvises smack each other during sexual intercourse, ie, during the pumping action you would hear the sound “fuck-fuck-fuck”. Believable, erudite, and scholarly, if not totally accurate. If that were the case shouldn’t it, therefore, be “plock”?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The 50th degree

I attended to Pyro’s ER patient one night being duty and all, and that night her tumor bled massively and she instantly arrested. I eventually revived her, but she kept me awake all night, having to run for blood and other whiny stuff that will bore you cold. To make things short I finally fell asleep at around 7 am, only to be awoken by the high-pitched voice of Pyro nagging the resident who mis-decked the patient to him, definitely giving her the 49th-degree. He had just come in that morning and I have not yet formally endorsed. So, the nag that woke me up:

Pyro: (shrilly) Dahil sa pag mis-deck mo ng patient nag-expire sya! Nag-EXPIRE siya!!! Nag-EXPIRE!!!!

The word “expire” woke me up to a start, so I immediately pulled Pyro aside and whispered (definitely in bad morning breath)—

Me: Pyro, hindi pa nag-eexpire. Nag-code lang, pero na revive. Na-revive!

Not about to have his momentum halted by this, Pyro went back to the phone receiver and resumed his 49th-degreeing, albeit with a reset—

Pyro: (shrilly) Dahil sa pag mis-deck mo ng patient, nag-code sya! Nag CODE siya!!! Nag-CODE!!!!

After placing the receiver down we then received the 50th degree for the misinformation.

Cheezums

Having written that rather elongated rant on the reeking falsehoods of my childhood (shame on you adults of the 80’s), I suddenly developed a huge appetite for Chikadees. I know it probably wasn’t that great, but its unattainability makes me ravenous for it more. I no longer care for those free booger-look-alike toys that come with each pack (hear that, bullies, who kept on stealing them from me?!?), no amount of nostalgia makes me miss them, but I’m feeling quite nostalgic for Chikadees. Chikadees doesn’t hold any emotional weight, it isn’t a tether to some happy fragments of childhood, nor is it even old enough to be considered quaint—I’m just hungry and I want to eat one. And just to annoy you I’ll say it thrice: I want I want I want.

Speaking of cheese, cheezums, and chickadees, as I was typing feverishly in TCBATL (The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf) and usurping bandwidth downloading U2’s great 2000 album All That You Can’t Leave Behind, who should come rushing to me but Lorellaineepoop. She was all sorts of giddy and excited, and this sort of giddiness and excitement could only be birthed by a recently gathered interesting information, ie, a cheezum. Apparently just a few hours ago she’d seen Yorick Brown in Giant Pizzas Galore! having a date, with someone twenty years younger than him. Actually just a few years younger, very much in the legal range, but still, this got Lorellaineepoop and me worked up. It was the first time they’ve been spotted together, but Lorellaineepoop and I decided that the rumor to proliferate tomorrow should go like this: Sila na.

Apparently Chef D’ Angelo has lost its special attraction for first dates. Years ago you only needed to pass by the Faura Wing of Robinson’s, specifically Chef D’Angelo, to see who’s dating who. Regardless, there must be something about pizza that makes it the staple of first dates. Another special quality of pizza—I know someone who has quit smoking, and only pizza (and sinigang) can ever induce her to smoke. Also, Yellow Cab pizza has supplanted Munchkins as the ubiquitous party staple. We all know, however, that Shakey’s thin crust pizza still defines the true spirit of pizza, dripping oil and all. A few days ago I ordered a large Friday’s Special for me and my sister, and 10 minutes from opening the box it was skeletonized, I mean consumed. When we were kids Shakey’s was the nearest restaurant/fastfood from our home, and it was two towns away. We would frequent it during Friday’s, and it still had then a bar feel to it, with live bands and stuff. Eventually the band was replaced by a giant television usually showing PBA games, but I distinctly remember that the first show I got to see in it was the Beijing Olympics. There, completed 3 paragraphs.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

GBC

While eating lunch in the callroom one day some weird muzak suddenly blared out seemingly from nowhere. “What the fuck is that?!?” JD shrilly screamed (actually he just monotonically asked, “ano yun?”). “Is that a ring tone?” I asked. After the muzak went on and on we discovered in chagrin that the annoying music is coming from the ceiling. Specifically, from a speaker of the newly-installed hospital-wide paging system! Two nights ago while walking at around 10 pm along the hospital corridors the paging system suddenly caterwauled with Gary Valenciano’s “Natutulog Ba Ang Diyos?” I suggest they stop playing these kinds of songs, because no matter how inspirational these sorts may be if I am bedridden and I have GBC (Generalized Body Cancer) and I hear it I would probably weep and extubate myself. Surely there is no such thing as Generalized Body Cancer, but you probably get the point. Side note: TT and I have been making up a list of new diagnoses we, errr, invented, and the list is getting longer. Other diseases in our own ICD: Fatal Carotenemia, for the unexplained fatal yellowness of a patient who died a few months ago, and Tachycardia Gravidarum, for the rapid heart rates of pregnant patients.

The paging system reminds me of my task in Grade 6 to go to the microphone at 3 pm daily along with RBTDS and Jojapatmoju and pray the 3 o’clock habit in the paging system for the entire school to hear. It has been a daily task and I don’t know what happened one afternoon, for as I was speaking in the microphone I suddenly remembered something hilarious and what I said in the paging system was this: Holy God, Holy Might God, Holy Immortal God, Holy Immortal…. Holy… Hee-hee-hee… Holy…. Hee-hee-hee-haa-haaaaa…. HAA HAAA HAAAA!!!

I just couldn’t contain myself. Lethal joker gas, I know. Blasphemous and all, but I think what I recalled at that time was what my cousin Cuz had told me a few days before—that when some of her classmates pray the 3 o’clock habit what they would say was: Holy Mouse, Holy Mighty Mouse, Holy Immortal Mouse… How evil, but the very thought that I couldn’t laugh at that moment made the lame joke hilarious. And then there was the notorious incident that involved a classmate who refused to stand up one day to pray the 3 o’clock habit. After being prodded and coerced she finally conceded, stood up, and revealed a huge pool of brown crap dripping from her butt. Since then she has been nicknamed “3 o’clock habit”, ie, “Hoy kasali ba si 3 o’clock habit sa tinikling?”

For some reason that incident didn’t make anyone stop me from doing the task, but by the 3rd time I giggled and moronically laughed at the microphone it was the dungeon for me.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Pervy Porn Peddling Practice

I mentioned in my recently-deceased Friendster blog that for some reason DVD vendors always seem to single me out to secretly peddle hidden porn DVDs. Apparently I am not alone in this, so my porn facies is happily not unique. Them DVD vendors are getting more insistent and marketing-smart, though. The usual technique is they just make some annoying pssst, and as soon as you look at them they would spring out a porn DVD. And they would make a rapid but intricate assessment of your response—if your pupils dilate, if you break into a sweat, if you suddenly develop weird facial tics in excitement. A few months ago they modified their tactics—after a psssst and I instinctively looked Annoying Lecherous Dude sprang out two DVDS, one in each hand: one with a buxom girl doing nasty stuff with her mouth, and one with a muscular guy doing nasty stuff with his mouth. I applaud the improvement in marketing skills, but not quite. What, those are my only options? What about leper midget Nazis? Alliterative anorexic Alaskan amputees? Coprophilic Corporate Columbians? Tyrannical Trannies w/ Three Tits?!? More training! In alliteration!

Reeking Falsehoods!

Wherein I rant about all the falsehoods of my childhood and expose them for the nasty lies that they are!
1. That there is a huge ship of vampires in space and that the vampires will disembark anytime soon. And it’s not a rocket ship, it’s more like a galleon floating in space. I can’t recall who ever made this story up, but it kept me awake for nights on end. Now that I mention it it sounds very Ray Bradbury.
2. That kisses give birth. Remember those tiny tiny spherical, fragrant things that are always in danger of being swallowed? Those cutesy allergic-rhinitis inducing rubbery beads that for some reason were never disallowed in elementary? News reached us that they give birth, with enough contact with rulers. The hours taken from playing sipaang bola rolling these infernal kisses under the ruler just so they can spawn! And as far as I can remember none of our elementary teachers ever corrected this notion. They would just lecture in front of the class, not minding that no one is listening because everyone is feverishly rolling a kisses bead under a ruler.
3. That you couldn’t take the shower after 12 noon during Holy Friday. Because instead of water maggots will shower down on you. This I totally blame on my mother. Years after I first heard and believed it I clarified this with my father, who exposed its falsehood, and who then went on to elaborate on intricate plumbing and electrical stuff.
4. That cheese curls cause hepatitis. I already blogged about this in my recently-coded Friendster blog, but in Grade 2 one of our classmates went to class jaundiced and edematous (which everyone interpreted as fat). She eventually died, and all the cheez curls and every yellow junk food were pulled out in the canteen. What, cheese now goes to the blood? Cheese in the blood. IV Cheese. Mmmm.
5. Satanistas. In Grade 4 news reached us that there is a group of dudes with bloodshot eyes who does nasty stuff on kids. The most popular being they would quickly gouge your eyes out while you’re in the peripheral seat in the tricycle. The tricycle would be zooming fast, and before you know it you’ll be missing your eyes. I’m sure there are genuine satanic cults out there—have you ever done anything like this?
6. That those toys that came in free with junk foods cause all sorts of nasty health issues. Remember those cute tiny gooey bears that came with Chikadees? I’m not sure about any health hazards, but they definitely accumulate libag. After days of playing with them they turn into disgusting foci for all sorts of dirt. And those free fake tattoos? They cause blood dyscrasia. It’s not just Chikadees, there’s another junk food I can’t recall right now, some sort of sister junk food of Chikadees, that also carries the same free toys. Whatever happened to Chikadees? Bring it back!
7. Health lies: That certain food combination will cause diarrhea, such as chocolates and orange. That you couldn’t take a bath when you have fever. I used to have an annual flu, wherein I would be confined to the bed usually for an entire week. Without taking a bath.
8. That you can tell if women are still virgins by looking at their carotids. Yes, carotids. This reeking falsehood was proliferated by one of my elementary teachers. Apparently, the carotids pulsate in some weird fashion if the woman already possesses carnal knowledge.
9. That in the “love scenes” in movies the actors don’t really come into contact—special effects are used to create the illusion of two people kissing or having sex. Special effects, particularly, the use of mirrors. Huh?!
10. That during the Holy Week God is dead, so you can’t go around playing or you’ll run into all sorts of danger. Come to think of it, all of these reeking falsehoods were seemed to be architected with the sole intent of making kids shut up and sit down.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Blog Fodder

Having placed down my bag, my laptop, and my clothes in my dorm room on a Sunday evening after a relatively entertaining weekend I crawled to the bed and discovered 3 brown maltesers-look-alike. That smelled like crap, because they were, indeed crap. Mouse crap! I jumped from the bed. I yelped. And yelped once more when I saw crawling on the window ledge the largest, blackest, evilest rat. Yeeeeelp! I yelped. I lost control of all my faculties, screamed an embarrassingly shrill scream, and ran out of the door. Having sufficiently collected myself I went back to the room and the rat was still there, wriggling its tail, biding its time, showing off its evilness. I don’t know exactly what Marshall and Lily saw back then, but this would definitely classify as a genuine Cock-a-Mouse. It didn’t fly, no it didn’t, but it did spread enough fear to always make me wake up in the middle of the night. Fear. I need something to overcome fear. I need…. a green lantern. All together now: In the brightest day, in the blackest night, no evil shall escape my sight, let all who worship evil’s might beware my power, Green Lantern’s light!!!!

Obviously, this is almost a carbon copy of all my entries about cockroaches. The next time I once again have a cockroach incident I shall copy and paste this and replace mouse with cockroach. As blog fodder.

Sakgona/Versit

Eventually my brother and I ran out of DC and Marvel comics to read, having digested and regurgitated the boxes and boxes of my father’s 50’s and 60’s comics. By regurgitate we mean plagiarize. In the summer breaks between grade school years each of us would create our own comic book. Mine was Power Turtle, obviously with all the powers of Superman. Soon his group of super friends grew in number, each one with a super power uncannily similar to those of the Legion of Superheroes, engaged in adventures uncannily identical to those of the Legion of Superheroes. What once started as original stories eventually devolved into outright plagiarism from the Legion stories, written by Edmund Hamilton and Jim Shooter. Looking back the only difference is that Power Turtle does not seem to have a similar sense of justice and morality—whenever he catches bad guys he throws them all to the sun. My brother’s comic book was Power Duck. He also plagiarized the Legion. Hence where the Legion had Ferro Lad he would have Ferro Doggie. Who also died saving the universe from the Sun-Eater.

We would eventually reread everything, but in the interim there was nothing else new to read, not having any money or opportunity even to buy the new comic books of our generation. The only things left to read were Funny Comics, featuring Niknok Manok and the Planet of the Apes. I’m not sure if anyone even remembers Funny Comics, all I know is that the stories weren’t very funny. Like Archie. Nothing really hilarious, but they pass the time. Planet of the Apes had a character called Garutay. I told this to my mother and she told me never to say that name again, ever. Apparently Garutay is some name never to be spoken of. I never figured out why. And since my mother never reads this blog: Garutay garutay garutay.

Soon enough I was able to get my hands on Kilabot comics, obviously featuring horror stories. They seemed fascinating, and every story seemed to be obsessed with something naaagnas. Always, in every story, something is naaagnas. I remember a haunted house story where one by one the family members were killed. The aunt was killed thru dancing. Yes, dancing. The ghosts or something instructed her to dance, and she did endlessly until she died from exhaustion. I think she danced in the nude. That was the extra fascination—there’s always someone taking a shower, or some white lady in a magic kamison, or someone dying while in the act of fornicating. This, of course, I would also plagiarize. I created a female character called Sakgona. I don’t know how I came up with the name, but Sakgona is this haunted house girl or something who perpetually seduces some guy and kills him. The 2nd feature in my comic book features Versit. A guy with a chainsaw. And a hockey mask. Yes, I was also watching Friday the 13th in Betamax back then. The only unique thing about Versit is his origin. You see, in Versit’s “Secret Origin”, a woman is in the public market, looking for clothes. She sees a nice looking T-shirt and she wants to buy it, not noticing that inscribed on the front of the shirt is, gasp, the number 666! As she takes the shirt from the hanger, hockey-masked Versit springs out from the t-shirt wielding a chainsaw and chainsaws her to death.

In Developmental Psychology back in college I learned that illustrating and creating visual art are inherent in all children. Every child uses pens and crayons, and it is only in the process of growth when they discover that they are not gifted in that manner—ie, they suck—that they stop drawing. I suck in drawing, so I eventually stopped. But not before completing 14 notebooks worth of original and plagiarized Power Turtle. My father apparently valued these Power Turtle, Power Duck, and Sakgona/Versit comic books, as he had neatly boxed them, the boxes now sitting safely beside the boxes and boxes of classic Action Comics, Superman, and Legion of Superheroes. Cool.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Battle for the Cowl

In the aftermath of Final Crisis which I didn't understand one bit, what with ten scenes going on at the same time, and with a bunch of characters I haven't heard of, and with Wonder Woman being evil the whole time after succumbing to the Anti-Life Equation, and what with all the Japanese characters all running around like important heroes, and what the heck was Mandrakk doing there all of a sudden, to be revealed as the major villain of it all, and to be killed by one giant green stake, and what with a whole lot of panels being dedicated to Supergirl duking it out with the evil Mary Marvel, and who the heck is that German Supergirl, and as if we should care about her death and scream with that German Superman, Neeeeeeeeein!!!! Pant.

As I was saying, in the aftermath of Final Crisis, Batman died. Yes, this major character called Batman died, and his death was so insignificant it didn't create the waves that the deaths of Superman and Captain America did. Or I think he was just transported to the past in the beginning of time painting the Bat insignia on a cave wall or something. As a result of this insignificant death or non-death, there will come an event called Battle for the Cowl, meaning all the heroes and semi-heroes and even villains in the Bat Family are going to vie for the right to become Batman. And just how are they going to do it? Will there be individual physical and mental challenges? An immunity necklace? A tribal council? This will all prove futile since Bruce Wayne will come back in a few months anyway, but just for the sake of conversation, who do we want to win in this Battle for the Cowl? The lazy pick would be Dick Grayson, but we all know who deserves to win that cowl-- Selina Kyle Catwoman!!! And I don't want any modified costume for her feminine body. I want the true Batman costume, with muscles and all!

Valentimes

After running an errand in Asian Hospital I decided to eat in alabang town center, and realized it's valentine's, or as I prefer to call it, valentimes. I thought it was just the 13th. So I decided I would go couples-watching, but surprisingly there were more families and kids running around the complex and very few couples. And relatively less hearts and general redness in the vicinity. I think it was in the valentimes of 2004, while I was malling in Robinson's ermita before meeting up with Hippura and the rest for UP Fair, that Robinson's was at its saccharinest--even Greenwich had its main lights off, lit only by candle light.

So there were very few couples, but I did have a brush-in with fame--I saw phoemela baranda, or someone pretty enough to look like her. Her name reminds me of diarrhoea and dyspnoea. Years ago when I was a clerk there was a resident who insisted on spelling things this way, which always boggled me. How the heck do you pronounce these things--diaroya? Disnoya? British much, eh?

In the valentimes of 1996 my parents decided to have a date in, where else, Enchanted Kingdom, and of course all of us kids tagged along. There were around twenty other people in the entire park, and all of them watched rachelle alejandro who was performing in the food court. Giddily I wrote all the rides by myself. It was while riding the Jungle Log Jam by myself that I had another brush-in with fame. While I was at the very top of the watery slope about to plunge down the log in front of me was occupied by an Erika something, I can't recall what her full name is right now, or if she's even really Erika, but she was popular then in Ang TV. While in the log she was smooching with some guy who was in some Close-up commercial. Scandalized by this... lewd act at age 16 I screamed at the the crew manning the top nook as I was about to plunge down the twenty foot fall: "Manong. May naghahalikaaaaan!!!"

Friday, February 13, 2009

Hospital Gossip

Is getting old. Yes we shouldn’t dwell on or proliferate gossip, but when you are trapped in a compound composed of people with cancer, heart failure, and Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, and you can’t watch TV on a regular basis, and you get disgusting cornified stuff in your hand from all that charting, and you get dizzy from all that roundsing (insert other annoying whines here), it would sometimes be interesting to be in the know with the latest goings on. The thing is nothing is going on. It’s been the same crappy issues over and over. For instance:

This resident admits the patient to the wards without securing blood first and the ward senior gets livid. Corny.

This resident admits the patient to the wards without having an elective neck mass biopsy done in the ER first and the ward senior wants the elective neck mass biopsy done in the ER first so she gets annoyed. Boring.

This resident gets banned from writing in the chart because she adjusted the plain NSS from 16 to 10 hours. Boring as hell.

This resident is annoyed at another resident from another department because the supposedly emergency referral is for tachycardia of 104. Vapid.

This resident fast drips 3 liters in a hypotensive CKD patient without realizing that the patient’s output for the past ten years was zero so the patient gets congested and when she was intubated tons of frothy water spilled out and the fellow-in-charge rightfully gets mad as hell. Ho-hum.

This resident gets the 10th degree from a consultant because the insulin administration isn’t to her liking because it utilized the sliding scale and the sliding scale is uncool because anyone can just read it and copy it from the much maligned Blue Book. Meh.

An intern weeps like there is no tomorrow because she doesn’t know the answer when asked the different types of beta-receptors during the afternoon endorsement and the resident sermonizes like there is no tomorrow to the point that the resident develops severe facial urticaria from anger. Meh.

This JAPOD gets demerits because she changes the cut-off time for patients to be endorsed from 6 am to 2 am. Meh.

This resident claims she quit from the program, when in fact she was fired because she wasn’t much of a kiss-ass. Meh meh MEH!!!

Altogether now: Booooooooooring! What, there are no sex scandals? No murder? No kuru patient who turns out to be the mother of a resident who identified him as her son because of a strange mole on his shoulder? No resident who falls in love with a bantay because the bantay reminds her of her lover who recently died in a plane crash? And the bantay turns out to be a twin of the lover hence the resemblance? And the twins are paranoid schizophrenic vampires? No baby switching? No formalin accidentally placed in the oxygen humidifier of the mechanical ventilator of an intubated patient in the source isolation room?!?! Oh, wait.

Newsies were relatively less ho-hum back then. When I was a clerk rumors had it that a couple (patients) had sex in the source isolation room during a black-out in the 5 minutes it took before the generators were on. The girl was encephalopathic from TB, and her young hubby was horny. Ooooh, nasty. There was also a rumor that a resident had a video sex scandal of him fornicating in the operating room. Ooooh, nasty, except it probably weren’t true because we still see him around—ooooh, that’s nastier. There was also a rumor that while extracting blood from an HIV patient our co-intern accidentally spilled blood on a wound on his hand—nasty nasty nasty—except this co-intern hasn’t had a fever or cough in the years after that. But he has Burkitt’s lymphoma. No he hasn’t. Or has he? I don’t know. And there was also a rumor that pathology residents were having a secret competition on figuring out how patients died—patients that they killed themselves—and that they have coke and orgy sessions in the autopsy room while doing the competition, and that one of them can secretly fly and absorb different superhuman abilities in another TV show. Wait, that’s Pathology.

Maybe there just isn’t much story to tell. A pity, as we can make tabloids which will be a hit with the residents and the bored patients and will make huge sums of money. For SAGIP-BUHAY. Ruter, Ging, and Paulette?

Drunketh

Recently told Smoketh a real-life problem and realized it is regrettable that we don’t drink alcohol. Because as much as I love substances I never really gravitated to drinking on a regular or semi-regular basis, always thinking that all alcohol tastes like bile, and yes I have tasted bile. No I haven’t.

The first time I ever got drunk was in UP Fair 1999 with Groiny and Chel, only because the thought of cheap, unlabelled, probably poisonous alcohol getting passed in the back gate secretly was too inviting. After ten swigs of the unknown substance we were all down on the ground, pulling grass, listening to one amateur band after another, waiting for the Eraserheads to do the encore. I don’t think we even got to listen to the E-heads—we all had to pee and had to line-up in Vinzon’s. In the UP Fair a year before that Groin and Skag Boy both got drunk to the point of unconsciousness. Groin woke up first but Skag Boy was still on the grassy ground, frothing in the mouth. Groin dragged Skag Boy all the way from the Sunken Garden to Molave. At that point I thought it was true love, and I have always believed that they would end up together. But Groin now has twins with a guy we haven’t met yet.

My secret ability in drinking is that I don’t ever get behavioral changes despite massive amounts of alcohol, because I think no amount of inebriation can really make anyone reveal his most disgusting secrets or profess overflowing lust—unless he wants too. Of course I could have taken my clothes off to the disgust of everyone without any memory of it, but I recently re-watched our residents’ team-building video and while others were singing and dancing crazily and totally morphing into the Spice Girls all together, I was just swaying and bumping left and right from sheer dizziness. It was like riding the caterpillar endlessly. What, you don’t know what a caterpillar is, you urban rich you? Back in the days when we had town fiestas we had the regular perya. That’s carnival/theme park to you. The most popular lessee of perya rides was someone or something named Almira, and so we would have Almira’s Ferris Wheel, Almira’s Octopus, and Almira’s Caterpillar. The Octopus was the ride to beat, but Caterpillar was a close 2nd. During one of our school’s foundation day they had Almira’s Caterpillar installed in the grounds. The Caterpillar was basically a circular, wavy track with the cars quickly going round and round repeatedly. I hurled on the first turn.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Murder!

Years ago the most popular and most accessible barbershop in our town was one beside the stagnant town river, where our father would drag us to have our hair cut during Sunday. We would look totally uglified after, but we would have the benefit of reading the seedy tabloids while waiting for our turn. The barbershop, according to our dad, used to be the area for mass circumcisions in his time. The guy who did the circumcisions, of course, would use the classic labaha. After hitting the stretched foreskin with the blunt side of the labaha he would spit chewed guava leaves on the sore, glowing dick. I don't know why the guava couldn't just be spilled from some basin,there must be something in the saliva. Like, I don't know, lots of germs. So the guy would spit chewed saliva on the dick, and the newly circumcised kid would caterwaul in anguish. Proud parents would then loosen their grips from his wrists and ankles, and he would be allowed and prodded to run to the river, where he would jump 8 feet and soak himself crazy in the then-running water.

When I was in grade 5 news reached us that there has been a murder--a murder!!!--committed in the said barbershop. One Sunday morning 3 customers were sitting quietly getting their hair cut when who should come in but some crazed person. With a knife. One by one he stabbed the customers in the chest. They caught this person, and in the prison physicals they discovered that he had... a gangrenous dick. No, I'm making that last part up, but it would have at least brought things full circle.

This thing just popped in my head while I was having my hair cut. Because getting one's hair cut is boring. And the barber was taking his sweet time being OC about it. Superman didn't have to have a hair cut. His skin is so impenetrable not even his hair can push their way out. Great super power.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Almost Famous

Years and years ago Smoketh was feverishly highlighting her anatomy transcriptions with multiple colors while sipping some expensive coffee in Starbuko. That was in 2001, when there was no Wi-Fi yet and the only thing you could do in Starbuko was highlight your anatomy transcriptions, the goal being to color them all. Macchiato almost shot out of Smoketh’s nose when she realized that on the next table was B-movie superstar Jay Manalo. You might remember Jay Manalo as the star of movies that aim to titillate, those that usually end up years later in obscure Quiapo and Cubao theaters in seedy double-features. Smoketh was so titillatingly delighted that she contemplated for hours on end whether she should get his autograph on a Starbucks tissue, and she did.

In 2004 Smoketh had another brush in with fame. While eating a cup of isaw in Ilang-Ilang in Diliman she chanced upon Tiya Pusit. There was no sexual tension to hold her back, so she immediately approached her and asked if she could have a picture taken with her. “Pati ba naman ako pipicturan nyo pa?” Tiya Pusit self-patronizingly said in between giggles. And so she had their picture taken. And of course as I’ve already written about, in June 2007 Smoketh saw a former child star in Mc Donald’s in QC, for which she texted me: Sino yung former male child star na laging naka pekpek shorts?! Yung laging pulubi ang role?!? PJ or JP something?!

My personal brush with fame happened while I was in Powerbooks Alabang. I saw Bamboo of the band Bamboo perusing some books, and behind him were two girls giggling, panicking as they hurriedly searched for their camera in their humongous bag. I was the only other person in that area, and I immediately sensed doom, so I slowly slinked away. But even before I could turn invisible Giggly Girl grabbed my forearm and pleaded, “Picturan mo kami, please!!!” “Gusto ko kasama ako,”… is what I should have said to annoy her, but I quietly snapped them up anyway. I console myself at the still relatively behaved demeanor of these giggly girls towards their rock star, unlike my high school classmates Trainspotting and Marabou Stork Nightmare. Back in 1996 Trainspotting and Marabou Stork Nightmare decided to watch a Wolfgang concert the night before an exam. The next day—eye bags, bloodshot eyes and all—they bragged about their conquest: “It was great!!!!” Trainspotting shrieked. “Basti is soooo hot!!!!” Marabou Stork Nightmare gushed. “EEEEEEE!” Trainspotting shrieked again to drive home the point. “We stole his car’s windshield wipers!!!” Marabou Stork Nightmare proclaimed.

I mentioned these incidences with semi-fame to Mark V., who himself surprisingly possesses an encyclopedic knowledge of local showbiz. I have mentioned Mark V. two or three times in this blog, as the one who accidentally bumped me to ground and made me realize that I don’t have any muscle mass, and as the one who came back from his leave with a distinctively post-coital facial expression. Curiously enough, everyone calls him Mark V. even though nobody else in the present setting is also named Mark. Mark V. is not the stereotypical local showbiz geek, and he constantly surprises us with his extensive knowledge of ancient showbiz information.
“Jay Manalo was in Ang TV,” he informed us in baritone voice, not looking up from his Harrison’s. “But his breakthrough movie is Totoy Mola.” “Aaaaah,” everyone aaaah-ed at this new learning. “If I will ever have a photo taken with a showbiz star,” he continued, “I would like it to be with Lilia Contapay.” Looks of discombobulation. “What, you don’t know Lilia Contapay? Lilia Contapay is the white-haired old hag who always plays aswang in everything. She plays the old Alma Moreno in the classic Aswang starring Alma Moreno and Manilyn Reynes. Alma Moreno walks in the forest, and after she passes through the trees she morphs into Lilia Contapay. She also plays the aswang, white lady, and anything scary in the annual Magandang Gabi Bayan horror specials. And in all the Shake, Rattle, and Roll movies.”

You have a fan here, Lilia. Call us, we’d like to have coffee with you. And you need a new career agent.

611 Nakpil

I've lived in Nakpil all my five years as a medical student. Every weekend night the street was always peppered with partying people, and in between studying for exams (ie, coloring the transcriptions to total wetness) I would walk out of my room in my pambahay and tsinelas, traverse the noisy street of Nakpil, and buy fishballs. Everyone always looked boozed up, pumped, and ready to dance at the slightest provocation. When people watching you never dare make eye contact—the slightest eye contact with any girl, boy, or tranny will elicit an invitation. Not an invitation to play Scrabble, you prude, but an invitation to sex. Maybe I just imagined it, always being coked-up and all, but they all had that salacious-pervy-lecherous look combo. OK so maybe I imagined it. But when you get a wink or a tongue sticking out it is definitely an invitation to something the Canossian sisters would vehemently disapprove of. And you would never dare walk alone licking a popsicle you just bought from Mini-Stop—you can only imagine the unsolicited attention the seemingly innocuous act drew. What, it’s now some secret code to fuck?

In my five years surrounded by expensive restaurants and bars I only got to go to one of them—during the last day of internship. It was with Ditz the Titz, Netty Jao, Eych, and other blockmates in The Blue Room, where we toasted to having survived our last rotation, Internal Medicine. I distinctly remember vowing then: I would never, ever step foot in that department again, ever! And where am I now?! I am hanging my head in surrender, you can laugh now. I recently walked by Nakpil, and saw that The Blue Room is the only bar I knew still existing.

My apartment was the one beside Jazz Rhythms and in front of Common Ground, both of which later morphed into some other new bar, which then morphed many, many times. At one point Jazz Rhythms became a bar that had Marvel action figures behind the glass door, and a few months later it morphed into a bar that had atop the glass door the statue of a huge silver guy with batwings, tight briefs, and a huge hard-on. In the Orosa-Nakpil corner was the restaurant Bargo, which later became Gerry’s Grill, which is now an empty building. Across it was a bar called Red Banana, which you could not mistake for anything else because it had in front of it a huge neon-lit red banana. Whenever I would hurriedly walk out of the house at 7:15 am, afraid my name would get crossed out in the attendance sheet (unless Smoketh intervened with her, er, attendance-proxying skills), I would cross paths with an old guy who would always greet me and seek consult for something, like his chronic cough or his sebaceous cyst. And at night when I get terribly hungry I would run out at 11 pm and buy the local version of Cheetos in the Mini-Stop by the corner. This was after my neighbors Abe and company decided to move to a more posh apartment, rendering my bat signal calls for free rice useless. In my five-year stay in the apartment Leif, Coe, and I only got to clean the house once. It was when Jazz decided that she would celebrate her birthday there. Jazz and Tayns were fixtures in the apartment.

Very few of these things were actually meaningful or dear to me, but that is the power of nostalgia and current unhappiness—you remember quaint things and old scenarios, some of which didn’t even mean much at all, and you feel like you were much, much happier then even if you weren’t. Current unhappiness, of course, being that I feel totally ennuic and not in the proper state of mind to chart patients tomorrow. Damn it.

52 part 2

What, you think I’d just let it go? You think I couldn’t make to 51? Well here are the next five parallel earths I think we really have, those that can be accessed only by running the cosmic treadmill with the speed of light!

6. Earth Evil- Where everyone is always intent on doing something evil. Because even if we are inherently evil in our own universe we don’t really go plotting murder and rape all the time, do we, but not on this parallel earth! You would be eating breakfast with your girlfriend and you wouldn’t know if she has slipped arsenic in your cereals, just for the heck of it! You would deliberately prescribe aspirin for gastric ulcer, because you’re evil! Pure eeeeevil! And you want to kill! Kiiiilll!!! I suddenly remember that the first short story I ever wrote is some garbage called Creative Killing, about a secret class in a high school where the goal is to teach kids how to kill in style. Of course the main character is just hallucinating, because she feels guilty when she accidentally killed her mom years before! This is pure crap, of course, but I still hold it dear because I wrote it using my quaint typewriter, Olympia.

7. Earth Prime- Where the supernatural is real. Because no matter how I try to imagine that the thing I saw one Saturday night hovering in the sky is a UFO, I know for a fact that it was just a weather balloon or a secret government nuclear weapon, damn it. I know for a fact that there are really no aliens, and neither are there any vampires, crop circles, mutant liver-eating contortionists, or genderbending Amishes. I know they’re not real, damn it, but in Earth Prime we shall have pot sessions with a genuine kapre.

8. Earth Gender Bender- Like the one in DC comics, everyone’s genders are reversed! All the girls in this earth are boys, and the boys are girls in this parallel universe! I shall be a girl, and what an ugly girl I’ll make. I shall be, let’s say, an ugly office secretary, and a flirty one at that. And since I’m ugly and unappreciated, I shall be sexually aggressive and make a pass at the pizza delivery boy! Neurologist Shipper Jack Knight shall be a boy (yes, despite the name, Jack Knight is a girl in this universe), and she’ll be a neuro patient instead with, what else, Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease! Smoketh shall be a boy and she’ll be, let’s say, an ortho resident who will go on kissing rounds every New Year’s eve! Mark V shall be a girl, and he’ll be, what else, a showbiz talk show host who is linked to a non-showbiz boylet and is secretly carrying his baby, and who should this non-showbiz boylet be but Smoketh himself!!!

9. Earth Cono- In this parallel universe I am a full-fledged cono. Back in college I was always sitting by the AS steps, texting my manong driver using my cellphone! And this was in the late 90’s, where only the true-blooded rich kids had nokia 5110! The faceplates of which I would change everyday! My legs are really white and hairy, because I’m rich! I wore expensive khaki shorts to school, and my footwear, of course, were Birkenstocks!!! I live in one of those posh villages in QC, where my yayas wear uniforms! And how dare you suggest I touch one of those icky… what do you call them… isaws in UP Diliman. Eeeuw. Let me say again, eeeuw. And back in high school? I was the first one to ever own a Trapper Keeper and wear Tretorn. I got them in Quad 2. Beat that.

10. Earth Hot- Where everyone is hot, including me. It may seem totally unfathomable to you now, but in this parallel universe I am a total hottie. So is everyone else. I have abs and pecs so hard and ripped you can use them to brush your clothes. You are hot too. You have extremely huge boobs, poreless skin, and you look like you’ve been taking one million kilograms of glutathione daily. The pirated DVD vendor is hot, the janitress is hot, and you always fight the urge to jump all the patients in the charity wards because they are all so damn hot. There are no ugly people… or aren’t there? Conspiracy theorists posit that babies born with the misfortune of being un-hot are immediately ground to hamburger and fed to the hot people. Conspiracy theorists also posit that hamburgers made from ugly babies are actually responsible for turning people hotter. Unfortunately back in the 70’s one ugly Latin American baby was hidden from the Ugliness Killers, and later lived as a recluse in a Papua New Guinea mountain. He was later discovered and ground to hamburger, and fed to the pretty people. Unbeknownst to everyone he had Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, so all the hotties who ate him contracted this prion disease and died. Then a priest who had an illicit affair with a rock star in the Andes… this story is getting out of hand, so I’ll stop.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

52!

In the DC Universe there are now 52 parallel universes. Back in the 60’s there were infinite parallel universes, multiverse, if you will, with infinite versions of Supermen, Batmen, etc. And then in 1985 with Marv Wolfman’s Crisis on Infinite Earths an attempt was made to cleanse up the then cluttering mess of endless universes, and there ended up only one true universe. This went on until 2005 with Geoff Johns’ more superior Infinite Crisis, which then continued with the weekly series 52, which concluded with parallel universes being reborn, but this time with a more manageable 52 universes. Hence we have a universe where the Nazis won and the American heroes are continuously struggling, a universe where Batman is a vampire, a universe where the genders are reversed so we have Superwoman and Batwoman instead, a universe where Kal-El landed in Ukraine instead of in Kansas so Superman became a Russian communist leader instead, and so on. This gets me to thinking, if in our own boring universes we can have fifty-one other parallels, what would they be? Here are the first 5:

Earth 247- Stress-free Universe. How fun. Because in this universe Leonard Lim created a pill that can cure everything—from stuck foreign objects in the ear to cancer to Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in one dose. This renders every doctor and any other drug useless, so we no longer have to deal with long stressful medical training that will give birth to palpably bloated medical egos. Doctors of course will be replaced by drug-dealers, and we will all be a bunch of pill-poppers.

Earth S- Sleep Universe. Wherein whoever fails to sleep for more than fifteen hours a day develops brain cancer and dies. This of course will lead to legislations that will limit work to 5 hours a day, because we still have leisure, traffic, study, and comic-book reading to cram in the remaining 4 hours. This will lead to shorter movies, shorter lecture hours, more fashionable beds, and most importantly, dutiless-ness.

Earth X- Porn Universe. Where everyone acts as if he/she were in a porn movie. You order a pizza, and a buxom girl in micro skirt delivers it to you and you have sex in the office, with faux-jazz music suddenly blaring in the background. A wife is annoyed that her sink pipe is busted and she calls the next door plumber, and who should come in but a hairy-chested greasy dude with huge plumbing materials. You walk in on two people having sex, and you, of course, join. And since this is real life there is no assurance that everyone will look good. In fact everyone will look like the way they are in our universe. And since everyone is so horny we will all have gonorrhea, Hep B, and AIDS, so everyone will die in ten years. Or better yet, a rain of fire will come, and someone will turn into a pillar of salt for more fun.

Earth DC- DC Universe. Wherein the DC Universe exists. Because I really, really need to see Wonder Woman riding the invisible jet plan, or running in the streets using her magic lasso, or snapping Maxwell Lord’s neck. Because I really, really need to see the Batmobile. And the adult Lana Lang. And the entire Legion of Superheroes. I need to get the autograph of Kent Nelson and Allan Scott. I need to have a picture with the entire Justice League of America. I need to check if Dr. Light was really transformed into a giant melted candle by the Spectre. If I ever become clinically schizophrenic I wish to retire to a comic book universe in my head.

Earth M- Grand Musical Extravaganza Universe. Wherein everyone sings and acts as if he were in a grand musical extravaganza. For more annoyment, not just any grand musical extravaganza but the Sound of Music type of extravaganza, where everyone blares into a song unexpectedly and you shoot spaghetti from your nose in surprise. You just ask someone to pass the sugar and he croons a 4-minute single about crane extraction and sugar production and all the motivation and the aggravation. This would be the first universe to go once the Anti-Monitor unleashes his earth-destroying wall of energy.

Titz

Recently met with Ditz the Titz who took a hiatus from her peads (also known here as “peja”) work in Jersey Shore and treated us to dinner. The last time I saw her was in May 2007 when she visited my dad in the hospital lugging around a Green Lantern comic book in Spanish. Ditz the Titz is a fixture in this blog, and both of you, two readers, might remember her as the one who asked our patient if he would take off his clothes in his show, and as the one who sings the male version in the duet of our block song, Fixing A Broken Heart. She has definitely come a long way since blaring “I’ve Never Been To Me” in Tresa’s, now looking tanned, toned, and with a nice huge striped ribbon on her chest.

Titz showed us photos of her adventures in Jersey, with the American nurses and doctors and all. I noted that everyone was wearing long sleeves under their scrub suits, which of course is very Grey’s Anatomy. I remarked that a few interns tried doing that in our ER in an attempt to look cool, and they all ended up with huge armpit sweat circles that reached down the waist. Jabar, therefore.

With Smoketh we opened fire with a barrage of questions: Do the interns monitor sweaty patients q1? Any dates? How rich are you? All of which were answered to our satisfaction. We learned that aside from your residency work you can also moonlight, for one thousand dollars per duty. Smoketh and I immediately converted the money to pesos in our heads with kaching, kaching cash register sound effects, and realized it’s more than what we would make in months.

Titz is popular in the Filipino nursing community there, specially when they learned she was chummy with Hayden Kho in med school. She hasn’t talked to Hayden in a year, but she is contemplating on getting an autograph just for them kilig nurses. Apparently Pinoy showbiz brings up a sense of community, because there is still some occasional race weirdness going on. Referring to another Filipino who looked quite different to her features an American nurse recently asked her, “Are you from the same tribe?” to which she retorted with “What about that other American nurse, are you from the same trailer park?”

Driving back home we almost hit another car, to which we all collectively gasped “POTA!!!” She could only scream “FUCKER!” in Jersey, and she felt great coming home to her heritage. We realized we wouldn’t see each other in a long time again, so we had a vicarious fellatio-cunnilungus combo. Click this link for this nasty, nasty, X-rated porn pic. (failure to provide link)