Saturday, August 21, 2010

Sacred

"We have to watch Cats and Dogs: Revenge of Kitty Galore," I declared in the callroom. I still have unresolved issues with the villainous portrayal of cats in the first installment of Cats and Dogs back in 2001 or so, and it seems the comeuppance of them dogs are nigh.

"Hey Fulet, wanna watch Cats and Dogs: Revenge of Kitty Galore?" *cricket*
"Hey JD-Lu, wanna watch Cats and Dogs: Revenge of Kitty Galore?" *cricket*
"Hey Dondee, wanna watch Cats and Dogs: Revenge of Kitty Galore?" To this Dondee looked up from reading his afternoon paper, put down his cup of coffee(tatay na tatay), indulged this Bartholomew-ic (as in Bart Simpson-ic) persistence, and told me, "How about Cats and Dogs: Revenge of Kiki Galore?"

It takes a lot to shock me, I am not naive to all sorts of porn that caters to all sorts of lewd appetites, but cats are sacred. Sacred!

Blue Form

A few months ago I've rammed down Smoketh's throat a short story I've been contemplating on submitting to a well-respected national weekly magazine. It has been years since I've written a short story, this blog having usurped any designated daily writing hour in the past three years or so. "It's crap," Smoketh had declared in between bouts of vomiting and choking on her own vomit. "This is not your style. You're writing to get published. It's a sell-out." And truly Smoketh has probably assessed it correctly, but there's just a certain vanity need for any writer wannabe to get published, and it has been years since I've actually gotten to publish a short story. This gave birth to a blog entry months ago about the risk of selling out. The story got canned and got lost in folders within folders within directories in my computer after multiple reformatting necessitated by too much porn-related viruses, until I've just decided to email it and it got published. Which leads me to another round of shameless self-promotion:

I have a short story in this week's Philippines Graphic dated August 23, and one huge thanks to the literary editor for considering my story worthy. It's entitled Blue Form, about some medical resident named Carla who has to contend with guilt and self-resentment issues while in residency training. I know it doesn't sound like me, so keep sending those bleches in my direction. Yes, truly I can be accused of not exerting much effort to imagine, but at this point in my life when any existing literary compartment in my brain has been usurped by medical training and too much resentment the old adage of writing about what you know best is the only thing I could hold on to. The Philippines Graphic is now one of the only 2 national weekly magazines, along with The Philippines Free Press, that upholds and promotes Philippines lit. It has featured the works of a lot of established local literary icons, so just getting in the same mag as them is quite cool for me. While medical people get their jollies from getting their research published in medical journals, this is where I get mine.

"You should give me a signed copy with the note 'In your face, Smoketh!'" Smoketh declared. What I would write, though, as always, is "In the event that I get famous and my name becomes expensive, here's a signed copy." Sadly I've been signing that line for over ten years now.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Plants Versus Zombies Stream of Consciousness Crap

I can't, I won't yield, because as it is I already have way too many damn addictions than the hours of the day could accomodate, probably at least five addictions per sense organ, and yet all my batchmates performing a video of plants vs zombies during our recent hidden valley getaway and tessieloopagooparoop making ngasab at a lamp and djanah wailing "sunflower! sunflower!" and me not getting what they were all about beckon at me to grab that game file and play the damn thing. In 2005 I heard a 3-second song by Keane on TV with Tom Chaplin wailing "The laaaaaast tiiiiiiiime!" and I was hooked on Keane and until now I play Hopes and Fears on my iPod for hours on end. Way back in 1991 I've watched my cuz make Mario throw fireballs at those damn Little Goombas and Lakitu and Koopa Paratroopas and I would get all shivery-in-a-corner whenever the 8-hour brownout would deprive me of the chance to attempt that hundred-lives crap in world 3-1. And why talk about these mundane addictions, let's talk about the real stuff-- the drugs, the booze, the sex, the hollywood lifestyle. Oh yes, and blogging with histrionics and hyperboles. And similes and metaphors and alliterations and long sentences for more maximum karindihan. A few months ago I've read Allyn Lomboy shout out in Facebook: I need to get addicted to something. But we already are addicted to a lot of stuff being in this training institution, Allyn. We are addicted to writing looooong chart entries.

Because we all aspire to be novelists one day.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Meander Meander Meander

My wonderful JAPOD followed by her next JAPOD and next next JAPOD (their own designations)approached me one morning and asked what time our rounds would be.
"Our activity for the day," I said with much conviction, "is sleep. No rounds today!!!" Yes, I feel like one of those elementary teachers we had who would come in, tell us to sleep, and we would be woken up by the bell signalling the period was over. I should start selling tocino.

And during actual, physical (non-telepathic) rounds I tell them, "OK, present the history, physical exam, labs, and course in the wards... in Haiku!"
And when a new intern came into our service, "Welcome to our service! Your first task... perform an interpretative dance!!!"

And yet I still wonder if I command any bleeping respect. Maybe I should give them a final exam before the month ends or something. A final exam... on the DC Universe Crisis on Infinite Earths, Infinite Crisis, Final Crisis, and Blackest Night Mega-events. Which they would answer and interpret with... a sabayang pagbigkas.

Pundar

While everyone was in bed Cheapo sprang out her brand new camera and said "PEEEEEKCHUR!" Everyone posed, had the picture taken, cried "YEHEY!", and hurried to check out the peeeeekchur on the camera LCD. The camera was a brand new, touch screen, shiny Canon or Sony or something, all I'm sure of is that it wasn't some fake brand like Sonya. No one marvelled at the peeeekchur itself, but everyone was amazed at the snazzy looking camera.

"Uy, nakapundar," someone said.
"Or sumweldo sa paluwagan," someone else said.
"Or katas ng Saudi," yet another someone said.
Or if I recall correctly, that someone, someone else, and another someone is me.

3 years of regular employment is now coming to an end, which is scaring the crap out of me. I am probably one of the few, if not the only one among my batchmates, who is not excited at all or raring for training to end. I suddenly remember that back in college while our org was conducting some career orientation or something in Diliman I was not listening but was instead doing an algorithm or flow chart of what I wanted wanted wanted my life to be. I threw it out in the trash immediately after, but I think that at around this age my algorithm pathway then after med school was either "finally take a formal writing degree in UP" or some melodramatic crap like "spiritual enlightenment". I know that I am doing neither, because I need money.

Damn real life to hell.

Rots, Sots, or Spoiled.

Boards over! As evidenced in the sudden increase of free tables in coffee shops. Just four years ago (nostalgia, nostalgia, annoying nostalgia, as if it were 80 years ago) at around this time I was quietly squirming and saying of course I wouldn't pass the bleeping exam, how the heck should I know that a cracked egg is... come to think of it, I still don't know what the heck a cracked egg is, I'm still not sure if it's classified as rots, spoiled, or sots, and what the fuck is sots anyway, it could have been a typographical error and was actually "spots", but given the nature of the exams, for all we know it was really meant to be typed as "snots", or maybe "norepinephrine". You just never know, you would need double-barreled telepathic abilities to read what the examiner AND the typist were thinking to get the answers right.

Smoketh and I had agreed before the exams that should we ever fail we would go straight to Enchanted Kingdom and ride the roller coaster 20x till we pass out. We would then wake up and say "Oh it was just a dream, I actually passed," and then we would realize that it wasn't and we would ride again, pass out, wake up, think it was just a dream, realize it wasn't, etc. We passed, so no cinematic rollercoastering happened, but it was a torturous three days of waiting characterized by nervous ritualistic nail-biting, hair-pulling, and self-mutilation.

I've learned of the results one night in a very uncinematic way--Abby Puzon texted me, I told my mom, and we all jumped in glee, and this time I'm not exaggerating--we actually jumped. Meanwhile at the Hall of Justice, Smoketh was in the backstage of some concert hall about to perform some choir song, when she got the news. She went into status epilepticus and had to be dragged into the Neuro ICu, or so I think. Enjh/Frichmond was in Starbucks, she screamed, and one of the first people to congratulate her was the Starbucks guard who've watched them toil for nights on end. Thymes called up Bombo Radyo and asked who the top passers were. She was top 4 or something, the announcer told her, who then went on and said spontaneously on the air, "and now live on air, one of the topnotchers of the recent medical board exams!!!"

Of course we know what happened next. I fell asleep, woke up at 12 noon, and told myself in fear: now what.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Collective Need To DIE!

For some strange reason there seems to be, among my friends, a general sense of wanting to die. So maybe wanting to die is stretching it a little bit, but the collective whining is so loud it crosses over the Maximum Karindihan Barrier into the planet Gorgoro and stimulates the growth of new fungal-prion hybrid life form. Nobody wants to work, everyone's dragging their feet, the demand for sertraline is getting higher, and I don't think these people are just making jinarts. Truly there are worse things to whine about like the horrible state that the major DC comics titles like JLA and Teen Titans are in, but the over-arching concept of whinification precludes any attempt to try and get out of whatever is being whined about; more like, if you're whining, then by all means fucking wallow in it. Because what's the point of whining if nobody's around to hear it.

Just this morning I've heard four colleagues whine separately that they hate what they are doing and they just want to run away from the hospital and board a plane to Togo. Smoketh asked me, "How do you deal with the grind?" to which I replied, "I just don't do my best." And back in the callroom, what should I chance upon but BL and UHBJAW making tagay some slushy hardcore alcohol drink... at 2 pm. I took a shot. Hurricane K, JJL, and others followed suit.

"They say that eating pansit prolongs your life," someone said out of nowhere.
"I don't believe that. But huge ears indicate that you would live to your hundreds," someone retorted.
"If you live to your hundreds and then suddenly die, some rock would fly out of your mouth--your 'luwa', and it would fly to another person to give that person long life," I said. "Do you know that you could check how many children you would have in the future by checking the nodules on your wrist?" Everyone checked their wrists.

"And when you're done maybe we could play FLAMES afterwards for more fun," I then said.

Regression is the key.

And For Today's Guest Blogger: Uni-Horned Beef Jerky Alanis Whore herself!

Ang sabi ko sa pasyente, "Bantayan nyo po mabuti. Kapag naglagay kayo ng Isordil kapag mabigat ang dibdib nyo. Kapag hindi nawala ang sakit... kapag sa halip ay mas sumasakit pa, ayun, humangos na kayo, maghanap ng kasama, at pumunta sa Emergency Room... Kasi po baka atake na yan ng puso."

Ang pasyente ay tumitingin na tila may isang malaking patlang sa kanyang isipan.

Ang habol ko, "Opo, kailangan nyong maintindihan... may sakit kayo sa puso. Sa ngayon ay hindi pa naman sya malala. Pero kailangan alerto kayo sa posibilidad na pwede kayong maatake sa puso"

"Paano po ang pakiramdam nun?"

"Ah. Pwede kang manglata ng biglaan. Yun bang parang wala ka nang lakas kumain. Yung parang akala mo bibigay na ang katawan mo at wala nang bukas pero alam mong buhay na buhay ka pa para tiisin yung sakit dito" Sabay turo ko sa puso.

"Mamatay ba ako pagna-atake sa puso?"

"May posibilidad. Pero kung maaga mong idudulog ang problema mo, mas liliit ang tsansa. Pagmay peklat na ang puso na mula sa sugat ng isang atake.. Pwedeng paulit-ulit lang ang sakit habang buhay... Pwedeng hindi na sya kasing siglang tumibok na gaya ng dati.. Pwedeng bumigay na nang tuluyan."

"Doc, bakit po kayo naluluha? E ako naman ang may sakit?"

"Wala. Parang residency lang kasi yan. Nakakapanglata. Nakakawalang ganang kumain... kahit favorite na lomi mo sa coop hindi na masarap, kahit ang mga Wednesday, nakakalimutan mo na ang Pasta ni Lolita... Oo, kagaya ng residency... Pwedeng mapagod ang puso."

"Doc, focus naman sa kin. Ako ang pasyente."

"ahehehe... sorry."

Huwag kayong mag-alala. Hindi naman nangyari to sa totoong buhay. Ito'y pawang kathang-isip lamang. Hehehe.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

ANL and Len-Len Feeds Us Expensive Food

Looking forward to eat a 50-peso typhoid laced dinner from some sidewalk while thinking of how to buy a P9,000 pamidronate for a patient I got a text message from Len-Len and ANL inviting us to dinner. Len-Len and ANL are now New Yorkers who occasionally visit us proletariats in this rut, and we are thankful. Smoketh and I were informed that the dinner would be in some posh hotel. For free. Smoketh and I teleported ourselves to the hotel in the blink of an eye. Because the hotel was just a stone's throw away. Truly Smoketh and I were on the same page about liking to eat some free food. Yes, I have to exercise my cliche figurative speech-wielding skills.

I've heard so much about this high-end buffet, but when we saw the huge lines of salads and appetizers and entrees and deserts of the multi-national variety we let out our proletariat, pulubi, patay-gutom selves and gushed. "Oh my God, ANL," I told ANL, who was smiling at me while wearing her expensive black dress, her expensive smile, and her expensive pearl necklace, "Ooooooh my God, ANL. I feel like I'm in... Wish Ko Lang."

Smoketh and I feasted on the free, expensive food. Everything is so clean. Everybody looks nice under the subdued yellow light. The floors are shiny the walls are glistening the dude serving the lamb chops is English-speaking and everyone seems so composed in the face of all these expensive cheeses and chocolate fountains and steaks and exotic salads and stuff that I once again felt the urge to ask in my best kanto accent, "Meron ba ditong MECHADO?" and afterwards, "san po ang KUBETA?"

We bade goodbye to ANL and Len-Len and once again forced them to promise that if we ever see ourselves in New York we would require them to feed us, clothe us, shelter us, and indulge our abuses being the impoverished friends that we are. Pyro then texted me that my patient has just died.

Back to reality.
Damn it. To hell.

Sex Cult From Hell

I stopped myself from writing a blog entry predicting that of course our Hidden Valley tour would usher in a huge storm because something could be said about self-fulfilling prophecies, because true enough after writing such a prediction last September Ondoy came on the exact day that we had our yearly outing. It was the batch outing remarkable for separating the batch into contingents--I was part of the Merville contingent then, ie, those who ran in the flooded SLEX and found refuge in a stranger's house in Merville along with Vampirella, Lloydie, Tessieloopagooparoop, Fulet Esplana, JJL, and Hurricane Katrina. JD-Lu and others were the Batangas contingent; Papa Ruter, Mom, and BL were the Market Market contingent; Pyro and Tits the callroom contingent; and Djana the UP Diliman contingent. This year there are huge rains everywhere, except in Hidden Valley. Hah. Again, HAH.

In any case prior to the event I've taken it upon myself to give unsolicited advice just in case we get stormed upon--to Vampirella: Don't wear pekpek shorts. To Hurricane Katrina (who wasn't able to make it after all): Don't wear pants with magic kamison fabric. To the batch: we're all going to be together riding a coaster, so if we get stranded in Merville no household would take in all 23 of us.

Lloydie, Tits, and the rest started to hike towards the Hidden Falls, ie, the 30-minute walk to Paradise Island, and I promised to follow them, and because I easily get confused with paths and such I decided to rest on a poolside bed. I woke up after 2 hours and it was already dark, missing all the peekchurifications. How Moses of me.

Back to the cottage that night was the obligatory liver-pickling alcohol session with wailing at the videoke. I failed this time at pretending to be drunk, as JD-Lu rammed everything down my throat. My special ability in drinking is I get extremely dizzy without losing awareness of the ongoing events. In my stupor I heard Uni-Horned Beef Jerky Alanis Whore singing "King of Pain" by Sting as covered by Alanis Morissette. "Ay ano yang kantang yan," everybody asked. Deadly doses of alcohol turned everybody into a potty mouth:

Anal Verge: Hoy Tits uminom ka.
Tits: Ayooooko. Di ba sabi sa Harrisons, in the male population 60 grams of alcohol...
Anal Verge: POOOOOOTA uminom KA!

The next morning, post-coital and all with vomitus everywhere, was the obligatory batch peeekchurifications in every single bleeping corner of Hidden Valley. No bridge, pond, pool, corner, rock, flowers, or grass were left un-pictorialized because we are so full of ourselves. And because everything must be karir we had to have some costume of sorts. The theme this year is Chinese Burial or Sex Cult From Hell:



Sex Cult from Hell, with our Earth Mother Suprema: Uni-Horned Beef Jerky Alanis Whore herself!

"Anong tinitingin-tingin nyo dyan?"

And thus begins the unveiling of our TCBAJFMAS characters. With peeekchurs!