Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Gee Whiz Fun With Thymes and RD-Kid

Finally saw a movie in the theater again after a long time with RD-Kid and Thymes. Whenever I watch with them we turn into those annoying people who talk to each other and give endless comments and laugh loudly, so it was a good thing very few people were watching 127 Hours. 127 Hours is extremely fun, and although ("spoilers!!!!") everyone had the same thing in mind upon entering the theater ("kailan nya puputulin ang kamay nya?") it didn't drag one bit.

Before the actual arm-cutting event I told Thymes: Eh ano ngayon, mas marami pa silang pinuputol sa Saw.
Thymes: Pero hindi true-to-life ang Saw.
Me: Isn't it.

So sadly Saw is not based on actual events, but more than that 127 Hours manages to make the cutting thing seem much much more painful and visceral than the auto-hepatectomies and all sorts of self-mutilation in all 7 Saw's. We thought we were prepared for a blah self-amputation scene but we still squirmed and squealed and yelped like panicking little wimpy girls. Of course there were lots of other harrowing stuff before that, including Aron's attempts to hydrate himself. He did the obvious and slurped his pee using a straw, but he also did other things we wouldn't think of like sucking his tears from his contact lenses.

Me: Meron pa syang one other bodily fluid na hindi nagagamit.
Thymes: Gross.

And true enough by the next scene Aron was jerking off.

Thymes: Pero bakit hindi pinakitang iniinom nya yung...
Me: Gross.

Watch 127 Hours!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

In The Unlikely Event, 1000 Years From Now

The recent events that just swooshed by—the end of residency with the very toxic moving out of things, the holiday season, the PSBIM reviews, the two graduations, the announcement of the specialty board results, the sudden commencement of fellowship—have given me a total whiplash. Spinal cord injury is more like it. “It’s like you’re just picking up where you’ve left off,” Smoketh has admonished in her wisdom. True, except there are a million broken, jagged pieces and I couldn’t pick them up for fear of getting wounded. Yes, I’m a failed song writer. Damn it.

I didn’t really feel like attending the rather anti-climactic graduation, but there were great speeches that made up the four-hour event. Got all misty with The Man’s speech, although now that Ging has turned over the position of being The Man to Djanah, I need to come up with a new name for her. Suggestions welcome. Having HIV speak in behalf of the batch was a treat as usual. And we couldn’t have found a better keynote speaker than Sir Kilgore Trout, whose unique inspirational speech had us in stitches. Vampirella had me write the introduction for Sir Kilgore Trout. I remembered Ellen Degeneres’ intro for Steven Spielberg in the 2005 Grammy Awards: “The following speaker needs no introduction”, after which she immediately left. A few months ago when asked who we would suggest to be the keynote speaker I suggested in jest our PMA oath taking speaker in 2006, Patricia Evangelista. "She can quote Spiderman," I said. 

Kilgore’s fun and inspiring words of wisdom had me thinking: no one will ever get me to speak in front of a graduating medicine batch, and rightfully so, being messed up and all. However, in the same way that I always have this fantasy of going up the stage to get my award for Grammy Song of the Year while my song plays in the background or an Eisner for Best Comic Book Writer of the Year I henceforth deliver my speech to the graduating class of 2091. With the Kilgore Method of giving specifics. So:

To the graduating class of 2091, 2028, or 3028, etc etc etc congratulations etc etc etc here are my tips on how to live your life post-residency/post med school.

  • There is this Simpsons episode where they all go on a vacation and Lisa, hating herself, adapts a new identity. Marge tells her some crap that she should just be herself and all, and Lisa retorts, to which I agree: I was being myself for eight years and it didn't work! You can't be yourself if you don't know who you are, so am I suggesting that you pick up self-help books or get psychotherapy? No. I'm suggesting: do whatever the heck you want to do and stop reflecting on whether that's really you.
  • Waste time. Not all the time, okay, just some of the time. Just lie down and stare at the ceiling for hours on end. As long as there’s no one in the other room desperately waiting to be intubated. Sometimes no one will miss us, so just lie down and kill time. Kill it!
  • Get an iPod and fill with all kinds of songs and listen to them in full blast, but keep your eyes and noses aware in case there’s a fire or a bomb exploding or something. Put the damn iPod in shuffle, we hate predictability.You misfits are lucky you can get thousands of songs in a device. In my time (AHAHAHAHA!) I had to bring my worn-down Walkman and twenty cassette tapes in my bag, and a pen in case the bleeping Walkman chomps up the tape.
  • Read at least one comic book a day. Except the ones written by Felicia Henderson and drawn by Mark Bagley.  I would recommend an actual paperback novel a day, but there are charts to write and patients to see. If you insist on paperback novels get some sort of buddy or support group to nag you to finish the damn book. We hate unfinished books.  
  • For the graduating medicine class: if you’ll go into residency, see all referrals. All of them. Don’t whine, don’t complain, don’t ask too many questions—the time spent being a whiner could be spent drinking coffee or clipping your toenails. Seeing all referrals works on two principles: 1. The principle of PTN (Para Tapos Na) and 2. The principle of mas mabuti nang pagod kesa ma-guilty.
  • Don’t introspect. Or reflect. Or think too much about undertones of things. Introspection kills. It’s more fun to sleep.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Spiked Kool-Aid For More

While studying for the specialty boards and getting scared crap that I have ALL those diseases I texted Mrs. T: "Your music recommendation for tonight is Everybody's Gotta Learn Sometimes by Beck, and also the original version by Korgis; and Always On My Mind, all seven versions of it." I needed my phone to contain something other than the frantic: "Pop Quiz! Multiple true or false. Regarding Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease..." You see Mrs. Therese had previously tasked me to fill her iPot with songs, a job which I take very seriously and with much glee. Nothing screams power more than getting the chance to influence people on what songs to listen to. "Wag mo lang iju-judge yung mga 90's pop songs. It was a phase, okay." I had sheepishly told her.

Mrs. T obliged and listened to Always On My Mind. Always On My Mind is the ultimate Kool-Aid song, ie, it's the sort of song that overstates/caterwauls pain with the intention of making you do a Jim Jones and drink Kool-Aid spiked with hundreds of poisons. For more drama. The oldest version of the song is by Brenda Lee, which is great, but I have a special fondness for the Elvis and Willie Nelson versions.

"Nakatitig sakin si Brenda Lee," Mrs. T then replied. I turned on my own iPot and on the screen, indeed, is the album cover with Brenda Lee challenging you to a staring contest, bee-hive hair and all.


Never been much of a brat, but I wish I were. A brat wields power, and being a great brat requires great skill with one end goal in sight: to get what I want want want. Because it should be mine mine mine.

Two months ago Mrs. T, Uni-Horned Beef Jerky Alanis Whore, and I were supposed to enter this fellowship program, let's call it Swedish Pottery. This got me all giddy. "Kayo lang ang dahilan kung bakit ako mag Swe-swedish Pottery," I told Mrs. T, unable to make adult, independent decisions myself and all. So it was with great mortification that while I was eating kwek-kwek by myself in MSU Mrs. T approached me to say something like something happened, she changed her mind, she wasn't into Swedish Pottery after all! She's into, let's say, Klingon Poetry.

"What the hellellel!" I exclaimed.
"It's just that..." Mrs. Therese said.

Throughout the conversation I had the following inputs:
1. Maybe you should sleep it off. And when you wake up refreshed and all, you'll probably realize that Swedish Pottery helps more people, which is in your nature.
2. Swedish Pottery would allow you to touch people's lives more than Klingon Poetry ever could.
3. Okay, if that's what your heart really desires, I'm aching with the thought but I'm... letting you go. Enjoy Klingon Poetry. You've got all our support.

How civilized. But while it's not in my nature to tell the truth I could no longer take it and told her the next day with much bratty whining: I didn't mean the nice things I've said because what I really want to say is... HOW COULD YA DO THIS TA ME?!?!?! Huhuhuhu (fake tears)

Truly Mrs. Therese has chosen her path and we wish her well. We've just had our first day of class today, the twentieth first day of class in my entire life, and tomorrow Mrs. Therese would have hers. And truly, Swedish Pottery is just that--Swedish, ie, we couldn't understand anything, and it takes more pagpapanggap abilities. Truly there are better things in life, like Swedish porn, but it's a two-year program, and watching porn for two years would be exhausting and at our age, kinda gross.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Holy Crap!

Wherein we pretend that we’ve been using this expression all our lives and not merely as a product of years watching juvenile American shows and reading American comic books. So here is a list of my weekly… Holy Crap!!!!

  • Got to watch the MTV Video Music Awards 2010 a few days ago. Haven’t seen this show in many, many years, but it’s fun to see Eminem et al, although Eminem now looks all dried up and he now always needs one major back-up rapper in case he becomes dyspneic. Rock video of the year apparently goes to a band called 30 Seconds to Mars. Band climbs up the stage to get their award and… waitaminute, is the lead singer…  Holy Crap, it’s Jared Leto, AKA Harry from my favorite Requiem For A Dream, the guy whose arm gets all gangrenous and stuff from too much IV drug use while Jennifer Connelly is getting banged-up and his mother Ellen Burstyn is getting all sorts of crazy!!! I remember re-watching Requiem in the callroom last November, forcing everyone to watch. They never forgave me for the final scenes.

  • Channel surfing and in Star Movies was the much maligned Glitter. Secret shame: I’ve seen this in the theaters ten years ago. More secret shame: I know it’s crap but I still get hooked whenever it’s shown on TV, probably in the same manner that you can’t turn away when you see a dead, mangled animal on the street.  I re-watched the first few scenes and in one scene Mariah is ghost-singing for this supposed star, Sylk, who can’t sing to save her life. And who should play Sylk but…. Holy Crap, it’s Padma Lakshmi hostess and food critic extraordinaire of Top Chef!!!

  • Haven’t read Superman in months so it was with much excitement that I cracked open the latest issue and I could no longer recall what the previous issues were about only to discover that... HOLY CRAP Superman is still walking! And I suddenly remembered everything: Superman is doing this sort of pilgrimage crap by walking through different states helping people in their domestic problems and holy crap it’s still boring as hell!

Harrison's Telepathy

While nervously wolfing down KFC in Rob I asked Pyro a question.

                “Hey Pyro,” I said, “Category: IDS. Question: 8-16 hours?”
                “Bacillus cereus,” Pyro said nonchalantly as he munched on a drumstick.
                “Correct!!!!” I exclaimed.
For years Pyro has wolfed down, regurgitated, and re-eaten Harrison’s so much that either the smallest buzz term could trigger chapters and chapters of knowledge, or he has totally mutated into a telepath. This panicked everyone.
“If I don’t pass the specialty boards,” Ecurb Enyaw Pots said with much drama, “I would totally disappear and erase all traces of my identity from the internet.”
“If I don’t pass the boards,” someone else said with more drama, “I would not attend the bleeping graduation!!!!”
“If I don’t pass the boards,” I said, “I would attend the graduation so I could see how people would sidestep the issue when I’m around and I would catch their secret glances and hear their carefully diverted conversations and self-restrained congratulations and sense the general discomfort at having me around while trying to avoid the giant fucking black elephant in the room and STUFF!!!!”
“Or so you think,” Pyro said. “So you think that people would sidestep the issue. For all you know the department chair would go in front, and say ‘Congratulations to everyone for passing the specialty boards, everyone EXCEPT Special Agent Fox Mulder!!!! And he attended my review for free, if I may add’.”

Pyro is ruthless. A ruthless mutant Harrison’s telepath.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Usurping Oar House

                “We should drink alcohol. Off to Oar House!” Enjh proclaimed while we were comfortably ensconced drinking Voltage in Shrine MotherFucker I. So off we went to Oar House, which was apparently just a stone’s throw away from Shrine MotherFucker I. It was 12 midnight and Oar House was already deserted, and Enjh was right, it was the sort of cozy, intimate watering hole in the mold of those Irish pubs or something, not that I’ve ever seen an original Irish pub. Or an original anything for that matter, in fact we used to have a transistor (transistor! AHHAAHAHAH!!!) branded not Sony, but Sonya. Now Oar House is the sort of place that old customers have a tendency to be secretive about, so I can now be categorized under Usurpers Who Make Our Cool Hang-Out Places Commercial. Nothing against them elitists because we used to call the usurpers of our favorite coffee house seats, well, Mother Fuckers. I’ve been walking by that corner for over ten years and I’ve never seen Oar House before.

                While taking a swig the bar was playing U2’s Walk On from the fantastic album All That You Can’t Leave Behind.

                “And the music is good, too,” Enjh said.
                “Yes, not kukuru-kuku,” Godwin agreed.

                It’s the sort of place I could very well be comfortable in, because for years on end I’ve been attempting to drink by myself for more Holden Caulfieldish drama, but every time I get near those bars in Nakpil my head hurts from the club music and the pulsing lights and the seedy people around asking if I want to have sex. So in the remote event that you're reading this: I just want to drink alone and ruminate and sometimes be suicidal and ruminate for more drama, okay, I don't want to have sex!

                Which reminds me, All That You Can’t Leave Behind is one of my ultimate favorite albums of all time and I need to listen to it right now. Back in 2001 while waiting for my turn in the admission interview at the UP College of Medicine I was sitting in a corner in MRL listening to the Grammy Awards in Magic 89.9 in my Discman (Discman! AHAHAHAHA!) and All That You Can’t Leave Behind was not nominated for Album of the Year because its release didn’t make the deadline or something. Eminem went on stage as the final performer and sang Stan with Elton John. After which they went backstage as the nominees for Album of the Year were announced. We were all rooting for Eminem’s Marshall Mathers LP and besides he has just performed, so this could be a good sign. Presentor then goes, “And the Album of the Year goes to… Two Against Nature by Steely Dan!!!”

                Who the hellellel.

P.S. A couple of weeks ago I’ve downloaded Two Against Nature. I listened to it and still went: What the hellellel.

Hearth! Blok Blok Blok

During our hospital-wide residency graduation the first week of January Mrs. Therese gave me a copy of Diary of Wimpy Kid. I showed this to Smoketh, who exclaimed, “That’s you!” I initially thought it’s unfair to label me as wimpy, but right now every time I’m in a drugged, introspective mood and I look back at what sort of kid I was in elementary I always want to get a Flux Capacitor, go back in time, and beat the crap out of my younger self. Beat the crap out of is not even accurate, it’s more like “blowtorch younger self to hell”. Yes, you may say that this is the sort of self-hate that creates serial killers, but that would be an insult to serial killers everywhere. I hadn’t mangled any animals, but then again I once tried to bring my totally dead pet beetle back to life by carefully blowing at it fully believing I was transferring life into it, until I lost control of my blows and blew the damn thing into a crevice on the wall where the carcass was later attacked by ants.
“D.P.!” the emcee calling the graduates one-by-one announced, and in my head, D.P. has been our senior resident in Surgery over six years ago back when I was a fourth year medical student, and she’s still graduating, this time from a fellowship program. And aptly, Mrs. Therese writes in her dedication on the Wimpy Kid book, “Happy 6th graduation!”

“Hey Marth,” I said to Marth while he was reading Urinary Tract Infection Guidelines (truly there is no time to waste). “Hey Marth, I’ve just realized, you’ll be graduating from Cardio Fellowship in 2014. And if you’ll proceed with Interventional Cardio you would graduate again in 2016. By that time there would probably be a new sub-sub-sub-specialty, probably Bundle of His or Left Atrium. You could probably take that as well and end by 2029. There’s no end to this penniless hell.”

“Yes,” Marth agreed. It’s great when friends agree with your rants.
Indeed, there is no end to this hell. Why the heck did I ever go into this career path? Why did I just go with the band wagon back in 2001? Why didn’t I just muscle up and make sure I’d make it as a porn star? Or more seriously, why didn’t I just muscle up and make sure I’d make it as a porn star? This is why you shouldn’t follow your friends, your parents, your head, or your heart in making career decisions. You should just watch reality shows (except the modeling and hair-styling ones)—because being a pastry chef, an outcast, an amateur singer, a matchmaker of bisexual millionaire swingers, or a bachelor/bachelorette would seem much more fun. And since we’re just going to live an average of 60 years anyway, fun is the way to go. Fun! AHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!! Fuuuuuun (psycho laughter)!!!!!!

And Just Because I Haven't Changed Clothes in Two Days: Social Commentary

                Been watching TV for ten straight hours now, and haven’t changed clothes in two days. Ahahahahaha. My only regret is I’m not the sort of person who grows disgusting beard with ticks just after a few hours of incubating inside a room. I am so dirty and so poor that of all the bleeping things to pop up on TV is… the senate hearing on the AFP corruption! And here I was thinking we are talking about a couple of million pesos, when all of a sudden someone divulged that one high-ranking AFP person was given… P120 million pesos!!! And another one was gifted with… P80 million pesos! And poor third person, as he was just given a measly P50 million pesos!!!! Stealing is something that we don’t usually put in the same league of evil like mass murder or gay incest pedophile sex, but this is… P120 million pesos!!! Why the heck would anyone need P120 million pesos?! But more importantly, how could you have P120 million pesos and still look like that?! I’m just saying.
                Click click click, and in another channel, Oprah with another one of her Favorite Things episode where she gives lots of stuff to her audience who then become quite berserk. “That is so embarrassing,” I later told Nosferatu, “to lose your composure and go all crazy on national TV just because someone’s giving you an expensive leather bag and an expensive pair of shoes.”
                “Not really,” Nosferatu opined. “Wouldn’t you go crazy and jump up and down and roll on the floor screaming like a little girl if Oprah tells you you’re receiving series 1-8 of the recently released but very expensive and difficult to find Blackest Night action figures plus the entire set of the very elusive 2002 Legion of Superheroes?!?”
                “Of course not… yes. YES! YES!!!!” I said. 

Tutututuw! Tutututuw!

Back in 2007 I wrote in my Friendster blog (back when, all together now—it still wasn’t spammed by invites for orgies in Ortigas!!!) something about the ill-fated show Dayuhan. Or more appropriately, how I thought it was a childhood hallucination when I was 8 years old, as there is nothing on it on the internet and no one I know ever has a recollection of the damn thing. It got a couple of replies, with Mike S. succinctly saying, “no, you haven’t imagined that shite”. Dayuhan is a show starring a bunch of young actors led by Hero Bautista as a young alien who has the power to inflict pain on anyone by removing his thick-rimmed glasses and staring at the person, with the background sound effect going “TUTUTUTUW! TUTUTUTUW!” Yes, this was in the early eighties, and it could very well be the predecessor of that other crap show, Roswell.

Strangely years after I’ve abandoned the Friendster blog I would still get notified thru email that there are a couple of new comments. This is a sign that there still isn’t a lot of Dayuhan material on the internet, and whoever’s looking for references is directed to Friendster, which is sad in many levels. One of the commenters introduced herself as one of the kiddie stars of the show. I don’t remember her role as she described it, because truly I could only remember Hero and the evil girl whose sound effect is always a much louder, much baseline karindihan TUTUTUTUW!!! TUTUTUTUTUW!!! to illustrate her higher level of powers. Obviously this is a sign that if the major networks have run out of fairy tale and local comic book materials to copy and put their spin on, they should just do a remake of Dayuhan. But they couldn’t call the show Dayuhan because it sounds boring, instead they should call it, all together now, TUTUTUTUW! TUTUTUTUW!!!!

Our Topic For Today is Hate

                Our topic for today is hate. Yes, hate, because there isn’t enough nega already and we want to add to the general nega of things. Ya got that, the general nega of things!!!! How do we define hate? Because we’re so lazy to even check the dictionary for an operative definition and our brains have turned to mush from old age we are instead just going to define hate by giving examples! Hate is that feeling we have towards mutant alien cockroaches after they have outsmarted us by walking on crevices so we couldn’t stomp on them, or whenever they resort to the very cheap but very effective—gasp!!!—flying! FLYING!!! Eeeeeep! Hate is when we see in Facebook that our friends from decades ago have now gone places and are actually mature and whose profile pics in fact are their transvaginal ultrasound results, while we still get all giddy at the thought of having Jollibee Chickenjoy for dinner because it’s the most gourmet thing we could afford!!! Hate is what we feel when we’ve been falling in line all day for cotton candy in the school fair, only to be told by the time it’s our turn that they’ve run out of sugar!!!! Hate, is when we start referring to ourselves in plural, because we have multiple personality disorder and we claim that it’s a true disease entity!!! Hate!!!! Hate!!!! Hate, only to be transformed, by the Red Lantern of Rage, into… RAGE!!!! RAAAAAAAAAGE!!!!
                This is what happens when you listen to rap songs about hate on constant repeat for one whole day. I’ve just realized that the things I write about are always affected by the music playing at the time, like two years ago when I was listening repeatedly to that song which was subliminally about cunnilungus all my entries turned out to be all about caves, crevices, bushes, and fig trees. So I don’t have the urge to kill at 3 am in the morning or wrap my cousin in Christmas lights and push him in a stinking bath tub, but I get to write an entire paragraph on hate. Henceforth, to counterbalance things I am now shifting to Carrie Underwood and it’s starting to take… immediate effect. Because you know what, sometimes the mountain you’ve been climbing is just… a grain of sand. And when you see that love is all that matters after all it would sure make everything seem… so small. Zoloft, roight.