after nearly 15 years of being stuck in burma, of being away from his family and life as we all know.. my dad's going to retire at the end of the month. in return for setting up the company branch and infrastructure there, for personally training every single expat sent over to work there and taking the time to know his local employees... all he gets in return are regressing social skills in dealing with everyone who doesn't live in burma and a salary bonus worth 4 months of his normal monthly pay as a gesture for his retirement.

that's what you get when u mix family with business sometimes. stingy brother-in-laws who buy their only son the latest nokia phone at his primary school graduation but can't find it in his heart to give my dad something more for the work he's put in over the past fifteen years. all the work that is now in this particular brother-in-law's name now that my dad's retired.

seriously dude. my mom was obviously really affected by it from how she sounded on the phone. she feels guilty but that's a whole other story in itself. she called up with that dejected half-amused "what else is new" tone of voice to ask me to guess what my dad was getting from the company.. well from her own brother.. for retirement. really, to hell with family. blood's no thicker than water in this case. karma will get him one day or another.

i know it's not nice to air dirty laundry in public. doesn't stop me from doing it anyway because it totally baffles me. i mean, doesn't family mean anything? obviously not if money's involved, even if it's nothing comparable to hollywood or tycoon figures. figures. ok, so family aside.. employee loyalty then. dude, the guy gave up his family to help you set up your current little kingdom of happiness. he spent fifteen years doing it while you were playing golf and learning the finer points of tea-drinking. that's my dad you're talking about! four months' worth of bonus salary? what kind of math is that? ok.. so again giving you the benefit of the doubt that you suck at math, what the hell happened to your heart and this whole season of giving thing? *shakes head* dear uncle, may you be eternally cursed with gastroenteritis. oh, and merry christmas to you too. 


tis the season

snotty nosed x'mas
... to be snotty! falalalala-lalalala.

Aemii the red-nosed chicken
never had a shiny nose
and if you ever saw her,
you would say it aint no rose.

None of the other chickens
used to laugh or call her names
until she woke up feverish
Wasn't full of fun and games

Then one misty Monday morn,
She decided 'Nuff!
Off to Woolies for Lemsip
and to top up tissue fluff.

Then she felt a bit better
But now her nose is ruddy red
And it's a li'l bit stingy
She should crawl right back to bed!



you know that some things change over the years to take you by surprise when you next rediscover them. nobody told me that the cost of living was one of them. been furniture hunting and apartment stocking for the past five days. atrocious i tell you. three planks of wood stuck together to make an upside-down U as a table sells for at least AU$140. they go up to $700 for purdy sturdy wood stained dark chocolate brown. madness!!

all was going well until i came to the curtains. the landlord absolutely refuses to install curtains. his reason was that he had to take care of the 15 other units he owns in the building. ok. so it was up to me to find some curtains. two different quotes both averaged 1.5k ... dude!! one and a half grand for flaps of cloth! *sigh* there has to be a cheaper alternative...

haven't even gotten to the phone connected yet, let alone internet. that alone'll be three hundred bucks for a new line that i'm going to get the landlord to pay for. or try to.. *drums fingers*

on a better note.. but still on the topic of moolah ~ i started my shopping spree for charity. managed to sneak in a skateboard in the budget too =D annnd... my digital piano and rental appliances arrived today! appliances weren't ideal ~ well the fridge is too small for the space and i got individual washer/dryer units rather than the LG all in one washer/dryer i had originally wanted to rent. bummer for not being employed ~ they can't rent me brand new appliances. hmph. anyway, here's my haul ~ dropping it off next week!


get back in pandora's box

i can't decide whether it's the lack of information or pollution from the immediate environment that's the problem. mebbe a bit of both. that whole child's play concept, donating to the kiddie ward... i ran that by my mom. after all, it's their moolah i'm about to go on a shopping spree on. man, i should've written down the order of how i was gonna pitch the whole thing. you could hear her go quiet as soon as she heard the word "online" as i was trying to explain what child's play was about. not even a nanosecond was spared. as soon as i finished with how dstore.com.au had their own wishlist for two aussie hospitals so people could buy donations online, she was like "these online people can be scammers" *faints* i hadn't even gotten to the point of it all yet and that it had nothing to do with online shopping!

it took a lot of self control to stop a tirade of frustrated nagging from being unleashed. admitedly, she has no idea what dstore is. she who opens all sorts of attachments and then promptly trashes all emails from people she doesn't know after i tell her attachments need to be filtered for viruses. bottom line is that she doesn't trust any online transactions.. well anything electronic for that matter. "they install code grabbers at the atm you know... they have hidden cameras and mirrors to pick up your pin number at the atm you know... they can duplicate your credit card you know... don't give out your birthday, they can steal your identity with that you know... destroy your bank statements, they could steal your bank account with that you know... don't give out any personal info over the phone, they may not be who they say they are you know... " and the paranoia never ends. dude, there's this thing called common sense you could use, you know. *sigh*

everything seems to be a scam through her eyes but i also get that. there are way too many scams in taiwan but then again, there are way too many naive people to con. sadly, i lump my parents in that group. it's embarrassing sometimes when my mom cuts salespeople short of their schpiel at the point of being a rude bitch because she's already got it in her head that it's a scam. other times, she gets suckered into the most ridiculous things.. like buying me a mini-iron that's safe enough to use on a person when one is wearing the particular piece of clothing needing to be de-wrinkled. wtf. no way am i gonna let her come at me with some miracle iron and plonk it on the shirt i was wearing like she did a few months back.. i yelled bloody murder.

*shakes head* she's a walking talking (basket)case of underexposure and a trapped shopaholic screaming to be unleashed... my dad just shakes his head and still refuses to trust anything online after you've spent the past hour explaining all the security features implemented and how the site is legal and clean... and my parents wonder why i don't tell them everything.


hurry up, tomorrow!

sitting alone here in my messy room does funny things to oneself. i got the green light today from both the year 4 and 5 year managers and the prof himself with regards to the exam board meeting this morning. "you've passed comfortably in all components and wasn't even discussed at the meeting. congratulations!" was what the prof said over the phone. finally. despite this, i'm still meeting him after results are officially released to see what went right this time around and why it took me so long to do so. i wanna know why i wasted nearly a whole year on the bloody subject, dammit.

so anyway.. still awaiting news on my application for the apartment. fingers crossed for that still. can't wait to start the shopping and the decorating! can't wait to start calling up the various utilities and compare broadband prices between companies. joy oh joy alright. something else i can't wait for may sound completely crazy but it's something i just feel like doing. something in line with the christmas spirit. at first, i wanted to get kaleidoscope involved with this toy drive stemming from child's play but i think i may have to stash the plans until next christmas. time's not on my side with this one. thought of doing something similar for the kids in the kiddie wards who will be there on christmas eve and christmas day by myself but i don't know what i'm dealing with and if it'd be really weird to approach M about it, or if he was the right person to approach in the first place. so then there's the salvo's christmas appeal that i thought would be fun. i mean, money aside.. how fun would it be to go on a shopping spree with a fixed amount of dollars at toys r us! never mind that i won't be playing with any of the things i buy, but still... it's all the more sweet to imagine the smiles the knick knacks will hopefully bring to some kiddie this christmas. i was gonna donate money and stuff, but if imma be spending the same amount of dollars.. why not have fun at the same time instead of merely sending in a check or clicking a donate button online? i need to make some phone calls tomorrow to see which plan would work and how... *rubs hands in glee*

i haven't completely lost the plot, have i?
and if i haven't.. would anyone like to go on my shopping spree with me?



this is gonna be one of those entries that don't make sense and i'm trying to work out my thoughts as i type. you've been warned.

i wouldn't have expected to find myself feeling that a weekend was too long to get through. it's sunday afternoon and what am i doing? sitting here in my mess of a room watching episodes of grey's anatomy season 3. i would've expected to have a grand ol' time with a quiet afternoon to go through an entire season of grey's ... or to start from season 1 but strangely enough, i already feel sick after watching 3 episodes in a row. i mean, it could be the lack of food. haven't eaten anything all day and couldn't even manage to finish a box of arnott's premier chunky triple chocolate cookies. that would usually be devoured within the hour or two. i'm not hungry tho. there's an emptiness somewhere here *points to somewhere under my sternum* it kinda hurts in dull non-specific sorta way. i don't know why =( i'm such a cristina in that regards.

the ordeal seems to be over. i was told to go relax this weekend, that i should be fine but to call the prof back after the exam board officializes the results on tuesday. i should be relieved, no? i should be out there celebrating but i think it's been a pyrrhic victory. yes, i consolidated way more obgyn knowledge than i could ever have imagined, or wanted to. i finally got around to putting away all the notes and scribbles i've made these past 9 weeks at 3am in the morning just because there was nothing else to do. i didn't feel like cleaning up the rest of my room and i didn't feel tired or sleepy. most of all, there was nothing to do on sunday. my usual timesinks aren't appealing ~ ebay, thinkgeek, random flash games and mmorpgs. kinda screams geek, i know. i prefer the term nerdette. half the time, i end up having a shopping cart full of knick knacks and then closing the page but even window shopping online's not enough to make this blandness go away.

ever since the obgyn saga began with the release of results back in june, i've been trying to diagnose myself with depression but i don't fulfill all the official criteria. i can't even squeeze into the depressive disorder category. i merely get random days or a few moments here and there where things take a turn for the worse. tears get dried, something else needs to get done and all's well until the next time something hits too close to home or i come across another trigger. maybe this is the drama queen in me checking in.. i just don't feel as happy as i think i'm supposed to. instead, i've learnt not only oodles of obgyn but to also distrust people until i see it with my own eyes.. or until i crash and burn. like i said.. a donut of a victory.

and now, summer break's begun. all i want to do is to find a new place so i can start packing up and moving. i don't know why i'm in such a rush. there's a place i really want to see, but the broker's been a bit of a ditz. hasn't called back when she promised and the works. thought to give her some time and didn't call on friday like i was dying to. tenant's vacating premises tomorrow so i thought monday wasn't too unreasonable to call instead. i can't wait for monday. that's all i'm thinkin about now, especially after surveying the market and paraphernalia required for equipping a new pad with A yesterday.

i hate inactivity. i hate having nothing to do. i don't noe if i like being busy and run off my feet for the adrenaline rush and endorphins or if it's my way of running away from something i haven't quite yet figured out. lectures usually bore me ~ i sit there with nothing to do and by the time 20 mins is up, so is my attention span. 20 minutes is my max, as very unprofessionally measured since junior high days at buckley. i've got proof in the back cover of my spanish text as i scribbled down "20 mins more!! =(" to a friend at the time. i'm usually falling asleep by then if i'm not shoving my mouth full of twix bars and gummy snakes.

*sigh* seems like i'm never happy with what i've got eh?


do you know what i know?

i know it's not quite december yet but if the shopping center decor's anything to go by, christmas started in august after the massive end-of-the-financial-year sales. sooo.. it's ok to start the barrage of carols =) *starts humming*

for some odd reason, that particular song's been stuck in my head. been working on the xmas card exchange thingie for a few of the rbj people who've signed up too. i miss making a mess of my room and myself, burning myself with the glue gun and walking around oblivious to glitter that people point out two days later. never been good as a doodler.. never knew what to doodle! i don't know what you'd call this little finger itch of mine i periodically get. i wouldn't term it as craftsy. the closest thing i can come up with would be urm.. 3D-doodling? tonight's session was good =) not as therapeutic as it could've been because even tho exams are over, i still feel the weight of what-ifs hanging around. tummy's still in knots even though i know fully well it won't change a thing.

bleah. here i am, happily glowing from knowing that i've finished the exchange cards that nobody else can see until the recipients get 'em... happily glowing from knowing that i'm pretty sure A will like, or at least one aspect of her x'mas prezzie i got a few months back and anticipating smiles from both of the above (i hope!)... yet i wonder if i'm the only one with a sly grin. today's the day after the exams. results should be known by now, even if they haven't been collated. i wonder if the Prof's been sitting in his office today also happily glowing from knowing that i'll like what he knows regarding my exam results too. man, i sure hope so.



 forgive my corniness...  can't help but exuberantly exclaim that the nightmare's ova ova ova!! .....for now. *plays jaws music* =P even with the last i'll be seeing of obgyn (fingers crossed), there had to be a parting shot or two. just so that obgyn will forever be memorable. you know, because it's a specialty that i'll all too easily forget about. ahhuh. 

so the osces were today. thank goodness for little miracles. the official osce roster was uploaded last tuesday after verbal confirmation the friday before. i double checked arrival times last night, only to find that my name had magically decided to migrate to a different page altogether. not even a stray pixel could be seen. instead of showing up at 1pm, i was supposed to be showing up at 10.30am. thank you dear department secretary FOR LETTING ME KNOW. seriously, you can only imagine the awful situation had i shown up at 1pm today. "sorry dear, i'm afraid we're going to have to fail you again because we can't set up another round of osces just for one student and it was your fault for not checking the roster" ooh, that would've been a jolly sight for everyone present. you would've seen me scrunch up my face into something much more foul than draco malfoy's sneer at mudbloods.

apparently, the secretary said she had sent out 2 emails, one asking for a confirmatory reply indicating i agreed to the time swap. she had apparently called and left a message on my answering machine. "oh but it's on the computer upstairs. it'll tell you the time i sent it and the time the email was received. and i've called your phone before and gotten through so it must've been the right number i called" she explained. bullshit. too tired to call her bluff. i felt like saying
"look lady, i would have needed to click some sort of confirmation of receipt for you to know that i received your emails, let alone the time of receipt. how the hell would you know when i received your emails when i haven't received them? as for the phone calls, you forget that this happened during the appeals fiasco when you claimed you left msgs on my answering machine that i never got, let alone any indication of missed calls on my cell yet you have the gall to sit there and tell me it's my fault?!"

assuming it was my fault. i'll be nice here lady. assuming that you were oh so competent and did all that you claim to have.. how can you just assume i've received and agreed to the time swap, especially when you hadn't received any sort of communication or confirmation from me when the clock struck knocking-off time the day before the exams? really... no, i mean really. how the hell do you do your job?

*deep breaths, deep breaths..*

exam board meets on tuesday to finalize results. will get unofficial word via email by the end of the week as to whether i'll be needing to deal with the airhead again. if it comes to that, she'll be the least of my worries. anyway, the exams are over and done with. nothing much to do except hope that i didn't screw up! thank you for all the torrents of well-wishes and good luck in all their forms ~ they're all being put to good use! =)


weekend worrywart

instead of cramming my head full of images of uterine prolapses and bloody obstetric emergencies, the thing that's at the top of my worry list as the weekend approaches would be my french onion soup. you heard right.. my homemade soup. it bubbled. after i took it outta the microwave, after it cooled down... the vat of soup was making awful glug sounds much akin to that of your nearest swampy bog. on its own, undisturbed.

i was so disturbingly fascinated i had to plop it down on the kitchen counter and just watch it. wouldn't have been surprised if like a mini Creature from the Black Lagoon slowly slopped its way out or something. half an hour later, it's still emitting little glug glub sounds on it's own every so often.

another worry that shouldn't yet be a worry would be apartment hunting. already lined up a few places to see the morning after exams ~ can't wait!

on a more sober note, i found out yesterday that a friend i've never met.. one that lived across the the pacific... he died at the age of 23 three weeks ago. found dead in his dad's house from diabetic complications. i didn't really ask for details but even just that one line of "related to his diabetes" curdled my stomach into a tight knot. i had last heard from him by email not even 3 months ago. i'm not saying that i'm some important person who needs to know the matters of the world, but it's slightly unnerving to realize that i was carryng on with my daily activities that day he died, alone. it made his life.. and his death seem so inconsequential in a way and that bit saddens me. what also makes the knot in my tummy tighter would be knowing that he passed away alone. "he was found dead" i was told. what an awful way to go.

i'm assuming things here but if it was a diabetes related death, i'm thinking along the lines of him going into DKA, diabetic ketoacidosis. he's 23, he likes his alcohol now and then, he hasn't had the easiest of times.... but still, he's had to control his diabetic condition and despite numerous previous episodes of drunken binges and such, he was still fine. it made it all the much worse, that this one time of carelessness became something fatal, if that was the case. i just sat there thinking "if only someone had been there!" when our mutual friend broke the news. i guess it's pompous of me but i couldn't help but think "if only *i* had been there" (as if that would've been much good.. at least i would've been able to call 911). and then the next thought was "but i haven't even got the chance to visit yet!!" followed by "but it was such a preventable thing!" such was my train of thought, selfish as it may be with fulfilling me first

"he's in a better place" i was told.. and i do believe that. i know that i get to see the cycle of life and death at the hospitals and this is yet another instance of it all. i just can't believe he's gone just like that. the silver lining is that the group of friends he grew up with.. my bears, have reconciled their recent differences and this has brought them back together, if only temporarily. it's nice to hear that all of them spent the night after the funeral "living it up in A's name, for he would've liked that". rest in peace, zavebi... i'm sorry to hear you had to go and i hope you know that i'm not the only one that misses you. rest in peace.


war of the worlds meets dune

i remember first picking up that thick first volume of the Dune series when it was still a trilogy with trepidation. All these weird terms, all those worms and spice traders.. those scary blue eyes and the Fremen... i remember being slowly drawn into those foreign sandy worlds and in my mind, i had imagined myself as an omnipresent being partaking in the adventures outlined in black and white. i had hidden behind various pillars and shadows as consipiracies were plotted. i had looked up at the vast orange desert sky and pulled my robes tighter around me as night settled in. i loved the set *gush*

many years later, i can't decide if someone had merged our world with that of the books or whether it was just plain the end of the world with the fire and brimstone as predicted. i'm half expecting showers of flaming rocks to fall or another helping of hail. same thing really.

i first picked up the unmistable scent of something burning but had thought it was some idiot at the bbqs who forgot they were cooking a meal. then i heard the wind pick up and started to silently will the skies to stay continent.. to hold back the hailstones. the wind didn't subside nor did the smokey air clear so i drew back my curtains and was greeted with this.

dunescapecous cous bake

it's not everyday you see an orange landscape! i had forgotten about my dinner that wasn't chocolate (for once!) and had started to splutter and cough by then, wondering if this was how i was gonna die and if someone was gonna declare the cause of death as smoke inhalation. and then my mind started to wander and of all the things, backdraft sprung into mind. not scenes of the firefighters battling the blazes in the blue mountains....

my poor little hepa air filter was working overtime and it still couldn't get rid of the choking smell. i called up A for some moral support as one does when one is convinced one's gonna suffocate to death you know... and what a brilliant idea she had! i couldn't stop grinning myself silly as i recalled how i much i scoffed and protested at being sent a stack of N95 masks by my gramps a few years ago during the SARS scare. hehehe, thank you gramps! i'll eat my words, lol. those masks do work and tho i felt like an idiot walking around the room in it, it kept me from coughing and spluttering like an antique car.

in the meantime, i tried to flip on the tv for some news flash regarding the situation here but all that was on was the bold and the beautiful. you can see 'em in the tv behind me *sigh* over the top..so i sat around snapping pictures instead, trying to catch the awesome fork lighting that was zapping some poor unfortunate piece of grass faraway. after a while, things turned really odd... the wind died down and everything suddenly cleared. the sky turned really bright...
and then i saw it. i thought it was the sun. a glowing ball of red. red i tell you. i kid you not. admittedly, we're on summer time and it's still plausable that the sun doesn't set til 6 or 7pm but this was like brightness you'd expect at 2pm, not 6.30pm. the red sphere was creepily mesmerizing and had it been a shade of purple, it would've been slightly dejavu-ish ofthat scene when the purple people eater came to earth. i tried to capture it but couldn't figure out the settings to do it properly. the photo turned out grainy if i captured the red sun that A correctly pointed out to be the moon. you'll have to use your imaginations on this one and convert the white glowing ball of light into a disco red sphere ya?
reversed moon
all's back to normal and it literally is the calm before the storm. means back to trying to study for next week's exams i guess. argh. there's still the eerie orange glow left over as a reminder of the thunderstorm warning issued for our area tonight. *crosses fingers there won't be hailstones for my chooq's sake*


because imma bratty only child...

this is for all those times i couldn't come up with an example of why i get so frustrated when i have an interrogation conversation with my dad. how do you break the news to someone that you're no longer five fricking years old and you no longer are daddy's girl?

i know it's mean but for my own sake, i need to document it down so i can refer back to this later and recall how frustrated i get when i talk to him. it'll also be a reminder of what a bitch i was and act as fuel for future regrets of not spending enough time with him or not taking the time to sort things thru.

anyway. so, he calls up... "helloo ay-mee!" he says in the same singsong voice he greeted my 6 year old cousin with when he walked outta the arrival gates at the airport. wtf.
*grumbles a hi*
"so how's the studying going? do you feel like you've prepared much better than last time? more time to consolidate and understand things this time around?"
"no" i flatly say somewhere between his barrage of questions.
meanwhile, he's still continuing on from "...this time around? yes righ- ...huh?? no?? you don't feel more prepared than last time??"

and he leaves it at that and begins to ask me what i have for breakfast. "it varies" i say. "well you need to eat warm stuff for breakfast you know. things like oatmeal is good. do you eat oatmeal?" "no" "you have to eat breakfast, it's the most important meal of the day!" "i noooooooeeeeeeeee" i'm gnashing my teeth at this point.

"so has your mom called you?" he continues, either ignoring my irate tone of voice or completely oblivious to it..

forgive me for getting on my soapbox that's resting on my high horse. i hate pointless questions. i really don't care who's asking them. could be the dalai lama for all i care but i'll still maintain that pointless questions are a waste of breath. what good was that question about if my mom called or not? what, is he gonna call up my mom to chastise her for not calling me if i had said no? and when i said yes, what was he gonna do... call up my mom and acknowledge she called? will she get a congrats for doing so? if any of you could see the point in that question besides fishing for stuff to say and prolonging the torture, do point it out to me. i seem to have missed the point.

i mean seriously. it's bad enough he's answering his own questions. it's worse when he assumes answers on my behalf. yes, it's mean but i give a flat out monosyllable "no" for the shock value and to close any door leading to any further conversation. really. i don't want to talk to someone who's got the convo all planned out in their head and merrily assumes my answers until they're halted in mid-delusion because they didn't hear what they expected to hear.

*sigh* couldn't help myself. had to gripe. thank goodness for this rant-sponge. if anyone has any ideas or counsellors to recommend for bettering a father-daughter relationship that's as murky as the one i'm in.. i'm imploring you in all earnestness to please drop me a line.


and the clock struck twelve

a frenzied week culminating with med ball, one of farewells, surprises and last minute dashes. a very bad state to be in with a bit over a week more til those dreaded exams but i wouldn't have missed this week for the world.. especially seeing that this was also the last week of obgyn.

mebbe that saying about birds of a feather flocking together is true ~ none of my friends have been able to quite put a finger to the emotions grumbling about within us. an effervescent mixture of bubbly happiness and elation at the fact that they're now all doctors with an occassional glimpse of something dark lurking about in the shadowy depths at the back of our minds. of course there's also the bittersweet aftertaste of realizing that this was it, that some of these people we've spent the past 5 years with will never again be part of our lives for various reasons.

yet, there were no tears last night at med ball. there nearly were but i blame the alcohol for that. especially when the offender with her glistening teary eyes perked up not five seconds later at some new idea that popped into her head and she was bouncing around, all smiles again. i surprised even myself, for i was expecting tears. in a way, it was a pleasant surprise to realize how strong some of the bonds actually are - so strong that there was never a doubt of ever losing contact even when the bond needed to be stretched interstate. you are talking to a veteran of major upheavals and painful uprootings, so to harbor such a strong conviction of remaining in touch is something major.. at least that's how i see it.
grad ball 2006 @ town hall
sadly, you must remember that this is the world of amy you've peeked into and there's bound to be a few hiccups in store. never mind that i was driving on the wrong side of the street for a couple tens of meters on our way home. never mind that i missed a turn on a route i've driven a million times before. never mind that my pooh bear got hurled a foot or two out of the car as someone got out and brought about squeals of horror. never mind that i gawked at a long-time friend of mine for at least 10 seconds trying to place her because she showed up with her hair straightened. (no, only half a glass of champagne was involved). i think the cherry on top would have to be the random breath testing as we got pulled over on the way home. what luck! of all the times, it had to be the night of the ball. the night where i've actually been drinking. hmph, really now. *glares at lady luck* been driving for 3.5 years and this would be the second RBT i've ever had.. the first would've been 3 months ago and that in itself was a fiasco because i had no clue i was suppsed to stop and where i was supposed to stop. the police had to literally chase my car, yelling and waving arms in their attempt to stop me.

so anyway, the random breath test. it definitely didn't help when i couldn't remember when i last finished my champagne, nor when someone volunteered that my last drink was half and hour ago and the rest of the backseat girls burst out into giggly protests. i could feel myself slinking down in the drivers' seat and the cop was looking very bemused when he asked me to count to ten. i hate counting to ten. feels like an idiot counting into some machine. i feel guilty of having raised blood alcohol levels even when i know i definitely don't. much like how i feel guilty for leaving a shop without buying anything whilst carrying large bags from other shops and hallucinate accusing stares from the salesgirls of shoplifting or something, especially when they ask to check the bags. is this the onset of some paranoid psychiatric disorder i'm developing? *shrug* will let you know in a few years' time =)


sew, a needle pulling thread

after numerous episodes of self-harm of the sewing needle type, i'm nearly set with a dress i tried making. closest i've come to making any article of clothing would be the mini clothes hangers i twisted outta spare lengths of wire left over from an archi friend's model-making supply stash. having no clue where to start and armed with awesome pictures showing the dress in all sorts of angles from the webshop, i was using myself as a measuring tape, wrapping the yards of purple-grey velvet 'round me to guesstimate measurements. 'twas the best i could do before putting in the stitches. it eventually got taken to a tailor's for some ...straightening up but!!! i finished the rest off by weaving in the straps and all so i've been pretty happy with my own handiwork. do excuse the apparent humbleness =P

as usual, i digress. i had wanted to type out that "doe, a deer, a female deer" song from the sound of music as an excuse to post a pic of the dress when it came to "sew, a needle pulling thread" but the thought of finding an original picture from my digicam stash for each note quickly chased that notion outta the emptiness of my mind. funny thing, sewing is. very therapeutic, i must say. especially when one knows exams are looming and paperwork needs to be done...

anyway, decided to see if i could come up with a slightly updated version of the do-re-mi-fa-so-la-ti-do song... the trouble with being too nonchalant about exams i s'pose. i still don't know what the hell i'm doing or where i'm headed towards regarding this semester. walkin' down a familiar road blindfolded, with pebbles disturbed from their previous places providing the occasional jolt and near-misses of tripping over. that's what this semester has felt like.. anyway, the song, the song! here it is =)

d'oh, the sound a simpson makes
rey, a so.cal m'rina town
mee, a yummy noodle lunch
fa, lung gong, a chinese cult?
sow, is what a farmer does
lah, a word from singapore
tee, a very cute jap boy
that will bring us back to d'oh!


happy halloween

just me and my shadow this year

things happen for a reason and all i needed was some time to see it, i've decided.
not going to be counting my chickens before they hatch but considering how things have been lately, i'm ecstatic about each tomorrow now. the hypochondriac in me is screaming bipolar but i'm putting it down to having my grad ball ticket in my hand and my dress being safely at the dressmaker's for a serious revamp of my awful handiwork =)

happy all hallow's eve =)


it's ok only when you say so

it's ok to bend the rules a bit and give me credit for the 8 weeks of medicine i attended. that's more than 350 hours of being at the hospital, nevermind the study time for the long case and other things like helping out my registrar prepare a grand rounds presentation. it's not ok for them to bend the rules a bit by letting me catch up 8 weeks worth of classes consisting of around 240 hours at the hospital over summer despite both course supervisors giving me the green light.

it's ok when the prof shows up late or complete forgets to turn up for a tutorial.. or makes the whole group of us traipse down to the university only to find out he got the date wrong. it's not ok for me to miss a lecture i've been to twice already despite the cursory "well, you don't need to go but i think it'd be good for you to as revision" line from the prof. seriously.. talk about choice.

it's ok for the Islam community here to pardon comments by one of their own comparing unveiled women to uncovered pieces of meat or proclaiming that scantily dressed women incited rape. supporters say the comments have been taken out of context. sure, that's a possibility and he might have possibly been quoting something for all we know. i just find it hypocrytical that it's ok for one of their own to make comments like that inciting such huge public outcry but it wasn't ok for the Pope to make certain comments in his speech a few months back despite the explanation that the Pope was quoting someone who died centuries ago. Both comments when taken out of context could be construed as atrocious yet one can be quickly pardoned and even condoned whilst the other had to be dragged through mud and gunk. nice going. story snippet here

don't get me wrong - this isn't me being biased against the Islam community. it's merely me unable to shut up about the inconsistency i see in the situation. like i've said before, one of my biggest pet peeves would be hypocrites and people who break promises. should be be one of those, beware the evil death stare of amy!


as a tag on, something else that i'm unable to shut up about. yes, it bugged me that much. enough to blab about it so here goes..

it's ok for people to hurl insults mostly based on superficial observations and extrapolated conjectures at one when the only contact has been several photographs. i'm referring to a certain someone from my alma mater (*sigh* how utterly embarrasing) ruffling many a feather in the singaporean blogosphere with her comments as reproduced by the link. the original blog's apparently been ceased and in true scandal protocol, key links, urls and photos have gone missing. yes, i realize that some of the responses at the forum may be tongue-in-cheek and banter spawned for varoius reasons but i see it as more of a "pot calling the kettle black" in this situation. i don't agree with the opinions originally expressed by the 18 year old, but i don't see how passing judgement based on her photos are any better than her passing judgement on the rest of the "non-elitist" citizens. sure, it might not be of the same severity but runs a parallel course. i'm sure it wouldn't be ok if any one of the commentators was in her position and others slung 'em through mud and grime. i'm sure it wouldn't be ok if any one of the commentators got a similar backlash from the girl herself, commenting on a past photo she happened to dig up. i can't speak for the rest of you when i say that i'm sure it wouldn't be ok, but merely what i'd imagine feeling like in such a situation.

it's ok only when you say so, huh?

really. everyone has opinions. some are right, some are wrong. some agree with your own, others don't. sure, it's ok to disagree but it' all goes badly inane when people take it to a personal level and start with personal insults. kinda reminds me of the tibian forums (i.e. "you have such a high-levelled character, you're such a power abuser, you have no life, you must be some ugly pimply nerd with no friends that sit at home 24/7 playing tibs and can't get laid") or politics.. or real life. *sigh* gimme back my fairytales =(


a tad too close to home

What have I done... *sigh* In a trademark amy blunder where words come tumbling out of my mouth without any semblence of preparation, I let slip about my bento craze to my mom yesterday. Of course, it's not called a blunder for nothing.. when these things happen, they precipitate a cascade of events that usually involve half-truths and white lies. grrr. I hate when I put myself into these situations.

Preempting the squirmish thought of fielding several questions from her, including "shouldn't you be studying?" ...I had to backtrack and tell her I was inspired by cookingcute.com. That opened up another can of potential worms of course... "Wow, how'd you come across this website? I can never find anything online, I don't know how to search"

Told her I just randomly stumbled across it. That's true! Upon further questioning out of sheer innocent curiosity on her part, I had to cross my fingers behind my back as I told her I found a cute picture searching for other things on Google Images and one click led to another... What really happened was that I stumbled onto the site via someone's LiveJournal blog. Telling her that would've been too close to home and let loose questions like "so who's blog was this? how did you know them? WHAT? online friend? what are you doing talking to people online?" which could spin off in several directions. It could lead down the "don't talk to strangers, I thought u were smarter than that" path or veer into the "no wonder you aren't focused on your work.. you spend all your time a-wasting online!" or goodness gracious, heaven forbid it go down the "who do you talk to online? do you have a boyfriend? who is the guy??" path. She hasn't been down that path for a while... And should it go down the "so why were you at the blog in the first place? do you have a blog?" ...well, I'd be screwed for not being able to say no without giving the fib away.

Despite seeing my mom more and more as a friend over the years, despite being able to chat about a hella lot more things and vice versa (gawd, rue the day she mentioned in passing what went on in the bedroom with my dad... or lack of. dear gawd. too. much. info. really. now you all can be as traumatized as me! muahaha! teehee)... despite breaking down some of those walls accumulated from yesteryear, some boundaries are still needed. When an old friend of mine cautioned me about not revealing their facebook account to the parents, it made me grin in realization that some things really don't change =)


nostalgically pink

proof that i succumb to fads and openly admit it once in a while...

and in other news ~ a reminder from twice the rice that it's breast cancer awareness month. doesn't hurt that i used to be a pink freak and of late, that craze has been rekindled... anyway, pink ribbon day is coming up on Oct 23rd this year so even if you're not one to donate and such, please at least send happy thoughts and wishes towards those who need it =) why the fuss, you ask?

*patpats fluffy pink cushion on the floor* time for a bit of sharing...

my mom self-diagnosed a lump that turned out to be ductal carcinoma in situ after biopsy results came back. i still get really mad at the fact that she went ahead with an unilateral mastectomy and now have it as a constant reminder of what she's overcome nearly 15 years later. for her sake, i wish that i had a bigger say in the whole process at the time and to be told of what was happening.

all i remember was my mom sitting me down to say she had cancer and that she would be having an operation. i remember her telling me she'd be losing her hair soon because that's how it'll be treated, but that it's ok. i remember being assured that there was nothing to be scared about, that they had caught it early and everything was going to be fine. i remember how she made it into a happy activity to try on different wigs and bandanas in preparation for her chemotherapy. i remember how odd it was to not be picked up from school by her. i remember how empty the house felt coming home afterschool the day of her surgery. i remember how i tiptoed around her single room @ the hospital, poked at her tray of food and felt like a total stranger in someone else's house staring at the stranger smiling weakly on bed with tubes and things running out of her. i remember wanting to go home =(

my aunt got diagnosed with carcinoma in situ herself nearly a year ago and underwent a mastectomy along with the usual chemotherapy. no, there's no BRCA1 gene present ~ both were just random quirks of nature. talking to her highlighted an important issue that i seldom come across in all the campaigns and organizational websites ~ do you tell one's kids and if so, how do you do it?

my aunt had huge difficulties deciding whether to tell my cousins. she was worried that they would be too young to understand. one was 11, the other 10. she was worried that they would get worried and scared. she was worried about not telling them ~ it wasn't like they wouldn't figure out something was up with all the frequent visits to the doctor and the sudden disappearance of their mom for a few days. she turned to me asking how i took the news when my mom told me way back when, of what was running through my head at the time and whether i wished that it was handled any differently.

i think that the worst thing one can do as a parent is to cover up something that impacts such greatly on your life. it's easy to think "aw, they're just kids" and want them to have a happy carefree childhood etc, but that's an insult on so many different levels. it's as if you're dismissing them based on age, as if they didn't matter enough to be included in something important to you. you may not think this way and i know that's the last thing you'd want your kids to think, but digging into my own memories... i look back with the goodness of hindsight and feel relieved that my mom told me upfront. i remember feeling honored? proud? not quite the word.. it's that feeling being treated as an "adult"at the time, to know (or at least feel) that my parents trusted me enough to divulge such information to that was so obviously important to them. i didn't fully grasp everything but the serious mood definitely made me realize this was a big thing and that i should be pulling my weight around to help out because my mom was sick.

kids understand more than you think, in ways you wouldn't expect... especially the quiet ones *wink* admittedly, a lot of preparation should be done by both parents for their own sakes in terms of reading up on the particular condition and mental preparations too before sitting down with the kids. it doesn't really help to burst into tears in front of them after suddenly having the news sink in for yourself halfway through explaining to the kids what it is you have.

some people are more fortunate than others - they might have had an early diagnosis, successful treatment, minimal side effects and such, but even amongst the survivors of breast cancer.. and any other cancer for that matter will be personal stories that someone called i can say "i remember."


hungry hungry hippos

hungry hungry hippos indeed. that's what the past two weeks have been like... a mad frenzy of activity propelling me towards a vague goal, one that gets forgotten quite easily in the flurry of events.

lotsa things still left to do. wouldn't be surprised if some of them hungry hungry hippos missed out chomping down on many a lost plastic ball in the midst of it all. can't wait for the end of the year, for that will mean many a happy thing! apartment hunting and the clean new canvas ready for decoration and color schemes, celebration week (corny as the name may be) with graduation ball invites, freedom from faculty tightwads...

in the meantime, will leave you with another type of happy ~ it's how i've been destressing of late! makes for some interesting lunch conversations up in m'land on many a slow afternoon =)

is it safe to come out?beep beep!happy beep beep!nemo's cousin?


free hugs for all

i'm glad i got distracted, that i got sick of looking up volumes and volumes of journals.
i'm glad i sought out the latest incarnation of elmo or else i wouldn't have stumbled onto the free hugs campaign.

not one to be a youtube junkie, let alone post videos and slow down loading times unable to embed in blogger, linking instead... this is an exeption that i really wanted to share with whoever happens to stumble in here. always been one that's drawn to the bittersweet, this free hugs campaign tugged at the heartstrings. yes, maybe it's a tad crazy to hug some stranger with a nutty history or one that might have um... head lice! i agree that we all have different levels of personal boundaries but that being said, i think it's a tad sad that everyone's treated with caution at first sight until proven otherwise safe. what happened to the old kampung days, those days of playing amongst the wheat fields and random stops at various neighbors' places?

seeing pitt street mall brought back a scene i came across a few weeks back. parents were in town, was trudging up and down the shopping areas and came across this little asian boy of about 8, standing in the middle of pitt street mall with a light mist of rain soaking him slowly. he was oblivious to the crowd and to the rain, diligently playing his violin with a gentle sway. a container for money was on the ground just next to him.

first thing that sprung into my head was "where are his parents?" followed by "what kind of parents let their kid do this?!" a lot of split second assumptions were made and had i known the full story, i might have not been so horrified. first impulse i had was to give the kid a huge hug and ask him why he was playing alone in the middle of the crowded shopping strip. the free hug campaign brought back that feeling...

anyway, happy mooncake day ~ huggs to yuh and yuh and yuh (a la the sound of music) =) hope these huggs find you well ~


another episode in the quarter-life saga

optimistically assuming that i'll be living til a hundred, this year of twenty-five has definitely been one full of mini quarter-life crises. excuse the pessimist in me in saying that i can't wait for the snowballing of them all into one huge avalanche just before i turn twenty-six.

came across the timeframe of a pediatric surgeon's training today that really pushed all the panic buttons in my head, even the ones i didn't know existed. the guy graduated from med school in 1987 and he just became a consultant two years ago. 1987!! i was in first grade in 1987. his journey had been relatively hitch-free and it still took him nearly 20 years to reach the beginning of his career. the world revolves around me of course.. so naturally, i transcribed his timeframe onto my own. i'll be just beginning my career in about 20 years' time, give and take a few years. should be about right if you throw in plans for a future family with a kid or two and allow some time off for burnout and sabbaticals. so, twenty years. shite.

according to my mom, im twenty-five by western calendars. means im twenty-six by the traditional chinese lunar calendar, but then there's new years' that passed and that adds another year too. she concludes that i'm twenty-seven which approximates to thirty so therefore, i'm about thirty this year. my reaction to her zany brand of logic is another tale in itself... so anyway, if we go by her logic that i'm about thirty years old.. then i'll be a consultant at fifty. 0.0 fifty!

some may argue that fifty year olds aren't old at all but then i think of my parents' age. they've eased into their fifties with a grown up kid to show for it. transcribed in my timeline, does this mean i'm going to have to wait til my future kid's out in the workforce to fully qualify myself? goodness. twenty more years! sigh.

things seem to be better, mood's less dreary with a hint of extra pressure. m-land definitely lived up to my expectations of being my runaway hideout. that being said, i think this sense of calm is partly due to a combination of being in the state of denial and being swamped with work. not a bad thing =)



the ringing of the phone and the voice on the end
made me realize tonight that i'm not on the mend.

i had prided myself as the atlas of my plight
but alas i was wrong, like a bird shot down midflight.

the stoic front quickly dissolved at the seams
ran out of optimism, hopes and dreams.

yelling and screaming into that plastic little piece
i'm sure that people could hear me all the way in greece.

what more do they want from me, i've given it my all
they've left me burnt & charred and am damn scared to fall.

asked the prof for some direction, and well what did i get?
half-assed advice to study it all again, lest i forget.

what more do they want from me, i've given it my all
my solutions they keep burying under some grassy knoll

asked the dean for some support, and well what did i get?
look, concentrate on passing and then you'll be set.

what about internship and the deadlines to apply?
a future needs planning, please don't make me cry.

a flood of waterworks from a deep furrowed brow
i collected more tears tonight than milk from a cow.

the aftermath left me with a migraine of sorts
wouldn't be a shock if my brain suddenly aborts.

the events of this first week have taken their toll
hell, these past few months have been out of control.

you all say it'll be ok, a brighter future i'll soon see
but can you understand the pain of skewers twisting in me?

the gnashing of teeth and the tears of frustration
to hell with all them pregnant ladies and bloody menstruation!

a proper grieving process, that's what i think i need
i've tried friends & family and glasses of mead.

an antidepressant, i'm half seeking to find
something to settle this unstable state of mind.

the ringing of the phone and the voice on the end
made me realize tonight that i'm not on the mend.


drinking is to beer belly as wolfwhistles are to death stares

some people would be flattered, others would be disturbed. i happen to fall into the latter when it comes to random strangers lavishing unwarranted attention on oneself. for all you guys out there who may understand where your fellow males are coming from, please do enlighten me on the logic behind wolf whistles and sleazy walk-by pickups. where does the attraction bit come in when you've thoroughly embarrassed the girl in public and make yourself appear shallow?

yes, it's a nice feeling to be noticed but when you know that these guys' eyes hungrily gobble up anything in a skirt or anything with bumps in the correct places... well it becomes slightly insulting, if not downright offensive. and then there are those with one hand on their girlfriend's butts, the other holding her hand and both eyes focused 10 feet away on something remotely resembling the female form. or those who ostentatiously follow one's every move like one's personal shadow. oh, and you definitely can't forget those who move around in a loud raucous mob and have perfected synchronized ogling. typical specimens of the human male at your local grocery store. *sigh*

people have often wondered why i'm uncomfortable in a mob of asian strangers. some have wondered if i'm a redneck in disguise upon hearing how much i loathe going late night shopping at the local minimall or sydney's chinatown. really though, it's not so much the asians i fear as that disturbing feeling of being regarded as some object, some thing based on a shallow one-second impression by a total stranger. some gutsy moron drawled a "hey gorgeous!" as he walked past me. didn't even see what he looked like, just heard him as he breezed past. would've been flattering had he been a friend. guess i'm not the greatest in handling situatations like this - i usually turn stony cold and flash that "i'm pissed with the world" look as reflex. last time i tried to be civil with sleazebags nearly had the police involved for harrassment. so.. apologies if you ever get a deathstare from me in public. you either have embarrassed me greatly or i may have embarrassed myself by mistaking you for a lewd stranger.



was sorting out things to hand in at the end of the rotation just now and stumbled upon my student diary logbook thingamajig we had to do as part of the student portfolio. i disctinctly see that smiling facade with curly hair helpfully pointing out that i sat in with a mostly junior staff for outpatient clinics, trying to mask that tone of smugness with some empathy. what a load of bull. i' wrote down attendance to 15 clinics, 8 of which were manned by consultants. junior staff indeed...

and you, prof. you show me examples of "excellent" student portfolios, telling me mine was "satisfactory" but not "excellent" ...what constitutes as "excellent" in your books? the girl who showed up for 35+ ward rounds and palpated 100+ abdomens in 8 weeks. the girl who included a couple of anatomical drawings from scratch. the guy who included obs/gyn newspaper clippings and wrote up a short commentary on his reaction to it. the ones who included a table of contents to their portfolio. the boy who included twice as much extra clippings and old reports as the required components. obviously, my expanding folder all accordingly tabbed wasn't good enough for you because it was a "shopping cart" of random things without a table of contents. obviously, my 8 extra case reports other than the required 2 weren't good enough for you because i hadn't included any self-reflective comments. obviously, my mindmaps weren't impressive enough because they were only done in monochrome with a smidgen of orange. obviously, you are a weasel for telling me that attending operations wouldn't benefit me in passing my exams and i was exempted yet penalize me for only attending one session as stated in my logbook. i guess the other girl with the 20+ theater attendance dazzled you too much.

you know, instead of showing me examples of other people's work yet again... it might be useful if you had shown me mine at our arranged meeting and pointed out areas where i could have improved. you know, instead of chucking as much info at me in hopes that enough stick for me to pass exams, it might be more useful if you had actually gone through my MCQ paper for yourself and done it again with me. the family doctor, the one who happens to be the program convenor, had to sit down with me to go through my exam paper and he didn't know half the answers.

i wonder if you would tell me my portfolio was an excellent piece of work as soon as you saw a pretty cover page followed by a neat table of contents and beefed it up with random journal articles with flashes of highlighting and scribbles. i wonder if you would notice that i have submitted the exact same student diary as before with changed dates this time around.

and then you! the other prof. the dean of medicine. don't you dare tell me what to worry about, telling me that if he would be concentrating on passing obs/gyn if he was me. well sir, you aren't. he wasn't willing to approve of my doing courses over summer because that would be "overenrolling with 60 credit points" and how it wasn't suitable for a student who's already failed something to do so. man, did i get mad. having told him that course coordinators were happy, that IMET was asking for university support to allow me to undertake summer courses so i could be allocated properly, that the summer courses don't actually have exam components and wouldn't clash with other rotations during the semester proper... none of that mattered as much as policies eh. i nearly shouted at him, demanding to know how they expect me to plan the next year, apply and organize internship and lifestyle arrangements if all he wants me do at the moment is concentrate on passing obs/gyn. did he expect things to magically resolve once i passed the rotation? would he take any responsibility when i've missed application deadlines because i've taken his "advice"?

i think i need to yell more often. he instantaneously agreed to make arrangements with relevant people and write whatever letters were needed so i could start internship next august, seeing that he refused to budge regarding summer courses. of course, one must not forget who one is dealing with... can't trust 'em until it's in writing. they are after all, a whole bunch of wankers.

a year ago today

i was proclaiming that i don't like it. little did i know how prophetic those words would be one year later. bittersweet memories about my rumored doctor boyfriend surface as i perused my ramblings four days into obs/gyn as a bright-eyed bushy tailed impressionable 4th year, three days short of a year ago. it's been a year since i've come to know those obs/gyn registrars who have come and gone. it's been a year since my mom discovered the internet and added me to her msn. it's been a year since i first sat in that gallery listening to the prof deliver an introduction to the rotation. it's been a year since i first came into contact with obs/gyn. it's quite depressing to find myself in the same situation one year later, as if i haven't gone anywhere at all.

it was an odd sort of feeling to be there today. same ol' me, a tad more cynical perhaps, but still just me.. surrounded by a different sea of familiar faces. instead of laksh to get me through all the thicks and thins, i now have s but things aren't nearly quite the same. things have changed. i've done something to change things and diverted my life down a different tangent. it's like trying to unkink a paperclip once you've bent it in one direction. no matter how much you try to flatten it back out, it refuses to conform back into its original unmangled form.

in another year, i'll hopefully be working either as an intern or on some research project that will beef up my cv for when i'm ready to apply to a surgical training program. in another year, i'll hopefully be rid of the awful politics that drive this faculty... and probably acquire another set of bureaucratic red streamers that are just as suffocating at my workplace. time's a funny concept... one that tickles me pink, especially notions of time travel and anomalies like madeleine l'engle's a wrinkle in time or in the lake house *swoon* how do i know that the you i'm talking to today isn't the you from my past or future? how do i know that there's a reason for me losing my keychain or for repeatedly failing obs/gyn? maybe i'm in denial, maybe this is my way of escaping harsh realities but really.. how do i know? how exciting to imagine the possibilities =)


brainfarting out on a limb

so i hear that the muslim community has now brought up death threats as a manifestation of their unhappiness and anger arising from the pope's quotatation of an emperor long gone. seriously people, what else do you want the man to do? he's already apologized for his statement, his camp has said there was a misunderstanding whether you believe them or not. what else do you want him to do?

with all this random talk by the mostly ignorant about identifying terrorists, violence and all things along those veins with muslims, this outcry of violent angst sure won't be helping their plight. every religion preaches all the good stuff... all that peace love and happiness. theoretically, it's all sound. in practice, human nature somehow manages to take over and screws up the best of any intentions at the worst of times.

what did the pope do that warrants his death? this is one of my "i wish i could stand on top of the world with my giant megaphone and yell into each and every person's ear" moments. if i had that megaphone, my little rant would go something like this:

the man is a very public figure, yes. public figures have a duty and image to uphold, yes. oh wait, you forgot the fact that he's also human. what exactly are you accusing him of? giving your religion a bad name? the man apologized to the entire world already. what else do you want him to do to make up for his words? cut his tongue off? really now... unless all you empty vessels out there protesting can tell me that you have never made a single mistake in your life, please shut up and do a bit of self reflection. who is tarnishing the very image you are protesting the tarnishment of? how dare you have the gall to point fingers at someone for quoting something from another man long since dead and insist that it is his own beliefs too.

*sigh* i'm tired. tired of the lack of tolerance, tired at the knee-jerk responses, tired of the frickin modern world. i love how the world now seems to work... this whole "you can't do that to me, but it's ok when i do it to everyone else" attitude. it's ok that my faculty breaks the rules and screws up my plans but sure as hell outrageously unacceptable that i ask them to do a bit of extra planning so i can take up courses over summer. it's ok that people can perpetrate socially unacceptable actions and glorify them in national textbooks but woe is me when another set of people do the same unto them. it's ok that one can yell at one's maid and treat her worse than one's pet but how dare the government turn away asylum seekers and refuse them any help.

sometimes you wonder if there's any point to saving certain people whom you have managed to cross paths with. like the alcoholic who represents every fortnight so you can "do that thing" and drain 10L of ascitic fluid from him, he says he's stopped drinking and he's taking your diuretics. you know he's lying through his teeth or is suffering from wernicke's... or both. to refuse treatment would cause outrage and prolly get you sacked but what's the use when you know fully well this guy is gonna be a frequent flyer and his 85 year old mom's about to go mental from acopia?

i guess i'm being a hypocrite in thinking that there's no use, for my little devil's advocate is screaming in my ear that i have no right to determine how much value or use another person's life is, that i should just do my job and treat the guy if possible. out pops the self-righteous angel on my other shoulder, preening her wings and adjusting her halo... but any medical officer will tell you that the mantra is to "do no harm" and by prolonging this dying alcoholic's life, you are doing harm to him by putting him in pain and discomfort as well as doing harm to his immediate family, namely the mother.

bah humbug. seeing that christmas decorations are already painting the stores red, now would be a good time to crank out all those "it's a wonderful life" reruns on every tv channel, haul in the fake snow machine and break out the eggnog. peeeeee-ewwe! was that one huge brain fart or what..! =P


kinks and winks

another day of misadventures.. is this a sign that life will be returning to some form of normality?

along with the several kinks of late, i discovered a similar one in my necklace. got it as a prezzie when i was about 13 or some other age that was just as awkward. i've forgotten what the occasion was. am able to count on one hand the number of times i've taken it off since i've been here in oz and those occassions have lasted no longer than one evening. kinked necklace turned into half broken dangling necklace later today so i went online to search for a replacement. yes, i know real stores exist in real life but plastic's so much handier... no need to jostle for parking, to line up and such. (i find it ironic i spend waste more time shopping online for the same things.. and more than i do at shops with physical storefronts.) anyway, was in for a nice surprise to decipher the tiny writing stamped on the silver clasp. 585 it read.. right above italy. no wonder i couldn't find something similar earlier with "silver snake chain 20" 1mm" as search terms. had no idea i had been walkin around with a 14k white gold chain all these years. really now, who gives a kid somethin' like that? only people i know who do that have the word dowry in the same train of thought. not that i'm complaining about being the recipient of such a prezzie... but still!

now i'm facing the prospect of lugging my lazy butt down to the nearest jewellers' to see if it can be fixed or stare at replacement chains in envy as the cheapest of them stare back at me with a $200 price tag. others with price tags nearer the $500 mark just mock me. =(

surprise two came later tonite as i was about to leave for an informal concert by the newcastle chamber choir. friend's housemate is in it - beeeeaaautiful soprano voice! they've been shortlisted as one of the top 3 finalists in ABC Classic FM's Choir of the Year national competition... votes much appreciated! =P sat there with shivers down my spine.. was like SYF all over again. thanks to googling links for any mention of prior SYF involvement (none! gasp!), i stumbled across stella's page she whipped up nearly 10 years ago, the year rgs choir won "best secondary school choir" award at the annual singapore youth festival in 1997. those were the good ol' days..

i digress. got a surprise package .. a curious white parcel from new zealand with a label saying "medical goods" whoa. i hadn't bought anything online lately and i haven't signed up for anything. somebody sending me sample freebies? i dug in, eyes gleaming with devilish glee as a prelude to the two littmann classic IIs staring at me. pretty generous freebies.. wait, no that can't be right. emptied the parcel baggie but no stray wisps of paper materialized to explain away my confusion. finally noticed the packing slip sealed at the front of the package. my name there alright. wrong room number tho. and who in the world was that sender?! someone from the same building i'm at. *blink* shite, another stalker.. ohcrapomgomgomgohcrapohshitomgohshit.

tsk tsk, narcissistic me. all things have a logical explanation! took me another 5 minutes to notice that the stethoscopes have been engraved with names-that-did-not-belong-to-me. at the end of it all, i'm guessing that the rightful owners of these two stethoscopes got a friend to order 'em (mebbe lack of credit card?) and one of them prolly has the same english name as me. the hazards of staying in a place too long... everything with my name on it gets diverted to my mailbox even if the address is completely unintelligible. office is getting a parcel return tomorrow morning, tho i wouldn't mind a couple of free stethoscopes. while we're at it, might as well send me an otoscope and opthalmoscope. though this surprise parcel comes close, the package from world vision 4.5 years late still takes the cake.



it's not even humpday yet and overdoses have occured.

an overdose of red red tape mixed with an overdose of support and a faint lingering of sticky date pudding overdose from last night with a bit of grey's anatomy and future plans thrown in.

dropped by to say hi to Prof H and give him the box of chocs my parents got him, and also ran my wanting to speak to the dean prof idea by him. left feeling relieved. trotted down to ED to see Dr. D. he was happy to take me on over summer until he spoke to Pee. he no happy man after talk. face no smiley after talk. hrmph. see, he was happy as a course coordinator to let me do the rotation. he wasn't so happy setting a precedent by letting me do it and getting entangled in university/course policies and such. fair enough from his point of view. extremely unfair from my point of view. what are they running here.. an educational institution of higher learning or a business franchise where they follow instructions from up above with nary an original thought?

they're worried about setting precedents eh? telling me i shouldn't be pushing my luck too much, that i'd already gotten credit for the 8 weeks of work i've done when they should've forced me to withdraw from the course before my appeal went through. telling me tuff luck, deal with it.. that one screwup in med can lead to such situations. that back when dr. d was going thru med school, one failed subject would set them back a year so what's the big fuss about my half year setback? telling me to go relax and take a vacation during the wait. wtf. seriously.

my summer courses wouldn't overlap with anything. that's why they're called summer courses. duh. yet.. they chuck spanners at me left right and center. the faculty's saying i would need to be overenrolled next semester with 60 credit points and this would need the pro-vice chancellor's approval. don't count on it, they tell me. he would need to see ur academic transcripts and we have a duty of care to fulfill, especially to a student who's failed one subject before. duty of care my ass. where was this duty of care when u left me hanging for the past 2 months? where was this duty of care when i went over my mcqs and found that one of the questions had 2 correct answers?

*seethes* sigh, this has turned into a rant. one more year with these people amy, one more year. anyone have suggestions of where else might be a good place to intern at? =)


caught up with my bloglines after a week away, stumbled upon booyahman's meme he tagged me with. was never one to do memes but i feel bad. i mean, someone's taken the time to think of me and tag me so i guess the least i can do is return the favor. hence... a whole blog dedicated to memes at aemii.vox.com!



back from a weekend in sydney with the parents ~ they'll be leaving tomorrow for taiwan and i've got unfounded baby nigglies about them being anywhere near airports tomorrow considering the date and australia's current popularity with the generic terrorist. most likely unnecessary but it wouldn't hurt to keep my fingers crossed til tuesday.

the break was a much needed one although it wasn't ideal. i've let loose a mini torrent of whinges upon anj that would've rivaled the rains that flooded the area throughout the weekend if i had the chance to talk to her every night. there were nice moments filled with warm fuzzies scattered throughout the six days i spent with my parents.. never would i have dreamed of watching the knights vs sea eagles on tv with my dad and having a ball rooting for newie knights, let alone watch it with my mom *gasp* you heard right. my mom watched a whole game of rugby with us.. the same person who has no patience to sit through movies and just wants to know how movies end. the one that fast fowards past huge segments of anything on video because there's too much talking/fighting/music/silence/plotting happening. i think i saw a pink squealer flap past our hotel window that night..

came back up to newie tonight with mixed feelings. there is still so much that can be done in terms of salvaging my academic timetabling fiasco, yet i'm so worn out by the past 2 months that i feel nauseaous planning ahead, knowing fully well there's a possibility of getting shot down anywhere and anytime by red tape and politics. sometimes i wonder if i should just let things be, start internship in 2008 and use the extra 3 months i have to gain extra experience, undertake overseas placements and mebbe even study/take the usmle.

i've got everything i could want in the material world (well, i wouldn't mind a few extra things but really, if i was to die this second, i'd die feeling contented). emotionally, even the blind could see that i've got plenty of love and support from friends and family alike. yet.. i still have this awful nigglie know at the pit of my tummy. it's easy to plan ahead but it's hard to invest any faith in future plans now. this would be one of those times where i prop myself against the windowsill and let my eyes glaze over as i stare out as far into the sunset as i can, hoping that my prince charming will emerge from the shadows and sweep me off to his castle.


letting go

it's a hard thing to do but it's something i need to do on many different levels.

parents arrived today and considering that i wasn't in the best of moods, today went quite well with no flareups. yay!

red tape begone!
a lot has happened, that's for sure. what i'm not sure about is how bad things really were. perspective is the key and at certain points throughout these past 2 months, i've asked myself if it was time to let go a little. now i'm thinking it's close to the time where i should be letting go completely and get on with things. enough red tape, enough tangles irregardless of who's to blame.

i still don't see how they could possibly twist the sentence stating "In deciding whether a student who is "Not Satisfactory" in one or more asessment instruments should nevertheless pass the course, the Course Co-ordinator will give equal weight to all three of these aspects of professional development." the 3 aspects were incidentally the acquisition of knowledge, the development of skills and the development of appropriate attitudes and behavior. in having flunked my mcqs by 10%, i can only assume i didn't perform well in the "acquisition of knowledge" bit. well equal weight they said. any reasonable person would interpret that i got 2/3 of the aspects and hence i should pass? *shrug* tell me how else one can interpret it if you think otherwise. i'll get "feedback" on thursday and i'm very very interested to know what They have to say for themselves.

at this point in time, i'm in the frame of mind where i know i've got the evidence to prove that there was fishy business. i'm confident that if i took this down the legal path, i'd win. it would be a pyrrhic victory and wouldn't be worth it tho, so what i can do is grit my teeth and leave them stunned in 9 weeks time. i swear imma know obs/gyn so well they will be staring at me in disbelief, wondering why the hell they didn't pass me this last time. little laksh indignantly gloated on my behalf just last week.. "go get 'em girl. shut them up this time around and do so well they'll be begging you to join them as staff.. and then u can turn ur nose up in the air and tell them no thank you." *giggles* a tad melodramatic but i wasn't about to complain about the support she's shown me through this whole mess.

i've got my huge pair of scissors out and i'm ready to snip through all those red tangles of bad bad tape. i hope that i won't get too carried away and hurt myself with them, but at the moment... it feels damn good to be slowly clearing the clutter.


like a ton of bricks

here's my summary of events regarding the appeal for those interested. i love the way things work around here ~ told to enroll in Obs/Gyn because i've already been timetabled for the next rotation and withdraw from the rest of the Yr 5 courses. you heard right. i've been timetabled for a course i haven't enrolled in. considering that i've officially only emailed the appeal outcome to the Prof yesterday, asking for a meeting sometime this week or the next... and considering that i haven't gotten a reply about meeting times until the University Complaints Manager called up a member of the faculty who called up the Prof this afternoon.

suddenly, i'm meeting him at 9.30am tomorrow. suddenly, i come home 10 mins later to find his reply in my inbox - he was happy to discuss arrangements for next term but can't help me with appeal itself cuz he wasn't involved in the process, contact faculty if any questions. Somewhere in the list of duties befitting the role of Course Coordinator is the line stating that he should oversee or co-operate in the remarking or moderation of students' marks. hmmmmmm...

plenty more inconsistencies where that came from that i shan't bore you with.

as for my long case.. first time i got a borderline and was happy. i seriously thought i was going to fail it. in my current state, i would've came outta that room laughing whether i passed or fail. it was comforting to get encouraging "congrats" from both sympathetic profs. one even smsed me from sydney asking "any news amy?" awwwww! he told me "chin up, that was a case for the fellowhip exams, not for a medical student. you did well considering the stress you've been under" awwwwwwwww... that made my day =)

for those of you who're interested, here's my traditional write-up of my long case:

19 year old girl presented with a diagnostic problem of 1/12 Hx SOB + generalized chest pain on background of similar episode 6/12 ago. She has the current working diagnosis of myocarditis after initial investigations. Other possible diagnoses could be PE, chest infections/pneumonia, other cardiac causes/pericarditis.

SOB - increasing severity over past 1/12 with assoc. dry cough. not relieved by antibiotic therapy/ventolin commenced by GP. orthopnea, sleeps on 2 pillows. PND. no assoc fever, nausea/vomitting, chills, rigors, cyanosis, LOC.

Chest Pain - pt driving car at onset of generalized constant pain similar in quality to heartburn. radiated to L shoulder, neck and both ears. 8/10 in severity, lasting few hours. no relieving/aggravating factors. previous similar episode 6/12 ago - abnormal ECG suggestive of "infection" and d/c on panadol with no further f/u

HxPC -
· Symptoms first thought to be chest infxn, commenced on antibiotics w/o CXR with no resolution.
· GP thought she may have had exacerbation of asthma, commenced on steroids, ventolin w/o lung function tests with no resolution.
· Presented to hospital 2/52 ago to CCU.
· Since being here, she has had a DVT @ R upper arm on Day 2 that progressed to a pulmonary embolus.
· Also had a UTI that has since resolved with antibiotics (?trimethoprim)
· Is now at Day 15 of hospitalization - doing much better. no c/o pain, SOB, appetite well, bladder/bowels normal.

Background -
· unable to recall childhood Hx of illnesses (like rheumatic fever, chromic infections, etc).
· no recent illnesses, travel, surgery, trauma. vaccinations all up to date, no fluvax/pneumovax ever.
· non-smoker. binge drinker averaging once/month. (forgot to ask about IVDU)
childhood asthma - last attack 10 years ago, has not used ventolin/puffers for that long.
· no Hx of diabetes, HT, hyperlipidemia, previous cardiac problems. not obese.
· no other significant Hx on systems review.

Family Hx - significant cardiac Hx on both sides of family.
· Mother's side: mother - "blocked artery" (? coronary artery stenosis)
uncle 1 - PDA, died as baby
uncle 2 - MI @ 50yo a few months ago
aunt - MI @ ? age
· Father's side: father - MI @ 32, died. diabetic.

Meds -
@ home: OCP (levolin)
@ hospital:
warfarin 3mg daily
lasix (frusemide) 20mg mane
aldactone 25mg daily
digoxin 125mcg daily
astrix (aspirin) 100mg daily
prednisone 40mg daily
ramipril 2.5mg nocte
clexane 50mg bd
dilantrand 12.5mg bd


SHx - lives at home with mother and brother. works as hospitality trainee, will graduate in Feb '07

O/E - well looking girl of stated age sitting comfortably in bed.
Obs - HR: 56 BP: 95/61 RR: 16 T: 35C Sats: 100% RA
No cyanosis noted. Did not appear to be in distress.
CVS - JVP not seen, apex unable to be felt (tho she states she's got cardiomegaly - would expect a laterally displaced apex beat), extra heart sound heard tho unable to tell if it was S3 or S4. i thought it was a S3 gallop. no ankle/sacral edema.
Resp - no acc mm use. chest clear.
Abdo - soft, non-tender with bruises from heparin injection sites
Peripheries - hands: no clubbing, no splinter hemorrhages @ nails, several small transverse white bands on each nail w/o hx of recent trauma. no signs of anemia. good capillary refill. feet: TEDS worn.

Impression - heart failure due to unknown cause, most likely due to myocarditis/pericarditis. endocarditis less likely given no supporting history. PE/DVT of unknown cause (should've said ? coagulopathies)

Plan - Admit. Pain relief + O2. Routine bloods, coags, ECG, CXR, echo (TTE/TOE), cardio consult. appropriate meds as commenced for heart failure (diuretics, b-blockers, ACE-I). later on, heparin/aspirin/clexane --> warfarin for DVT. trimethoprim for UTI.

there ya go.. *sigh* poor girl. yes, both of us =P