the last stage of labor

my room has been a sorry mess
with candy wrappers, i must confess.
books and scrap papers strewn and splayed
my study plans seem a tad delayed.

two more weeks til the end of term
how solid my knowledge, exams will confirm.
chocolate's already been bought and stashed
in anticipation of cooking plans dashed.

back to the grindstone, and away she goes!
both net surfing and tibia shall remain my foes.
a recent lack of comments, visits and hellos..
apologies to all, yes aemii knows.

i shall be, til June's third week
a good li'l nerdette with books to seek.
should once i pass ace those written papers
i'll update you with more recent capers

so until then, my dear concerned friends
i'll be working on future dividends
with happy news, i hope to greet
looking forward to our next meet =)



i promised K a few days back to fill out his meme. argh, so much for my typical taurean stubborness... i've relented, i've succumbed. never was into filling out memes but with this current spate of hollow head syndrome, even the task of coming up with some simple pleasures seems daunting.

can't seem to get a certain phrase outta my head.. brainfart. thanks sume *grins* that's made its way onto my list of favorite new words right alongside technolust and gnarrghh, hehe.

anyway, onto some life's simple pleasures... won't be tagging anyone else unless they feel compelled to share their own simple pleasures =) trying not to repeat simple pleasures already said, here's mine in no particular order ~

  • making someone smile or laugh.. or both
  • being greeted by a bright blue sky and white fluffy clouds
  • tumbled dried laundry, fresh from the dryer
  • being able to blow one's nose when it's runny
  • walking out of the examination hall feeling one was going to pass... knowing so is totally different
  • having long lost friends remember you
  • doodling
  • a lazy morning spent lolling around in bed
  • fresh flowers around the room
  • a box of piping hot fries as the first meal of the day despite the clock chiming 3pm
in the spirit of the word of the day, brainfarts, this is a mini one coming up ~ declaring my bizzare obsession with chickens by chucking a random pic of a few of the chooks i've got laying around the room. they're not my favorite animals but i've always had this affinity to 'em, being born in the year of the rooster/chicken. they're as good an animal as any to start a collection with, i suppose. some people choose frogs or thimbles but it's chooks for me =) the choc chicken finally died anj... i ate him up as my late night snack last night and this is as close as you'll ever get to making me eat a whole chicken =P

anyone ordered chicken?


stark raving mad

have you ever come across a complete stranger and taken an instant disliking to them within the first five seconds? it matters not that you know nothing about them. the fact that they must obviously have something good in them because other people can see it is irrelevant. all you feel is this overwhelming urge to knock some sense into them, especially if they hail from your hometown. you feel drowned by wave of incredulous embarrasment at some of the blantantly ridiculous things they splutter, for it contradicts all that you've known.

i came across such a person today. this is worse than my aversion to kirsten dunst, much much worse. (i am clueless about the validity of this quote from imdb, but they've quoted her saying "I think vegetarians - for a lot of them - it's about a lack of commitment to life and relationships. There are some who just like the fact that they're controlling something in their life." wtf? now really...) anyway. this! this angst! over a complete stranger! gnaargh. i know i'd be stirring up more unnecessary angst if i take the bull by the horns and actually voice my frustrations so i shouldn't, yet this feeling of righteousness... to sort out the ridiculousness, to slap some sense into the senseless is really quite overpowering. being a typical taurian, i'm as stubborn as they come. arghhhh. such a pickle...

has it boiled down to this? a sad state of life where i don on my police helmet and patrol cyberspace? a mental image of ned flanders in a straightjacket, confronted by a projection film of his childhood days as a terrorizing tot just flashed before my eyes. goodness... is this some repressed anger that's suddenly springboarded into the picture? hope not. in the words of will being a ned-clone, no didley doo.


humpday... halfway there

it's always nice to be appreciated...especially after two consecutive 10+hour days from 7am til 5+pm ...today was no better. i got off an hour earlier than usual and is expected to be back again at 7am. very annoyed. planning to take friday off to go to that IMET meeting at MSB. phew!

very happy that i got to see a lot more and do a lot more tho so that my "shifts" aren't purely a lotta sitting around staring at the walls. very touched that i got my first card of appreciation ever, complete with icky but happy photos =) originals are on some notice board at delivery suite.. i snapped these with my phone cam in bad lighting ~ ah well. gratz to the new mommy and thank you for letting me deliver your little baby girl!


curing a bleeding heart

you play the part of the bleeding heart with gusto. "nono! i've never seen her like that... what has she done to make you complain so?" you defend with precarious diplomacy, careful not to alienate yourself from the complainer and come across as being in cahoots with the complainee. you tread with cautious disbelief around the stories you hear, the nicknames they give the woman. you give her the benefit of the doubt... must've been a bad day. students must've been too demanding. must've been an understaffed shift they got. blahblahblah.

one day, your world comes crashing down. well not really ~ i'm being excessively melodramatic here but please indulge me =P that day was today. it all started with one set of handwritten notes made by a consultant in '04 for her exams.

one stern warning of possible disembowelment should any part of those notes fail to return to her desk after photocopying them was issued. three sets of notes safely xeroxed, the originals were returned unscathed. one set of off-the-press notes handed out, only to be returned not five seconds later because the girl already had a set. three cloned sets travel together in one stack and land on a pile of extra pamplets at the lower levels of an open cabinet. they were to stay there for the remainder of the day. i duck back to tend to my patient to emerge an hour or so later. i see the girl and the woman holding the clones in their hands, as if discussing their contents and figuring out page orders.

sounds innocuous enough, no? another hour or so passes and i'm greeted by a lull. traipsing back to the open cabinet, anticipating some free time to read the clones 'twas i. silly me. the clones weren't where i left them! i asked the girl what they did with 'em after the discussion; she asked if i had checked the table. checked. well i don't know then, you'd hafta ask the woman herself. the girl apologetically suggests.

as i was knocking off for the day, i asked the woman if she had seen the cloned notes.
oh don't worry about those, she clucked. i want you to do some homework for me and read up on normal labor and PPHs.

yah, i'll do that. after last year, definitely. i agreed. but those notes. have you not seen them anywhere? there were 3 sets of them in the stack and i have to pass one set to another student on the orders of the consultant

lightbulb flickers above the woman's head. she makes a motion to look around the room, to search for what was not to be found until she checked her bag. out she pulled, a stack of papers resembling the clones. oh you mean these?


no explanation. just a request to have a copy for herself. we sort through the mangled mess of papers no longer kept in ordered sets and come up with 2.5 sets... the girl took some, the woman said. ahhuh. she eventually ended up with her own copy of the notes, i ended up with my stack albeit half a set short. i'm still bamboozled at what had just transpired... at such a student thing to do... and as the icing on the cake, coming from her!

woman...! you have left me speechless and clotted my blood. thank you for curing my bleeding heart.




this was gonna start out as a sappy gushing happy mama's day post. i had meant to call her after i got home tonight, seeing that i was outta the house at 7am this morning to get to the 3-in-1 event @ the eastwood tzu chi office ~ mothers' day + vesak day + tzu chi's 40th anni. that would've translated to 4am in her timezone. somehow, i didn't forsee her being thrilled in any way at being roused by the shrill ring-ringing of the telephone irregardless of the number of mothers' day wishes conferred.

her offline skype msg greeted me when i got home. talk about making someone feel guilty...

amy今天是母親節妳怎麼沒有來電話呢?我打電話去都沒通,今天是否很忙?有空撥個電話回來,也剝個電話給妳的乾媽, ok

that's what she said over skype. what i comprehended translates to something along the lines of "smooch. amy today is mother's day. how come you didn't call? i called but nobody answered, had a busy day? call back when you have time and also call your godmother, ok?" sans the punctuation.

chill, woman. i was gonna call you!!! you don't go call up your kids to tell them to call you! it's like calling people on your birthday to demand birthday wishes... *grumbles*

so i call. she doesn't answer her cell phone. ahhuh. she calls up skype later on and she demands to see me on webcam. i grumble but indulge her, seeing as it's mother's day and i was feeling really tearjerky earlier today during the tzu-chi 40th anni video clips about honoring mothers for their selflessness and all. man. *grits teeth* mothers may have that uncanny ability to make everything seem better, to kiss those boo-boos away but they also have another knack for pushing all the right buttons at the right times with the slightest of nudges.


all in a day's work

funny how friends are the only ones allowed to highlight one's own stupidity and still live to see another day, at least in my books =) *beams*

in other news... i spent a whole day at the GP's. kudos to them for dealing with patients from all walks of life. it's almost like the ER except things tend to not be as urgent. now and then, you'll come across the odd patient who needs to be sent to hospital by ambulance for an impending septic infection or cardiac doom but that'll depend mostly on one's patient base. no prizes for guessing that you'll get more of these emergencies when you plonk yourself in the retirement capital of australia.

anyway, i came across a variety of characters today. each had their own tales to tell ~
  • a bloke who managed to cajole an eccentric top-notch surgeon with non-existant bedside manners into doing his first tennis elbow operation in 8 years. he's now recovering. no more jackhammering for him tho.
  • a very prim and properly dressed dude complete with a tweed golfer's hat and cardigan with very scary rage issues who let loose all versions of the eff word as sparingly as one would use spaces. he keeps a sawed off pool cue in his old volvo and clubbed some young punks across the head whilst waiting at a red light last weekend. should you ever feel the need to yell expletives at strange volvo drivers, please think twice. you never know if you'll meet this guy.
  • a depressed but very sweet father of three, who bashfully reported that things were going well and that his wife couldn't keep her hands off him during that final week. he went to bed happy on sunday night and came home on monday after work to be faced with the fact that his wife's dumped him and had an affair with her first cousin in the meantime. thank goodness they don't have kids... yet.
  • an elderly lady who hobbles with pain at her every step due to chronic pain issues. she's been spinning the same story for the past 15 years, every single week. the pain will be in her knees one week and in her shoulder a few weeks after her knee replacement surgery. her whole goal is to get the doctor to give her the green light to drive whilst on morphine. hell no, lady.
  • a cute 9 year old kiddo who's had four fractured arms since he was diagnosed with celiacs disease at age 4. no, he's not a mutant. he's fractured each arm twice on separate occasions in the past five years. he's being sent for a bone density scan, given his strong family history of celiacs.
  • a lady who would do gretel killeen proud ~ think longer blonder hair, more wrinkles and lines and 10 years older trying to pull off a look 40 years too late. she very proudly said she'd given up her ciggies, so why was she still out of breath? so out of breath that she had trouble climbing up 2 flights of stairs despite being only 40 years old. it wasn't because she was asthmatic. she was still smokin' dope with tobacco a few times per week. d'oh.
i suppose i could go on and on and bore you all. it just amazes me everytime i go out on a GP placement how different each person's life can be. personally, i think that the sad part about trying to help people is that it makes one very cynical. bitter almost. you get to see all the ugly facets of human nature at its best and sometimes think that some people, to save themselves from their pain and hurt, would really be better off dead.


keep that doctor away

there was a recent kerfuffle over how poorly-trained new medical school graduates currently are... or will be, at least in australia. as horrifying as some of the facts may be, i reluctantly validate them all. be afraid.. be very afraid. maybe it's about time you should heed gramma and her cultural cures for common ailments.

as if that wasn't enough of a headache to the medical community, especially the academics and those who lounge comfortably in their ivory towers oblivious to the daily hoops of hardships that student serfs are made to jump through.... they are now being questioned regarding the quality of their serf screening process. i'm glad that someone has pointed out the obvious flaws prompting one to wonder what kind of doctors you all are really getting here. theoretically, you're going to be treated by a sensitive new age smarty-pants who will do their best to keep you healthy. in reality, you will be getting a charmingly eloquent doctor with checked cynicism and forced empathy at times. doesn't paint such a calming picture, eh? ironic how they let that half-page ad creep onto their publication advertizing the exact flaws that were previously highlighted.

there really isn't a point to this post... seeing the ad in the AMA magazine made me snort with sardonic scorn. everything sounds flawless on paper and plays out on completely different tangents in practice. the story of bureaucracy. that led me thought-skipping back to past rants about the inefficacy apparent in my own degree which led me down another dark back alley full of bitter memories of the singaporean education system. this infamous kiasu mentality found in a lot of asian countries, this fear of losing, this desire to one-up the next person and their pet goldfish... when will it stop?

if you were to step into my visual IMAX at this point, you would be feeling a tad queasy as my thoughts expand to reveal all of asia and then beeline for taiwan. the culture of endless extra tutoring. not your run-of-the-mill piano and ballet lessons that some think to be excessive already, especially if you're making your son don on a tutu weekly. i'm talkin' mass production plants of robot kids memorizing facts and random english phrases in monotonous tones, too tired and hungry to do anything but become a sheep. thinking about this aspect of societal norms wears me down... i used to get fired up and indignant. i'd want my megaphone to shout some sense at the world in general. nowadays, i'll let someone else play the hero... it's too draining to play the part, even in my daydreams. in the meantime, try not to fall sick in NSW.


...one is silver and the other gold

old ghosts i had gone searching for and
old ghosts i have inadvertently found.
although this current position's nice,
no prince is soon due to be crowned.

old memories have been dug up and
old memories have been recounted.
although the reins've been put in my hands,
no faithful steed has been mounted.

old voices had come a-calling and
old voices have stirred up the past.
although i received what i wanted,
no happiness ensued at last.

old values i had once stood by and
old values i'll continue to bide.
although i am left in a hollow mood
no regrets i have of this turning tide.


half a jubilee

ever grappled with alternating feelings of warm fuzzies and emptiness, flipping from one to the other and then back again at an epilepsy-inducing rate? unexpected greetings from unexpected places abounded. i used to be clueless when it came to receiving any sort of attention... in a way, i still am but i've learnt to just say thank you and try to enjoy it while it lasts. refuting compliments and well wishes sometimes backfired when a flippant remark is thrown out with nary a chance to be processed and people sometimes got hurt. how unfair is that, to wish someone well and then be insulted in the same breath? yeah, i was a bratty little kid and in some ways, i still am =P

heartfelt thanks for taking the time to remember. no offence to those who may be older than me, but like i whinged about at the rbj forums, i find this whole "moving out of the age bracket" business a tad depressing. i've been dragging my feet, going as slow as possible this time. this is worse than the 19-onto-20 year where i couldn't count myself as a teen anymore. i was trippin' over my age for months afterwards but this is worse. i can't even associate myself with the teens anymore.. no more 18 - 24 to choose on sign-up forms. now i'm lumped in with the 32 year olds, no offence to those who already are there.

the surprises started yesterday actually... well they started a week ago when my mom called with bdae wishes. i was very confused... apparently, it was my bdae according to the lunar calendar. rightio. yesterday, i got crowned. o.0 talk about having a good public relations department.. or is that just proof that the crowne plaza newcastle is rolling in the dough? one doesn't receive bottles of wine in the mail from hotels every day...

then came the stream of phone calls ~ whoa! *beams* i got my yearly phone call from cali and a happy surprise in the form of an msn msg from another part of cali =) one shouldn't start expecting things unless they've been declared a tradition i suppose, but it's nice to have something to look foward to at the same time. lol, no pressure now... =P seriously tho, i can't wait to graduate and part of the reason is to be financially independent. that, in my world... that translates to personal freedom that'll allow me to fly back to the states for a lot of catching up from east coast to west =)

because there's half a handful of friends left in newcastle and because i insisted on having a quiet one this year, a twinge of self pity snuck a visit after the flood of calls and unexpected deliveries ceased. on the other hand, despite the lack of your physical presence, you guys are making me choke up... i love the prezzies and i love the shout-outs! gan'en for putting that invisible tiara on my head today, the one that only you and i could see. gan'en for especially caring, for turning what i had set out to make depressing and miserable into something heartwarmingly cozy.

gan'en =)



scrambled brains on the first of may
what will be next? my head going gray?
many a surprise crept up to say "boo!"
surely my death cert is not yet due...

i think i pulled a brain cell or two in the past twenty-four hours. apologies for the disjointedness

· ¤ · ¤ · ¤ ·

i stepped on something that went crunch not 5 minutes ago and now i'm too scared to take a closer look. if you didn't look too hard, it would've passed for the severed leg of a mummified frog. it brought back nightmarish memories. i was seven, in a frilly party dress ready to tackle the roller skating rink rented out by the bdae girl. i came complete with the lacey socks and white mary janes. no, that's not the nightmarish part. i blame my mom for the whole outfit. i blame myself for letting her get me into it. anyway, we were too early for the party so we decided to pay the neighboring aquarium a visit.

blue glowing tanks of water filled with an assortment of fish, bubbling and gurgling... quiet whispers of haggling behind the dark counter near the door. the smell of seaweed and pondscum. the things that capture the attention of a wee li'l seven year old lass... so triumphant a capture that she failed to see one suicidal goldfish plop itself onto the hard grey concrete floor in the line of fire to those shiny white girly shoes. one big fat black goldfish lying quietly there, convinced it was invisible and invincible to all earthly forces. *squuiissshh* a slow and thorough death, i must confess...

18 years later, that very moment still remains etched in my memories.. crystal clear. scarred for life. never have i since entered another aquarium or fish section of a pet shop.