Sunday, January 25, 2009

On the Eve of It

"Nostalgia is like a grammar lesson: you find the present tense, but the past perfect!"

Owens Lee Pomeroy

It's ironic how I feel most like an outsider during the New Year reunions, and I don't think it used to be that way. I used to actually like it, you know. I welcomed it when I was littler.

It was made out of simpler things back then; food I don't get to eat for the rest of the year, more sugar water than I can safely drink, and married people leaking money in little red envelopes like psycho ATM's. It was a season of plenty and culturally enforced greed.

Now I dread it. I dread the temporarily enforced etiquette and the relations. I dread having conversations with blood-tied strangers. I dread the having to endure the strange embarrassment of receiving money I cannot politely refuse, because traditions prescribed that boon to me. And how long must I sit in the living room so I won't look like I am only there for the cash before I can return to the refuge that is my room, my four walls and one high-speed broadband window?

Why so much angst?

This is the first New Year I spent at home in the last 3 years - a whole 3 years which did nothing to dull my unnatural abhorrence of the holiday. It's like putting on a pair of pants I found at the bottom of a chest of drawers which I stopped wearing because it fitted badly, and realising that time just made it fit worse. There's nothing wrong with the pants, really, it's exactly the same. The fault's in me. I've changed. I'm messed up. But I'm not broken so you can't fix me.

I wonder at my mental health and at my ability to be human. Sometimes, it seemed almost as if I'm painting-by-numbers, as if my emotions are just bits I put on at the right times to give myself the semblance of humanity. There a moments when I feel so detached that I could almost hear a voice telling me, "this is when you should smile, this is when you should cry". It scared me when I caught myself doing it - and it scared me most when I caught myself doing it in the moments I thought I was most sincere and when I felt my sorrows were most real. Does this make me a hypocrite? Does it make me fake when I can't help it?

And family. Why do I try so hard to avoid it? What kind of monster am I when intimacy nauseates and scares me?

Why so much angst?

They served shark-fin soup at the reunion dinner and I refused to have any. They thought it was because I didn't like how it was prepared, proving that I'm just as much a stranger to them as they are to me. A couple of aunt actually asked, so I told them - which I fancy spoilt everyone else's enjoyment of the soup at the table. But I'm a sociopathic selfish braincase anyway so I didn't care.

Then, one of my aunt suggested that we should stop having shark-fin soup in future reunion dinners. I had to wonder, and I wondered for the rest of the dinner, how honestly my aunt actually meant that and how much of it had to do with humouring a weird nephew just because he's family.

Does this make me an ingrate?

Anyhow, I only wondered till they served the yu chu. I seriously love the dish, by the way. In fact, if I have to condense the memories of all the past reunion dinners I've attended into one single image, it'll be a picture of that piglet, all red and crispy with its little roasted piglet head and that little bit at the end which still has its cute little roasted piglet tail attached. Even when I was small, I've always considered it to be the highlight of a year. In my kiddy mind, it was what made the perfect New Year's Eve. If it didn't taste up to mark, I would consider the reunion dinner of that year to be a failure.

This year, the yu chu was the worst I have ever eaten in my life, which isn't saying that it was bad. It was mediocre, average and flat - and after not getting any for three whole years, it was Most Disappointing. Like that child I was, I considered my night ruined. Maybe I'm missing the point of the whole reunion deal but that was never something I looked forward to, and it's not just because I don't want to. Give me this much understanding; I have no idea how to.

Because, I still think that the most important thing in a New Year's Eve reunion dinner is a dish of roasted piglet.

Why so much useless angst?

Home again,
k0k s3n w4i

Sunday, January 18, 2009

God of Nothing

"And I find it kind of funny
I find it kind of sad
The dreams in which I'm dying
Are the best I've ever had"

Mad World (2001) by Michael Andrews and Gary Jules

Credit where it's due; the song was Tears for Fears', but I like this version so much better.

I saw something a few hours back in a moment of quiet and it pained me. It's not an image because I was not thinking. It's not a dream because I was not asleep. And it's not a memory because it never happened. Call it a vision. I saw a living room which showed the decades it had been lived in. It showed in its mismatched furniture, in their woodwork worn and fraying stitches - in parts broken or rotted off and halfheartedly mended. It showed in the dust which covered the high places and in the corners which the rheumy eyes of an old woman could not see. It showed in its faded colours, like an old photograph leached of presence and warmth behind the yellowing glass of a picture frame. Like those photographs on the shelf of children before they were grown, before they left and would not call or visit. Like that one in the middle, in the biggest frame, of a woman and a man in love which death did apart. There were magazines no longer in publication under the coffee table. There was a dogeared novel on it, read many times because it was someone's favourite. There was a small television, the last and sole companion through all the nights of a life wasting away alone. And there was fire.

The fire crept all across the room remorseless and unfeeling - dutiful even. It devoured the armchair which had a depression in its seat from the years it had been sat on. It took the novel and erased all its words with black. It took the dessicated flowers and their vase. It took the coffee table they were on. The television. The curtains. The carpet. Everything. And it clawed its way up the shelf where little knickknacks of uncertain sentimental worth were hoarded and where the photographs stood. The glass of their frames shattered from the heat, and the memories were shriveled and destroyed. Everything was the same. Everything burns.

The little living room was ablaze and an old woman upstairs wakes up to the smell of smoke and loss. No, she did not wake up because she was not asleep. She was half-awake lying in a bed meant for two, wondering where the happiness went and blinking at the ceiling with eyes wet with not-quite tears. With much difficulty, she got out of bed and groped her way out her bedroom and felt the banister down the stairs. And there she found the fire.

She did not run or call for help. She just stood there and stared stupidly at the orange flames for nearly a minute. Then, breaking the inertia of credulity, she hurried to the bathroom and filled a pail. Shuffling back as quickly as her knees would allow her, she threw the water lamely into the burning living room. She tried again. And again. And again. All the time, the fire just grew rampant and spread amok, sneering at her efforts. But still the old woman persisted stubbornly.

That was when she slipped and fell.

Before it was too late, a neighbour found her sitting on the floor in a puddle of water spilled from her pail, and carried her out of house. The firemen came, but the fire had already claimed the first floor and the roof. It was collapsing on the lifetime it had weathered and on the ghost of the family it once sheltered.

The old woman sat like a child on the asphalt, crying piteously. Her nightdress was scorched in places and there were burns on her hands. Her elbows and knees were bleeding from the fall she took. They tried to talk to her but she would not say a thing. They tried to make her stand up, to take her further away from the burning house - but she would not budge. She had lived in that house for so very long and so alone that she was no longer to able to recall a life apart from it. In her old age of dignified sorrow and of senility, she lost it. It was her little time capsule, her private moment in time and familiarity. Now, she's out on her own in a terrifying new world she could not understand.

That's how my vision ended; the old woman sitting like a child on the ground in front of her burning home, confused, lost and crying.

She would not stop crying.

k0k s3n w4i

Friday, January 16, 2009

What I Have Been Up To This Whole Week

"Lemonade. Ice Cold."

Afro Samurai

Or 'Afuro Samurai', in Nipponese.

I can't stand anime in general. It seems to me that the bulk of the genre consists entirely of harem romance stories, improbably boobed Asian women and bloody irritating theme music - none of which, with the exception of improbably boobed Asian women, interest me much. So far, I have followed only two animes with any degree of loyalty. They are Ranma 1/2 (back when it was showing on AXN) and Samurai Champloo, which I got from my ex-roommate, Inn Shan (along with Romeo X Juliet which I have found to be quite unwatchable). Samurai Champloo was quite an agreeable viewing pleasure for me, mainly because of its anachronism stew nature and multi-genre pop-culture references (ranging from baseball and graffiti to zombies and capoiera). The series even opened with a title card which says; "This work of fiction is not an accurate historical portrayal... LIKE WE GIVE A F@%#! Now shut up and enjoy the show!". Anything that marries samurai and hiphop cultures is always worth my time.

This, as you probably can guess, is Afro Samurai.

Afro Samurai is something very much like that, only amped up to the nth level with a heaping dose of Samuel L. "Motherfuckin" Jackson injected right into its arteries. Jules Winfield of Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction. Mace Windu from the Star Wars prequel trilo (he accepted the part on the condition that his character would carry a distinctive purple to set him apart from the rest of the Jedi council of forgettables and that he would not be killed off "like some punk"). Also, he's the inspiration behind the Ultimate Nick Fury, leader of the Avengers of the Marvel comic universe (you'd remember his cameo playing that character after the credits in the Iron Man flick last year).

I will kill yo' ass till you die.

That's right, the last name in utter Bad-Assery voices the titular Afro Samurai. If that does not get you pumpin', here's more; Ron Perlman voices Afro Samurai's nemesis. Ron Perlman, as you may or may not already know, played Hellboy in the Hellboy movies. Oh, and did I mention Kelly Hu's somewhere in there too? Also, Samuel L. Jackson also voices NinjaNinja, a wacky ninja (what else) who follows Afro around saying things the typically silent and sullen Afro wouldn't say.

The basic premise of the series is this; There are two headbands - one has number 1 written on it and the other has number 2. The guy wearing the number 1 headband is the strongest, most badass warrior in the entire world and he can only be challenged by the guy wearing the number 2 headband, which is the Afro Samurai. The catch is, anyone can challenge the number 2 guy for the number 2 headband. Hilarity insues, that is, if you consider bloody, gratuituous violence and freaky dismemberments to be hilarious. The amount of gory fights in this anime is ridiculous (I'm lovin' it!) and the anti-hero, Afro, is quite frankly sociopathic and villainous. The show was adapted by the Japanese animation studio, Gonzo, from a doujinshi (i.e. Japanese term for "self-published works") manga series created by Takashi Okazaki - not one of those crappy American-made anime knockoffs we kept seeing these days. Season two of the anime is going to be released pretty soon and from what I heard, Lucy Liu is voicing the new season's antagonist. Mark Hamill got on board as well. You know, the guy who is the voice of the Joker in the Batman cartoons and played Luke Skywalker in the original Star Wars flicks? Man, I'm such a fanboy.

Of course, they never explained what a black guy is doing in feudal Japan(?) being a samurai. Now that I've mentioned it, the list of things they never explained is, in fact, bloody long. What are ridiculously life-like combat androids, cellphones with cutesy ring-tones, memory cards, cybernetic binoculars and friggin' bazookas doing in this show? Why do they serve lemonade in bars? Where did that monk get those hip circumaural headphones from? And why hasn't Afro Samurai died from lung cancer from all those unfiltered hand-rolled cigarettes he kept puffing on throughout the series? Nothing makes sense. You just got to love a show that don't give a fat fuck.

And did I mention that the soundtrack in this anime kicks ass? The RZA (from the Wu-Tang Clan) produced it. Check out the song in the Afro Samurai: Resurrection (sequel) trailer on YouTube. Pretty good shit, in all.


The other thing which kept me occupied this entire week is The Settlers of Catan,

And this is how it looks like.

It's created by Klaus Teuber, a famous German designer of board games.

Unfortunately, I don't actually own a set - and I doubt that I find get it in any toy store in Malaysia. Even if it's available, I don't think I can get three other persons to be interested in it enough to play with me for hours on end.

I did the next logical thing and downloaded an 8-megabyte PC version of the board game (with pre-packaged A.I. opponents), after teaching myself how to play it through a 5-minute interactive guide on a Settlers of Catan fansite. That's the beauty of it. It's very easy to pick up because of its simple mechanics, but its dynamics are surprisingly complicated. The first night I tried it I was hooked good. I played till the next morning, skipping sleep entirely.

I personally categorise board games according to a luck versus skills spectrum. At one end of that scale is Snakes and Ladders, which relies completely on the players' luck. Chess sits on the other end, where luck does not factor in at all - only raw skills matter. Both does not appeal to me. I find games like Snakes and Ladders to be quite repetitive and pointless. Chess, if I may critique, depends quite heavily on a player's memorisation of the different ways a game can go. Theoretically, if a person is able to memorise every possible variation, he'd be unbeatable.

The Settlers of Catan lies somewhere in between the two. It uses a couple of dice, true, but the spirit of the game is planning, risk assessment, diplomacy and management. The board is assembled randomly from its little resource hexes every time a new game starts (including the numbers assigned to each hex), so it's a different playing field each time. Players will be placing their pieces at the start according to what they feel is the best spots after assessing the board. To get ahead, it's almost imperative for the players to be able to negotiate and barter with each other. If you sit quietly in your corner just rolling your dice, everyone else will be making trades which benefit them while leaving you behind. Then there's the robber piece which any player can move after rolling a seven - to block the resource flow from any one hex and to steal a card from the hand of a player who owns a town on city adjacent to it. There are more than one way by which you can win the game, so the ability to keep a low profile, to deceive and mislead, and to hide your true intentions as long as possible is pretty darn useful too. The dice, I feel, actually enhances the experience. It adds a flavour of uncertainty to the game without dictating its proceedings completely.

Anyway, Settlers of Catan is just the core game. There are actually expansions to the base game like Seafarers of Catan, Cities and Knights, and Traders and Barbarians, along with a whole medley of spinoffs (like a card game) and historical scenario packs (Alexander the Great's empire expansion, the building of the Great Wall of China etc). Here's an impressive list in Wikipedia. And someone even wrote a damn novel about it.

Microsoft also released a sweet looking adaptation for the Xbox Live Arcade with tweak-able house rules and A.I. so good that even Klaus Teuber himself find hard to beat,

Darn, I want to play this!

I am wishing really hard that Microsoft would release a version for us PC gamers with all the expansions and variations of the game included soon. I'll even get the original version, if only to be able to play online with other players.

I am also wondering if I should buy a set, or any of its expansions (I'll probably have to get someone living in the UK, US or Germany to get it for me). I mean, is there anyone else who is interested in playing this? I can't see any of my I-got-to-study-very-very-hard-got-not-time-for-kiddie-games medical school colleagues sitting through even one game with me.

Sigh and sigh.

Has way too many hobbies,
k0k s3n w4i

Saturday, January 10, 2009

I Can Has Cat Plz?

"You can keep a dog; but it is the cat who keeps people, because cats find humans useful domestic animals."

George Mikes


I should be studying for that nasty Surgery exam due in a few hours time, but all I have succeeded in doing is grow an inexplicable impulse to adopt a cat NOW.

I even managed to run through some lists of breeds and decided on which I want - and I decided that I want a Pixie-Bob,

Or two, please.

And it has a dog-like personality too!

Fetch AND walkies!

I'm thinking of Ocicats as well but they are suppose to be hard to get. In fact, I actually prefer how an Ocicat looks like compared to a Pixie-Bob,

Actually, I'm mostly thinking "shorthair equals less moult". But dig the wild threads!

See a pattern in the sort of cats I'm interested in?

Anyway, I can happily make do with a common domestic shorthair too. I'm not to picky about breeds, really. Anyone has kittens from a good-tempered momma cat up for adoptions? Also, anyone has a kitten with mismatched eyes but thinks that it's ugly?

My grandmother won't be too happy about it, I expect. Why do Chinese people hate cats so much? I back during my Tioman trip, I discovered that each and everyone of my classmate who went with me has that reflexive revulsion towards cats (and Tioman, by the way, is one cat-infested island). I was quite shocked actually to find that out because I used to think that only the old extra-Chinese folks have that prejudice. Even back here on terra Malacca, when a cat walks up expectantly to our tables to, uhm, sympathy-stare some scraps from us, someone would shoo it off like it brought the plague - in spite of the fact that it's just standing there (standing most politely too, I must add). And our zodiac animals, we rather have a rat in it instead of a cute widdle kitty! What the heck's up with that anyway?!


I expect that I can only adopt one when I start working elsewhere and have a place of my own. In the meantime, anyone who owns a cat can let me know exactly how much care a cat needs? I'm reading up on it, but a bit of firsthand advice from actual cat-owners would really help - specifically the sort of problems I would encounter when I own a cat.

Now, I shall return to Surgery. Reluctantly. And cat-less.

P.S. It's Caturday, by the way.

Desperately seeking cat,
k0k s3n w4i

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

The Tower of Babble

I wanted to write a post about a Christmas dinner I went to, or maybe about the New Year's Eve I had but that two will have to wait. I am once again swamped tonight by an assignment I shouldn't be doing - or rather, an assignment I shouldn't be doing again. The story's like this; I actually finished the darn thing yesterday night but I have lost it somehow. The "somehow" involves my leaving the stupid papers at a patient's bed - I put them down for a minute when my Medicine Professor told me to find out if that patient has visible jugulo-venous pulsations (whatever that means to you) and BAM! I forgot to pick them up afters. Alright, I made that up. There's no BAM! sound effect every time I forget something (in a perfect universe, there should be, so I'd stop forgetting), but everything else I said is true. I walked out of the hospital to my car but there was still no BAM! I went to lunch, I finished lunch, BAM! not forthcoming. I went home for a minute to pick up some stuff for the afternoon lectures - no BAM! there either.

I took blood from a patient's vein today. The first successful time, this is. The first time I tried taking blood though, was yesterday - but I don't want to talk about that. I just want to brag about today. This is one of those milestones in med school, y'know. This separates me from the rest who have never drew blood before, and puts me firmly in the fraternity of hypodermic vampires those who have. And more to the point, this is the first thing I did since I joined this college three years ago that actually benefits a patient.

An iced latte in a Starbucks tall cup and an empty Starbucks mug stood side by side in front of me while I was scratching feverishly on a piece of foolscap paper - one of many I will be writing on that night. I was making surprisingly good progress though if nothing else. I kept glancing at my watch, and time seems to have slowed down noticeably. That's what caffeine does to me, and if you've watched the finale of the 2006 computer animated flick, Over The Hedge, the one which has Avril Lavigne voicing an opposum (or the climax of the lesser known 2005 animated movie, Hoodwinked!, a Rashomon treatment of the tale of the Red Riding Hood) you'd have an inkling of what I was going through. Wait, does this mean Over The Hedge plagiarised Hoodwinked!? Cripes, I got to focus on this infernal assignment! Why the fuck do I have to keep forgetting stuff! And why the fuck do I keep remembering useless crap? Get out of my mind, movie trivia! Git!

It's when I'm right outside my college's back gate that total recall booby slapped me. I drove right back to the hospital for my errant papers and found that they weren't there. I looked everywhere; under the patient's bed, under the bed of the adjacent patients, in every wastepaper basket and every bio-hazard bin. I looked so hard that the nurses took pity on me and helped me look. One said she saw the papers at about one o'clock, but has not seen them since. The patient whose bed I left them at told me some student nurses were fiddling about his bed earlier and might have taken the papers. What do student nurses want with notes on vaginal discharge, lactation and contraception anyway? Hypothetical question, this. Don't answer, please.

A medical officer who has a name which sounds like Uma Thurman's asked me if I would like a chance to take blood from a patient today (just like yesterday too, but nope, I'm still not talking about it). Strangely, I said yes (again, like yesterday - but, gah), showing enthusiasm I never suspect I had. Well, I never suspect I had it yesterday in the first place. This narration is confusing me now but anyway, everyone in my college knows just how apathetic I am. I'm like a zombie in a white coat, never caring yet somehow making it this far. Today, however (or yesterday, whatever), it's all starting to make sense to me.

So I'm stuck with having to do the assignment all-fucking-over again. I'm surprisingly fine with it, considering how long I took to do it the first time. Phoebe called me while I was at a coffee shop waiting for a friend in the evening, and she told me that if she's in my place, she'd be
"very sad". She didn't say she will cry though. She never said she will cry before actually, come to think of it. Anyway, as I was saying; I'm a realist. Practicality falls out of my pockets every time I dig for change. I don't give in easily to pointless emoting or dramatics or empty yakking. If there's a problem, I fix it. Very manly, I think. Quite Martian, in fact. John Gray told me that Venusians don't admire this trait of mine.

I got to the coffee shop at about five to 5:30 pm today. I was suppose to meet a friend for dinner there but since I already ate, I was just there for dessert - and would you believe it? I forgot my book (gosh darn you, lousy memory!). I always bring a book wherever I go in case I arrive early and have to wait for people. It distracts me and keeps me from blowing a fuse, see. Anyway, the book I didn't bring with me was Richard Adam's Watership Down and it's about an epic fantasy novel about bunnies. Yeap, bunnies. Rabbits. Not anthropomorphised ones either mind you, yet somehow, it managed to be bloody damn mature. I mean, Adams actually managed to paint a pretty in-depth picture of a society of bunnies possessing a rich lore, culture and language system while managing to stay true to the zoological features of the species. There's a scene where a doe rabbit was supposedly asked to see an officer - a buck - for the purpose of mating. And apparently, that doe was "not ready to mate". Now, that's a mistake. I know for a fact that female rabbits can apparently experience a phenomenon called induced ovulation, which means that their ovaries will release eggs whenever they, pardon the expression, 'fuck like rabbits'. And that means, they are always ready. Don't ask me how I know that. I don't remember when or where I read that.

So, I found myself a kidney dish - the sort which doctors drop bullets extracted from gunshot victims into in TV or movies - and dropped a couple of needles, a syringe, some cotton swabs and a stand-in tourniquet in the form of a latex glove into it. Act professional, like I know what I'm doing. This is gonna be a walk, I'm telling you unlike yesterday. I strolled as nonchalantly as I could to the patient I'm suppose to be poking a needle into, wondering if I should whistle as I did (but my good sense disagreed). A few of my colleagues were following behind me, possibly hoping to watch my epic failure but I'll just assume they were following me to give me all the moral and technical support I needed. Lovely lot. Then, I saw the patient - and my heart dropped right into my left shoe, making mocking squishy noises as it fell.

The plan I formulated is this; Camp at Starbucks tonight, buy a latte, claim a free cup of java with one of those buy-one-free-one coupons I have lying around in my room, and try to finish as much as I am able. Then, I come home and finish whatever I couldn't while I'm still riding the caffeine high. Gosh, this is the first time I have to redo a very time-gobbling, very tedious, very mind-numbing task all over again from the start. And for the very first time, I think I'm finally grasping just
how insanely cruel Sisyphus' punishment is.

Then, I received an SMS from the guy I was waiting for saying that he would be 15 minutes late. Normally, I expect this from everyone but that guy was someone who is usually punctual. In fact, he once told me himself how important punctuality is to him. Not that I mind a quarter of an hour that much but I didn't have a book with me. Also, I wasn't exactly having the best day of my life either, what with those stupid papers I forgot and have to work on again from scratch later that night. Phoebe called and I ranted to her a little, but calling from India ain't cheap, so we didn't keep at it long. At five to 5:45 pm, I finished eating what I went there to eat and my friend still have not show up. At about two minutes after 5:45, I just stood up and left.

The poor soul looked really ill. Like, really, really ill. He's gagging, presumably because there's still vomit in his throat. The rest of the vomit not in him was all over his gown. I feel sorry for him and sorrier still I felt because he'd have to suffer me and my un-honed, unproved needling skillz. Also, did I mention I was internally freaking the hell out, doing cartwheels and playing pinball with all the annoying lights and pings going off? You don't see all that emotions on my face though. And you still don't see them when I greet the patient with a big cheerful smile, while receiving absolutely no response from him at all OMG he's not smiling or saying hi back whatamIgonnadooo?!!! Alright, his wife did smile at me so that's something. NO PROCEDURES ON LEFT ARM, said a sigh hanging behind him from the bedpost. So, with that Stepford smile still on my face, I asked him to extend his right elbow (but again, no reaction from him). Alrighty sir, I'll help you with that then. His right elbow, I discovered, was as rigid as a lead pipe. I straightened it out as gently as I could. Tie tourniquet. Next, needle and syringe. Swab tentative puncture spot. Now, where's that vein? Where are yooouuu, Mr Vein? I couldn't see it! DON'T PANIC! Feel for it... feel for it... feelinnnggg... AHA! EN GARDE!!! *stab* Nooow, I just need to withdraw the plunger gently and shit! this is where I screwed it up yesterday nooooo... JEEZUS, I cannot tell you just how relieved I was when blood red flooded the syringe. The patient didn't seem to notice anything happened at all. 'He did it!' a colleague said behind me. Yes, I did it. Yes, I did.

I received a miss call from him a little while later from that friend of mine, presumably because he had arrived and found that I wasn't there. 'I finished eating, so I left' was what I said when I text him back. I really didn't feel like staying and watching other people eat.

Soon, I drained the iced latte as well. The caffeine jitters were hitting me pretty hard and I could hardly hold my pen steady. I don't think I have ever had so much coffee in me before. On my left arm was a whole crop of wheals, courtesy of my right hand which couldn't stop fidgeting and scratching. I suffer (sorta) from a condition known as dermatographic urticaria, and if I haven't told you about it, remind me to do so someday. It's really quite cool and Phoebs thinks so too (and if you already know what dermatographic urticaria is, you can probably guess why). Along with all that - I might be imagining this though, I can't be sure - I think I'm actually hearing better. Or maybe it's just that barrista cranking up his volume. Good lordy, his fake accent just jars at my soul like... like... a bajillion rusty wheelchairs squeaking all at once!

There! I finish the two thirds I aimed for, and right at 10:00 pm too. Now, I can go piss. Two hours plus two big cups of coffee makes for a lot of tinkle, I can tell you. Hey, that's pretty amazing, actually - I managed to finish in two hours what I originally used three and a half hours to accomplish! I sure am glad I keep myself caffeine sensitive. Never know when you might need the emergency boost.

"You did it", said Uma Thurman and gave me a little clap after I passed her two vials half-full of my crimson prize. I thanked her for letting me try again considering what happened yesterday but she thanked me back instead, saying that I actually saved her a bit of trouble by doing so. Damn, you should have seen that so-bloody-full-of-myself grin on me. Biggest one of the new year, I should think. By the way, I learnt three very important pointers today regarding venipuncture that I think everyone should go in knowing. And I don't think they are available in any textbook or manual (at least, not in the way I'm going to word them) which is a shame because I wish I knew them the first time round. They are;
  • No, tie that tourniquet tighter.
  • Don't look for it, dammit - FEEL for it!
  • It's deeper than you think it is.
Now that I have done it, I can tell everyone that it is NOTHING like doing it on a mannequin in the practical skills lab back in Manipal. If you haven't done it, you'll be finding that out soon, fellow medicos. I, on the other hand, have passed my rite of passage.

However, all that caffeine is affecting me in a bad way. My piss smells like coffee. And I think I need to poop.

Anyway this post is some pretty fucked up shit. I wouldn't have read this if I were you.

It's not like I have nothing better to do.

I don't think coffee is good for me.

Now, I think I'll go finish that piece on vaginal discharge before the caffeine buzz fizzles out.