Sunday, October 29, 2006
when you start psychomed posting, you start to see crazy people everywhere.
today as i was peacefully making my way home, i had a traumatic encounter with a madman.
i was driving down one of my neighbourhood streets, almost home. the left lane was completely clogged up with parallel-parked cars, so only the right lane was available. a sidewalk lay to the right of the road. halfway down the street, i saw two pedestrians on foot, and a cyclist, a middle aged chinese man on a yellow bicycle, in the middle of the road. i slowed down to let them get up to the sidewalk so that i could pass, because my car had nowhere else to go. the pedestrians, a young couple, moved up obligingly to the sidewalk. the cyclist however, did not. i waited a little longer for him to move to the spacious sidewalk, but instead he stopped his bicycle right in front of my car and stared at me with a crazed expression on his face. frightened by the way he was eyeing me, i waited for him to pass me, since he refused to move to the sidewalk. he inched past my car slowly, like a viper ready to strike, and without warning, viciously rammed his handlebars into my side view mirror, causing it to buckle inwards. my jaw dropped. my heart started pounding. a terrifying, manic smile of victory flit across his face to be replaced by that same crazed expression a split second later. the pedestrians stopped and gaped.
and because i was alone, and because i was a girl, all i could do was drive away.
before he hit my car, he was scanning the passenger seat, checking to see if i was alone. i believe that if i had been carrying a passenger, he would not have done a thing. even more so had i been a man, blessed in the bicep department.
it's not right, and it's not fair. i couldn't get out of the car to demand something be done, i can't find him again to make a report. my side view mirror now has a long scratch on it, courtesy of mister road rage. i feel uneasy knowing that a madman, or someone who certainly acts like one, resides in my neighbourhood. but i thank God for preserving me, and that i didn't act on my anger and get out the car, and that he didn't do anything even more horrible to me, like ride straight into my stationary car and accuse me of knocking him down.
still, i wish him a thousand wildly defecating birds beating cheerfully about his head, wherever he goes.
| mando | 2:53 AM
Saturday, October 28, 2006
we just had our first week in psychomed, and it has been one hell of an action-packed experience. on day one of our hospital posting, there was already a high-speed patient chase down the corridor, two therapists and a whole herd of students thundering towards the fleeing patient as if said patient was a 90% storewide sale at Topshop. if you hadn't caught the first bit where the patient started yelling and breaking free of his restraints, to see all of us running after the patient like bloodthirsty bounty hunters, and the patient scurrying away in terror, it really makes you stop and wonder who the actual crazy people are in this scenario.
things that we have learnt about IMH thus far : it is in the far reaches of the north, accessible only on elephant back, led by a tibetian sherpa. it looks like a resort, except for the warped "heritage garden" filled with, of all things, crazy metal doors with bars on them from the old woodbridge hospital. and also, everyone staying there is somehow related to lee kwan yew. wives, brothers, people who think that they're being observed by him, people who think that they ARE him, and so on. this led to a great deal of lunchtime speculation of what would happen if the eminent minister mentor himself were to visit IMH. imagine the responses. "Ah Lao ah, why you so late then come home! i prepare dinner for you already." "You put this computer chip in my brain, didn't you? didn't you??" "Eh? You are me ah?" Somehow nobody claims relation to Chee Soon Juan, or James Gomez. Perhaps the number of mentally ill patients with delusions of grandeur claiming to be you is indicative of how successful a politician you are.
we also tried to get wayne institutionalized while we were there. randal and weikiong tried to rip off his labcoat, lanyard and shirt, then get him to chase them while yelling "he's not one of us! he's not one of us!" unfortunately wayne was too quick for them, but don't worry wayne, one day we'll finally succeed in getting you the institutional help and support you need.
playhouse rehearsals have been going really fantastically! this year our play is called "pirates of the south china sea". the cast is brilliant, totally spontaneous and so fun to rehearse with, and everyone is really getting into their characters and taking the characters further than i imagined! it's really pleasantly surprising to see what pops up during rehearsal. our supporting cast is bloody funny, and we've got a really great dance choreographed by moira and amelia (at really really short notice too, but it looks unbelievably amazing!) chris and el, who have been there since day one, have really been indispensible directors! alvin and janice and the rest of the props team have been working lots of magic with cardboard and aluminium foil and tekkos. the sound crew of dj siewsiew and dj wayne yap indahouse have gotten some bootyshaking delicious music, labouring all night despite obstacles of fatigue, carpal tunnel syndrome, and squawking chickens, to get sound effects. lights man bang dislocated a few of his finger joints during tech run to reach the numerous light switches, cursing himself for not being marfanoid. longsuffering costumes dept nat W and kokwei have been scurrying around making sure that everyone is not naked, and glamour queen jean and i are going shopping for makeup tomorrow! everything is coming together so well, because there's been so much support from our batch, for which i am very very thankful. it's been so fun, and i could do this all day.
yesterday was our first full run in theatre, and through the muddle that i was making of the whole shebang, i could see the beautiful show that everyone was putting up, the actors really getting into it and owning the stage. and it was such a great feeling to see the beautiful show that everyone was putting up, on a real stage at last. i can't wait to see how it looks on saturday, after we tighten up and tweak and tuck people into their costumes. please to come down on Saturday, 4th November, to LT13 (arts fac) in NUS to watch Playhouse '06! each batch has been working really hard and i think everyone is going to be putting up stellar shows this year, so it's real value for money! (it's value for money anyway, because the show is free.)
A synopsis of the show :
Ah Mo, an MO aboard a pirate ship, is dissatisfied with his lot in life. Fed up with being a lowly medic, he craves a more glamorous profession, and yearns for the swashbuckling lifestyle of a real pirate. Will he emerge victorious in his quest to become a pirate despite the maddening obstacle course of mermaids, troubled waters, and fearsome creatures of the deep?
So come down to experience the most magical cheapskate way of spending a saturday afternoon! be there or be square!
| mando | 5:30 AM
Sunday, October 22, 2006
My Tua Ee and Cousin Kim came to visit from america a bunch of weeks ago, and we did all kinds of fun stuff before they finally returned to the land of Krispy Kreme and Philly cheese steaks! i wanted to write about it sooner, but i was busily trying to fool examiners into thinking i knew lots about medicine. but now let me introduce to you my cool cousin Kim!
"Hi! My name is Kim. I'm from Philadelphia and i make pretty whistles that really whistle out of clay. One of my many goals in life is thusly to create a line of aesthetically-pleasing portable clay anti-molester alarms that any girl can hang around her neck and enjoy. I also have an arm as long as a full-grown Garfish."
The last time kim came to visit us was 7 years ago, and needless to say, i don't get to see much of her, which bums me out. but whenever i do get to see her or get emails from her, she's always bursting with energy (excepting the time when i saw her after her 18 hour flight) and enthusiasm and she knows how to grab life by the balls (i'm guessing her life must speak in a very high voice). she has the best taste in music, she's so giving and truly caring towards both people and animals, and she always has something interesting to say, which are only a few of the very many reasons i love her!
When i visited Kim in america, she took me and carol to see the dali exhibit at the philly art museum. because one can never get enough of rotting donkeys and naked ladies sprawling in the desert beside a large phallic object, me and Kim decided to go for a stroll along the river to track down the Salvador Dali sculptures from the highly-unpronounceable Biennale festival! Kim scurried around taking artistic shots and reading the attached explanatory plaques, while i busied myself on my very own artistic endeavor. no longer content with a nice normal photo of a famous sculpture, i decided to assemble a collage of the fat arses of famous works of art. i call this creation (or abomination of nature) Arty Farty.
after we were done with the art, kim suggested going over to the royal selangor pewter house workshop at clarke quay to do some pewter crafting. kim's a sculptor and she does pottery in a clay workshop back in philly, so she wanted to try her hand at banging away at a piece of metal for a change. the nice ladies at the Royal Selangor School of Hard Knocks fitted her out with an apron and a set of metalworking tools and put her to work beating the living daylights out of an innocent sheet of pewter to make a bowl. wisely predicting that this activity would require a great deal of energy, i decided to step back and let kim create the bowl alone so that i could live vicariously through her.
The School of Hard Knocks is, if you didn't know already, the workshop attached to the pewter store, to let people have a feel of being a pewter craftsman by making their very own bowl. it could very well double up as an anger management workshop, because there are a lot of personal frustrations and childhood trauma that could be taken care of just by wielding that hammer.
kim, expert craftswoman, shows mr pewter sheet that he'd better not mess with her. after going through the steps of etching letters and a design into the bowl, shaping it, filing it, and buffing it, she emerged with a shiny new work of art and freshly-toned muscles.
at this moment, my cousin is dancing through fall leaves back home while we battle the haze. she is ripping down popcorn ceiling in her newly-purchased house and slowly but surely turning it into a home. she is zipping around, stylish and eco-friendly, in her toyota prius. she is supporting rock bands and feeding her cat and having enthusiastic hand-flinging discussions with her friends. and i miss her tons. come back soon kim! or better yet, take me with you! i'll feed your cat!
| mando | 6:31 AM
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
and so, armed with shovel and a well-muscled arm with which to dig my own grave, i marched bravely into the medicine end of posting tests. it is through medicine end of posting tests that you discover the things that you would not ever want to say to an examiner.
examiner : do you think this symptom is related to his thyroid problem?
petrified pissing-in-pants student : possibly not.
examiner : when i ask you this, i would probably like you to say yes.
petrified pissing-in-pants student : yes. (followed by echoing silence that bounces gracefully off the walls of sgh)
resigned-to-unfortunate-fate student : his uncontrolled hyperthyroidism might have led to a thyroid storm.
examiner : would you like to correct that statement?
resigned-to-unfortunate-fate student : yes sir, but i do not know what to correct it with.
it is also through medicine end of posting tests that one truly realises the beauty of the word "well", a gorgeous little tool in which to stall time, courtesy of our lovely cgmate love-li jingxiang! thanks to li, our entire cg is now using the word copiously and we are achieving the heights of wellness when asked hard questions like the mechanism of transient paralysis in young asian males afflicted with endocrine problems.
aside from experiencing an severe attack of goblokness during the test, big yay that the clinical test is over! now i can sit back and focus on what my entire primary, secondary, and pre-university education has been spent carefully crafting and moulding, what my entire formative years have been geared towards : my mcq dice-rolling skills!
| mando | 9:27 AM