dal niente

Month: January, 2006

11:15am.  At work: again. I was browing the words “I love my job” on google as a bit of a joke to myself, but I found this on Oprah’s website.  Damn Oprah, always gotta spoil my cynicism with some hopeful news.

I love my job(s).

My job as a student.  I love being a student because it keeps my brain active and creative, though not in the ways specifically intended by the class.  English Lit is teaching me to be a first class bullshitter, and this is prooving useful in many many ways in other domains such as…

…My job at the hospital.  Which I love because I get to meet new people every day, the work is never redundant, there’s action, there’s drama and there’s a connection with real life that I just don’t get anywhere else.  It’s something that keeps me level headed (though it doesn’t really stop my ego at times, heh).  And in my spare time,

…My job at RsM, which is to run the store and the club. (The link is there so you can buy stuff and join my club dammit!) I love running the store because I’m literally swimming in badminton equipment, I’ve got enough to last me a lifetime.  Well, swimming as easily as you could in peices of racket shaped peices of high-modulous graphite.  But you get what I mean.  That, and running the club has singly been a rewarding experience– I feel very happy to have been able to put together a milieu where people can get together and work out their stress.  It’s a giant playground of all ages and skills where people can try to work it out of their systems.  There is effort… there are aspirations… there is despair… there is drama and everything, it’s just very lively.  Sure, people sometimes get along great, sometimes people help eachother out– other times, there’s friction between the members.  But at the end of the week, everyone just keeps coming back, because it’s like family. My girlfriend and Chili recently started coming to the club which just makes it that much more fun recently.



Okay, enough self glofification and tree huggin.  It’s fuggin New Years, so sue me, you’re supposed to start on positive notes.


So what do you love about your job or the things that you do?

Goodwill is not an issue

12:30pm Edit:  I just got back into my office.  This wouldn’t
normally be a feat, but I locked myself out by accident, and the keys
were inside. Thank god it was just the door’s slip bolt thing, not the
dead bolt.

Spare keys? Only I have the keys.  I have a postal card (like a
thin credit card) which broke into 3 peices when i tried to slip it to
unlock the door.  Also tore up a hospital brochure trying to slip
the lock.  Finally managed (after trying everything from
paperclips to folded disketes, a coat hanger and even a paper plate) to
get the damned door open with a sheet of plastic bookmark (flexible,
yet strong enough) that I stole from medical archives.  I’ll go
put it back now.

Mental note: don’t do that again.


Damened World War 2 elevator.  The doors opened again for the 3rd
time, and I’m still on the first floor, not the fifth.  So I hit
the key for basement, and the damned thing finally starts moving. 
Then I key in 5, and it finally works.

The little tricks of the trade I suppose.

When I was on fifth later that day, the respiriratory tech, a
30-something year old women, just started crying.  She wasn’t
losing her mind or anything, she wasn’t hurt– she was just stressed
out, and confessed with some embarassment that when she gets stressed
enough, she just sorta starts to cry like how some of us might find it
hard not to frown.  She and the other respiratory techs, or,
INHALOs, as they are officially code-named, were the only ones who
showed up to work yesterday, and they’ve single handedly had to cover
all 8 floors of our hospital.  That’s about 70 patients.

I had to help out the porter yesterday to transport a patient from
fifth to the operation room.  The patient’s entire bed had to be
moved– she weighs over 300 lbs, and in her condition, is unable to
even stand up, and doesn’t fit in any of our wheelchairs. So we moved
the entire bed.  We had to make way in the hallways, moving every
chair, every table, every cart, and after keying in the elevator button
I had to run down the stairs to the floor where she was going to come
out because with the bed it’s impossible for me to fit on the elevator.

I’m feeling light headed because I’ve been wearing the M95 mask for the
past 30 minutes, pushing around a 300lbs lady with the porter, and
we’re finding it difficult despite the fact that neither of us is
weak.  It’s just that when you’re wearing something like this on
your face, it’s like trying to get a cardio workout trying to breathe
through a pack of coffee filters.

Later in the day while disinfecting my hands with the alcohol wash,
some of it gets in my fucking eye– AGAIN– and I can’t help but cuss
out loud.

I had been working since 8 am, and it was 4 pm, and I still hadn’t had
my lunch break.  The rest of the hospital had similarly been
overworked– by the end of the day, seven people had registered for
overtime pay for not having had the time to take even their 15 minut
coffe break. Yesterday was really like a game of contra– non
stop.  Keep runnin. Keep gunnin.

I found myself leaning on the walls of the elevator as I went from
floor to floor.  It was something I noticed my superiors doing
when I started this job, and now I’m doing it to– it’s just the
natural thing that happens when you’re this tired.

At the hospital, there is no such thing as Thank God It’s Friday. 
In fact, Friday is easily the worst day of the week, even surpassing
monday.  The reason being is that most clinics, external test
services and laboratories close for the weekends, and all doctors
except the Medcin-de-Garde are gone.  So on friday, everyone tries
to get shit done all at once.  We discharge patients to offload
tasks for the weekend crew, who we know are going to be understaffed,
and we try to get all the tests and operations done before the
departments close.  That makes for transfers, transfer, and more
transfers, tests, operations, all up the wazoo.  It’s a tough time
for everyone I think.

I’m starting to get a bit into the heads of my co-workers now, and the
name “Batman” comes to mind.  Not the Batman from the movies, the
ones from the comics.  See, my opinion is that in some
interpretations of Batman, he doesn’t do his saving Gotham bits because
he cares.  He does it because he feels its his duty.  He’s
not a nice guy– sure, he has his soft spots, but at the end of the
day, Batman saves people because he has no choice.

I’m begining to wonder of health care workers are like this too. 
They come to work, give it their all to the point of breaking down in
tears.  There’s a psychiatric hotline for med staff for
chrissakes, it’s for staff who feel that they’re burning out.

And for what?

Is the sense of ‘helping others’ good enough?

In many cases, I don’t think so.  It’s the pay.

If it weren’t for the pay, I’m certain that a lot of people who are
here wouldn’t be here, because though on good days a hospital is a very
inspirational place full of love and hope, on the worst of days it is a
place of chaos and despair.

 I have co-workers who are not nice people.  In fact, I could
go as far as to say they’re basically mercenaries– some of them are
part timers who only do the overtime shifts for 1.5x pay. 
Otherwise, they wouldn’t touch this place with a ten foot pole.

But despite this, can I really just pick someone off the street and expect them to do any better?

The other day, I started filling out a Patient Death form.  But it
was supposed to be an Admissions Form.  I don’t know if this is
some sorta subconcious sense of black humor that my left half brain was
playing with the other half, or just an honest mistake.

When I realized what I had done, I told my co-workers.  We’re not
superstitious about those kinds of things– in fact, we all had a good

The INHALO who was crying stopped when she found out that one of the
discharged patients had bought enough Lindt chocolates for everyone on
5th floor.

The chocolates were good!

7:33AM– Today.  Back at work, been here for an hour already.  I’ll write more later.

It’s 7:20 pm.  I get to leave work in about 40 minutes. I’ve been here since 8am. I am




Side note:

I need to leave a spare set of gym gear in my locker or something, these long breaks at school are frikking killing me.

Anyone seeing this message on time give me a call and have lunch with me. NOW.

My first impressions of people always have to do with their eyes.

Not the color, but what the eyes are doing.  Next is body
language.  Call me paranoid but when I’m awake, the first thing I
do when I walk in a room is take a look at every head I see at least
once and see if there’s anything I notice, anything ‘suspicious’. 
Eyes betray a lot of things about people, and next to that is body

You ever look at someone and notice that their eyes are glazed
over?  They’re just sorta coasting on existence, their minds are
elsewhere– their eyes may as well be closed, they’re not pluggin in
right there in front of you.

But every now and then I run into someone whose eyes say something
else.  Those eyes are sharsp.  They look aware.  They’re
scanning the room.  And even when that person talks or is doing
something, the eyes are flicking here and there, constantly updating
their perception of the world, dynamic, and ready.  And even if i
don’t know these people… I feel I have a little bit more respect for
them, beacuse they ain’t blind.

I’m not just thinking about this from a sense of self-deffence, but I
mean to suggest on a more general level that people whose eyes
constantly refresh their browsers generally have more connection with
the real world than other people, because they understand their
environment as immersive and their presence as inclusive.  On the
other hand, the kinds of people who walk into puddles, bump into people
in hallways and that sorta thing kinda lack focus.

It’s a generalization, yes.  But we’ve got senses– and people
talk about appreciating the world and what not– but those senses are
not being engaged enough.  Thinking inwards is nice but it has to
be connected to the exterior world, we can’t just go about every day in
a daze of exclusivity, otherwise there’d be no point to living in

Human after all

Been slacking off from xanga way too much.  For most people, xanga
is a social thing. For me, it’s a writing exercise. I often log on
without having a damned clue what I’m going to write about-—it is like
the squirrel who wanders the park not knowing where the nuts lie, just
that he wants to find some.  This is inspiration for me, and it is
perhaps how my method differs from other people. I don’t know where my
next meal is gonna come from, but I can’t just sit around with my mouth
open waiting for someone to throw food down my throat.

If you are of the lucky sort, inspiration falls on your lap.  Some
people don’t even want inspiration– it’s a tedious thing, after all,
this whole business of having to think.  Me, I suppose I’m not so
lucky. I have to look for it.

And so the greatest mystery is not the words on the page, or what they
mean– it is the blank page, since nothing is a greater mystery than

When we go through life, we accept that we’ve got to play certain
games.  But sometimes we play more than one game at a time… and
that’s where contradictions occur, and that’s where problems come from.

Throw down some words on the table. Justice. Law. Morality. Honesty.

Yesterday when I was in the Concordia bookstore, I was looking at the
170$ textbook that I had to get for a class that I would have for a
single semester. I could also get the book used for a ‘modest’
140$.  As I flipped through the page, the thoughts crossed my
head: I am not going to pay for this book.  The second thing that
came across my mind was: okay, so, where’s the radio tag?

You read right. I was seriously contemplating stealing the book.

Not for a moment did I concemplate that ‘stealing is immoral’ or that I
was ‘breaking the law’ or that in some grand scheme, society would
crumble like a stale cookie if I were to step out of line and be The
One, the one who just decided not to pay.  I had checked out the
guys at the counter. I knew which one to walk past since he looked less
aware than the others. I knew just how to hold the book so it looked
like it was mine.  I had already taken out the security devices,
and in any case it would’ve been pretty easy to demagnetize it on one
of the cash stations where there was no cashier, and which was in the
camera’s blindspot.

In the end, the only thing that deterred me was that I was somewhat
fearful of actually getting caught.  I am saying that I feared
getting punished for the act of taking that book.  But I still
beleive that, if I had pulled it off, I would feel no remorse
whatsoever.  Even if they had caught me– it wouldn’t be that the
act would be wrong.  It’s because these are the rules of ‘the
game’, and I have to accept the rules whether I agree with them or not.

Let’s talk a bit about ‘the game’.

The game says that university mathematics in a primer course has not
changed in the past hundred years. The quadratic equation is still the
quadratic equation.  Factoring is still factoring. 
Integration is still integration.  For the most part, there is
nothing in this text book that is new– what is new is the new fancy
cover, the edition number, and the name of the next fat cat publisher
that rolls himself to sleep in hundred dollar bills every night.

What the game says is that a university knows that basic algebra,
trigonometry and calculus hasn’t changed one iota as far as layment are
concerned.  We are not talking about the latest advances on the
bleeding edge of modern mathematics here.  We’re talking about
knowledge that is common and has been reiterated a thousand
times.  THe university knows this.  Yet there has been, as of
yet, no effort to make a common, free text available despite the age of

If it were a novel just recently written, sure– okay. Charge me the 8
bucks.  That author’s gotta eat.  But it’s not as if
Descartes, Gauss and the rest of the math-hole boys give a bloody damn
about royalties when they’re thousdands of years too dusty to
care.  Math is common knowledge– it does not rely on an author to
give it style.  It is not something that you can convince me can
be copyrighted.  It’s not something you can convince me is worth
more than a hundred dollars for just the ‘way that it’s presented’.

And yet the unis don’t want to allow a standard of open-source mathematics.

The same game is played in english literature as well.  The
majority of novels that we study in class are by authors long dead,
whose copyrights have long since expired– we can, in that sense, put
an entire book on the net, and it’s actually perfectly legal.

But when a professor tells me “You need to get this edition, otherwise
you won’t understand” I scoff.  A textbook is a teaching
aid.  And there ways other than forcing us to pay exhorbitant
prices for us to get the aids that we need.

But everyone makes such a big deal about the age of internet, the era
of information and all that– but what, really, are we using it for?

Let it be just known that the only reason I didn’t steal the damn book
is because society says that I have to pay for information. I don’t
agree– in fact, I find that publishers’ stranglehold on universities
is immoral in the most primal sense, and that ‘stealing’ such a book
would be like a revolutionary act if anything. But I know that if I go
against this rule, I go to jail.  I’ve got bigger fish to fry at the moment, so for the time being, I have to play nice.

The very concept of a ‘bookstore’ bothers the hell out of me, perhaps
because spent years working at an underfunded public library.  A
book… is it something to be collected, or something to be
shared?  But the way the game works– collections are all the
rage. Accumulation, not links to others, is the in thing. 
Material wealth, and all that.

I’ve borrowed that textbook from the library actually, the only copy…
and I intend to scan every damn page of it later tonight.  Just
because “I need this book for this class”.

Will i feel even the slightes pang of guilt?

Oh spare me your downtalking from your capitalist moral-high
horse.  I’m a student, and you are trying to sell me something
that you have no right to monopolize.

I have started brushing my teeth with my left arm because I figure,
I’ve only got a dozen years with my right shoulder left. Better not
waste it on silly little things like the mundanities of oral
hygene.  Maybe I can cut corners.

Random thought about the realism of movies.

When someone breaks into a house and there’s a resident couple, what
weapons do people pick up? He goes for the basebal bat or the golf
clubs.  If it’s the woman, she goes for the kitchen knife.

Now, women and kitchen knives aside, I think the kitchen knife is the
way to go.  No jokes about how women are better with kitchen
utensils than men, please.

But really.  I don’t know about your house, but I think from a
practical consideration, using a baseball bat indoors would be pretty
hard to do, you know, with all the door frames and walls getting in my
way. This isn’t, after all, the 18th green with air and AIR all around.
This is the typical home.

It also takes a hell of a lot more effort to do damage with a blunt
swinging weapon in confined quarters than a bladed weapon, especially one as sharp as a knife.

I don’t know about you, but we don’t have any of that Ginsu 2000 crap
in my house… i come from a line of chinese cooks who value the
cleanliness of a good chop.

As to range, well. Come on guys.  The ladies aren’t afraid of
getting close and personal (otherwise they’d go with the long range
weapons like you panzies).  Knives are the way to go.

Remember kids, we’re not as good as Steven Segal. We cannot go into a
room with nothing but an angry face and a pony tail and hope to whup
everyone.  But for situations like this, Segal still has the answers: think Segal in Under Seige– if you’re
thinking “my ennemy will not like having a knife in his head”, then you
are on the right path.

Side note:

I need to cut down on playing Halflife.  Beating the green
beejeezus out of mutants that whimper like very real sounding dogs is a
bit toooooo realistic than is probably healthy.

At the heart of madness lies nothing but silver sphere suspended in
clarity and in time.  It reflects what is all around it– for
madness is not something that comes from the outside.  Though what
drives us mad is when we look inside and find not substance but just a
distorted reflection, an attempt to be everything external all at once.

I just saw Jackie Chan in New Police Story, and that is a goddamn GOOD movie.  See it. Now.

Surprisingly, it’s not a movie that’s all about stunts or action– it’s actually very dramatic, and the story is the highlight.

I have a lot of thoughts to xanga about but I’m feeling a bit lazy.
Hopefully these thoughts will last until later when i’m not being so
constantly interrupted by my teacher’s voice. (I’m in class right now.)

It’s rather unfortunate, but I think my shoulder is starting to wear
down again… I was trying some pushup variations that I used to do (as
opposed to the standard wide kinds that I usually do now) and I
couldn’t take it, my shoulder couldn’t even stand up to a single full
push.  It has nothing to do with strength– I’m pretty much
convinced that there’s something wrong in there, I think it’s some of
the cartiledge that’s worn down.

I seem to be lucky enough that the partiucular ligs are not used (much)
in most badminton strokes, so for the most part it doesn’t interfere–
but I can feel it during deffensive strokes. It’s not nice.

I can still do the slow motions of a hook punch and a straight jab, but
I can’t ‘snap’ or ‘whip’ out the punch like used to, it feels as if
whenever I do that someone breaks my shoulder all over again. 
It’s goddamn unpleasant.

The problem isn’t from badminton per se, I’ve had this shoulder problem
as far back as three years ago as far as i can remember, when I was
still doing weights.  Funny that, how weights are supposed to
strengthen your muscles to protect your joints and in fact all i got
was a gradual case of repetitive motion syndrome.

Injuries really really bother me because they limit my ability to move
freely…. I never take this forgranted because being able to move
freely is such a basic ability to me, I don’t know how I could survive
without it.

I wrecked one of my knee braces last week, and metal lateral
stabilizers have cut through the fabric of the brace and are now just
jutting out.  That damned thing cost me forty bucks.

I guess I’ll have to be more careful.  I have to slow down.

The problem with RsM on weekends in my case is that our badmintion
sessions last about 6 hours.  I play badminton usually about once
a week… unlike most people who play like 2-3 times a week for a
couple of hours at a time, I get my entire week’s fill on one day
usually so that means it’s pretty intense.  It’s a question of
endurance, of pacing yourself.

In fact, I don’t need knee braces because I’m injured (I wear two of
them) I wear them because I need them to slow me down.  Without
knee braces, I pour in too much energy early on in the day, I move too
fast in too short a period of time.

Course, when my knees are getting more fatigued, that’s when they work
not just as limitors but as actual support. But alas, that’s my strange
planning for you.

Suffice it to say that physical activity plays a large part in my way
of life– however, the irony is that in my overindulgence, perhaps I
may disable myself an ultimately be less physically able than the
average couch potatoe.


I have started playing Half Life on PC. Not Half Life 2… the original
one.  I’m playing it on my laptop.  Yes, that’s right. I am
playing an FPS with a touchpad on my laptop. Do you know how freaking
hard that is?

And yet, I’ve gotten pretty damn good at it.

Confessions of a Teenage Messiah.

Today I healed a bunch of lepers and ministered to sinners
and whores. At Sunday school that Mary Magdalene sure was looking fine. If I were normal I would
so hit it. But I’m not. So I won’t. Life is so unfair. Why can’t my dad be like other dads?
Mine’s perfect. And all powerful. You know what a pain in the ass that is? I’m scared shitless here!
He says I have to go to camp. In
the desert. For 40 days and 40 nights. And the camp counselor is THE FUCKING DEVIL.
And he’s gonna offer me cool things like
money and power and fame and I have to turn them all down. WTF? I heard this Eastern dude,
Bubba or something, did the same thing under a tree. What a weirdo. Gawd, my life is so lame. I have to
save the world cuz daddy told me to. I hate you Dad! I hate you! JC ❤ MM 4eva. Megadeth rulz