4:58AM

by Jinryu

“Just so you know,” I said, waving my hand to get his attention, “SSU’s still got 3 beds left.”

“What about med wards?”

“Full, but we can offservice maybe 1 or 2? They won’t be happy though.”

“Roger that,” he says, and gives me a thumbs up, even as I’m already halfway down the hallway on my way back to triage.  The current wait time tonight for category 4 and 5 non-urgent patients is 7 hours– and that’s being optimistic.

I think it’s important to note that when people get upset at the health care system, they need to realize that they should usually be angry at the system and not the people working in healthcare.  Most of us frontliners genuinely care about the wellbeing of your child (otherwise we’d get the hell out of this line of business, because the pay and stress is ridiculous) and if things are going terrible, it really is because of staffing problems.

The Emergency department at the Montreal Childrens’ hospital operates nightly with one doctor and a resident or two.  That means that for all the people who come through the door, they’re all basically in line to see one of two people.  Naturally, things quickly get backlogged.

The nursing situation isn’t that much better, with us operating on nursing crews that make up only 50-60% of the ideal team size.

I would venture to say that from my previous experiences at the Montreal Chest Institute and the Montreal General though that healtcare professionals at the MCH are pound for pound some of the toughest sons of bitches around, and I’m really proud to be one of those frontliners.

The team here resonates with eachother really well– there’s a good level of cooperation and morale is almost always high, and on numerous occasions their fighting spirit dumbfounds me.  I pride myself in many ways with being able to put up with a lot of shit when it comes to me– I’ve caught craploads of viruses, gotten infections, been cut up, broken bones, gotten sprains, dislocations, and even been knocked unconsious once.  But to see it happen to a kid, or a baby? Well, I dunno.  There’s something about seeing someone other than me that makes me react in ways that I wouldn’t if it were simply me.

But the rest of my team, experienced as they are, are really good at that– just working on the problem.  Not adding any worry to any situation.  Or maybe it’s just that they’re good at hiding it.

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

lOCATION: @WORK
time: 11:19PM Sep 18
Batteries: 60% (Not good! I just started my shift 4 minutes ago =_=’)

Didn’t get much sleep last night so this is not going to be an easy shift.  Haven’t really done anything for my birthday yet– the BBQ is tomorrow, so that’ll be that.  But, before I can get to that, I need to survive tonight’s night shift.

I should’ve probably known better and taken precautions sooner,but due to my birthday I’ve been getting text messages from just about everyone with well wishes, including people who don’t normally text message me.  It doesn’t help that my Facebook account is also linked to my phone, so whenever someone writes me som FB mail or scrawls on my wall, I get notifications.  NOrmally, I go days and even weeks before anything shows up on my phone (I’m not very Facebook popular) but since Facebook is the only online medium where my birthday is actually registered, that means that my birthday is the one time of year when people just start messaging me like crazy for the day before, of, and after to wish me well.

Thanks to everyone who wished me well! 

The downside though is that when you’re trying to sleep, at the corner of your head you constantly hear your phone vibrating or ringing you up with a new message.  I never turn off my phone, you see– I’m on call for Code: Orange situations for work (yes, 24/7), and I like to leave it on at all times for family emergencies, especially now that my grandparents are getting into more and more frequent situations.  I considered turning off the ringer, but that was only after I’d been woken up like 5 times by text messages, and even on vibrate I was sensitive enough to notice it buzzing on my table.

The thing is, yes, most people are sensitive enough to not send me text messages in the middle of the night, as would be considered common etiquette.  However, being a part-time night jockey, I sometimes (like, lately) have been sleeping during the day.  Thus, I’ve always being woken up.

-=-=-=-=-=-

My general rule about things like that is that if you have anything to say, just send me a text message or give me a call, doesn’t matter what time of day.  24/7, you always have the option of calling me– mind you, I have the option of ignoring the call (especially if I’m at work) or sleeping through it, but I accept responsibility for being the 24hour goto guy.

-=-=-=-=-=-=-

Anyway,

tomorrow is going to be a long day.  I’ll be finishing work at 7:15AM, I’ll get home, shower, maybe have some breakfast/dinner.  Then hop in bed and try to sleep myself into a coma.

If I’m lucky, I’ll wake up around 4pm which will be a good 8 hours, and then it’s off the grocery store to find some food for the BBQ.  It’s not going to be very original on my part– I’m pretty much going to the Korean grocery store on Decarie, about 10 minutes away from my pad, and I’ll be buying a bunch of pre-marinated packages of beef, pork, chicken and squid.

Thankfully, Ly gave me a call earlier and told me that she was actually going to help out by bringing some steaks and dessert. Mmmmm, steaks.

-=-=-=-=-=-=-

Location: @Work
Time: 1:50AM Sep 19
Batteries: 75% (I think after working a bit, I feel a bit more awake)

I think I forgot to mention how sometime a while back, as an april fools joke, one of my coworkers here at the hospital signed me up for Lavalife.  Within a day, I received soliciations from Russian mail-order brides.  It was good for a few laughs I suppose.  What I did get out of it was that I met some people online who, although I never followed up on, I did get the chance to chit chat with online every now and then whenever the odd situation arrived that I was on MSN.

I’m not sure what it is but in my head I bear this immense prejudice against the idea of online dating, and in general, meeting people online.  It’s one of those things, I just think they’re a bad idea.  They just feel kinda sad, and pathetic, if not simply strange or creepy.

When I really think about it, I don’t know exactly where this stigma comes from though.  Maybe it’s that I like to think that I’m cool enough to go around and just meet interesting girls without having to resort to the anonymity of the ‘net.

I think one of those big things that I always thought about online dating was that you’d end up going on a blind date with some sort of freak, some sorta net troll who just stalked the online classifieds out of habit and had no real connection with the world aside from through electronic means.   Like, a nerd.

Who am I kidding though?  Maybe I should look in the mirror. Okay, I don’t loiter around the personals.  But, lets be realistic:

I play craploads of videogames.  Since I bought my Xbox 360 in January of this year, I’ve played and mostly finished 23 titles– that’s over two games per month.  This is while working full time.

I don’t have cable or satelite television, but I manage to keep up to date with my favorite animes and television shows all online.

I own a phone that, when it was first released, retailed at close to a thousand dollars.  Its a couple of years old now,but as far as I’m concerned, does everything I want it to.  I don’t have a home phone number, but I use this cellphone for everything communications related: email; long distance skype calls; and everything in between.  The phone can also video call, but unfortunately that carrier service insn’t available.

I order my clothes online– from South Korea.  If the service was available in Montreal (as it was in SK) I would order my groceries online as well.

I used to blog once a day, and most emails that I write are long enough to require paragraphs.

Every joke that is made in Big Bang Theory, I understand.  (“Please! I’m the DOPPLER EFFECT!!”)

So, who am I kidding? I hold so many of the characteristics of the … er… ‘geek’ or ‘nerd’ who has most of has a fair amount of presence in a virtual world.

Am I ashamed of the fact that I spend as much time as I do in front of LCDs?  I don’t think so– and I know for a fact that, as much time as I do spend with these electronic hobbies, I do lead a pretty busy life both professionally and leisurely away from those activities.  I happen to think I’m an interesting person.

So what’s to say that going for walk in cyberspace will encounter me people any more screwed up than the people I meet in meatspace?

-=-=-=-=-

So I gave it a shot, out of curiosity.  What could you find online?  I never used to read the personals– I did read Craigslist “Missed Connections” because I thought that some of them would fill up that part of my psyche that demanded overdramatic chick flics every now and then (which I don’t always have time to watch).

The personals turned out to be an entirely different… shall we say, style of writing. Most of the time, it was sleazier than I would have expected.  There’s no shortage of people who are looking for some casual sex or a one night stand.

On another level, it’s about as shallow as I should have expected: people sometimes come up with the craziest conditions.  Whoever replies must be sexy, have a PhD, speak four languages, and must be working on a cure for cancer or at least, be on their way in reinventing the wheel.

And then there are the ads that, by themselves, are kinda pointless because they tell you absolutely nothing about the person or what they want.

-=-=-=-=-=-

Maybe a week or two ago, I put up an ad in the personals.

I guess it’s one thing for me to be looking for someone in the personals– it’s another thing for me to just take the time to introspect on just what I have to offer and who I am, and write a personal.  I found it pretty tough to do, from a technical standpoint.  On some level, I guess I was just curious if anyone would be interested in what I had to say.

Anyway, from the process, I actually got 5 messages back.  One of them was another russian mail order bride. 
Another one was someone who wasn’t interested but who wished me good luck with my post.  One of them, who seemed the most interesting, wrote a pretty thoughtful message, but after I replied, she didn’t reply back. (Must’ve gone in the junk mail.)

And the other two?  Well, I’m meeting them on tuesday and wednesday.

They don’t /sound/ like psychos so far.

I’m keeping an open mind.

-=-=-=-=-=-=-

I was thinking about this whole situation, and in large part, it comes up because of this situation with Quynh and Ly.

And the previous situation with [Kingston].

And the only reason why the situation with [Kingston] is different is because I didn’t really think too much about the fact that she had a boyfriend– I had no loyalties to him because I didn’t know who he was.

Mind you, I didn’t pursue [Kingston] as much as I could have, or, as some argued, /should/ have– and that’s only because of discipline and some sorta screwed up sense of honor, or a Bro Code, or something.

With Ly, as much as I like her, I’ve been really good at putting her out of my mind because I’m a pretty close friend of Quynh’s despite the fact that he’s been annoying the shit out of me sometimes lately.

Anyway, I’ve gotten two very different but still very thought provoking bits of advice from friends.

The first was from SiB– he suggested that “All the good girls are taken, and that’s true– they’re in high demand.  Thus, the only way to get a good one is to steal one.”

The other bit of advice is another way, which comes from Zanshin: “Stop hanging out so much with the same circles of people.”

-=-=-=-=-

While SiB’s logic certainly seems like it could be true, the thing is, I’m just scared of causing trouble for couples that might very well be working.  Nevermind if the girl likes me or not ‘in that way’– there’s still a lot of potential for an outsider to screw up a working relationship just by spending to much time with a the girl.  Anyway, it’s just complicated– so the best way to go about it is to just put it out of my mind.

Mind you, that probably sounds like it lacks courage– but… something about it just doesn’t feel right.

So I’m more inclined to take Zanshin’s advice and meet more different people.

-=-=-=-=-=-=-

Actually, if there’s anything that this summer with [Kingston] taught me, it’s that I can just make new friends in Montreal.  Making friends in SK is very different– you don’t need to really try, I find.  The amount of choice that a North American has in SK is limited, so everyone of a native-English speaking background naturally stick together, and friendships are automatically a possibility. And Koreans?  Well, I found that almost any Korean I spoke to was more than eager to befriend me, in large part because of the novelty of my non-Korean background.

But back here in Montreal?

Everyone you can meet has plenty more options of who /they/ can be friends with.  You aren’t one of the few English speaking people in the city– you are part of a majority, and you’re nothing special by default.

Meeting Kingston happened all on it’s own, but the friendship we built was because I took a step forward and went out of my way.

And it sounds silly I suppose, but it’s been a long time since I’d made a new friend in Canada.

It’s a process different enough that I feel I should point out how it was different in SK.

-=-=-=-=-=-

Anyway, my point is– I need more girls in my life.  Not necessarily for a relationship, but, in a strange way, just so that I don’t start overthinking every time Ly and I go out to dinner alone.

In all likelihood, this situation occurs because I have a really flexible schedule and can go out just about any time.

But in my head?  I have a great imagination, especially one for conspiracies… and because she’s basically the only girl I hang out with nowadays, even only as a friend, I naturally start thinking of her in contexts other than her relationship with Quynh.

Am I that desparate?

It’s not that– it’s just that I don’t leave myself that many options.  Which is why I just have to go out of my way to meet new people.

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

Time: 4:58AM Sep 19
Batteries: 60% (It’s probably less than that, but for some reason, my tiredness has peaked so I still feel about the same as I did hours ago).

I didn’t take a nap during my break because when I get home later in the morning, I want to be able to just sleep like a stone.

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