dal niente

Month: January, 2015


It’s been over a year since Ganma died (my Chinese pronunciaion of “Grandma”, since she couldn’t pronounce the “r” or the “d”). My grandfather and one of my aunts still live in that shared home, so their phone number is still in my phone book. So whenever I’m going to call to say hello and see how things are going, I still get the contact picture for that phone number pop up– which is my grandmother, from a time before she was diagnosed with leukemia.

Despite that I’ve changed phones, possibly twice since Granma passed away, her photo persists, automatically migrating over the cloud with the rest of data.

They say that those that pass live on in our memories– this is true. Times are changing further– such that we get reminders in more persistent ways through the convenience of technology that wants to help us, normally in other circumstances, from forgetting things.

Facebook backs up all the picture I receive in FB Messenger conversations automatically. An aunt of mine passed away in the Philippines two days ago– I didn’t know her, so it’s not a huge deal for me. But I was part of a FB Messenger message group where her sons and immediate family were posting prayers and pictures. Because a lot of the conversation is in a dialect I don’t understand, I muted the conversation since I can’t make sense of it anyway. But FB continues to save those pictures in the background.

It’s such that when I’m hitting “attach photo” in a completely unrelated message to someone else, with the intention of posting a picture of the [Cat], I see pictures of a dying woman hooked up to machines in a hospital, or her funeral.

That’s just technology being technology– while it has been programed for convenience, perhaps it has a thing or two to learn about the importance of context. I wonder too if it brings to issue the place of forgetfulness.

[The Cat]

, well, more like a kitten, is now 4 months old.

She fights invisible ninjas to the background music of Carole King’s Tapestry. I am convinced that either The Cat or Carole King repels visible ninjas (or some undetermined ratio of the two together), because my home has never shown any sign of visible ninjas when either is active.

I watch her doing her thing, amazed at how little I know about quadripedal biomechanics. I just got home from judo– I have a broken finger nail and another finger almost accidentally went backwards because it got caught in someone’s gi. But truth be told, it was a fun night, and as I load up the latest episode of The Strain for some mindless entertainment, I think to myself– things are going alright.

[CM] is out with her new cohort of medical interns, so I have some time to myself to chill out after a day of good work.

2015 is turning out well so far.


Things are looking up– on the 13th of January 2015, [CM] was offered an internship position!

We have been waiting months for this. Most graduating med students were assigned internships back in November 2014, and all the leftover spots were drying up by mid December. If she didn’t get this internship, CM would have had to wait until November 2015 until we hopefully had permanent residency in Australia, in which case she would be able to get an automatic spot for 2016. That means that she would essentially be forced to take a year off because the university trained more graduates than they had managed to secure internship spots in hospitals for.

Anyway, details details– the important thing is that she got an internship. This is a huge cause for celebration!

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck


A good read sent to me by [CM].

Post Vacation Vacation

Now back in Sydney from Hong Kong, things are returning a bit back to our daily routine. This means a couple of things.

Work resumes on Monday; I look forward to having a bit of a daily routine, but I’m less than enthused considering the last few times I worked– I made a major mistake for a client in December, and over the holidays, had a lot of trouble collaborating over the internet with [the Firm] which lead to a lot of my work largely being for nothing. It’s all left a sour taste in my mouth, but I’m looking forward to the chance to get things right and build things in the right direction.

[CM] still doesn’t have an internship, and yesterday night had a meltdown about it. It hasn’t been easy, and I feel that I’ve come to resent med school, even though I’m not in it. It’s taken more than its fair share of my life I think. The mental scars that it’s left on CM are going to last for a long time and I wonder at times if it’s even worth it for her to keep trying.

That all sounds quite grim for the future I suppose, especially at the start of a new year. I ask myself sometimes, where am I compared to before? And there are a lot of different ways to measure this.

I’m a smarter person now– stronger, tougher and all that. My career is finally starting and I have free time now. Financially, we’re more secure now that the source of our debts, school, will cease, and rather than having just a string of part-time jobs, I’m working at a single place. So things are better, professionally.

But what about other things? I don’t feel that I’m any happier than I was before with CM– and that’s mostly because her life is completely on hold while this internship situation is ambiguous. This ambiguity may still be the case for another year– does this mean that we’re going to have to keep picking up the peices, and falling apart every few days, all over again for another year?


Our baby cat, who is now about 14 weeks old, has arrived. I haven’t thought of an appropriate internet pseudoname for her yet, but she’s in good healthy and energetic. More to say about her later, but I have guests over at the moment so will need to entertain.