dal niente

Tag: romance

Relationships in popular fiction

Thought this was an interesting read:

What J.K. Rowling’s Ron And Hermione Bombshell Tells Us About True Love And ‘Harry Potter’

Read the article here

Advertisements

 

Before we get finished, we’ll make the town roar
We’ll hit a few late spots, and then a few more
We’ll wind up at Stringy’s and maybe Groucho’s
Life is gonna be we-wow-whee!
For my shadow and me!

Last Friday evening,

I finished work at 6pm.  My breast pocket started vibrating, and as I stepped out of the elevator, I fumbled to reach my phone before the ringer went off.  It was [Paladin].

“I’m gonna skip out of work a bit early,” he said.  “Do you want to meet up sooner?”

I was feeling tired, and I wasn’t in the best of moods because it was a mentally trying day at work, so it sounded like a good enough idea. We had a bit of plan set up for that night; I’d finish work, maybe head to the gym, then meet up with Paladin when he finished work an hour later, and together we’d wait for [SiB] to finish work so we could head out to Marven’s and gorge ourselves on some Greek food. Marven’s has what I consider to be the best steak, lamb chops and calamari plates on the island of Montreal, and believe me when I say that qualification is not ill deserved: as a devout omnivore, no one delivers the goods like they do.

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

Earlier that morning, just after rolling the Warthog into the bike rack at the hospital, I fumbled my bike lock. I don’t have just any ordinary lock. Mine’s a pretty heavy duty kind where the straightbar section of the u-lock is about 2 inches in diameter. It’s a pretty heavy lock. Somehow, despite that I’ve handled this religious motion of swinging my bag around me such that the straightbar falls squarely right in my palm, somehow something that morning was off and the lock escaped my fingertips by just enough. I fumbled the lock, and it fell on my foot. Though the lock weighs about the same as a Montreal phonebook, the shape of it focused the the blow like a chisel right on my right pinky toe. As chance would have it, I was wearing my comfy Merrel quick-shoes, which are no thicker than the kung-fu shoes that Bruce Lee so famously wore.

I felt everything from my lower spine up to my neck tighten in anguish. I didn’t scream or swear (you kind of get in the habit of not doing that when you work at the Children’s Hospital), I just sucked it up. I won’t kid you though– it fucking hurt. Out of all injuries I’ve incurred, the most annoying ones are to my back, to my feet, and to my neck, in that order. Whether it’s a broken toe, a sprained ankle or even a cut on your heel, every attempt to get one step closer to where you need to be is a constant reminder of how much your life will suck for the next few days or even weeks. They take a long time to heal, because you’re always on your feet, and this tends to aggravate the injury. Although this time it was just a brused bone and a sore collection of tendons, like the time I broke my last two toes, there are a lot of sideeffects. One of them, for example, is because I naturally try to keep my weight off of the outside of my foot, I tend use the inside of my foot too much and that causes ankle pain after a while. Left unchecked, that can lead to a sprained ankle.

I got through my day at work limping around while getting done what needed doing. Mercifully, my work at the OR doesn’t involve nearly as much running around as in ER, and it was the first time I was thankful for being able to do most of my work from an office chair.

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

Work, since I came back from vacation, has been going pretty well. I think I’m establishing myself firmly in as part of the crew. Haven’t made that many close friends, but I get along well with everyone and for anything more there’s [Chere] and [Mickey]. That’s the way I like it– I don’t tend to make close friends out of coworkers. Maybe I’ve just become lazy and jaded with my age. It’s not that I’m incapable of making new friends– in fact, if I do say so myself, I’m really good at it. I make people feel comfortable, I make people laugh, I can hold a conversation with people of all backgrounds and professions– but I’m just lazy. I find it takes a lot of effort for people who either I have no space for in my life, or who have no space for me. Thus, I prefer the promiscuity of the energy I invest in my hobbies, because they give me the returns without the guilt.

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

I met up with Paladin and we went out, shot the shit for a while. It was so hard to move about that we went to a local Pharmaprix (a Quebecois chain of pharmacies, equivalent to Shoppers’ Drugmart in other provinces) and I shelled out about twenty bucks to get a cane. I would’ve liked the pimpin green fibreglass one, but that cost almost twice as much so I went with “standard old man steel” style instead. Using a cane made a huge difference– I could walk almost as fast as normal bipedal humanoid mammal with that thing.

Eventually SiB finished work and we headed out to Marvens for our steaks. SiB was pretty impressed with the place– the steak he got was more than he expected, and he barely was able to eat it all. It was so good, in fact, that SiB vowed never to return there. It was the most delcious steak he’d ever been introduced to, but the guilt of not being able to finish it ruined it for him. I mean, I guess some people just eat until they can’t move– can’t say I’ve ever felt guilty about eating before though.

The tone of the evening was jovial and fun, despite that the real nature of my meeting with Paladin was more significant than you’d guess. I’ll get to that part later.

The original plan was for us all to go out drinking when we got back downtown, at Paladin’s suggestion. SiB ducked out at the last minute, which, as always, is disappointing, but frequent enough that I don’t really think about it nowadays.

I’m not sure what’s up with SiB nowadays. I know that everyone grows up and everything, but as I recall, he was one of the most adventurous people I knew back in college. I’m not sure what changed about the fundamentals of his personality. I said it once on the subject on one of [Terminator]’s friends– I said, isn’t it terrible when your own closest friends won’t set you up on a date because they think “he’s a bad person”? I mean, what are friends for, but to back eachother up?

So maybe I feel a bit bad about saying this, but I feel that SiB has become someone different in some ways, and it’s approaching the kind of person that I might have something bad to say about. It’s not that he’s not fun anymore– but somehow, he just seems…

It’s hard to really pinpoint what is it about us that changes that we call growing up. We don’t really have a say in how people chose to mature, and considering that despite the choices and initiative we might take in our own life, we have so little say in the circumstances that challenge us that it’s no wonder that we don’t grow up the way we expect. Nobody does. What their interests will be, or the choices they’ll make?

Sometimes you just get this feeling that maybe things somewhere took a turn for the worse. Some of the things about people are just small things that you might say “he/she has always been like this” and that’s where your tolerance for it begins– next thing you know, that person feels intolerable, and you don’t know how you go to that point.

I wonder if he’s going through some transition phase or something?

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

I joined a gym a bit over a week ago. Nautilus Plus. It’s one of the higher end gyms in Montreal (if you agree with my standard that the YMCA is slightly above average, in terms of cost). I joined it almost exclusively because SiB agreed to partner with me, but there’s a number of reasons why this was doomed. Most of all, it’s that SiB in my opinion is inconsistent with what he wants out of the gym. Or at least, he’s not telling me– and that makes it difficult for me to figure out how to go any gym plan between him and I. That trickles down to other things to things that don’t affect me, but which kind of affect the way I look at him. For example, when he says he’s going to go to gym in the morning, and he doesn’t. It’s happened enough times that he’s edging into that category of people who don’t have enough discipline to follow through on the things they say, but with whom I won’t make a big deal about because it doesn’t directly affect me.

Yet, though what he does on his own time doesn’t affect me, I make it a concern of mine because it reflects his character, and he’s my close friend. If it were just a friend, I wouldn’t care. And when it comes to close friends, I have really high standards– to the point where I only have a handful left. My closest of friends are close to me not because of their contexts or circumstances, but their character. I think it’s telling of people not only what they do with or for you with regards to what they say, but what they do with regards to themselves and what they say they’ll do.

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

Anyway, on a more direct level, here are my thoughts about the Nautilus vs the YMCA gyms. I’ve been to three branches of Nautilus and three branches of the YMCA.

  • the Nautlius equipment is more outdated than YMCA equipment I’ve used over two years ago (none of the safety bars on the bench press that prevent you from crushing yourself if you bottom out, for example)

  • Things at the Nautilus are in disarray (weight discs, free weights and handles lying scattered everywhere)

  • Nautilus seems to think that their personal trainers are more qualified than those at other gyms, but as I understand it, anyone who’s a personal trainer needs to present you with their credentials and qualifications if you ask. Nautilus charges a lot more though. I never tried their trainers because I couldn’t afford it, so I couldn’t tell you if they were better.

  • The YMCA beats Nautilus on more value for money– free classes, pools, courts, etc…

I dunno, I guess I don’t sound like I like the Nautilus very much, and my blanket-all conclusion is that out of the handful of gyms chains or solo gyms that I’ve had memberships at, Nautilus ranks overall at the bottom of the barrel. I would pretty much have stuck to it if SiB had, but, as of this morning, I went and canceled my membership. Gymming there with SiB just isn’t going to work out.

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

In part, I need to cut costs wherever I can. I might not be penny-pinching yet, but every ten dollar bill counts, and with gymming replacing videogame as my monthly entertainment expense (it was going to be either one of the other) you might wonder why.

Well, things have been rolling along smoothly for my university application. I received confirmation that I can begin core courses in the Integrated Studies program (MAIS) in September, but I’m likely to start one course in July off-schedule to get back into the groove of studentship. The program is 33 credits, that’s to say, 11 3-credit courses, and each course will set me back a bit shy of 1500$ Canadian.

That’s not insignificant. That much money is the greater part of my monthly salary. So, yes, I need to tighten the belt a bit.

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

But anyways, back to last Friday. The main subject of Friday’s meeting with Paladin was because, in a sense, we have a few parallels going on as far as our lives went.

[Supergirl] went back to Asia a few weeks back, and life hasn’t been the same. I’ve mostly been filling up my free time the same way I always do– with hobbies and work, to exhaust myself and keep my mind from thinking too much about things that I can’t change. But on Paladin’s end– his marriage is going to be postponed.

It was a moment of dumbfoundedness the other day when I was just checking things on my Google Calendar, and I had to remove Paladin’s wedding from this month’s events.

Paladin’s fiance, [Rda], is great. We get along just famously. I got her started playing videogames with Rockband, and she’s been a diehard of it since whenever we have the time. She’s Muslim.

That she’s Muslim isn’t the problem– the problem is that her parents won’t aproove of the marriage because they don’t want anything to do with Paladin, except on prejudicial grounds of religion. Rda is bound to obey her parents, because she believes that if she disobeys, they’re bound to burn in hell, along with any children they might want to have, for disrespecting the commands of the parents.

So, if I had to tell you why we drank about 70$ worth of shooters each, plus a couple of pints, you might understand the motivation.

-=-=-=-=-=-

I think it’s important to note that of all the people I know, Paladin and I have a particular approach to drinking which we don’t often exercise, but it’s effective when we do. A lot of people drink to be cool. There’s nothing cool about spending craploads of money on something that you will either puke or piss away. Nor is there anything cool about being so drunk that you don’t know what you’re doing, forget the next day, or worse, combine the two by doing something you wouldn’t normally do and then not remembering that the next day.

Paladin and I might get drunk to the point that we can’t walk, but it has a particular purpose– to make us talk. I think I’ve actually gotten better in this respect– if I trust you, I no longer need alcohol to tell you my life story. I think in general, Supergirl has made me a more trusting person in that regard. It’s not just that it’s fun to talk to her– but, what helps me talk is that I feel I can talk about things of importance to her, and she’s not just looking out for me– she’s looking out for us. When you start operating as a unit of two– it just seems correct that there needs to be some flow of information or something.

Paladin’s a bit different– for all his good nature and outwardly positive , I think he still denies (unlike me) that sometimes he’s got some real anger in him. Anger has never been one of my weak points– I know exactly how I get angry or frustrated. Actually, I think that compared to the general population, I’m pretty in touch with my feelings, and I know a great deal about how I handle emotions and the transfer of energy. It’s not because I wanted to be strong or anything– I just wanted to survive, and it came with the territory.

Not everbody deals with things the same way though and for some, alcohol is key. It doesn’t solve problems, but perhaps it lifts barriers and inhibitions to explore thoughts that one normally wouldn’t admit when sober. I think that’s Paladin’s case.

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

Although I’m talking about alcohol, I’m not describing how this was a bad time. In fact, go back to the beginning of this post– I had a great time with Paladin that night, and a great time when SiB was there earlier in the evning as well.

Between Marven’s and drinking, while we were out on Ball street, we had two rather strange encouters with really strange people. One of them must’ve been high, while the other was clearly drunk. One of them was loud and semi-threatening with a rolling speech about racial profiling (he was black) and police brutality, while the other one was like a 240 pound gang-banger with ADD, who asked us every 15 seconds what time it was.

Old habits die hard– though there were three us, I had myself deffensively postured as I sat on the bench, with my fingers loosely curled around my cane, my brain steeling itself to maim if need be. They turned out to be harmless– but you know, if I wanted to hurt someone, I wouldn’t do so by first looking like a threat. So I talked with them, shot the shit, kept their brains occupied, while my eyes kept on tracking theirs. While acutely aware that with a near-broken toe I was not near any fighting shape, the cane in my hands would make a great two handed stabbing weapon (don’t be a chump and try to use a hollow metal cane as a bludgeoning weapon! If you want better chances of a disabling blow, you want to stab.)

I know, I know, normal people don’t think about things like this. Welcome to my world. When I’m not having vigilante fantasies, I work at the Montreal Children’s Hospital, in case you were wondering where such a mind has place to develop.

-=-=-=-=-=-=–=-

I don’t like small talk with people I know because there’s always this sense of awkwardness or obligation with no real result. It’s kinda pointless. Either I know you well enough that we can skip the small talk, or I don’t know you and don’t care enough that I won’t bother with it. But it’s social convention.

But there’s something about random encounters, especially sketchy, semi-threatening ones, that really make my day. I think it’s because, in a certain way, I thrive on the fear that someday, someone will actually start something.

What happened to the good old days?

Well, I grew up– and I think what I realized was that if I got my knuckles dirty, it’s sometimes because I put myself in those sorts of situations. Dealing with a threatening situation is as much about discipline of ki and your energy imposition on the possible threat as it is about actually fighting. It’s about dominating your opponent’s wild energy and taking control of the situation whilst making them think that they’ve got no reason to fear you.

It happens every now and then that some people will just yell something out or start a conversation, and these aren’t people you want to talk to. Simple enough to say that telling them to fuck off isn’t always a good idea, as simple as it may be, even if you have the confidence and numbers to go toe-to-toe. I think that the way I’ve grown up though is that I’ve learned a thing or two from working in emotional hospital environments about politicking and smooth talking. When emotional, or inebriated, or high, or all of the above, people have plenty of energy to disspiate– some people are characterized by agile energy that’s extremely erratic. For those people, you try to manipulate their flows and give them focus. For people who have a lot of momentum and seem one tracked, you do the opposite– you throw chaff at their seekers and disperse their thoughts. To use an analogy– you don’t always need to kill a threat to stop it– sometimes you just have to remove its balance, so that it can’t mount it’s offense.

On the flipside, I’ve come to realize that it’s one thing to go out with the guys. If I was out there with Supergirl though, things would be different– and I’d feel a different kind of fear. And I don’t think I’d handle it all that well. This is something new to me.

I think that the reckless abandon that sometimes spikes comes from people trying to feel alive. But I have Supergirl, and that’s everything on it’s own– what fool would risk that?

Plans

I’ve been wondering lately about my skillsets as a person. It’s been a while since I really applied myself to learning something new.  Granted, I did start working in a completely new department just a few months ago, and I do have yet to really master all of that craft.  I do enjoy work.  But this is incidental– it isn’t what I necessarily want to do with my free time.

So what, really, do I want to do with my time?

Again, I’m not saying that I’m dissapointed with my job, nor do I make light of the amount of work that it took me to get where I am– but I wonder if there’s more out there for me.  I recently started watching the show Chuck.  I think that there’s an eggocentric in all of us, but then again, what do I know about you? All I know is that I tend to view the world around me in relation to myself because there is nobody I’ve known longer. For those of you who watch Chuck, it’s a series about an everyday joe who works at a fictional electronics store called the Buy More (think Circuit City, Future Shop, or Best Buy).  Thing is, he’s meant for greatness in some sense.  As a scholarship student at Stanford University, he gets kicked out on accusations of cheating. Turns out, he didn’t actually cheat– he was framed by his roomate, who is actually a CIA operative, in order to protect him.  Through some dumb luck, he is subsequently plunged into the world of spies.  And through it all, he meets Sarah, a CIA handler assigned to protect him.

The reason why I mention Chuck is because sometimes I feel like him.  He’s the same age as me.  He plays videogames, he understands a bit of Klingon, he’s tech savy and he’s got this way about him that makes him awkward around company at times in some ways.  To a certain degree, he enjoys his job at the Buy More; despite that his friends/coworkers are a bunch of sociopathic neanderthals, he has a sort of home in those ways and he knows the laws of the land.  He believes in helping people with what he’s good at, and as a result, he is their king– when everyone there is asked who the real leader is, everyone points to him because somehow, his helping nature.  It is the kind of place where he can make a difference– but, frankly, it is not the kind of place that necessarily uses all his potential for difference, nor is it the kind of place where he’s surrounded by people of like-minded goals.

And that’s the way I feel.


When [Supergirl] first told me months ago that she was planning to be out of Montreal by the middle of 2010, I remember how I felt.  Sort of, anyway.  Initially, it made me really depressed, because even then I knew that she was someone special above all the other women that I’d ever met.  The first day after she told me, I went out with [SiB] and got drunk.  It wasn’t pretty.  Frustration and helplessness set in– I wondered if somehow, despite my great luck in finding her, this ironic misfortune was just some cruel joke.  I started wishing, selfishly, that she wouldn’t be accepted into those med schools so that she could stay here.  Not for long mind you– but that is a selfishness I will admit, and I am not proud of it.

Overtime, as I came to know her even more, the idea of med school changed in my head though, at least as far as we were concenred.  Initially, I saw it just as an obstacle to our relationship.  But then, was it really?  What’s to say that she couldn’t go to med school and still be together? And so I changed my mind about it– and considered in my head what it would be like to move with her.  It was still early in the relationship, so it was hard for me to really make such a huge choice or to figure out the particulars, but the idea of moving took away the stigma of med school.

And then med school starting representing something else, that was perhaps a huge epiphany for me.  It represent, to Supergirl, a dream.  Something big that she’d always wanted to do.  And for that, over the course of our relationship from when we first met until today, as my love for her grew so too did my respect for her dream.  To the point where I could no longer fathom her not going after it, nevermind wish that she would fail at it just so she’d stay in Montreal.

It was, unfortunately, unrealistic of me to think that I could leave Montreal to follow her to Ireland or Australia immediately.  However, this is hardly to say that it’s not going to happen.  There are a number of question marks up in the air, but the basic synopsis is this: I have decided that I’m going to change things here in Montreal so that eventually, I’ll leave.

I’ve always been a man of baggage.  Some people call that filial piety, and respect this part of me higly, but a lot of people see it as a box that I can’t seem to get out of.  I believe that people can change– they just have to want to.  Up until now, I’ve never had a reason to change, and I’ve borne my responsibilities with a fair amount of pride and high-nosedness.

But this is different– because up until now, it’s been enough to agree to disagree.  The difference is that I want to be with Supergirl.  And to do that, I’m working on changing the mechanics of my priorities.

This has implications in the relationship aspect of my life, but that’s not the reason why I mention this.  The subject of this post has to do with my future– where I see myself in five years, and all that kind of thinking.

And I don’t see myself working at this desk (blogging when I should be entering post-operative reports).

For the longest time, while I was in univeristy, I trucked along because I started a program and just wanted to finish it.  I didn’t care what I finished.  I spent so much time dicking around in college that it was the principle of follow through that was important at this point.  I spent so much time working (almost fulltime work, with fulltime studies) in university that I never looked back and didn’t really wonder if that was the right program for me, or what jobs it would land me.

Now?  Now my life is in order.  My life, frankly, is freaking awesome.  As I’ve said: I have a stable job, a great girlfriend, things are going well on the family and friend front and people are in good health.  What more can I ask for?

What’s in store for the rest of this year though?

Supergirl leaves in July, and my contract with the OR expires in October.  Those are some pretty big changes that suggest to me that, as awesome as things are right now, this is only temporary.

So it’s time to start thinking about where I want to go next.

As I said, I got accepted for my Masters.  That’ll be my next focus– and I think that perhaps, this will be the gateway for me to bring everything together, to where it will finally settle.  It’ll help me get the skillsets that I’m looking for to do what I want (whatever that might be) and somewhere through the course of that, I’ll figure out how to meet up with Supergirl.

I’m really excited about starting my masters… which is something I didn’t expect.

Poison Control

(The following are posts written earlier than this posting date, but saved on USB)

July 26, 2009

 

Location: ER

Time: 08:26

Batteries: 60% (I just started work, so uh-oh spaghetti-o!)

 

8.5 hours after leaving this place, I’m back at the desk.  SSDD, as they say (same shit, different day).  I’m pretty much at my limit and thankfully I’ve got the evening off to have a real sit down meal rather than pizzas or standing/walking leftovers warmed in a toaster (we have no microwave.)  We’ve got sushi planned, with drinks afterwards.

 

Everyday, I like to think I’m special. I like to think I’m unique.  In what ways, well, why not everything?  There was something they used to say back in English lit though, and that was that all the stories to be told have been already told.  At this point, they’re just reiterations from different voices, but essentially, the characters and the themes are the same even if the packaging changes.

 

If I look around, I’m in a similar meme as the first men I knew, those being my grandfather and my father.  And we’re similar in many ways that make me feel less special I suppose.  It’s not always a bad thing because if someone was virtuous, why would you want to be different for the sake of being different? It’d simply be nice if we were all the same, that’d be a good thing, right?

 

But when you share some of their vices, well.  I wish I was special in that, after living with men such as my grandfather and dad for so long, I wish I knew how to break the pattern.  You’d think I could, since I’ve seen it so often.

 

-=-=-=-

 

My grandfather and my dad are, in some ways, very similar people.   They’ve both got this sense of entitlement to them that comes from childhoods of poverty, scraping and scrounging.  I didn’t go through all that to any real extent when you really look at it… growing up from birth in a first world nation, more or less growing up in my native language and not needing to make any switches either linguistically or with all the cultural baggage that comes with it.  They’ve basically struggled a lot more to get where they are than I ever did.

 

It makes them feel that anything nowadays is owed to them by some sort of balance of karma.  Although karma doesn’t normally pay back within a single lifetime, it’s a distinctly Taoist or Confucian upbringing that tells them that now that they’ve paid their dues, things should just work out nowadays.

 

There are plenty of great things I could say about both of these men.  They’re very proud, independent, and resourceful.  If there are problems, they don’t ask for help.  They try to fix them.

 

-=-=-=-=-

 

July 27, 2009-07-28

Time: 12:34 AM

Batteries: 40%

 

Back at work.  SSDD.

 

I’m feeling a bit better this morning because I did manage to not lose more sleep.  I mean, I managed to stay on par and gain a bit, so that’s good.

 

But last night was bad.

 

-=-=-=-

 

I didn’t get to finish what I was saying yesterday so I’ll address that first.  About my grandfather and my dad, that is.

 

In our clan, my grandfather and my dad are known for their explosive tempers.  I don’t care to speculate about whether it is biology or superstition that this is something that passes on, but I’ve got it too.

 

There are subtleties—I don’t explode like they do and just start calling names or expliatives out when they get upset.  I guess the difference is that when they get angry, they just let everyone know really obviously.

 

As a child growing up in my house, I didn’t like any of this, and especially if I was the one being yelled at, I found that yelling back only made the situation worse.  So, I’m the kind of person who tends to be able to bottle things up.

 

You know what they say about bottling it up though; you need some sort of release.

 

I’m not sure when it started exactly, but it was around college that I made the swap from your average friendly guy to being a loner.  I don’t know if it’s a switch really, or if it was just that suddenly, I was put in a situation where I didn’t know anyone and having grown up in a rather strict house it was the first time I had so much freedom.

 

I would go to the arcades to play a few games of Marvel vs Capcom, some Street Fighter Alpha 3.   I also hung out a lot in the ‘multipurpose room’ of Dawson, which was a small stage hall with a grand piano in it.  The piano was locked, but I’d managed to make a key out of a bent piece of coat-hanger which allowed me to open it up. Either that, or in the time after MAC was first opened, I’d be up in the multipurpose room shadowboxing.

 

I did spend a lot of time also in 2c.14, but I wonder how many of those friends really got to know me? And it wasn’t their fault– simply, I don’t think I wanted anyone to know me, not really. I mean, we spent a lot of time together, and we did a lot of things together, but now that I think about it, how many of those people did I actually trust with my life back then?

 

-=-=-

I think that, because we’ve  all had those all nighters before, we often don’t really think about how potent sleep deprivation is, especially when it tips its toes into the fringes of clinical insomnia.

 

Yesterday was just a day in a series of days where very few things seemed to be working out right, and so many things seemed to be going wrong.

-=-=-=-

Last sunday was my dad’s birthday.  The thursday before that, a freakishly heavy rainstorm caused one of the duplexes that we own to flood.  That’s a problem because the water damage was moderate.  The tenant who lives downstairs though is a total asshole. For whatever reason, he doesn’t want to make us a copy of the key to the garage, and whenever we try to arrange a time when he can open the door for the plumbers, he gives us the runaround.

Long story short– he’s stressing out my dad because at some point, the tenant actually started verbally abusing my mom.  My mom doesn’t really care too much– I mean, she’s upset, but she deals with a lot worse at work so she doesn’t really care beyond any functional involvement in the situation.  Basically– she knows that being upset doesn’t solve anything, so she generally tries to take things calm.

My dad though is different.  He gives into it, as if it’s the Dark Side.  But he doesn’t get anything out of it, and it always ends in tragedy– my dad gets upset but the rage is so much that he can’t focus on problem solving anymore.  He gets too emotional and reactional about things.

So last sunday, we went out for dinner at my parents’ favorite restaurant, Beijing.  During the whole dinner, he was sulking and just not talking to either me or my mom.  My sister’s out of town, so it was just the three of us.  In my family, we have this saying that on our birthday it’s not good to be in a bad mood.  Like the New Year, the birthday is indicative of what’s going to be coming for the rest of the year.

I asked him if he was training for the Montreal marathon this year.  He said he wasn’t, and that was that.

I asked him if he and mom were doing more biking, since he and I had just bought mom a bike for her birthday last month.

“No.  With all this apartment shit going on, who can enjoy a bike ride anymore?”

I was a little suprised at his comment, even for my dad.

“Well, that’s all the more reason to ride, then.  I mean, you can’t stop living your life just because of the apartment thing.  There’s nothing we can do about that so just go on doing things you like doing, there’s no point on thinking about it all the time,” I said.

I felt… bad.  About saying that.

I always get these moments where I feel like I shouldn’t be saying anything along the lines of real advice to my parents.  I mean, certain domins, sure– I can suggest what kind of camera they want to buy, how to fix this or that, or how to setup the computer or something.

The reason why I felt bad is becauset his kind of advice has to do with living one’s life.  That’s always been my parents’ domain, my dad’s in particular.  He’s a great dad, really he is, but his pride makes it impossible for him to take advice from anyone.  Least of all does he enjoy taking his own medicine from his own son.  I’m only telling him what he taught me, really– to run and gun.  But he got caught up in the indignation more, and just said even less for the rest of the dinner with that unconscious frown he wears when he’s totally exhausted.  I had the rest of the dinner basically with my mom because he didn’t join in anything, and he didn’t even eat much.

And that’s what I felt bad about.

I’m the kind of person who kind of wants everyone to be happy– when those around me are unhappy, I try to solve it.  And if I can’t… well, I guess my own mood drops.

-=-=-=-

My cousin Michael is running into problems because he’s growing up into someone who’s simply useless.  He hasn’t been raised to be independant, and for a while got in with a stupid crowd at school that values looking cool above being able to do anything practical.  His education isn’t going very far.  He’s got some health problems due to a bad diet and a stubborness where he doesn’t want to go to a doctor no matter how much my mom or I advise him to do so.  And his family is in debt because his dad spends too much cash, and because he himself is developing into someone who spends beyond his means even though he’s not even 20 years old yet.

He’s in a downward spiral and for years I’ve been trying to see what I can do to get him out of that hole.  For a while, things seemed to be going well.  Before I left for Korea I helped him get into college.   I used to tutor him for math and a bit for his English and french.

This is one of those things that changed while I was in Korea.  When I got back, Michael, who seemed to be getting his shit together before I left, well, frankly when I got back he was a loser.  It really hurts me to say that because he’s family.

In many ways I see him going down a similar path that I did when I was in college– mostly, of being an all around fuckup.  But you know how retrospect is if you’re in a better place at the moment– hindsight is always 20 20.

But there is no guarantee that if you live irresponsibly that some day you’ll turn around and be happy.  I know a few friends who I was really close with in the past who have gone completely the wrong way and who have never survived that lifestyle– it continues to destroy their lives.

I don’t want that for anyone in my family.

-=-=-=-

My grandfather recentlly was seen by a pulmonologist and it was decided that his lungs actually got better.  The great news is that he no longer needs to use constant oxygen supplements (he used to have to walk around his own home with oxygen tubes strapped to his face at all times because his 02 saturation was too low to be safe).

That’s great.

On the other hand, my grandfather is kind of a smartass.  He’ll have a fear of God in him everytime he gets majorly sick– but whenever he recovers, his respect for his condition as well as those around them suddenly dissapears.  He no longer has to take orders from anyone anymore.

The situatino that arrised was that a lightswitch in his home was burned out for some reason.  He decided to repair the light switch by himself– only, he’s far from being an electrician.  He didn’t even turn off the main power.  He actually managed to short circuit the power and pop a fuse.

Basically he managed to almost electrocute himself because he was fucking around with live wires.

My dad didn’t take to this sitaution at all and as a result, my dad and my grandfather took a few days off from eachother because they had, as usual, lost sight of the actual subject (the light) and gotten too caught up in arguing with eachother (a pair of stubborn, never back down sorts of people).

I guess I mention this because it’s never that simple– when the family has problems, it’s never something that I can separate myself from. My health, as an individual, strongly reflects the health of the family.  Right now, it seems to be not so good.

-=-=-=-=-

The other day, [Y] called me up while I was at work.  She had read here on xanga how I was getting closer and closer to [Kingston].  She wasn’t thrilled about it all, so we chatted via IM a bit until some obscure hour in the morning… and got nowhere.  You know how it is with IM conversations– you can never quite read the subtleties of someone’s tone the way you would in person.  Regardless, it left me feeling quite worthless.

=–=-=-=–

Basically, because of these events, I just started hating my life for an entire week or so.  At first I was still able to power through it.  But it started adding up.  Along with the sleep deprivation.

-=-=-=

As I mentioned before, I think that, because we’ve  all had those all nighters before, we often don’t really think about how potent sleep deprivation is, especially when it tips its toes into the fringes of clinical insomnia.

 

When you’re tired, and I mean, really tired, like, you can count the number of hours of sleep you’ve had every day on a single hand for a week straight, shit starts to get pretty fucked up.  You don’t know why things are going wrong, because, basically, your mind is being poisoned.  Biologically, your brain is soaking up chemicals that are coming up in all the wrong proportions.  Your body is tired and sluggish.  Your reactions are slower in some ways, such as your reflexes, but on the other hand you get more irritable and more reactive to the little things that you could normally shrug off.

The culmination of my week of aggravation and powerlessness came a night ago when I arrangned to meet a bunch of people at work for dinner and drinks.  Dinner turned out to be different from expected– as usual, a bunch of my coworkers bailed at the last minute, and so the only one from my work group was, once again, [Kingston].  But a bunch of my non-work friends, who I hadn’t really counted on coming, all decided to show up.  That was rather cool– because in the end, we were spontaneously 9 people, including one of NitroNilla’s friends, Laura.

We all had a pretty good time of the sushi, which was all you can eat (courtesy of Tokyo Sushi, on the corner of St-Matthew and St-Catherine).

We did have plans to go to Hurleys afterwards though, and that’s where things started getting a bit messed up.  Originally, we had set up the dinner and drinks so that [Kingston] could get to know her coworkers better.  Though many had canceled on dinner, they would still meet us for drinks afterwards.  Of the group of 9 though, the only person who decided to come along was NitroNilla.  The rest of the group decided they were too tired to come and would part ways, which, considering that it was only 8 pm and the majority of them hadn’t even been working all day, I thought was pretty lame.

Regardless, I went with NitroNilla to Hurleys for some good old fashioned Irish music over drinks.  Paladin joined afterwards.

THe problems were twofold– first of all, there was no Irish band.  Instead we got some sort of jazz flute band.  Which isn’t normally bad, but I specifically wanted Irish music because that stuff cheers me up, and I was in a pretty bad mood.  Jazz flute? Well…

Secondly, one of my coworkers showed up an hour and a half late, and the other two were totally incompatible with my other friends.  I spent an hour and a half basically trying to bridge the gap between the two groups, but both groups weren’t very interested in eachother and weren’t making much effort either.  I was basically simultaneously third wheeling for two pairs that wanted nothing to do witheachother.  It was a pretty annoying time.

Throughout the endeavor I got messages from Terminator and Kingston telling me to join them at Kaffeine instead, since they’d decided after all that the group of them would stay out.

-=-=-=-=-=-

Anyway, one thing lead to another– I made a brief appearace at Kaffeine before calling it a night, and biking to the apt alone.  They (Terminator, Kim, Kingston, Terminator’s brother and Wraith) all took a cab to my apartment to watch some snuff film they’d rented for shits and giggles at Movieland.  At this point I was pretty exhausted, not just physically, but mentally, and just wanted to sleep.

There were several things that happened taht night which I just didn’t enjoy.  I’ll skip the details in favor of the conclusions– by the end of the night, I was so exhausted and angry at the situation that I wanted to clobber Wraith because he was playing the playa, I had had it up to here with Kingston, and I was fed up of Terminator and Kim just because they were laughing so much.

What was really going on?  I mean, a few games of Gears of War 2, some smoking, some drinking, the movie and then a few episodes of The Entourage.  I only played a round or two of Gears, and the rest of it I just opted out in favor of sleep– but I couldn’t sleep because they were too noisy.  I just stayed up, trying to play some unplugged electric guitar to calm myself down which worked to some extent– but my urge to just snap, especially at Wraith, was growing very quickly.

So I did what I do when I get pissed off– I walk away from the group.  My absence was not unnoticed, but frankly, it’s the only way I know how to deal with things.  When I’m part of a group and I’m upset for whatever reason, I need to separate myself.  I need my alone time to burn off excess energy.  I can’t be around people because if I do stay around them, I’m going to say things that I regret and they’re going to see sides of me that I don’t think anyone necessarily needs to see.

-=-=-=-=

That’s the difference between my grandfather, my father, and I.

They just blow off their steam whenever they want.  I can’t. I bottle it and try to deal with it on my own.

I don’t think either one is intrinsically or totally better than the other– what I can say though is that my level of anger definately increases with proportion to sleep deprivation.

It was just an awful night.  Terminator and Kim were concerned afterwards and asked me if I was alright, and Zack even stayed around on the backyard porch with me a while while I played guitar to myself, but when asked if they could do anything for me, I told them:

“Nah, I’m cool. Thanks though.”

By 5 am when everyone else was asleep, I was still on the back porch, sipping a cup of tea.  I couldn’t sleep. I was thinking about all the things of the week and feeling that I had somewhere gone wrong with everything.

Kingston

The first time I met [Kingston]?  I don’t even remember.  She does, though.  She was being given the tour of the emergency department by the resident who she was to be doing research work for.  Apparently, and this is the way she tells it, this is what happened.

[Jinryu]:  Can I help you guys out?  You look like you need a coordinator.
Resident: Oh, no, it’s okay.  We’re not actually working down here.  God forbid!
[Kingston]: Thanks though.
[Jinryu]: Oh yeah, definately.  You don’t want to work down here.
[Kingston]: Why’s that?
[Jinryu]: Oh, I could tell you, but then I’d have to kill you.  That is, unless you decide to work down here. Then. You know.  You could do some killing too.
Resident: Hahaha!  You kill me!
[Jinryu]: What? Should I?  Did I tell you already?!
[Kingston]: (nervous laughter)

(… and they walk off…)

Mind you, I don’t remember any of this.


Days later, while I was working for surgery, I ran into her several times at triage.  One of the nurses mulled over a fashion magazine, asking me “[Jinryu], I need some new magazines and a martini.”

“We’re all out of magazines [T].  You know how hard it is to sneak those into the hospital.”
“Oh well dammit all, [Jinryu]! If I can’t get both I don’t want either.”

The other nurse was reading a book in one of the examination rooms.  The admissions department, which was connected to triage by a little window, was similarly silent.  It was a really quiet evening.

[Kingston], who was from Vancouver but who is studying at Queens in Kingston (hence the choice of pseudonums for the sake of online anonymity) stood out because normally, the only people at triage are nurses or coordinators like myself, and coordinators don’t have a sense of impatience in their pacing like she does.  When it comes to sick children, no news is good news. She, on the other hand, had that eye which said she was looking for patients, which is something that neither nurses nor coordinators  want to do unless forced.  Inactivity at a hospital is a paragon privilege. 

“Heya.  I don’t think we’ve met,” I said, answering her bored smile.  “My name’s [Jinryu].”
“[Kingston].  Hi!” she shook my hand after putting her pen in her pocket, which was another sign that she wasn’t one of us: no way we’d have the budget for that.
“Are you doing a study on something?”
“Oh, yeah.  It’s pretty dead out here though.  I haven’t had any candidates all day.”
“What’re you looking for?”
“Well, I’m supposed to test blood sugar drops in patients with gastro.  And they have to be under 5 years old.”
“Ah,” I nod. “Well, that would explain it.”
“What would?”
“Why you can’t find candidates for your study.  When did you start?”
“I’ve been here for like three hours.  Oh, you mean the study?  It’s actually not mine, but the resident I’ve been working under, [Resident] has been trying to get it done since he was in med school, so… I just started on it last week.”
“Oh, well, there’s your problem.  Gastro is so February.  The in thing right now is H1N1.”
“Oh really!” she laughs.
“Yeah.  I mean, we thought that it ended two months ago, but you know, it kinda made a comeback.  It’s kinda retro and cool now, y’know.  I mean, even I’ve had swine flu. I’d say you’ll be out of a job soon, unless you start going out on the streets and giving gastro to kids under five.  You know, to ensure job security.”


Later that night, she came practically running down the hallway looking for a patient.

“Where is [Child X]??”
“Uh…” I scratched my chin. “I called them in a while ago.  In 25?”
“They’re not there! I checked!”
“Hmm… I think they’ll be back.  I think I overheard they had to go for an x-ray.”

She bolted off.

A half hour later, I ran into her again in triage and she came down the hallway looking ecstatic.
“I got one!” she cried.  I gave her a high five.  It would turn out to be one out of two candidates she’d get all night.


The tough part of a research monkey’s job is that, as a mater of developing an accurate study, the study generally tries to isolate as many variables as possible.  Studies generally target very specific demographics, and that means, your work is to find the proverbial needle in the haystack.  On one hand, on a busy day, a research monkey will sift through tons of initial diagnostics at triage looking for a candidate for the study, which is a ton of work; in contrast, on a quiet day the likelihood of someone coming in meeting those criteria is drastically reduced, and they wonder why they even bother.  And of course, patients’ families aren’t obliged to agree to the study either, so even if you do find a candidate, they don’t necessarily want to cooperate.

When you really think about it, [Kingston]’s job is to find children who are shitting and vomitting, and then ask their parents if it’s okay to stick them with a needle.  You can imagine how thrilled most people are at the concept.

Thus, the busy days are long, and the quiet days are even longer.


On quiet days, we have plenty of time to chat.  One day it just so happened that I finally managed to set a date to have dinner and drinks with some coworkers– three of my fellow coordinators– which is a miracle.  The thing about hospital work is that hospitals never close.  There are about 3 main shifts of staff per day spread out to cover the place: days; evenings; and overnights.  For us clerks though, because there are a number of odd little tasks that come at specific times of the day, we operate on about six different shifts.  No two clerks on any given day ever start and finish at the same time.  Our shifts overlap, sometimes more than others, but that’s the extent of it.

Thus, making friends with coordinators and trying to, ahem, coordinate, in the sense of extra-cirricular activities, is near impossible.  Either you don’t finish at the same time, you’re not off on the same days, or, worse still, you’re sleeping.  It’s just very difficult to meet up with people from our department because schedules conflict terribly.

It just so happened that by some alignment of the moons, 4 of my coworkers agreed to come to the same evening.  That’s an abnormally high count of availabilty, as far as I’m concerned.  It was pretty awesome.

But you know, if you think it’s too good to be true, it probably is– and as it were, 3 out of 4 of those coworker cancelled within hours of the get together.  Thankfully, the event also included a handful of my non-work friends.

[Kingston] was the only one who made it, making her the first of my co-workers to ever hang out with me outside of a workplace context, despite that I’ve been working at the Montreal Childrens’ for the last 7 months.

Imagined

He cupped his hand to his ear to hear above the ambient noise of the coffee shop.


YO I’M A BLONDE MOTHERFUCKER AND I WORSHIP THOR

I’M GUNNA USE MY AXE BUST DOWN YOUR DOOR
SCREAMING VALHALLA AT THE TOP OF MY LUNGS
I GOT PHAT RHYMES AND I SPEAK IN TONGUES
RAGNAROK THE PARTY LIKE A VALHALLA PARTY
RAGNAROK THE PARTY LIKE A VALHALLA PARTY
NORSE. (crazy motherfucker with a longship baby)
NORSE (gunna kick your ass and I don’t mean maybe)
NORSE. (crazy motherfucker with a longship baby)
NORSE (LONG BLONDE HAIR THAT IS SOFT AND WAVY)

“I can’t believe that those lyrics actually made it onto the radio,” he muttered.

“It’s the gift,” she said, raising an eyebrow.

“I still can’t believe it,” his voice was hoarse, from the sweetness of the cake, but he didn’t notice.  He just strained to make out the lyrics over the noise of the blender, and to the letter, they were the same.  “I mean… I guess.  From Bash to radio? Come on!  I mean, I’ve heard of like, nerd rock and all that, but really…”

She interrupted him.  “Did you ever hear about the curious case of Heather Bellingham?”

He listened for a few more seconds before responding: “Should I?”

“Well, no, I guess not.  I haven’t told you about her yet.  She fell in love with a boy at the age of sweet sixteen.  He worked at a videostore, he was two years older than her, and studied film. She thought he was cultured.”

“And?”

“Well, they did everything together and all that.  You know how it is with a first love, right?”

He hated questions like that, so he just smirked,”I guess.”

“She was totally certain that he was the one . He was perfect in every way for her.  When he got her a promise ring, it might as well have been an engagement proposal.  She was ready to drop everything for him, y’know.  Quit school.  Get married and have 2.5 kids.  White picket fences: the whole kit. At 16, she knew it all.”

“How romantic!” he sneered.

“It ended in tragedy though.”

“What, did she die in a car accident or something?”

“No, he did.”

He paused, studying her  expression to see if she was joking.  “Shiz.  I was just kidding.  That is kinda tragic.”

“Ah, but you see,” Kate took a sip of her drink, “that’s not the tragedy.”

“There’s more?”

“It was all fiction.  That was the tragedy.”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean, she made it up.  There never was any boy.  There never was any love in her life.  She was a bookworm who read too much.  A surfer only in cybersapce.  In meatspace, she’s quite hard to get along with I guess.  She made him up– used to tell all her friends about ‘him’ all the time.  He was the long distance relationship from her hometown up in Gatineau.  After ‘he died,’ the story of her lover was one she’d tell only the closest friends.”

“Why would she do that?”

“It was all a lie.  But you know what the ironic part was?  It’s what helped people relate to her, and somehow, people looked up to her for her advice.”

Kate absentmindedly swirled his cup around, the coffee whisking about the waxed walls, leaving no trace when she set it down.

“How’d you find out all this?”

“She brought her laptop to the shop, and…”

“You knew her?”

“Well, no…”

Anthony’s brow wrinkled.  “Then, you were reading her files?”

“She’s the same age as us.  It wasn’t all that well written and she doesn’t seem like a writerly type, if you know what I mean,” she nodded sadly. He rolled his eyes a bit. “I just did some sleuthing and the story checks out– emails and everything.”

“Oh Kate, what have you gotten yourself into,” he was rubbing his face tiredly.  Trust Kate to not only get into these morally dubious situations, he thought, but to not even notice.

“Nothing!  I just took an image of her HD because I thought it was interesting.  You have no idea how boring it is at work sometimes.  I need something to make me look busy otherwise the geek squad all start to hit on me.”

There was a bit of a pause and her eyes stared at him for a moment atop her pleasant, inviting smile, as if expecting him to say something to that.

“So, you read it all?  How much is there?”

She sighed. “Not all of it.  It’s her diary, her emails, her chat logs mostly.  It’s not linked, so I it takes time to bounce between them and match up the dates to figure out what’s going on.  The diary is the key though– that’s where you see just how well she’s playing everyone.  He was her only love, and he wasn’t even real,” she explained.  “Or maybe he was. I mean, the love was real, right? How is love ever fake? I think in the end, she really did believe it was all true.  I mean, you know how that Queen song goes, right?”

Anthony hated how she always asked him if he knew what she was talking about.  At first he’d thought it was endearing, as if she wanted him to complete her sentences, but now he took it like some form of subtle mind control.  It wasn’t enough to know what she was thinking– he was expected to think like her.

“Which one?” he asked.

“Uh, hello? The one that says something like ‘Find me Somebody To Love.'”

“Yeah.”

“Well, that’s sorta how it goes right?  She found herself someone to love and it was so great that it was the only person she loved for what, over ten years?  And that he dies in an accident– isn’t that great too?  Because then, there’s no time for the story to get boring– he dies at the peak of their passion.  If that isn’t romantic, I don’t know what is.”

“You’re talking about him as if he was real,” he mumbled.  “I dunno.  To me, it’s all so Shakespeare.  Everyone’s probably going to die in the end, or everyone’s going to end up hooked up.  Since the boy is already dead, you know which way I’m guessing.”

Don’t Stop

“I have it on good authority that you need a license.”

“You mean, I need a license if I get pulled over.”

“No.  I mean, you need to earn the fucking license!” he laughed.  “This isn’t like nobody giving a shit about a tree in a forest!  You earn a license and it means something regardless of whether or not, god forbid, you fall and crack your stupid skull open.”

“Yeah, it means I wasted a hundred plus hours of my life learning that people are bad drivers.  Did I tell you?  My sister actually got her license.”

“You’ve only ever ridden a bicycle and played videogames.  Your only motorized history is driving illegally in Korea for 8 months.  Doesn’t that make you a terrible driver?”

I smiled: “I like to think it makes me the driver.”

“You’re not in Korea, you know,” Pablo reminded me. (He, actually, is.) “You don’t have diplomatic immunity anymore.  There are LAWS in the west.”

“Yeah, yeah, I know.”


I watch them.  Chick flicks.  Romantic comedies.  Feel-good movies.  Whatever you want to call them.  They go by different names, but, you know what kind of film I’m talking about.

Is there anything wrong with that?

They’re fun.  They really are.  And there are other things, of course, but sometimes, it’s just really hard to talk about those movies with anybody else because people get all uptight.  I’m not sure if it’s because people genuinely hate romantic comedies, I’m almost under the impression that they just kinda hate their own lives.

I mean, what are the reasons why people rail on RCs anyhow?

  • they oversimplify relationships.
  • they depict only beautiful people.
  • they raise your standards of the opposite sex unrealistically.
  • they’re cliche.
  • there’s always a happy ending.

… well, to be honest with you, that’s a pretty short list.  But you’d expect it to be, because I’m NOT someone who dislikes romantic movies.  It’s hard for me not to enjoy one.  But you know what else can suck?  Real life.

Real life can be unromantic, and unfunny.


I did some electronic housekeeping today.  Dropped a bunch of blog feeds that I’ve just grown out of.  Every now and then, you read a blog and you follow it for years and you’re pleasantly surprised to find that they’ve really gotten somewhere; those weren’t the ones I dropped.  The ones I dropped were the ones who were bitching about the same things.

But the ones who you could read from who actually… grew?  I mean, to be able to track it back, bookmark by bookmark, entry by entry…

I’ve been writing for a over ten years now (not always on Xanga, in case you were wondering) and man, you know, it’s a big thing to keep the habit up.  A lot of people get bored of blogging and they quit after a while, maybe because life got sucky or because life got too good, but in either case, something changed and they’d decided they no longer wanted to share.    But when you find some people who go through transitions, and they get through that, isn’t that great?


There are trends though, maybe you can call them ‘phases’, and one of them is this whole ‘cynicism’ thing.  I’m not sure if everybody goes through it or not, but I get this feeling that people think cynicism is cool because it makes people seem smart or something.  You know, pick your cause– then take it seriously, get your panties in a bunch, get your feathers in ruffle, do the much gnashing of teeth and all that– and really, really stand up for it, because that’s what people do when they’re smart.  They decide to hold a line here, and they will trade fire with you over it.  All because it’s scientific, or something.  We delude ourselves into thinking that the physical world, governed by science, will reveal itself to us if we look at it with enough of a dissecting eye.  We should disintegrate everything– including love.

I think the fact that romantic comedies ‘don’t make sense’ is exactly what people sometimes hate about them.  I mean, in real life, does love really make sense?  Sure, there are procedures, there are techniques, there are ways to do this or that, and you can even write a book like “The Game” about it all and people will read it and study it and try to practice it.  But all that stuff, those are the mechanics– they are sympthomatic of emotions that, deep down, don’t understand control.

Physically, I can sit still.  I’m good at that.  But inside?  Every bit as stupid as a movie.  Moments, here and there, which the hero, heroine, or audience would notice, but never all at once.


Man, whatever they put in these meds, it feels like I’ve been hit by fucking elephant tranqs.

The worst part is that they’re not actually making me sleepy (which I imagine they should), I’m just totally light headed.  I feel like I’m teetering between life and death right now.  I am typing right now might be my very last words.  Last.


Okay, maybe not.

I started recently watching season one of “How I Met Your Mom” and I really, really like this series.


I wonder if sometimes the reason why people don’t like romantic comedies is simply because they don’t believe that they can ever live up to the stupid stuff that goes on in them.  Okay, while it’s true that they usually end with a happy ending, well, put it this way– nobody’d write a story about those characters BEFORE they got their happy ending.  The movie just focuses on the happy ending.

So is it really that our lives can’t live up to romantic comedies, or is it that we just haven’t seen enough of our lives that we could section off a part of it, have it all typed up in a script, and say, that’s that? That’s the story?


GOd these MEDS!#


I suppose, at the end of the day, things like romantic comedies keep my spirit on it’s feet.

In the past week, lets look at what’s been going on:

  • I caught some sorta flu
  • I went to a funeral
  • The workplace was shortstaffed so everyone in my department had to do about 75% more work
  • I caught a really bad cold
  • I had to skip Numac, and, Terminator reports (from Numac) that there were only 3 people present (including him).  Three others would have come but decided not to when they found out that I wasn’t coming due to my condition (Honestly, most people can’t endure 2 hours of training with Terminator.)
  • GOD these MEDS

But you know what’s putting me in a positive mindset, it’s stories like the one told in “How I Met Your Mother.”

Maybe morso than in any single romantic comedy– because it’s an ongoing thing, and we don’t yet get to see the ‘happy ending,’ and the story takes the unique approach that a happy ending is assumed, yet that there was ALL this other stuff that went down to lead up to it, which though included a lot of heartache, also included a lot of great times.

For those of you who feel that you’re in a rut, get out of it!  You can do it.  Unless you don’t want to.  In which case, I’m not interested, because I’m not a better person than that.

And for those of you who just wanna find somebody to love and nurse you when you’re sick (headaches, stuffy nose, fever, nausea, chills, muscle and joint pains, loss of apetite, disorientation, boohoohoo! T_T) I leave you with some words from one of my mentors, Dr. Cox:

Because really, and you can disagree because maybe you think you’ve seen and been through more shit than me, but you cannot tell me how many happy endings came out of cynics.  Converted cynics, maybe.  Romantics pretending to be cynics, maybe.  But a true cynic?


Alright! Time to fall unconscious!

When the Windmills Come…

… I will tip my dishpan helmet, hold up my broomstick, and tell all the better knowing men to stand aside.  Then shall I bring the fray!


(The rest of this post will follow at a later time.)

Kick It

“I mean, come on,” she said.  “Banks?  They sit there and people actually respect them because they don’t want to fuck with someone who’s holding their money.  Babies for some reason we can’t break, but money?  Bank people have it easy.”

“They don’t have a glass in front of them, though,” said [Dom].  “When we look out there it’s like looking at a zoo exhibit.”

“Yeah, no shit they don’t have a glass!  Because they don’t have to worry about people with dengue fever coughing in their faces, that’s why!  I’m telling you, I shoulda done banks, and instead, here I am in a hospital.  They throw shit at us!  That’s why there’s glass!  This is shit glass!  It’s to keep the monkeys and their moms from us!”

I love that I’m getting to know my coworkers better.


Security is one of those things in the economic, financial and social network kinda sense that I’m not worried about.

I think it’s okay to really worry about future security if you don’t have any at present– these are the situations where you gotta shape up and get your shit together.

But once you’ve got your shit together?  Then it’s time to start taking advantage of those foundations you’ve built.  Then you can start doing stupid shit, and you do it 100 pour 100.


I think that when a lot of people read what I write here, they take it as if it’s exactly who I am in person.  That’s sorta a half truth.  The reason being is that a lot of things I say here are meant to inspire myself or to vent.  They’re things I used to kickstart myself.  Like any piece of fiction, the truth is in there and it’s not that the fiction is in itself a lie– but as readers, one needs to figure out what’s in between those lines.  Basically, don’t quote me on anything– because anything here is just the thought of the day, and if you want to make any sense out of anything, you need to sum it all up and digest it and see how you internalize it as a whole.

But it’s like any person– I think that we can only understand people by profiling them as a whole, and, ultimately, going on a ‘feeling’ of what they’re like.


The focus of being scientific and all that? Like I said, that’s something we really need to aim for to establish security.  But once we’ve got it, you don’t easily lose it.  I think that a lot of the drudgery of everyday life comes from the over-accumulation of security, or securities.  We only need a certain amount, really– we just need a roof over our heads, we need some clothes on our back, some food on our plate and some people to laugh and cry with.  Once you’ve got all that?  Why be in such a rush to get everything scientifically perfect?  Just go with the feeling.

I was mentioning this to Kazuma in passing the other day when the subject of ‘scientific medicine’ came up versus ‘hollistic’ aproaches, such as homeopathy.

With all the residents and new med doctors I’ve seen (not all of them, but the majority) there’s this tendency to address the illness and not the patient.  This means that where a placebo, or nevermind that, just some counselling and time taken to explain the nature of an ailment could make a significant impact on the wellbeing of a patient (which, I cannot stress enough, isn’t only determined by physical standards, but mental and spiritual ones as well), can often be a lot more effective than surgery or pills.  However, that kind of stuff isn’t as ‘scientific.’  You can read books on psychology and and all these articles about how a doctor-patient relationship is just that, a doctor-patient relationship, and not just a mechanic versus the engine failure.


But you know, the reason why things like this happen is bceause the mechanics of science are nice.  Science is cool because it’s a common ground, it’s a fallback.  It’s security.  We have science so that we don’t have to think as much, because there’s a body of experience (not our own) that tells us this is how it will end, statistically probably.

It’s a lot like how, for example, I’m still hanging out with a girl who may or may not care about me, and who’s likely to break my heart in a couple of months because she’s moving.  Science tells me, move on.  Other things tell me that regardless of all the things you could say to degrade one-itis or whatever you cant to call it, I just am doing this because in the present, it feels right.  It’s not that I haven’t learned anything from the past or that I don’t care about the future– but really, what’s the worse that can happen?  I could get totally shafted, and you know what– the thing is, I’m starting to realize that I’m a lot tougher than I give myself credit for.  If, or rather, when that happens– I’ll survive, that’s my educated guess because so far, I always do.  And as you all always do too.  The way I see it, it gives me a couple extra months of good company that I otherwise would have just cut off to ‘cut my losses,’ and it gives her someone to depend on for the next couple of months.

And you know, when you meet someone, and you think they’re special to you in some way, does the fact that you can’t have a certain sort of relationship with them change the fact that they’re special?  With all the connections with people that we glaze over in the span of a day, a week, a month or a lifetime, the moment you meet someone who for romantic or other reasons, who is simply special, maybe this is the moment where we shouldn’t be thinking how we can’t ‘harvest’ it and instead, let them know that, regardless of outcome, they’ve done something really right with themselves.

Because, I’ll wager that there are shitloads of special people out there– but they’ll never know until you treat them like it.  Regardless of your agenda.   In this case, regardless of my agenda.

I mean, how selfish would it be to just give up on a perfectly enjoyable friendship with someone just because it didn’t go the way you wanted it to?  Let’s not be so quick to move on to damage control.


A lot of people ask me then, why do I put myself in situations.  I’m not even talking about just relationship wise.  I’m talking about anything else in life that just gets me in trouble, like, not sleeping enough, working too hard, getting the shit kicked out of me once a week…. etc.  Yesterday, I coordinated the Surgical section without any training for it– that was a bit, uncomfortable, dare I say, frightening at first.  But you know what? I did it.

I think that more important than strength to go forward and grab sometihng exactly the way you want it is is actually endurance.  At least, as far as I go.  When I look at anything I’ve ever done that I’ve enjoyed, I’m never really great at any at anything.  I’m never really number one at anything.  But, I just keep going.  That’s not the strength to grab what I want, it’s more like the strength to run in the dark because I know that if I trip, I can break my fall.  At the very worst, I have an intimite understanding of how long it will take my body to heal.  What I’m saying is that you can have the offensive tools to get at your targets in life– but if you don’t have the stamina, the endurance, the strength of mind to endure setbacks and losses, well– it’s an unloaded gun that you’re afraid to use.


I’m going to be going out to buy a bicycle after I finish this post.  I’ve gone through perhaps 10 bicycles or so in the past 10 years– I used to buy and repair and resell them at some point as a hobby.  Every year that I break out my bike for the first time, I forget a lot of the things that have me rutted out– cycling for me, I won’t remember how important it is until I get on the wheels, so we’ll leave that first imperssion of the year to another post.


My point is– how secure are you? Maybe that’s something I should add to the definition of ‘substance.’

It depends on what context, but in some, I’m perfectly secure, on others, less so.  In some, I’m just still in the dark corner of the room, curled in a fetal position.  In the areas where I’m not secure, I try to work hard to pay my dues so I can be.  Cut my teeth, so to speak.

It’s a question of, like a game of Street Fighter, learning the basics before abusing super-arts.

Once you’ve got that, then you can do stupid, risky, apparently ‘unwise’ things… bceause at that point, by experience, you have an understanding of consequences.

The true goal of endurance, I think, is to develop the fortitude to contain even the worst of consequences, so that we can keep on trucking.  In a worst case scenario, you waste a bit of time– but you know you’ll recover.  That’s all that recovery is, really– time.

In the meantime, for every person who I think will hurt me, I just look at the situation– what’s the worst that can happen?  I won’t even address what’s the best that can happen because this isn’t about dreaming, this is about working and taking hits for what you think is the right thing to do.  Dreaming is about perfect scenarios and idylic places– the real world is about having principles, or feelings of what needs to be done and what’s wrong, no matter how subjective, and just working for those things incessantly.  Update your vision as you go, but don’t get too hung up on pointing at the moon to the point where all you see is your finger, or something like that.

I think it’s why I’m working where I do, and it’s why I worked at the kinds of places I did in the past– because I have a view of what is the ‘right’ thing to do or at least, a feeling of what should be done, and that whatever pains I suffer are mutually exclusive from the morality or necessity of certain things I should do.



On the subject of Jungeun, which is a doomed relationship. Right now, I think I’ve been given an opportunity to make a girl feel special.  So I will.  That makes me feel good.  It feels right.

Do I need to say more?

Do You Rememeber

28/03/2009 1:26:04 AM Jinryu SiB i was going to officially ask her out
28/03/2009 1:26:08 AM Jinryu SiB but then i chickened out
28/03/2009 1:26:20 AM Jinryu SiB so despite having a good time i’m just like… grrrr.
28/03/2009 1:26:37 AM Jinryu SiB nothing like some ass kicking to put things on solid, unambiguous ground
28/03/2009 1:26:59 AM SiB Jinryu why… are you scared of asking her out?
28/03/2009 1:27:08 AM SiB Jinryu is she responding nicely to you?
28/03/2009 1:28:35 AM Jinryu SiB man, you know this business of ruining friendships
28/03/2009 1:28:39 AM Jinryu SiB i don’t even believe in that
28/03/2009 1:28:43 AM Jinryu SiB but i think that’s what i fall back on
28/03/2009 1:29:00 AM Jinryu SiB you know it’s strange but after doing Numac all my excuses to not ask her out seem really stupid.
28/03/2009 1:29:05 AM SiB Jinryu yes
28/03/2009 1:29:07 AM Jinryu SiB so perhaps i just should and bite the bullet.
28/03/2009 1:29:11 AM SiB Jinryu friendship don’t get ruined
28/03/2009 1:29:20 AM SiB Jinryu friendships*
28/03/2009 1:29:25 AM Jinryu SiB i mean i don’t see how this is any harder than going against people who i know will punch me in the solar plexus. it just IS.
28/03/2009 1:29:42 AM SiB Jinryu haha

We stick to the things that we’re familiar with.  Comfort zones and all that.  Even pain can become a familiar thing, physical, mental, spiritual. We just get so damn used to doing things the way we always do that it’s hard to change, even when we know what we want to do.

People tell me they don’t know what’s this point of this or that.  Why put on a gi and get strangled till you see black spots?  Why get on a bike, when you could ride a metro?  Why learn a language? Why go to a poor country?  Why this or that?

Why?

Whatever questions you ask about something that someone’s done, what kind of answer can you really get– in most cases, they did what they did perhaps simply because they could.  They wouldn’t, by definition, do something they can’t.

So really, anything like Numac isn’t really that impressive from my shoes– because to me, it’s normal.  It’s within my understanding.

I look at rock climbers and I think to myself, holy fuck, that’s amazing!  I’m afraid of heights. But they don’t see anything special about it in the way I do, because they’re just doing what they’re doing, because they can.

I’m not saying that I could never rock climb– I’m saying that for me to rock climb, relatively speaking, that’s a lot more amazing than a rock climber climbing.

It’s when you do something different that there’s something amazing… the courage to step out of a comfort zone.  Sure, comfort has a lot to do with the things we enjoy about what we do– but it also has to do with the kinds of discomfort we’re used to.  Just a couple of days ago, I got totally rocked by a body blow that sent me crashing to the ground.  My whole body was trembling, and I had to take off my helmet so I could spit out my mouthguard because I felt I was choking on it.

I make this sound dramatic, but from where I was, hands and knees on the ground, it really isn’t– this is something I understand, despite it being something I dislike.  It is something familiar. 


Asking out women, on the other hand.  I might as well be rock climbing.  Actually having a girlfriend isn’t so tough– been there, done that– but asking someone out?

That’s just one of those areas that I’m not comfortable.


When you really think about it though, all those times that you do something out of your box, those are the things that you remember most.