jon's blog

i could go on for 40 days and 40 nights about my blog title and bore you to bits and pieces with 10,000 different ideas i actually had for the name of this blog but because of the 500 characters limit that is imposed upon this mechanism which, by the way, is supposed to promote free speech, i shall shorten it to just two words basically describing what the hell this is all about and who this hell belongs to.
Wednesday, May 30, 2007

project 355: when i thought about primary school


the primary school days were admittedly, rather horrid ones. i was as fat and round as Godzilla's Japanese bottom, the textbook definition of the video game nerd and was permanently trying too hard to act cute and get noticed. not forgetting to mention that i had a mole to go with the looks (which were practically non-existent back then; still can't say much for now either). i guess i irritated both the 'in' and the 'out' crowd with my attention-seeking antics (eg. pinching people, crazed shrieks of laughter) and lackadaisical knowledge of video games respectively.

attention-seeking habits because nobody would take me seriously, thinking me to be the intentional class idiot who can't tell the difference between his left and right hand. and the very backdated games that i played during my primary school days were quite pathetic too. nobody would believe me when i told them that i've only played a total of 7 different electronic game titles when i arrived in primary four (Super Mario Brothers, Tetris, Pong, Dig-Dug, Alley Cat and Dungeons & Dragons). to put it simply, i was the primary school loser.

since both groups had more or less rejected me, i was pretty much alone during the primary school days. which was all good because that gave the evil gay person that i knew i had in me, time to grow from fetal position to the full-grown adult of today - cynical, snotty, cigarette-smoking and hardened in more ways than one.

these were the thoughts going through my head when i caught sight of the school bus i rode during my primary school days a few weeks ago. i was having debate practice with my fellow debaters at one of their apartment's void decks. and there were familiar shade of blue stripes lined against the white background. hell, it even had the same logo of my primary school still stuck on it. if you look carefully in the picture, you can see the minuscule words 'Fairfield Methodist Primary School' emblazoned on a decal stuck on one of the window panels. ahhhh.... the good ol' days of innocence.

of course, the primary school was not the only thing that shaped and molded the homosexual in me. the school bus played a big part too. not only in making me gay, but rather stalling it for a short while. like i mentioned, i was attention-seeking. so i brought along one of the parent's Tang's fashion catalogs to school. not because i was fashion-inclined back then, but because of the pan-asian lingerie models in it. in the school bus, i passed it around cautiously like a French convent boy handing out sample pornographic lithographs for sale over religious class. i was the star for the hour. all the boys had a good laugh along the lines of 'wah... her neh neh very big'. while this time, instead of hearing my crazed shrieked laughter, the girls were simply shrieking 'eeeeee.... her neh neh very big'.

despite having weird unexplainable feelings for some of the cute boys in my school bus, i somehow equated being straight as cool. and thus, were the feelings of boy-boy love suppressed for about a year.

so who said, being a primary school kid was easy?

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

project 355: Pangkeng, the Christian with the heart of gold and a pack of Marlboro Lights


the whole topic of religion was once more thrown into perspective when i met up with a straight mate (i seem to have a lot of straight people for friends, don't I?) who works with me in the ward. it was a chance outing with a few other nurses, all of us acquainted through the orientation program the hospital put us through during the February and March that just passed. thus, for the first time in our working lives, the both of us made dirty conversation about women and sex over fine Arabic teas and shisha. it's a bit redundant given that the both of us are smokers in the first place. but nothing beats the combined inhalation of Marlboro Lights and apple-flavored shisha in one intake of breath.

i know there's a question that irks you at this point in time: 'WOMEN AND SEX over fine Arabic teas and shisha?' scandal! down with the straight-acting homosexual scum! yada yada blah blah. the aforementioned phrase sounds as compatible as a Gentile and a Pharisee put together during the perilous times of Jesus and Jerusalem.

i know i'm proud to be an all-out Singaporean gay person, but there are times when one has to admittedly, remain tactical and take down the Rainbow-colored flag that's flying over one's head. for this group of nursing people whom i went out with, i really couldn't be bothered having to explain penile-inclinations and be the Encyclopedia Brown of the gay society all over again. besides, most of them female friends were there with their absolutely hawt mat boyfriends whom i have had never the previous pleasure of meeting. it is thus i graciously retreat into my oak armoire to take in my fair share of voyeuristic visual pleasure.

this post will not be about my sexual orientation kept secret from the select few. neither will it be about the nursing orientation program people that i went out with. but rather, my straight male ah beng (a local term for a Chinese street hooligan) colleague from the ward and his bizarre inclination to be a Christian. so, to facilitate this post, let's give him a title of his own, shall we? i'm gonna call him THE PANGKENG, adapted from the fact that 'pangkeng' seems to be his favorite swear word following (in order of number of times used in a day):

1) Pang Keng
2) Chee Bye
3) Kan Ni Nah
4) Nauh Buay Chee Bye
5) Fuck you, you understand?

in case you don't understand the local Singaporean dialect of Hokkien, all the above mentioned swear words are with reference to female genitalia and the act of intercourse. Pangkeng being the words that The Pangkeng apparently uses most of the time. the first time i heard the word, i oh-so-innocently asked The Pangkeng what he meant. he just shrugged and used his fifth favorite swearing phrase in the list. so i simply took it at face value to mean just that. upon intensive investigation however, another straight mate of mine revealed that to 'Pangkeng' would be indeed to fuck. but it has it's origins derived from the act of looking for a room/place to 'Pangkeng' in in the first place. after all, 'Pangkeng' in Hokkien literally means a room. and thus, my colleague has been crowned The Pangkeng (insert music of a menacing tone).

now, The Pangkeng is very much the typical alpha-male - brash, swearing too much, drinking too much, smoking too much, sweating too much, a tad overweight, acne-prone and testosterone-overloaded. everything about The Pangkeng seems to be in excess. but he has one absolute redeeming factor, a heart of gold and morals of platinum standards. he's the only enrolled nurse i know who would kick the lazy patients on their asses and drag them to the toilet for a shower. a typical patient-practitioner conversation with him would go something like this:

The Pangkeng: Hoi, Mr. Tan, today you want to go toilet bathe or not?

Mr. Tan: No i don't want lah. My wound very painful.

The Pangkeng: your wound very painful because you lie in bed the whole day and never move. come lah, go bathe lah.

Mr. Tan: Don't want. Just sponge me today.

The Pangkeng: No, no i don't care. Go and bathe.

and at this point, The Pangkeng with his unseeming superhuman strength carries the patient, puts him on the commode and pushes him to the toilet for a bath. and a bath never fails to refreshen the patient and make him forget all about pain. of course, The Pangkeng makes my biceps look like a by-product of plastic surgery - it looks real, but is it real? i can't seem to carry any patient without first thinking through the best tactic and maneuvers and body mechanics to use when moving a patient. whereas The Pangkeng just uses pure brute strength (and perhaps his heart of gold) to pull the patient around as if he were shifting a bag of feathers. and as a side note, isn't a bag of feathers a pillow?

but i digress. now, throughout all the smoking sessions that i've had with The Pangkeng before, after and during work, i've slowly gotten to know him more than just at face value. the time he told me he's been a Christian for nearly a year and a half, i gave him the 'i'm cool with it' look. but deep down inside, the Bible-Presbyterian in me was displaying a scandalized one. not that i want to judge, but aren't smoking, drinking and cussing a little bit off the Lord's good books? i tried to think of every possible way to rationalize the whole concept of combining vices with a one-way ticket to Heaven.

maybe it's some new form of religion where you only have to set the standards for yourself? or perhaps it's one of those 'the thought that counts' kinda religion, where all you have to do is have every intention to be the good person that you are, so that when you die, you can proudly proclaim your intent and earn your admission ticket through the Pearly Gates.

it was during the shisha session that i broached The Pangkeng regarding this juxtaposition of vices and religion.

'I don't mean to be offensive, but how come a Christian like you still can drink and smoke?'

A drag of the cigarette and a few seconds of awkward silence ensued.

'I think we all have our own weaknesses,' the Pangkeng said, 'but the most important thing is that i'm trying to quit lor.'

'Trying and actually succeeding are two different things bro. i try to quit masturbating, but i haven't quit yet. Do you think everybody still loves me any more when i tell them i'm trying?'

'But you see, God sees the heart'

'Yah. I only wish he didn't see my private parts while in the process of quitting,' i thought to myself.

My inner Bible-Presbyterian at this point of time was procrastinating against a slander of religion. i was brought up on the knowledge that good works alone cannot save you. a firm belief and respect for God and all his rules and regulations (on top of good works) will win you the top prize of an eternal holiday in the Bahamas of the Heavens. which obviously, is not very well-reflected in the alpha-male characteristics of The Pangkeng. i really respect The Pangkeng from the bottom of my heart. he's the first ever chap i've known in nursing to be so enthusiastic to help the patients get well soon. plus he's a really good mate, always giving me cigarettes when i'm out of gas. but it's because of all his flaws, that i've got a feeling that my dearest smoking buddy will not get admitted entrance at Fort Heaven when kingdom comes.

but who am i to judge? i'm the gay boy, scorned of God and the Teo family. sigh. religion. i'm going to admit defeat, retreat once more to my oak armoire, let God see me playing with my privates and indulging in my mat-watching voyeuristic tendencies.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

project 355: (insert Final Fantasy level up theme)

the next installment of my fridae posts in case you're not gay, in case like me, you're just not that internet-savvy.

more or less, it's molest

anyways, here's a bit of a follow-up with regards to all things post-molest. Glistening Eye colleague went home to tell her husband whom she has been married with for barely over a month. another colleague from the hospital (she's in the debate team) went to tell her boyfriend of four years. i also posed the scenario to several other straight friends over an outing of beer and crummy peanuts. and both replies that came back were typical hetero responses. paraphrased as loosely as a chee bye in need of reconstruction, they went something like:

'puke seahl. why your friend never go punch the guy seahl? kepala butoh, you should tell your friend go complain to the manager!'

equally translated (as loosely as a bottom's butthole) from behasa melayu to modern day Singlish:

'vagina lah. why didn't your friend punch the guy lah? asshole-head, you should tell your friend to approach his manager and lodge a complaint!'

two colleagues with boyfriends and another group of straight people, all with know prior knowledge of each other's existence. yet, all of them have similar responses to molest, namely involving vengeance, violence and a whole lot of vulgarities. ugh... straight men. not that i want to stereotype, but don't stereotypes always speak for themselves?

it's a question that i've always asked myself when it comes to these straight male friends of mine. they make great drinking buddies and can make excellent conversation about blockbuster films and the occasional witty remark about life and its cock-ups. but why, oh why, is the stereotypical alpha male always so brash and impetuous when it comes to defending the honor of their gentalia? i can understand if there's a mad killer complete with vicious tools and insane mental complex brandishing a scalpel against one's gnads with threats of a satanic circumcision ritual. you would have every reason to whip out a chainsaw as a preventive measure.

but when i think harder about it, it's just molest. and like i said in the fridae post: it never did anyone any harm. and it will not do any harm to me too if i were to just sit on it and hope it hatches into something positive in the end.

though he was in a drunken stupor, one of the more mature straight friends of mine gave an excellent response:

'Just take it as experience points lor. Wah. Level up already!'

all straight men should skip water and just take beer permanently.

Friday, May 25, 2007

project 355: calypso and her crabs

with the trilogy concept being the 'in' thing for movies these few years, the Pirates of The Caribbean was one of those that i was eagerly anticipating. but as with these triplets, the first of the series is always the best while the second barely maintaining the standard. let's not even talk about the third. i've just finished watching the last of the Pirates of The Caribbean trilogy with the Magnus. and i have to say that it's just a movie with a lot of water, dirty men, scurvy and dirty Chinese men drenched in both water and an outbreak of scurvy.

like a ship that has gone way off course, the movie was trying to tie up every loose end that they had started since the first and the second. obviously, 190 minutes of screen time was simply not enough to explain everything. take for example, why is Davy Jones and his entire crew made up entirely of crustacean-related beings whereas the new captain of the flying dutchman (spoiler spoiler!) simply has human features? and why does Chow Yun Fatt keep asking for more steam in 'Singapore'? in fact, why does Singapore (as depicted in the movie) look so Japanese-inspired with all the kimonos and chinky-eyed women?

one disturbing fact though: Calypso seems to be made up entirely of crabs. and you know how rampant crabs are in the world of pirating, both in terms of seafood and the disease.

all in all, a crab... i mean... crap movie. watch it only if you are the value-for-screentime-for-money type of movie-goer.

Monday, May 21, 2007

project 355: molest that mole!

my friend whom i've known since kindergarten loves to retell stories of our primary and secondary school days. one of these classics that sheena always recites revolves around a class photograph, some cleaning agents and her mother. now, sheena has this particular class photo of her classmates and form teacher of a particular year displayed somewhere in her home. one fine day while her mom was doing some housekeeping, she chanced upon the photo and started wiping the dust that had gathered on the frame. her mother suddenly exclaimed in frustration, 'Why can't this stain be wiped away ah?' upon closer inspection, it turns out that the stain was not that much of a stain, but rather sheena's form teacher's mole. and quite a big one, i must add.

with this in mind, it's true what they say, isn't it? that moles can either make or break a face. and this is especially poignant on the Asian mug, where everything is stereotypically yellow/cream/beige/white and almost always devoid of facial hair. it only takes one outstanding black spot to bring a ching-chong face aesthetic ruin or harmony. the irony however, is that you can have as many moles on your body and nobody would bat an eyelid. i'm thinking it has something to do with density and the bigger surface area of the body as compared to the face.

of course, if you've never had 'hey there's dirt on your face' jokes used on you before, you wouldn't understand how crucial the positioning of your mole can be. moles, just like social class and status, literally define one's placing in life. just look at all the famous people in the entertainment circle who carry the burdens of having a mole on their face:

Janet Jackson:
mole below the left nostril, also accidentally exposed her other 'mole', all thanks to Justin Timberlake.

Cindy Crawford:
she represented Revlon once and is now a spokeswoman for Omega timepieces. an estimated four of her moles can fit on the face of her Omega timepiece.

Enrique Iglesias:
the Spanish pop star's mole has been spoofed in Bo Selecta before. apparently, Enrique's mole hosts a segment that features Brit celebrity gossip. alas, the mole no longer belongs to Enrique as it was surgically removed after doctors suggested that it might be cancerous. apparently, everybody seems to think otherwise.

speaking of everybody... you simply have to agree that everybody loves moles, right?

loves, that is...... to MAKE FUN OF MOLES (*cue wacky Spongebob-themed music* *prod prod press press squeeze* wheeeeee)! EVERYBODY has made fun of a mole before. you can adamantly deny that you have. you can even refuse to accept that anybody would be so insensitive as to LOVE to make fun of one person's mole. well, you know what they say: he who hath not sinned may cast the first stone and all that. cast the first stone in an attempt to hit that person's mole, that is (*wacky Spongebob-themed music* *prod prod press press squeeze* wheeeeee!).

now, we may all ridicule the mole and harvest evil thoughts of subjecting it to scientific experiments of indescribable nature. but to the superstitious ching-chong population, the mole is no joking matter. the chinese believe that the position on one's mole is indicative of one's future. then again, you have to factor in the fact that the chinese also believe that the pen colors used when writing one's name also matters in auspicious terms.

i used to have a mole. it was at a position rather similar to that of Cindy Crawford's, except that it was neither as dark, nor as prominent. in fact, nobody even knew i had a mole, most of the simply assuming it was some puberty-related acne-scarring. but you know lah, just like any other facial blemish, people may not think much of it, but the owner would kill himself over it.

i don't remember thinking much about my mole during the primary and secondary school days. i was prolly too caught up with video games and shit. but during the polytechnic nursing diploma times, it started to get on my nerves that i had a mole on my face. when i looked in the mirror all i could see was the mole. it didn't matter that i had a pair of eyes, a nose resemblant of Jackie Chan or a mouth that accepted only elongated male body parts, all of them obviously bigger than the mole. soon enough, the reflection in the mirror replaced my entire head with a huge, dark and scary mole. think of all the words commonly associated with low self-esteem. yeah, that's what i felt at the period of time.

this may sound bloody melodramatic, but a trip to the National Skin Center really changed my life. i had the mole surgically removed at the age of 18 at the price of $200 including consultation and topical medications. expensive, but it was done by a really nice gentleman who stared and prodded at my mole under a magnifying glass for a whole 5 minutes.

i'm sure everyone has heard of stories about people who have change after they removed their moles. like another talented friend of mine, Lian Jiayuan, recalled a shy and quiet Swiss Cottage (the name of a local secondary school) girl who used to have prominent moles on her face. post-removal, she changed from 'girl unknown' to become 'girl renown for being quite the slut'.

there are two school of thoughts to case scenarios like these. the ching-chongs believe that removing moles can impede fortunes, futures, yada yada blah blah. i, on the other hand, prefer to believe that the removal of moles is equated to the removal of a barrier to one's confidence. just like Swiss Cottage girl, i think that when her mole was removed, she felt that she could carry on with life without having to think about her mole half the time. i'm all for it when it affects one's character in a positive manner. but when confidence turns into arrogance, it's a totally different story.

as for me, i don't think i've really change after surgery.
i have to admit though, i'm a big fan of what i see in the mirror.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

project 355: black, brown and yellow

it's human instinct for man to want to play with his orifices and that of others. which prolly explains why nose picking always ends up being such a pleasurable and satisfying experience, despite the fact that it involves so much dirt and secretions. sometimes while watching my weekly digest of drama serials, the hand will go into a trance-like state, reaching for a sheet of tissue and start shoving it into the nose. the face will automatically stretch itself vertically, enabling deeper penetration of the fingers (this tip can be used for sex too!). and before i know it, the tissue is stained with mucus, snot and bits of nose hairs.

before i picked up smoking, the general scheme of color for my nose snot was pretty much devoid of any. it was clear, transparent and very reminiscent of pre-cum, except that i would bother putting anything of that gunk in my mouth. after learning the ways of the cigarette, it only took about a few months before sticking a clean piece of tissue up the nose would produce shades of brown. initially, that really did freak me out. i actually thought that i was a candidate for naso-pharyngeal cancer. each time i dug my nose, the snot that came out would be a palette of autumn colors. there were bits of brown and yellow, accompanied with the occasional unidentifiable black.

the only similarity between pre and post-smoking would be that i still wouldn't stick any of that shit in my mouth.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

project 355: pride over patient


it really scares me sometimes, how the male pride can really make one oblivious to what's most important at hand.

being in the hospital, where frustration and stress are constantly working against the male staff, it's a wonder how the men survive. countless are the times when i have seen male doctors and nurses, out of a fit of anger, frustration or irritation, putting the lives of their patients at risk. it could be something as simple as medication errors, or perhaps a tad more dramatic, an unprecedented fall. no matter what it is, it is so against Hippocrates and the Nurses' pledge to risk harming the patient, just so that you can survive with your pride and balls intact at the end of the day.

still, who am i to criticize when i too am a proud owner of a decent pair of bongs and a dong? i have to confess that just like your typical chump, i am equally prone to being rash in defending the honor of my genitals. everyday i meet trying patients who threaten to make me explode ALA Heroes-style. everyday i meet cranky menopausal female staff who seem to pick on the nitty-gritty things that are irrelevant to health-care. everyday i meet other male doctors who are frustrated with nurses who call them over every little issue about their patients. stress, just like SARS and cooties, is contagious. which results in more men getting worked up over nothing. as you can see, the hospital is one hell of a fucking stressful place.

not helping is the fact that my hospital is Singapore's biggest one with the most diverse of specialized departments. the other hospitals have a great tendency to transfer many patients over to us when they are unable to treat them. apparently, they are not equipped with the medical facilities to do so. which begets a question: then why bother opening up your hospital at all? our Emergency Department never closes unlike the other major hospitals in Singapore. meaning that we have a constant flow of patients coming in. which is good if you can cope with it all. but truth be told, we're already bursting at the seams in terms of available beds.

which is what happened last week when i was in charge of an elderly patient who was diagnosed with cancer of the larynx. in case you didn't know, the larynx is better known in the layman's as the voicebox. according to wikipedia, it protects the trachea and aids in sound production. now this chap's laryngeal cancer was pretty much in the late stage, the tumor having grown to a size that obstructed the respiratory tract. not helping was the fact that he was wheezing very badly. and wheezing, to the patient's relatives is extremely worrying. according to my colleague, his original hospital was unable to treat him and he had to be sent over to mine. more reason for the relatives to get all frustrated over minute issues.

anyways, Mr CA Larynx had to get a Chest X-ray done as part of the hospital pre-operative protocols. the doctors wanted to insert a trachestomy tube down the windpipe so that he could breathe without the tumorous growth in the way. so my morning shift colleague faxed an X-Ray form to the Radiology department, requesting for him to be sent there via the wheelchair. the wheelchair part, i swear i didn't know. because if i did, i would have canceled and brought the X-Ray to the patient, rather than the patient to the X-Ray. they have portable X-Ray machines in my hospital.

the porter from Radiology came at a bad time when i was busy settling new admissions. i couldn't be bothered with genial 'hellos' and 'thanks for coming up to send my patient', so i simply handed her the X-Ray form and left her to do her thing. by then, i had already forgotten the fact that my patient was a breathless wreck. so it was to my irritation when she came back in less than 30 seconds demanding for an oxygen tank and a nurse to accompany her down with the patients. for some unknown reason, she was really sarcastic and horrid throughout the whole process. plus she raised her voice when she was demanding her tank and nurse. and to my male ego, raising one's voice is like whipping out the colt that was stuffed in the back of your pants and pointing it at me. before i knew it, i was blinded by fury and having a stupid argument with Radiology woman over my colleague's little mistake. and who was the one suffering in the background? *wheeze*

i realized it was going no where. so i shut up and immediately ran to get the oxygen tank. true, the dick in me was giving in slowly. but the balls were still in the way. protocol requires that one nursing staff accompany any patient in risky health conditions. i refused to follow protocol, she threatened to bring it up to her supervisor. and i told her to do just that. true enough, i received a phone call within 4 minutes:

Radiology: Hi, can i speak to the staff in charge of Mr. Wheeze?

Me: Okay please hold on, i'll go look for him.

(makes shuffling noise, 'Hey have you seen the nurse in-charge of Mr. Wheeze?', 'Oh, he's doing a dressing?')

Me: (feigned disappointment) Hi, i'm so sorry but the in-charge is doing a dressing now, can i take a message?

Rad: Yes, your staff just sent down a patient in critical condition. that's not very fair for our staff here. (insert very long-winded speech revolving around hospital policies and protocol)

Me: (feigned sadness) oh, i'm so sorry that it happened. you see, our staff here is very new to the ward. so i think he's not too sure about (insert long-winded speech revolving around hospital policies and protocol). I'll talk to him and ensure it'll never happen again, yah?

Rad: For record's sake, can we take down the staff's name?

Me: Okay sure. Staff Nurse Zhang.

Rad: Staff Nurse... C-H-A-N-G?

Me: That's right.

yeah yeah. so i lied. but at least i got out of the whole situation with Mr. Wheeze still alive and wheezing. and besides, there are a lot of China nurse in my ward with 'Zhang' as their family name. so i'm thinking that i'm relatively safe. looking back, i think it was very unprofessional on my part to neglect patient care and get caught up in the whole argument with Radiology Woman. but rage is a very powerful and blinding force. i can still vividly remember that fire in me that existed the whole time i was raising my voice with Radiology Woman. it actually felt good to be able to shout at someone and this is what scares me. all my life i have never really been a violent person or even very verbal for that matter (i'm gay after all). but the older i get, i realize that i've become more and more impatient with things. perhaps it's true what they say, that with age, comes rage.

falling short of cutting off my balls, what can a gay man do to control rage?

Friday, May 18, 2007

project 355: random gay tees

i too fucking lazy to type anything today. so let the tees speak for themselves.

wanted: somebody to revamp the website

as you guys might have guessed by now, i'm not the technical wizard when it comes to computers and webbing stuff. thank goodness blogger is so user-friendly that it brinks on being too sociable with every single tom, dick and harry. this website needs a new haul over. the comments box turn white after being clicked on. white is good, but not against a white background. and anyways, the whole webbie now is as stale as a vagina that hasn't been used for years. all this is not what i'm very inclined at doing. thus, i require some help. someone who knows how to do all this technical stuff.

ehrm... there's money involved, i guess. falling short, sexual favors. email me at if you can help.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

project 355: losing is like winning... which is still very much like losing

between winning and losing, everybody would choose to hold the champion's trophy and bring home the cash vouchers of $500 sponsored by a company that's irrelevant to the contest. it's an established fact that except for 40 year old virgins, nobody tries too hard to lose. but here's the catch: in a competition there can be only one winner. fuck what the politically-correct chairperson always says about 'everybody leaves here a winner', because for the competitor, it's either winning or losing.

this is why i've always hated all forms of competition. anything that involves several people gunning head-to-head for a prize, with no holds barred, that is a competition. ever since Darwin coined his phrase 'Survival of The Fittest', the alpha-male seems to have realized that competition is an embodiment of his pride and ego. suddenly, everything in life is taken as a test to see who is better than who at something. because of this thinking by most men, i am sadly left behind in the dust to eat dirt. i have realized that in this life, i will always come in second place at best, and mostly receive the consolation prize of that sad packet of tissue paper.

why? because i'm a Jack of All Trades, yet a Master of None.

the problem with me is that i dabble in a little of everything, but never seem to have the time to master anything. i play the piano, i speak eloquently, i can differentiate between pinot noir and merlot (not just by looking at the bottle label), i read my fair share of Newsweek and the papers, i can write, i can pierce myself, i can save lives, i can carry weights, i can do basic counseling, i can dispense sartorial fashion advice, i can read French words with the French accent, i give good sex, hell i can even do auto-fellatio. but everything falls short of perfection.

(bear with me here)
i can only play simple piano pieces of Grade 5 standards and below, i can only speak eloquently like a socialite in clubs and in parties, i can only differentiate between wines when i'm at home, i read so much but i can't seem to recall anything important, i can write personal pieces but i can't write informational pieces, i can pierce myself but not other, i can save lives but only when i know what to do, i can carry weights (to a maximum of 15kg dumb bells), i can give counseling but i can't counsel my boyfriend and his problems, i can dispense sartorial fashion advice which i don't put into practice myself, i can read French words with Frenchie accents but not understand what they mean, i give good sex only when i'm a top, i can do auto-fellatio (but only the head goes in). you see, falling short of perfection.

maybe i'm setting ridiculously high standards for myself. or perhaps i just suck at all these random skills. whatever it is, all this was brought back into context during the inter-hospital debate that i was forced to take part in. why was i chosen in the first place? because everyone saw that i had a powerful command of the English language and i could verbalize everything eloquently. note that that just makes you a smooth talker, people. not an intellectual one.

the inter-hospital debates are quite a major event amongst the hospitals in my cluster. because other than audit results, it's the only other method of comparing the standards of intellect between the rest of the health-care groups. to tell the truth, only two out of four of these hospitals take the debates seriously. they have their own internal debates, external speakers and trainers, and even training leaves for these debaters so that they can practice in peace. not surprisingly, the whole idea of having this debate competition came from one of the hospitals with the debate teams. and being in that health-care cluster, my hospital had no choice but to keep sending representatives for sacrificial purposes every year. believe it or not, we are actually so swamped with hospital work (eg. SAVING LIVES) that we do not have the time for recreational activities like debate. fuck, it's not even recreational.

thus, like deers on the 405 caught in front of a truck, we were ran over before we even knew it. and not over were we run down once, the truck reversed and ran us down again and again and again. the hospital from the opposition team had a history of being aggressive attackers of speech. our hospital debate team had a more placid one, comparable to that of Priest and Priestesses of the Moon Goddess. we weren't an offensive bunch. to make things worse, neither were we a defensive bunch also. the good thing though, throughout the entire debate, even though our motion was slashed and hacked to death, not once did we utter an insult back to them. we survived with our dignities intact. then again, since when did dignity play a part in winning a debate?

true enough, history repeated itself and we lost this year's debate in the semi-finals. it's not that we didn't prepare. i guarantee you that we spent sleepless nights worrying about how the opposition would attack us, how they would tear down our motion, rewriting our scripts over and over again. but i guess i just wasn't clever enough to rebutt anything back to the opposition. my team mates who were equally stupefied tried their best to put up a good fight. and did i mention we were too busy saving lives? still no excuses for losing.

i ended up writing little notes to my team mates like 'They are such fucktards' and 'Sushi for dinner anybody?'.

surprisingly my team was pretty cool about losing. everybody was quite shocked that we were shaking hands with the opposition, congratulating them on their win. last year when my hospital trashed them at the debates, they were crying so badly that the consolation prize of the tissue papers weren't enough to stem those tears.

of course, losing also meant having to grin and bear the burunt of losing. everybody we knew kept coming up to us to say things like 'No lah, you guys did well' or 'It's okay, there's always next year'. all of these phrases accompanied with extremely patronizing looks. even the people from the higher management levels came to congratulate us on our loss.

i've learnt one thing from all this though: that i'm not good at debate. cool that i've tried it once. but once again, this sets in motion the theory about myself being the Jack of All Trades. i just want to perfect a skill, is it too much to ask?

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

project 355: my debatable debate speech

i participated in my health-care cluster's inter-hospital debates today. here's the motion and what i said during my part of the debate:

EQ is more important than IQ in the conduct of research. Debate. (Proposition)

Good afternoon, honorable judges, worthy opponents, and members of the floor.

EQ has time and again been proven to be more important than IQ in any setting. And given that it’s a hot topic amongst management consultancy services and leadership training, it’s no wonder there’s a strong emphasis on EQ in the working individual. When the Harvard Business Review printed an article on Emotional Quotient in 1998, the number of readers increased way more than any previously published article in that journal for the last 40 years. The revolution of EQ was further developed when Dan Goleman published the book, Emotional Intelligence, in 1995, leading EQ to become a much sought-after characteristic trait in the work setting. What better place, therefore, to apply EQ in the research setting, where many aspects revolve around us humans?

(rebuttocks rebuttocks rebuttocks)

The aims of research are as my first speaker stated: to resolve PROBLEMS and generate SOLUTIONS to these problems. To do this, we obviously need a motivated team of researchers. Like-minded people who have a common goal in mind – TO OBTAIN ACCURATE & TRUTHFUL RESULTS. As the saying goes, THERE IS NO ‘I’ IN TEAM. If you look closer, however, there’s still a ME in it. Truth be told, good team mechanics begins with the individual. This is where EQ PLAYS A MAJOR PART IN THE CONDUCT OF RESEARCH.

Goleman in his 1995 publication, Emotional Intelligence, says that EI accounts for 67% of job performance. And I am sure that we can see how this is applicable in the context of the workplace. Being able to empathize with your fellow colleagues, knowing how to empathize with others, the ability to work under time constraints and the constant stress, being able to manage one’s emotions and not let them hinder the path of work. These are things that your typical IQ skills such as reasoning, cognitive abilities and logic would not be able to grant you.

Furthermore, IQ is a genetic trait. Like Type I Diabetes or Autism, it’s something that is irreversible most of the time. EQ on the other hand, is an acquired characteristic. Studies have shown that when normal kindergarten children are put together to play with handicapped children, not only do they gain an empathic sense at the end of the day, but they learn how to attune themselves to the needs of these special children.

Similar to the research setting, we are put in a constantly changing work environment. We need researchers who are capable of adapting easily to these changes. People who have a high EQ. This is why we believe that a high IQ does not necessarily take precedence in the research setting. One who values EQ to be of higher importance than IQ is who we want.

Ladies and Gentlemen, at the end of the day, we need to understand that the main beneficiaries of research are us mankind. Would you not want the best possible people, armed with a reasonable amount of IQ and even more EQ to discover new findings that can affect the way we live our lives? After all, research is a study done by HUMANS for HUMANS. And what better psyche to understand the human, other than the human himself? This is why it is an imperative that the motion must stand, EQ is more important than IQ when conducting research. Thank you.

my team mates say that when i read it out, i sound like i'm selling cars. Protons, to be exact.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

project 355: supposedly this is the day when nurses feel appreciated

my humblest apologies to the chap in the comments box who has been asking about Nurses' Day and when it's being celebrated. so here's a heads up regarding the day meant to make Nurses feel appreciated. note the keyword in the prior sentence: MEANT. because i really don't feel the love for the nursing staff during Nurses' Day and frankly speaking, i'm not a big fan of the day itself anyways.

now, the original Nurses' Day that's celebrated all over the world is on the 12th of May, the birthday of the 2nd most recognized Victorian woman in English History, Florence Nightingale. Miss Nightingale was the pioneer of nursing, establishing proper sanitary conditions for an army hospital during the Crimean War. she went on to develop radical ideas of maintaining hygienic living conditions for the various hospitals in England. she's also quite the feminist herself, constantly struggling to sort out her thoughts on the expectations of upper-class Victorian women in the English society. which brings to mind: Corset burning demonstrations anyone?

but back to Nurses' Day. in 'i-want-to-be-outstanding'Singapore, we celebrate Nurses' Day on the 1st of August. the 1st of August apparently being the day when French nuns, equipped with nursing skills, arrived in Singapore to teach the locals how to administer TLC (tender loving care) to the health-care-deprived people. these nuns produced Singapore's very first nurses, complete with starched caps and bleached white pinafores.

now, fast-forward to modern Singapore. Nurses' Day, in a corporate sense, is a convenient excuse to celebrate National Day too. the Singapore National Day being on the 9th of August, is just nearly a week apart from the local Nurses' Day. So instead of getting two corporate gifts, you get only ONE slightly more expensive gift from the organizations. i remember a Nurses' Day several years back when i received a gaudy orange gym bag with the organization logo emblazoned on it. inside the gym bag were several other goodies like tupperware and a handy nurses' guidebook complete with pharmaceutical listings and step-by-step CPR charts. needless to say, i gave the gym bag and tupperware to relatives with a more disastrous fashion sense. the good thing is that all on-coming traffic will avoid them like the plague, thus reducing the chances of a traffic casualty.

Nurses' Day is also the time when the hospital likes to put up performances to showcase 'our multi-talented staff'. most of the time, these so-called volunteers are being coerced/forced/coaxed/bribed to participate. so much for 'multi-talented' eh? during these performances, you'll get to watch people whom you'll never expect to see (eg. heads of departments, the janitor, the lady from the staff cafeteria who sells mee rebus) doing bizarre things like salsa, a hip-hop dance routine, sing a pop song, act out a cheesy skit, etc. most of the time, these performances are cringe-worthy. there's a reason why some of these people whom you'll never expect to see, don't want to be seen. but obviously, the organizers never gave a regard to this.

these performances also seem to warrant a need for another competition: The (insert random organization here) Idol. every single organization seems to need a voted person who can sing well enough and survive critique from a panel of 'judges'. it's silly when an 'Idol' competition actually exists in your place of employment. it's even sillier when all your colleagues are egging you on to join it simply because you're slightly more sociable and artistically-inclined. it has happened to the average person like me. and it can happen to you.

lousy corporate gifts, bad performances, mandatory volunteer-ism to participate in these bad performances, and nary an off day in sight. who said that being a nurse on nurses' day is worth it?

Monday, May 14, 2007

project 355: i know... and they will soon know too


my entire identity at the workplace is made up entirely of 2/3 plastic and 1/3 me. 'plastic' here of course refers to the fact that nearly nothing in me is real at the workplace. not 'plastic' in the plastic surgery sense. though come to think of it, the word you're looking for is 'cellulite'. 2/3 cellulite and 1/3 me is rather true actually. but i digress.

the problem with every workplace i've been at is that i've never liked opening up to the colleagues. i owe this largely to the gay issue at hand, which is why i'm always full of secrets. it's cool because it maintains this aura of mystery around you and nobody asks you out for office gatherings. but the problem with revealing your sexual orientation to your colleagues is this: you tell one colleague. that one thinks that it's too juicy a secret to keep to herself and then the one tells another one, who thinks it's still too juicy a secret to keep to herself, who then goes on to tell another one, who thinks it's still juicy.... an hour later, practically all your colleagues including the janitor are discussing office politics that involve homosexuality and how it affects workplace morale over the water cooler.

the other problem with the revelation is that once the dust settles, you end up being the Encyclopedia Brown of Homosex. everybody comes to you with questions, expecting that you'll solve them. why? because you're a male gay person. you have been blessed with the powers to see things both the masculine and feminine way. soon enough, you'll see yourself being able to set up a booth at the carnival, charging $5 to solve every single question of life. not only that, people tend to ask you irritating questions like 'so you stick it into the other guy's ass?' or 'do you actually put it in your mouth?' nobody uses words like 'boyfriend' in these cases, the preferred term still being something more androgynous like 'other half' or 'partner'.

what can i say? been there, done that, don't intend to be there or do that again.

alas, i said it too fast, because i think i might have to do the whole gay FAQ thing again. you see, it seems that someone mystery person (presumably gay), has been surfing my blog at the workplace. there are several sections in the ward, divided according to the patient's class status. apparently, the computer in the Medical Officer's room at A class is loaded with page hits of my blog. i'm fine if you serve my blog at the hospital. but at least have the good ol' common sense to wipe it out from the HISTORY FOLDER! i can hide and hide and use replacement terms for gay-oriented nouns/verb/adjectives. but it's always the blog and it's existence in the web browsing software's history folder that always gets to me in the end. it happened in church. it happened during my nursing school days. ditto for Brunei. and now, work.

in the past few weeks, a few people at work seem to have gotten wind of the fact that i'm a homosexual. all this started when a colleague told me that she chanced upon my blog while looking through the the history folder of the computer in the medical officers' (MO) lodgings. the MO room, as we call it, is where the MO-on-call sleeps for the night. obviously, an MO (or whoever else) forgot to clear out the history folder. thus resulting in 2 out of 70 plus nursing colleagues having knowledge of my sexuality status right now.

one of them is a fellow smoker who broke this shocking piece of news to me over a cigarette break. i'm lucky that she's pretty cool with it (smokers are cool with everything, it seems). the other person was a nursing girl whom i did not know that well because she does the night shift. the only thing i remember about her is that she looks Eurasian and she keeps giving me that 'dirty' look after i found out that she knows. maybe it's my oversensitivity, but i believe in 'an eye for an eye'. i gave her back an even 'dirtier' look. her definition of 'dirty' was more like disgusted. mine is more like 'dirrrrrty'. i did the international sign for a blowjob to her, with a clenched fist and one inflated cheek. which resulted in her 'dirtiest' look, seething with disgust.

here's the thing. i don't mind people knowing that i'm gay because i'm all open now for random encounters of gay sex in my uniform while at work. but at least don't be judgmental. true, i'm going to hell where the use of a cigarette lighter is rendered useless. i'll burn in the lake of fire and brimstone and prolly won't die while being at it. and i know you think you're going to heaven because you pray everyday that the world would soon enough be purged of all the impurities like fornicators, whoremongers, bacteria, thieves, murderers, SARS, black metal, suicide bombers, etc. but really, you can skip the dirty look. how would you like to be in my fashionably gay shoes for a day while everyone gives you enough dirty looks to make the gah-men launch another 'Clean & Green' campaign that we so don't need again?

an alternative: rather than reading my blog and giving dirty looks, why not say 'hi' and give critical comments like 'i think your blog sucks' or 'i think your writing sucks' or 'i think your c**k needs to be sucked'. i'll give you back a dirty look at initially. but 5 minutes later, i'll remember that i made a proclamation like the above statement and realize that i've been quite an idiot. and the next time we bump into each other again, who knows i'll tell you something sucky about yourself.

and believe me, it might be verbal... or oral.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

project 355: yup (but where's the i love you?)


so the (insert random animal that can fit into hand-carry luggage)'s out of the bag that i've broken up with the boyfriend... or should i say, the ex (no. 3). the ex and i officially broke up at around 3pm on the recent saturday afternoon. i was working the afternoon shift that day and i couldn't run out of the ward to my spot of solitude and cigarettes, the hospital roof. so the first i did was to drop everything i was doing and head for the assisted bathroom in the ward to do what i do best when i'm under great duress. nope, not to masturbate (that's 2nd best). but to smoke. two sticks of Viceroys and a quick pee later, i emerged from the toilet, as refreshed as menthol, albeit smelling a whole lot like second-hand smoke. i resumed work, looking like nothing had happened.

how i wish that were the case though, that this relationship is nothing but a horribly unrealistic episode of a cliched American teenage drama. right now, i'm at a crossroads between feeling like the world's greatest loser and winner. one says that i'm the supposedly faithful boyfriend who tried his best not to cheat on the ex for once and was awarded lousy returns. this guy sounds like he would be singing 'I Will Survive' (an anthem that i uber-dislike) in a dimly-lit gay bar for sad gay men with no lives. the latter simply says with a nonchalant flick of the wrist, 'i'm a heartless bastard and since we've broken up, i can move on with life and starting fucking the shit out of Singapore'. that statement, of course, comes accompanied with lube and rubbers.

believe me, countless are the times i've been tempted to cheat during the past 4 months with my spa memberships. just for old time's sake, i would take out the membership cards and just look at the beautiful plastic and think about how this beautiful piece plastic can grant me more access to people who can be considered as not only 'beautiful', but also 'plastic'. i've tried telling the ex several times how much effort it really is for me not to cheat, especially the temptation of spas and random sex. but he would have none of it, preferring to be in denial of my tendencies to be upfront and realistic about things.

i can say the same thing happened in this relationship as well. the pressures of religion were calling upon him after the grandmother's death. unable to decide between a religion he grew up with for nearly 23 years and a boyfriend of only 4 months, he picked the one he knew better. and it's not the boyfriend. so, congrats luv, you have a one-way ticket to heaven now!

technically, he left the decision to me and it was because of what he said that made me decide a break-up was best for both of us. we broke up over SMS, you see. and this is what i hate about the 'great' advancements we have in communications technology these days. nobody likes to have face-to-face or at least conversations involving vocal cords anymore. this makes SMS the perfect tool for breaking up without having to listen to all the denials, accusations, crying, curses and sadness. it was perfect for me when the previous ex and i broke up (sorry!). but not this time.

i asked the boyfriend, 'just tell me, do you still love me?'

the reply was a big 'not really' hiding behind the guise of the following text 'Yup. But i think its best that u move on..'

i realize i read too deep into all things linguistic. i can't help it! i'm a writer! deep down in my literate heart, i was screaming 'What the fuck is Yup?' Yup is like one of the lowest forms of postive answers that anyone can give in the english-world. it means casualness. it means 'i don't give a fuck'. it could even mean 'Yupyupyupyupyupyupyupyupyup' like those crazy hairy alien things you see on Sesame Street. all in all, that whole SMS lacked commitment and that was what made me move on.

and move on i shall. it was a great 4 months and and i learned a lot about giving up things for someone you love. but i guess, that at the end of the day, the only one who truly loves you is just you yourself. and you know what they say, 'Ain't nobody gonna love you better than you yourself'.

what can i say? Yups to that man.

save the boyfriend, save the world

here's the next fridae post.

fridae post

in case you're an IT illiterate, clicking on the word 'fridae post' will get you to the fridae post.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

project 355: break

yeap. finally broke up. more on that tomorrow though. let me wallow in my sorrows for today.

Friday, May 11, 2007

project 355: passing on the motion


if there's one thing i suck at other than huge cocks and pert nipples, it's gotta be quarreling. i have to admit that i've always envied our more feminine homosexual counterparts who seemed to have evolved, along with the flamboyance, an acerbic wit and razor-sharp tongue. countless are the times when i have seen straight men being torn to shreds by these quick-minded people and their well-sharpened wit. they say that the pen is mightier than the sword. well, in this case, it's the mouth that once again proves that it can not only suck dick, but also counter sword-slashes and pen-attacks. i have to say, the mouth is indeed one of God's finest creations.

come to think of it, it's because of the powerful mouths that the sissies and trannies have, i have made it a point to never tread on the stiletto-clad toes of these people. in fact, to avoid getting handbag-slapped and stiletto-stabbed, let's just address them by the more politically-correct terms of sisters and sis-tahs. that way, i can still walk past Orchard Towers and the Palais Renaissance without ever having my Plastic Surgeon on the speed dial.

still, when it comes to verbal sparring, my mind definitely pales in comparison to our feminine friends. my brain is just not clever and fast enough to think of sarcastic little retorts that i can shoot back. most of the time, i take so long to comprehend these verbal attacks that by the time i get it, the opposition would have already shredded my flailing speeches to flakes. surprisingly though, i seem to be able to do it when i'm behind my laptop. there's just something about being given time to think and the existence of the thesaurus on the laptop that makes me seem intellectual. i'm the world's funniest guy on MSN and the world's 54th funniest guy on my blog. no matter what, the general public still gives more street cred to the spoken word rather than the written.

for now, the general public will be able to see how horrid i am at an upcoming Inter-hospital debate competition. apparently, my supervisor who thinks that i can speak eloquently, has submitted my name without my prior knowledge to join the debates. what she doesn't realize is that a high amount of eloquence does not mean a high amount of intelligence.

nonetheless, i still got in in the end. and i think it was because i'm the only guy who auditioned for the part. i wish i could say 'because of a dose of good looks' or 'he spoke with such great wisdom'. but no, i got in because i had a dong dong. weeks later, i'm still doing quite a shitty job of trying to look intelligent. admittedly, i've never had much experience with debate. drama, yes. a soliloquy, yes. an impromptu scene, definitely. but nothing that involves making a point with much conviction and believable facts.

which makes me really puzzled. after all, a debate is nothing but acting. acting like you have a point to make about something, when in fact, you don't believe a single word of it at all. not helping is also the topic which i personally think is codswallop. my other team members who are a bunch of very intelligent people are constantly spurring each other on to come up with rebuttals (or what i coined as 'rebuttocks' in a fit of boredom; we'll smack them right back in the ass) so that we can retort back everything the opposition throws at us.

most of the time though, i'm the clueless one who can present my motion very well, but have no idea what i'm saying. in fact, the above picture was what i was doing with the other team members while debating: doodling and sketching pictures of penises and all things phallic.

come to think of it... maybe that was the point i was trying to make.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

project 355: 28 days after Resident Evil Dawned on the Dead


ever since the Resident Evil series took flight in the mid-90s, i started wondering if there was an epidemic so contagious and powerful that it could practically destroy the world in a matter of days. the possibilities are endlessly explored by many forms of media. Resident Evil has a virus. Stephen King's novel, Cell, features a mobile phone signal that turns people into mindless creatures. 28 Days Later stars an infection called The Rage. The Xbox360's Dead Rising has an insect which stings people, turning them into zombies.

you realize that most of them seem to be biomedical conditions. and given the advancement of research and technology and genetic engineering and all that crap in our time, it's quite a possibility that one day, we might actually bump into each other at the Carrefour in town. either you or me as the zombie, and the other as the one that's still alive. whatever it is, i believe that it's the responsibility of the one that's alive to kill the zombie.

it is thus, with the arrival of the long-awaited 28 weeks later, that i write this post. after all, it was 28 Days Later that was (IMHO) the first philosophical zombie flick that got me thinking about a world without laws and a proper code of conduct. it seems that the primal urges in humankind are released when you strip the average Joe of his humanity. you know what they say about humans and animals, the only difference is that we have a soul, fully equipped with human concepts like morality, ethics, love, dignity, sexuality, cultures, prejudices, etc.

however, remove these concepts from the human and all you have left is this basic instinct to survive. i know i have just brought back horrifying visuals of Sharon Stone and her vage, but then again, if you're a zombie, you prolly couldn't even comprehend the idea of 'horrifying'. as most zombie flicks define, the top three items on the zombie's wishlist would most prolly be blood, meat and more blood. zombies, simply put, are men at their most depraved and basic state.

zombie flicks, to me, portray men at their darkest moments, be they zombies or not. for these mindless creature, we can understand why they start cannibalizing the ones that are still alive. blame it on the source of the infection. but it's the one's that start letting their inner inhibitions come alive that make me worried. the problem is that the laws of our world are only as strong as the people's belief in it. when an outbreak like that breaks loose, all of society and its beliefs crumble with it too. people will start killing. people will start raping. people will start stealing and beating people up for no reason. i'm sure not everybody will be like the characters in the movies, all working together to fight their way out of the zombie-infested city.

what difference would there be then, between zombie and human?

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

project 355: i need one


Tuesday, May 08, 2007

project 355: runaway runaway


most of the patients warded at my work place seem to be the happy and cheerful type. not surprising, given that most of them are here for the simplest of surgical procedures that require at most 2-3 days of hospitalization. before you know it, most of them are fit enough to not only be discharged, but also to complain about the 'bad service' in the hospital. those ungrateful little wretches have apparently forgotten about the many times the nurses fetched those urinals and wiped their asses in their moments of need. it's ironic that these 'come-and-go's' are the ones that demand the most medical attention actually. in the minds of these patients, 'medical attention' can refer to things 'excuse me nurse, can i have a cup of Milo with two cubes of sugar and one tablespoon of milk?' or even 'excuse me nurse, i want an update from the consultant regarding my hemorrhoids!' to put it metaphorically, the patients demanding an update from the consultant is like the average citizen demanding an audience with the prime minister. it's just hemorrhoids lah. you can google all that stuff off the internet.

on the other hand, we have the direct opposite of the 'come-and-go's' in terms of hospitalization durations. we call them the 'long-stayers'. in my standards, anything beyond a week is considered a long-stayer. i have known patients with histories of spending at least half of every year in the hospital, seeking treatment for the progression of their diseases. from liver cirrhosis to diabetic-related foot ulcers, you get to see an entire spectrum of human emotions in these long-stayers. IMHO, these are the patients who deserve the best of nursing care. it's not easy having to cope with a disease that is difficult to remedy. but to do it in the confines of the hospital ward with other patients of varying emotional outbursts... it's not exactly conducive for recovery, isn't it? spend just a weekend staying in my ward and you can see the darkness and selfishness that lurks in the hearts of mankind. i think this is why a patient tried to abscond from my ward last week.

i arrived at work at 6.25am on that particular morning. work officially starts at 7am, but i prefer to turn up earlier so that i can have a head-start in serving the medications and all the other mundane medical chores like the Milo with two cubes of sugar and one tablespoon of milk. my colleagues from the night shift had trouble with a particular patient whom they claimed was threatening to run away from the hospital with a IV cannula in his arm and an abdominal drain sticking out from his body. i have never seen this guy before, but upon approaching him, one could see that look of desperation and frustration in his eyes. it's as if he had been trying too long to fight the disease and was on the verge of giving up.

Mr. Abscondee kept shouting that he wanted to see his doctor-in-charge and that he would run away with cannula and drip trailing behind him if he didn't. obviously, none of the team doctors were in the hospital at 6.25am yet. most of them were prolly still downstairs at the lobby getting their daily dose of coffee and breakfast.

he had by then pulled out the various other tubes connected to him. the syringe pump dispensing IV morphine was beeping away, and another nurse was there trying to rationalize with him. he was already changing into his civilian clothes in fact. not helping with the situation was another patient that stayed opposite Mr. Abscondee. this particular chap had been in that same bed for nearly 2 months coming. i call him the muthafuck. he has liver cancer and like a messenger of doom, he has constantly told everyone that he wants to die. obviously, Mr. Abscondee wasn't spared from the doomsday preaching. while all the nurses were trying to convince him to stay for treatment, the muthafuck was shouting things in mandarin like:

'You stay for what? the nurses here don't care about you one. their service is so slow. just go home because it doesn't make a difference. run off when they're not watching! they'll be too busy to notice anyway!'

it's all fine and dandy if you want to kill yourself. but just like homosexuality and religion, you don't go around trying to convince everyone to switch over to your alternative lifestyle and ideals. in this case, the muthafuck was no better than an indirect murderer. there i was, trying to inject some hope into Mr. Abscondee while muthafuck was trying his cynical best to be an asshole. out of irritation and anger, i told muthafuck in English:

'Oi! Mr. (insert muthafuck's real name)! Can you shut the fuck up? You don't want to live it's your business. I'm trying to save my patient here. One more word out of your mouth and i promise i'll push your entire fucking bed out of this room, you hear me?'

very vulgar, i know. but i think i got the message across to his suicidal mind. the muthafuck gave a half-heartedly inaudible reply that i couldn't catch. by then, Mr. Abscondee was already walking out of the room. despite that fact that he was presumably in lots of pain (on IV morphine 1mg/hr) and had a drainage tube sticking out of him, he walked really fast. thank goodness we managed to catch him at the lift. because an abscond meant that the nursing staff would have to file a report with the police and write up a full overview on what happened. very tedious, given all the paperwork and red tape involved.

inside the lift, i tried to talk sense to Mr. Abscondee. he was on the verge of tears. you could see it in his eyes. there was this look of 'lost cause' and frustration with his disease. suddenly, he started crying. well, not really crying but bending over and crying without the tears. so there we were, a colleague, Mr. Abscondee and i, all stuck in a moment where we didn't know what to do. all i could say was the usual barrage of hopeful statements about silver lining in clouds and 3 good things always happening after 3 bad things. we managed to get him back into his bed. only to lose him about 4 hours later. Mr. Abscondee had finally lived up to his name. he absconded with his abdominal drain at somewhere around 11am that morning.

events like these just make me ponder about life at the hospital. isn't it just depressing to see patients giving up hope on living? i mean, i go around telling people of how much i wish to die young so that i don't have to go through the endless barrage of diseases that come with old age. but to really see someone fight a battle and give up halfway... that's something that makes you wonder about life. would i fight if i had a critical illness as well? or would i just fly to Amsterdam and ask for Euthanasia?

as for the muthafuck, he's still constantly mouthing his nonconstructive criticism to the staff. most of the staff ignore him because of what happened with Mr. Abscondee. it actually brings to mind a quote from Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist:

'When a person really desires something, all the universe conspires to help that person to realize his dream.'

i guess at the end of the day, the will to live is contagious. just as similar as the will to die.

Friday, May 04, 2007

project 355: real men don't cry


'tis true that men in general have a tendency to be defensive about their emotions. it's okay to emote happiness. it's okay to emote anger. in fact, it's always okay for any gender to emote a feeling commonly associated with masculinity. for the men however, expressing an emotion commonly associated with the feminine side such as crying or gratitude is a sign of weakness. i guess all this chauvinistic thinking is prolly derived from the masculine psyche: two-fifths pride, another fifth of ego and the rest a hardened heart shaped by society. correct me if i'm wrong, but just one generation ago, wasn't the tradtional image of the ideal man the strong and resilient type? the ones who brought back the bread, pro-created, sent the children off to college, grew old and then passed away. all this done to the tune of 'Moon River' in the background.

the question here then: whatever happened to these men?

fast-forward to the post-millennial era of frappucinos and complicated political situations, it seems the ideal man has evolved in a somewhat emotionally-charged person. expressing one's emotions is strongly encouraged. now, it's definitely okay to be happy. it's even better if you're sad. hell... if you're are one depressed bitch, don't keep it to yourself! join a support group and tell the whole world about it while you pop those beautiful little anti-depressants!

as for me, i'm very much a traditionalist. most of my emotions remain as that: MY emotions. i've never been comfortable with showing how i feel about things unless i'm close enough with someone to know that they aren't motormouths who go round spreading each little secret that i have. and believe me, i have a lot of secrets. deep, dark ones that nobody knows except the parties involved.

this is why when it comes to work and most social settings where there's unavoidable human contact, i maintain this aura of anti-socialism, all in the hope to zap away anyone who tries to make contact with me. i give non-nonchalant/smart-assed answers to every single question that people ask me so that they'll think i'm too clever for them. though, in truth, i think they think that i'm just trying to socialize with them by being funny and/or mysterious. take for example, my colleagues can never understand what i mean whenever i have a conversation like the following with them:

colleague: (exasperated) my patient just called me his daughter! i think he's confused!

me: (not bothering to look at colleague) my, my, aren't we all?

colleague: huh?

with that 'huh', they either carry on with work and life, forgetting the above-mentioned conversation ever happened, or they give me a wry smile, acting like they actually understand what the shit i'm talking about. and viola! no colleagues that i need to maintain social contact with outside of the work setting! no need to lead that double life filled with white lies and the usage of androgynous terms to describe the boyfriend.

since we're on the topic of emotions, i have a secret to confess:


no lah. joking only. that was meant for the people googling up the topic in question, in the hope that they will visit my blog based on the selected keywords. but seriously, my confession would be this:


it's cool that it rhymes, but it's not cool that it's true (which once again rhymes!). ever since the age of 15, i've totally stopped crying. i don't think it's a physiological thing because i know i still can produce tears. which basically leaves it as a psychological thing. everytime i see people crying while watching soppy Korean dramas with plot twists involving lovers discovering that their are long-lost siblings, i can't help but think that they are 'weak'. deep down in the recesses of my heartless heart, you can hear my alter-ego calling them wusses and pussies. to me, it's just a drama. the dramatics belong to the drama, not the viewer. so keep those tears for something more important like spicy food or anal sex.

remember A WALK TO REMEMBER? that tragic Mandy Moore movie with one too many love songs about break-ups and separation? almost every single gay person i know, expressed some form of tears by the time Mandy Moore passed away in the movie. i'm the only one apparently, who seems to have trouble letting the tear ducts comprehend the tragedy. quite embarrassing actually, when you're under peer pressure to express extreme remorse.

perhaps for once, it would be great to cry. after all, crying, like flatulence and having an orgasm, is all about release. in the case of the boyfriend's distance in the relationship currently, i think i might need to release myself and not be so affected by the whole thing.

then again, real men don't cry do they?

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

project 355: the Australian Macca breakfast

Rob has something interesting to say about McDonald's.

Today was a nice sunny, Saturday morning and so I went down to the local McDonalds for breakfast. I can see from the picture you included with your post, that you must like McDonald's breakfast too. My order was Hot Cakes, a Hash Brown, an English Muffin and Tea. I guess having Vegemite with my English Muffin gave it the Australian flavor.

In your blog post you asked us to describe our McDonald's experience and that made me think of something special. Back in the late 90's to early 00's my boyfriend and I used to go to these huge gay dance parties here in Melbourne. They were held in this big warehouse called Shed 14 and thousands of gay men would attend. While Melbourne still has lots of gay parties, they are all small, club based parties these days - nothing on the scale of the Shed 14 parties. We would come home from these parties about 6am or 7am in the morning and we would drive through McDonald's on the way. We would eat our McDonald's breakfast at home before collapsing into bed to sleep for the rest of the day. Now whenever I have McDonald's breakfast, it takes me back to the days of those huge, exciting parties - the excitement of getting ready to go out, arriving at the party, the fun of dancing all night, surrounded by thousands of hot men (not to mention the dark room!) and then the satisfaction of heading home after a great night out. That's my McDonald's experience.

I wouldn't say I'm a regular at Macca's but I do drop by for breakfast now and again. When I'm on holidays though, I do like to check out the local McDonald's and KFC just to see if they are any different from what we have at home. Its always interesting to see the small differences in the menu from country to country.

PS For some really strange reason, Hungry Jacks/Burger King has a breakfast menu in every state in Australia expect for Victoria and New South Wales! Why we can't have breakfast at Hungry Jacks here in Melbourne is beyond me!

(editor's note: i love Vegemite too. remember the good ol' days of Bovril? the red little container that's filled with all that salty goodness. oooh... lewd!)

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

project 355: i heart breakfast


i remember reading once in an Issac Asimov short story about the future of humans and a little detail about their dietary habits. a breakthrough technology in medical science and genetics allowed people to raise little worm-like parasites that live in their stomachs. these lucky people of the future could just eat what they want as the parasites would just consume the fats and oils and unhealthy shit that we have in canned/preserved foods these days. i can already imagine a future of Nicole Richies, Tin Tins and boutiques which stock size 0 only.

based on this, i think the future's really gonna work out pretty well for me. given that i'm quite a big eater by nature, especially breakfast. oooh. i love breakfast. i have no idea why, but i think it's due to the fact that i'm always hungry whenever i wake up in the morning. most people wake up because of pre-set alarm clocks and the general soundtrack of the morning rush hour. me on the other hand, am only awoken by the gastric juices churning around in my stomach, demanding their fair share of calories and fats to kick start the day.

when it comes to breakfast though, there's nothing like beginning the new day with a hearty meal (i sound like a family restaurant). i swear that breakfast is the only decent meal i have for the day. mostly because of work constraints. most of the time, i get to only consume a random piece of bread that i steal from my patient's unwanted meals. either that, or i make a quick trip down to the food court to grab two cups of iced coffee and a cigarette. you'll be surprised how much nicotine and caffeine can fill up the empty stomach.

more often than not, breakfast would consist of four things: coffee, cigarettes, cornflakes and milk. if i were a rich prick, i would substitute milk with Bailey's. nothing like getting high on cornflakes, i say.

unfortunately, the family was never born with them silver spoons in our mouths. in fact, i prolly emerged from the mother's womb handling one of those plastic disposable cutlery you often find at catered buffets and lame children's birthday parties. regardless, a spoon is still a spoon and i take my meals with them. and breakfast being the most important meal of the day to me, i'm proud to consume it with that cheap plastic commodity.

there's nothing better than reading the papers, having a coffee, munching on cornflakes infused with the smell of cigarettes. it's even better if i just had sex last night and the boyfriend does the 'breakfast in bed' thing. i'm still waiting for it to happen though (hint hint).

so tell me, what is breakfast like for you?

About Me

Name: the nurse
Home: Singapore
About Me: i'm a nurse, i'm gay, i smoke, i play the piano, i patronize the theatre, i flip through glossy magazines for no apparent reason, i love sex, i am a left-handed libran, i watch art-house films mostly, i love house music, and did i say i love sex?
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