Sunday, February 28, 2010

Idle thoughts....

It has been a very boring few days, the only highlight being arrival of monthly paycheck. Finding that I was paid almost entirely in our wonderful new currency notes only added to the - ahem - joy. Of course, boredom is purely beacuse the preceding few days were full of excitement, traveling etc. etc.

Still the idle mind is the workshop of the devil and so on... and I've found myself repeatedly wondering (in an idle and non specific way of course) about having an affair.

Of course, the whole romance, excitement and attention of said affair would be offset by distraction during crucial parts of work, mismanagement of finances, and general disapproval of society.

Not to mention Darling dumping my sorry ass...

But I still can't help wondering....

So tell me, gentle readers... what do you consider as "cheating"? How do you define it?

Monday, February 15, 2010

These people, I tell you....!

So some time ago, this guy walks into the hospital complaining of tummy pains and constipation, and is sent over to the casualty unit. After giving the same story to the examining doctor, he reluctantly agrees to a rectal examination. The doctor is quite peplexed to find first a sili sili bag, and then a hard immovable object stuck "up there". Frantic x-trays were taken.

Picture quiz... can you guess what this is?

After stern questioning by the senior doctor, the patient mumbles something about a perfume bottle, and says he was assaulted by rouges (brandishing said perfume bottle) who had also robbed his house the previous night. Various methods were tried in order to get the bottle out... including a pair of obstetrics (delivery) forceps hastily borrowed from the nearby OBG ward, but to no avail. The patient was finally wheeled to surgery, sliced open and relieved of the offending object.

Of course, this account won't be complete without mentioning a famous story by one of my Profs. who never fails to regale successive generations of medical students with his wit and wisdom. Apparently while examining a similar patient, he had noticed a faint buzzing against his fingers... at which point he had asked the patient whether he wanted the vibrator taken out, or whether he simply wanted the batteries changed! After the operation (or so the Prof. claims) the vibrator had gone mysteriously missing. He then goes on to say he strongly suspects the ward nurses to have filched it for their own diversion...! (Of course, all these is said in a spirit of humour, esp. when Ms. A, one of the senior nurses, is present. She usually laughs and shakes her head - I think she has heard the story far too often to react in any other way!)

According to the 25th edition of A Short Practice of Surgery by Baily & Love, "The variety of foreign bodies that have found their way into the rectum is hardly less remarkable than the ingenuity displayed in their removal". It then goes on to describe the discovery and removal of turnips, pepper-pots, glass tumblers, screwdrivers and live artillery shells, just to name a few...

Ah well... and life goes on....

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Shiny, pretty people...

... is what comes to mind when visiting Singapore.

So Darling and I decided that this was the perfect time to mix business with pleasure, so off we went. Honestly though, I stand behind my title; the Singa-poras and Singa-kello are all just looked so scrubbed and pweety and squeeky clean... and the clothes (!!!) to so totally die for! I had loads of fun walking around the malls, people watching and window shopping. Yes... it was mostly window shopping, since bank account was saying "foine, go on mini break but remember, you can't splurge or you'll be paying off debt for the next 14 zillion years".

Bought a couple of pairs of shoes, but not easy since ppl there have lovely slim feet while mine are wide at crucial and painful points. Did not shop for clothes since all are made for Twiggy-thin Singa-kello and just make self feel fugly. Is mortifying when only super large maternity type wear fits.

Also miffed at not finding the shop that sells designer perfume tester bottles cheap - apparently it's at Lucky Plaza, which was skipped since "oh I can go there when back in SL" kinda entered the train of thought. Books are expensive. Don't buy books in S'pore... please don't drool on them either. Went looking for a non-existent flea market at Clark Quay. Ended up taking coy pictures of self peering out at camera from betweent cherry-blossom bedecked branches. (No, those pics will not be uploaded).

Ate parata and masala thosai every night for dinner. Also sampled mock duck pancakes, chinese dumplings, peanut sesame balls, chicken rolls wrapped in seeweed and this weird beancurd soup that had boiled eggs floating in it. :S

It's Chinese new year next week or so and the themes are sort of mixed "Happy Year of the Tiger and Oops don't forget Valentine's Day" with cute tigers clutching pink hearts grinning at you from amidst the cherry blossoms. Lots of stalls selling fake cherry blossoms and chinese paintings and lots of cultural shows... everyone was in great holiday mood too. Camera was kinda crappy, so pics not good. Frankly, even Darling's camera phone pics are much better, but anywez...

Flowers everywhere!

Funky drummer ladies

Very funky

Went to Sentosa and had fun looking at fishies and dolphins and sealions. Didn't have time to see the light show. :( This is the 2nd time I missed it, and not sure if will be able to go back in near future.

Leopard spotted stingray

Me petting leopard spotted stingray

Ooh yeah, went to watch Avatar on 3D... OMG it was so totally cool esp. since I hadn't watched it at home... and it was all coming-at-you and real-lifey (let me have my childishly enthusiastic moment plz) and at points I was ducking the massive attacker birds and swatting away the soot falling near my face!

Avatar FTW!

So yes... I've been having a good week... Many many thanks to S and D for putting up with us, giving a key to their apartment and not getting miffed when we noisily returned in wee hours of the morning. And for feeding us, lending laptops and handing out traincards. You rock!


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Ah well....

...admit it took sometime to regain familiarity with my dashboard...

Hey everyone...

...........and yes, this is me, and yes, it has been a looo...ooong time. Many thanks, all of you who faithfully kept coming back to this blog to check on me, my lovely friends, and a few lovely Annony-mice I didn't know were there... I also noticed with shock that my hitcounter is registering over 15,000! So thank you again, everyone... and I am sorry to have disappointed.

As for what the heck happened, I guess death has made it a habit to pay a visit around the same time every year. My grandfather passed away, almost exactly 2 years to the day my grandmother died. Although it is not very buddhistic, I like to think that he went to join her. Maybe they have 7 more lifetimes in samsara together...

Seeya had a very peaceful death. He was healthy until about July, walking about, going to work (at 88!) and had eyesight better than mine. Then he got a really bad chest infection that just wouldn't go away. Slowly he grew more feeble, more breathless and more dependent. I loved looking after him, making his meals - blended, energy dense and various combinations so that he wouldn't get sick of the same thing. I loved keeping him company while he ate, while he listened to the sermons on the radio etc. I'm so glad I was able to help out my mother with his medicines etc. and with treatment decisions, to get a nurse to look after him, to nebulize him etc. I think the last couple of days, he had better care than he would have had in an ICU - 2 doctors and a nurse, nubulizers, IV medicine, oxygen all at hand if needed. That day, he had his breakfast and lunch and was listening to pirith and waiting for his tea... he nodded off against my mother's shoulder, and moments later, she noticed that he was not breathing.

He had a good life... 55 years marriage to my lovely grandmother, 4 successful children and a number of loving grandkids. He was principal of a leading educational institute and fondly remembered by his students - many who are well respected academics, professionals and businessmen. They dedicate books they have authored to him, remember him when accepting prestiges awards and recently felicitated him at the institute. Seeya held truth and justice of foremost importance - and that's a lesson he imparted to his children, grandchildren and students, that the easy way isn't always the right one. He valued education, glorying in gold medals, academic distinctions etc. of his loved ones. But his emphasis was more on right thoughts speech and actions. He used to recite this little poem to us when we were at our most impressionable:

Guard your lips from evil slips,
Five things note with care.
To whom you speak, of whom you speak,
When, why and where.

I miss him deeply. I am sad, but not distraught - I can only look back at the times I spent with him and know that there are no regrets. I am luckier than many... I got to spend over a quarter of a century with both my grandparents. I hope I live up to his standards and expectations, and I cannot wish him a better passing - alert and rational, free of pain, in the company of his loved ones and while listening to pirith. May he attain the supreme bliss of Nibbana.


On a different note, my silence has also been due to the dramatic political scenario in the country. While quite interested in what is happening, and terribly opinionated, I did not want to turn this blog into a political forum. In fact, given the atmosphere online, I'm fairly sure that even a statement like my mum went and bought a banana plant for 150 rupees but it died a week later would have been interpreted by some as supportive of one candidate, or flippantly dismissive of another. I had fun reading election related posts on kottu/achcharu and went bright and early to vote. I confess that one preferential vote was for the guy contesting under the kangaroo, simply because the symbol was so priceless. Darling kept muttering darkly that people like me should have limited franchise... huh!


And finally, I was a bit in the dumps because I am becoming a monument of sorts. I am now firmly on the other side of the fence (biological and otherwise) and (sigh...) it's going to be downhill all the way from here.

For those of you who have no clue what the heck I am talking about, today is my birthday, I wanna be wished! :)

Signing off - vintage Angel