Monday, February 14, 2005



i love Da Paulo's. Ok, well, not exactly LOVE it, but it makes cooking all the more easier. Today was V-day, and in our spirit of thriftiness, we decided not to contribute to the economy (coupled with the fact that our credit card bills were sky-high the last month) and chose to eat in. We had rented Shallow Hal the day before (despite the fact that it screened on channel 5 last night), but decided to go with Five as it was showing The Fugitive.

i finished the DB inspection early, and hence had time to pop by Holland V to pick up some pasta, pasta sauce, a chicken riscotti and salad from DP, as well as the Awfully Chocalate ice-cream from Dan which he forgot to bring to a party. The chicken was simple enough to reheat in the microwave, but the pasta needed REAL cooking. Boiling water, a tea-spoon of salt, and boil for a minute (though i tailored it to 2, after much hesitation and timing with my Nokia stopwatch). Simple enough not to screw up. Add in some dim lights, white wine, air-con from the bedroom-converted-to-dining-room at full blast, and an aroma-therapy burner with Lavender oil, and the stage was set for our very first candle-(cum TV)-light dinner. It wasn't too bad, though she took a little longer than i expected in coming home, hence the pasta was a little clumped, but still yummy. Still have some wine left though...

The DB inspection this afternoon was a good respite from the busy morning that i had. 4 straight hours of meeting with the boss and some of the Brigade MOs over the Medical Support Plan for this year's NDP. No joke. It had earlier been approved by SMO before going through our office, hence the boss wasn't really pleased, especially since most of the assets requested were from Army, and were pretty excessive, not to say the least. The boss also had a good time shooting out arrows as the meeting went along, many totally unrelated to my job scope. Sigh... times have changed indeed. My afternoon before starting the cooking was also marred by a call from one of the Majors, with another arrow which i don't think i should be doing. Or rather, i guess he's got no choice since he needs a doctor to get information about electrolyte imbalance in marathons, but there already IS a guidebook on this previously published by LIFE, hence the replication of work is in my opinion unnecessary. My gut feel is that the boss either is not aware of the existing publication and Maj R doesn't dare or didn't think to bring it up to his attention, or that the boss just wants to create work for his subordinates, which totally goes against the line of the old management. That's the problem with the SAF. It's a military organisation which is run in a way which over-emphasises on the fact that it IS a military organisation. Many of the commanders think they can get their way because of their rank, and this management style is unfortunately not quite effective in getting things done, especially with a whole bunch of youths who have been enlisted against their will. i try to defy the urge to use this reason to slack off, as i have a moral calling higher than the organisation or the nation, but sometimes it's hard.


DB was just like what prison is portrayed in the media. Cold hard cells with metal bars, and a little corner for doing one's business. The security was tight as well, albeit run by NSFs. The inspection basically is a form of audit, to ensure that the inmates are in no way being mistreated or abused by the others, or by the soldiers looking over them. Wouldn't want a repeat of the Iraqi prison scandal hitting us now, would we?

We examined all 163 of them from the outside of the cells, walking past each cell and getting the inmates to strip and do the DB dance. Now, the DB dance is basically an improvised Macarena, where the inmates (as previously mentioned) strip to their birthday suits, stand with palms out, then in, then raise their hands up palms facing the examiner, at the same time sticking out their tongues, then turning around and lifting up one sole after the other for inspection. Each inmate can be inspected within a matter of seconds (if they dance correctly, that is), so it doesn't really take that long to complete the few accomodation blocks.

There were also some Jehovah Witnesses, who all go straight to DB anyway. They had to dance as well.

i guess that's it for now... later.


Sunday, February 13, 2005

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Saturday, February 12, 2005



We watched Constantine last night at Tiong Bahru, and the movie did raise quite a few interesting points, although i thought it seemed more of a Sunday School "what do you think?" lesson.

The movie was based on the Hellblazer series of comics, and is about a guy called John Constantine (Keanu... the object of my wife's fantasies) who has the ability to "see" entities from the spiritual realm. He's also apparently condemned for having attempted to take his life previously, and thus is burdened with the foreknowledge that he will go to hell after he dies, as he has committed the "ultimate" sin. Oh, and he's dying from lung Ca as well, with all the vegetable sticks he's been lighting up over the years.

The movie basically covers him casting demons back to hell, and helping another cop (Angie played by Rachel Weisz) stop the birth of Satan's son into the world to start his dominion of "hell on earth". Kim apparently had told En that she was disgusted that i wanted to watch the show, as it was supposed to be blasphemous. Well, i just wanted an action show with some shocks here and there, but i guess i got a little more out of it that just that.

Perhaps the only blasphemous bit in this show was to Catholics, as it painted a rather demeaning picture of Archangel Gabriel, who's supposed to be the super-good angel who has plenty plenty power, and leads God's army in defeating the evil one eventually. Here, Gabriel, played by an actress in a male role, akin to the devil in "The Passion of the Christ", turns out to be the one who's masterminding the scheme, as he feels that Man doesn't deserve so freely God's love and grace, and wants the years of tribulation on earth to sieve out only those who are truly worthy of His love and redemption. Gabriel, in this movie, eventually "loses" God's protection, and gets his wings burnt off by Satan in a rather comical scene.

Also, Constantine, in offering to give his life in exchange for the soul of Angie's dead twin sister to be released to heaven, gets redemption form God and a chance to get to heaven, which is incidentally taken away when Satan removes the cancer from John's lungs hence giving him a chance to live and screw up his time on earth so that he'll go back to hell.

Interesting concepts and questions brought up in the show, though the movie did make some theological errors.

1) Gabriel's misconception about God's love and grace being misplaced can be well understood. As he is supposed to be the "right-hand" angel of God, one can understand the frustration that he feels in seeing his master's creation squandering His love and mercy, and the 'injustice' that murderers and rapists can get "away with it" just by repenting and seeking forgiveness. But indeed, it IS that simple. A simplicity that is too... er, simple to sometimes fully comprehend.

2) Constantine's eventual success at being redeemed was based on his self-sacrificing behaviour, in exchanging his life for Angie's sister. Well, you don't really get salvation by this kind of works, though this should arise from one's belief and faith in God.

Ok, this entry has become a tad bit too long.

So there.


Friday, February 11, 2005

Is there a doctor in the house?


Second day of the lunar new year. The year of the rooster.

We didn't go out today, or well, at least i didn't, after i got back from Nee Soon. Dad and Mom came over this morning, after which we had a late lunch at the house opposite (aka the in-law's), and then waited for the CG guyzzz to come over. It was a pretty good turnout, with only SF (as usual) not around. SM did come, and as incestuous as it may sound, she looked real hot in the top she was wearing. Shan't elaborate more on that. She is a good friend, and a good fellow Christian to have had in the group during the clinical years, so it's weird looking at her that way, but well... i should get her out for lunch before she gets married, and return the treat that she gave me before mine.

En's sister-gang came over as the remnant of the guyzzz were on the Xbox, and i joined them for a gossip session after they finally left. Nothing much there, though i just do remember feeling very sleepy, and thinking that the house had gotten too hot. It would be good to install an air-conditioning unit in the hall, but i don't think that'll be very cost-effective.

En's father's side of brothers and sisters came over to their house in the evening after dinner, with kids and all in tow. i spent most of the time playing with Zilun and his jie jie Charmaine, and it was pretty fun. i really do enjoy playing with kids, and holding them, and cuddling them (not to sound like a paedophile or anything), and some of En's aunties did see that as well, and went into the usual routine of asking us when we were going to have some of our own. "Perhaps the end of the year?" would be our usual reply. i can't even say for myself when we'll have kids of our own. It's fun to play with them, indeed, but to take on the responsibility of becoming parents is a whole different matter. Am i (or are we) willing to give up my free time, and sense of callousness to mature into one responsible for another's life? Toughie.

And i was called to play doctor twice tonight. The first was baby Joshua, who kept walking with a limp. His parents said that he had fallen down today, and had been walking like that since. i tried (not that i was called upon, but the overwhelming sense of responsibility kicked in...) to examine him, but he started crying (ok, i didn't make him cry. He had already started crying when his parents pointed out that i was a doctor and was NOT going to give him an injection... thanks a lot). i did advise them that it didn't look like much, but that if it continued to hurt and he continued to limp, they should go get an Xray done. i suppose that must have struck a chord, as they soon left when he refused to walk and bear weight.

The second occasion came later. Earlier on, leng jai (li bei's son) had asked what blood in the urine could indicate. Apparently his father had been passing gross haematuria throughout the day, associated with clots. Painless gross haematuria. A red flag indeed. Well, li bei did have many risk factors, of which years of smoking was probably the biggest. As we were taking some of the latecomers on another obligated tour of our house opposite, i was desperately summoned to go back to the other side to examine li bei's urine. He had taken a plastic bag with him to pee pee, and collected a big bag full when he pissed out blood again. It was warm (yes, i held the bag and sloshed it around to see if there were clots), dark, and looked like old blood. My money's on a lesion in the bladder, possibly a Ca. i hope i'm wrong though. i hope it's a stone in the bladder which they'll pick up on Xray at the A&E tonight. Or a kidney stone, though that's less likely.

Sigh... the hazards of being a doctor at family functions. Being called to examine people. i suppose i don't really mind giving the occasional medical advice or taking part in medical-related debates, especially if it's something simple enough, but being asked to examine someone (or someone's urine for that matter) on the spot is kind of a drag. But i guess (and En will probably gladly affirm that) this comes with quite a bit of respect, however misplaced.

A while later after li bei was sent off, Ah Mm called me over to see if Thomas' growth at the submandibular region was of any concern. Thomas obviously didn't want to draw attention to this small lump (perhaps a lymph node?), so it became awkward when she kept asking me to take a look at it. So i politely turned away. sigh.

Can't save the world, can you?

The Bachelor was on just now, and it was the episode where they bring together all the women who had been kicked out up to this point, and allow them to grill the lucky guy with questions. One impressionable segment was the part showing him on 3 individual dates and making out with all of them. On of the scenes showed him talking to the gal, with his arm around her and his hand on her butt/thigh. This was really a Club KBK scene indeed, and i couldn't help thinking how this was so similar to the KTV scene that one can easily get access to. Is that what girls in America are so willingly throwing themselves into? Gladly taking the roles of KTV lounge hostesses just to snag some guy? Sheesh... even the KTV girls have more self-respect than that.

Stupid americans.

But it does make good entertainment, and that's one of the 2 things they're good for isn't it, the other being sports?

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Gong Xi Fa Cai


It's Chinese New Year again, and i'm on call (again). It's been a tiring day, and i suppose i should be getting to sleep soon, seeing how i was nodding off the whole day, at 6th Ave and the other places that we visited.

CNY began a few days ago, in fact, when we first visited Chinatown's roadside stalls. i think we first visited Temple Street et al last week, but did it a second time last Saturday, and then a third time last night after the reunion dinner. What to do... got a wife who watns good bargains and stuff.

But the 3 trips weren't exactly a waste of time. We managed to pick up a bunch of "chun lians" and some table runners, as well as a few containers of CNY goodies. sigh... fattening.

Probably the reason why i was so sleep the whole day today was the fact that we stayed out at Chinatown till about 3am this morning (ok, yesterday morning, since it's past 12 already). We had hung around 6th Avenue after reunion dinner, watching Rat Race on Channel 5. It still was funny watching it a second time, and Amy Smart was still as hot as ever, though not as hot as she was in Road trip. But well, can't complain.

Once the movie was over, we (me and En) then drove down and parked just out of SGH. We initially thought of walking to Chinatown from the carpark, but passed by Outram Station and thus decided to take the MRT a stop down to Chinatown station. My first time on the North-East line ever, and my first time taking PUBLIC TRANSPORT in over a year and a half. Sheesh... what a spoilt brat i must sound like. What i would give to get back to taking public transport regularly, instead of driving places, but unfortunately the nature of my current job demands otherwise. Well, the train-ride was nice...

Chinatown was it's usual crowded state, even at about 1-2 am in the morning. We had to jostle our way through the streets, but i was surprisingly good-natured through it all, and didn't get frustrated or upset with anyone. In fact, it was a bunch of other people that lost their cool. As we were walking towards Kreta Ayer Street(i think), we suddenly heard a commotion, and the crowd in front so neatly dissipated to give way to a bunch of middle-aged men, shoving and punching each other. Could have been some stallowners or shoppers who lost their cool with each other. The annoying thing was that the moment this started, no one wanted to walk their direction, but yet everyone was just standing and looking at the drama unfold. i couldn't even get closer to get a better look... haha.

After deciding that craning my neck wouldn't help me get a better picture of the fight, we made a detour out of the area, to pass by that scuffle. And being the dog in the manger, i loudly commented (falsely of course) that "it was terrible, the sight... so much blood... so much blood!!" and a woman carrying her young child apparently got squimish and covered her son's eyes. tee hee...

We finally got home and into bed at 4am. So obviously we couldn't wake in time to get to Mandai Columbarium this morning.

well well...

And i'm tired now. So i shan't write anymore. Perhaps i'll play a bit of Crimsonland before knocking off...