Thursday, 3 March 2011

fat cats

scratching forlornly in the yard like a headless chicken on a gander and panic-struck by my overly-drawn bank account this month. my finances resemble a shower of shard glass made from empty milk bottles knocked over by a rather hungry cat.

phoned up the bank to increase my overdraft limit one tiny bit so as to avoid paying half of my arm and leg for the overdraft charge and their only solution is to offer me a killer loan on a stick laced with extortionate interest. bloody wankers!!! do they sleep well at night?

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

happy new year

how to hold bladder and search for a loo in paris

spending new year holidays with wifey and daughter in paris. unfortunately, the weather is not that splendid but i had the loveliest time! had the best moules marinières in champs elysees and is quite tempted to have oysters served on a massive mound of ice off the streets but didn't actually have the stomach for it so only had sparkling and the most stunning fromage de chèvres kebabs. nowhere else in the world you could have decent champagne with your street food. only in paris. i'm also quite delighted that they were subtle with the fireworks. it would have been obscene for the state to spend on garish firecrackers whilst on recession lol!

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

bloody pigs

it doesn't surprise me anymore when pretty vapid characters turn out to be a bunch of utter despicable, disgusting, pathetic excuse for humanity in the end. i've seen a lot in movies this month, and certainly a few in real life as well.


tgf and i went to london to ally with an old friend (see i love london no. 7) we lost touch with - literally. that is if you consider a facebook poke as the equivalent bond to keep the social and emo tie going on. he had been very busy accomodating a very famous author from motherland and had loads of amusing stories to tell. she is quite known back home, you know.

but being a writer who mainly writes in english and known for her wry humour and cynicism, i think that she's the kind of work only followed by a few cognoscenti. i could be wrong.

a few people wanted to see their 'favourite author' so they went to have a decadent afternoon tea of strawberry bellini, scones, clotted cream and champagne at the fifth floor of harvey nichols in knightstbridge. that area near harrods where the evil first lady of the deposed philippine dictator would famously get the shutters down to shop in private.

'your friends are sooo rude, ryan! if they really are massive fans of mine, how come they didn't ask for photos with me.'

or words to that effect from the author. in fairness, one of them has a copy of her book for signing. but she took off feigning a profound headache to look for a pharmacy down sloane street.

'she should have gone down to specsavers!'

perhaps in reference to the author's iconic 60's cat eye glasses. amidst the cackles. and the drone of handbags, gladrags and the choral clicks of the mandible: displaced discs as their collective vile neanderthal heads knock back bottles of champagne.

'what do they know about literature and culture.'


this is my second foiled attempt at going to 'highgate cemetery'. upon hearing that an illustrious author from mothership (see no. 1) went 'this week', tgf suddenly finds the sense of paying homage to a dead communist. and various other writers and artists.

'how much is the entrance fee to see the tomb of karl marx?'

'oh. bloody pigs.'

'that kind of defeats the purpose of the manifesto, doesn't it?'

never mind douglas adams who must have amassed unimaginable fortune from his 'hitchiker's guide to the galaxy' franchise. so we decided to watch a movie instead. for my consolation, it was easy to dissuade her from a potential rom-com to sci-fi this time. 'predators' it was, and i quite like it.

i like the idea that adrien brody is on it. someone that could easily barf out a pretty harmless and slightly sensitive character from a woody allen film, as opposed to cheesy chuckful of steroids and protein supplements arnie schwarzebloodynegger. there's less emphasis on ripped invincible action heroes making absolute ape-shit mayhem and a whole lot of 80's freudian big machine gun imagery clichés. and a bit demographic-wider cast of 'interesting characters'.

there's also topher grace looking like your typical highly paid preppy harley street surgeon. but is in fact your serial-killer-next-door-neighbour, hiding-in-plain-sight ready to stick a poisoned scalpel off your back.


back to work, a slightly batty bespectacled ginger in pristine blue uniform that will blend in nicely with good humoured ladies that clean after your room at disneyland had a go with me. no disrespect to my esteemed sister colleagues, but i think the nursing professional body should investigate why theme park domestics copy the uniforms. see, this is why it's nice to keep the whites on.

the thing i like about my new job (see smell the coffee no. 1) aside from the uniform is the fact that it's almost nurse led. no messing about with the doctors and their tedious rounds. it also operates super-cali-fragil-istic-espi-ali-dociously, like clockwork: you attach patient to the machines, they feel happy, you take them off. sometimes, if they don't look so happy, you can amuse them by explaining the science of why you connect them to the machines and why they should keep an eye on the fluids they take. very rarely you get really unhappy ones with blood pressures that crash in the middle of your conveyor belt. these ones you send downstairs at the 'acute' wards to be looked after by 'proper nurses'. then off to the next batch of happy patients. it's so disney. perhaps our sisters at this end should get rid of their blue drabs. and as a rebound defiance against the domestics at theme parks, wear bright yellows instead and oversized red boots.

last wednesday i transferred one of 'these' patients to the acute ward. very septic, was on a ventilator in intensive care for three days and a very unhappy blood pressure at the end of haemodialysis. he was feeling very cold and completely loose, bowel-wise. pressure crashes and the faeces flow in biblical proportions as far as science is concerned. normally, you would try your hardest to contain the deluge, but you can't fight science.

so i said hi to miss tight lip in blues downstairs who if not for the obvious abscence of a heavy crucifix on her neck, would make a convincing badass nun in 'sister act' the musical. and quite predictably, the first thing she went for is the backside and in her booming voice of god impersonation: asked if the patient has been washed. trying to make a more or less resonant version off my vocal chords, i said the patient has been given a few times in less than ideal situations as he would have in the 'wards' hinting (as if it would make sense) that perhaps the patient should have had his dialysis in the wards anyway.

(in my mind, creating a visual of two index fingers on both ears) i was thinking of the patient being not so well, and the risk of spreading the bug to otherwise 'happy' patients, and without doctors. you could potentially kill a sick patient by giving a wash, you know.

i was stuck in a mental loop of making up excuses in the deep recesses of my unconscious whilst she takes the crap.

f*%king unbelievable. after all these years of holistic philosophy, humanity and comfort and dignity, all she could think about is the state of the bedsheets.

it's not rocket science.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

dead cows

i got a tomtom for my fortieth amongst other things from my wishlist which i have to say, is probably the most expensive single present i ever had from a birthday wisher. the list isn't mainly made up of electronic goods to be honest, but also abstract stuff, most of them "unprintable" aside from world peace and overthrowing capitalism. = : )


the downside of it all, is that tgf has developed a compulsive propensity to explore the english countryside within a fifty mile radius in relatively comparable proportions to a dolphin's sex drive.


as a portable sattelite navigation system made for cars, it is a terribly shite wonderful substitute for a road atlas that will more or less take you where you wanted to be as long as the old winding road isn't altered by one of the many bloody road works cropping up pretty much everywhere in the countryside. although quite often, you end up in a quandary whether to follow the very annoyed voice of the polar-orbiting sattelite's rather silly suggestions.


to slaughter a few country garden gnomes disguised as bright orange plastic traffic cones barricading the lane in front of you, or to bite your tongue and continue the opposite direction until the electronic voice of 'ann robinson' finally shuts it. normally after gathering enough spatial data for an alternate direction you'd wish will not snake-tail back to where you started.


if you're not lucky, it's usually a dead cow in a wide patch of grassland somewhere in kent. the good thing with my sat-nav is that it actually has got a nifty function i just recently discovered that will take you to the nearest mcdonald's from where you are globally positioned.


the dead cow you eat with a bucket of milkshake could potentially be the mate of the dead cow you met. now this could potentially be a proper tongue twister. if recited twice the sonic speed.

Monday, 12 July 2010

smell the coffee

amidst all the panic attacks of moving into a new job, my father's constant trip to the intensive care unit and myself turning forty by the end of last year, i really, really couldn't propel myself to update this blog. doing so would be the equivalent to writing a twenty thousand word essay about the extreme physical and mental effects of triggering the mammalian diving reflex from waterboarding.


voila. i'm finally done with essays and having slightly settled into new work, i couldn't commit to doing more post grad studies just yet. first work appraisal was done last week and i still have the privilege to brush up my knowledge with new organ system (the kidney) and skills with new machines (haemodialysis) before i delve into the rather bureaucratic (ward management) rigmarole of work politics.

* having done nine years of critical care (multi-organ systems, gazillion of artificial life machines and multi-disciplines)i finally feel (for now) that going to work is like a walk (in my case, driving 15 miles) in the park as opposed to the jungle.


pop is coping fairly well with peritoneal dialysis at home with special nurse after his numerous trips to hospital (3 or 4 times in icu).

* i have yet to settle the cost of my part of the arm and leg contribution to the bill. but it is only money.


the midlife is not really so bad if you think about it. i know i've got borderline diabetes, i got gout, i get impatient quite too easily, i get tired and drowsy during midday, i probably snore more heavily, i crashed my car coming off a night shift, i forget to wear the right colour socks, i prefer white wine over beer, i sometimes listen to bossa nova and watered down cafe jazz.

it's all downhill, really.

i didn't realize it would be that easy to change jobs (see number 1 ) and wife (i know, this was 10 years ago) you can live with for the rest of your life. i have learnt to take it easy. to hypoventilate. to splash face with cold water. to relax when upset and to wake up when drowsy.

* the latter requires learning how to dive from a sea mammal.

apparently, seals could slow down their hearts from 125 to as low as 10 beats per minute on submersion to cold water.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009


where is the traffic warden when you need one?

[ ] 1

will write a very long and intense complaint letter to the council. not too sure if it's gonna work. sure someone's done it already, but will keep this in mind for the not so near future.

* so annoyed with the lorry driver today. he made a massive mess at the roundabout. lorries - they just park anywhere they want. seen one parking over a yellow line off a very sharp curve: it jams the view of incoming vehicle opposite, so it's potentially an accident waiting to happen.

[x] 2

get the leaking tubes under the kitchen sink fixed. will phone up gary today. he knows how to sort out just about anything from a to zed. he's already done quite a lot of (i'm sure) utterly boring menial tasks for the household which my brains just can't get around with. but essential stuff of which he's done really, really well.

* gave him a hamper full of goodies christmas last year, so i'll keep another mental note of this - for this year.

[ ] 3

toilet seat cover in downstair's loo hanging off it's hook. quite honestly, embarrassing if a lady pops in and find the inconvenience to do - whatever it is a lady conveniently does in powder room.

might sort it out meeself later today. what's a guy to do with an industry grade heavy duty duck tape??

* i always keep one handy.

[x] 4

christmas tree. i'm a bit tired of the usual green plastic one but i wanna spare the life of a real tree (because quite honestly, they are costly, that's why) so i spray-painted white the remains of a rather annoying overgrown twig off the garden fence. will hang the decorations today. see if it's okey. acceptable okey. artsy stuff evolve from random acts of slightly deranged mentality.

* dead tree equals wonderful work of art. plus it's carbon footprint friendly.

[ ] 5

finish off 'martin lukes: who moved my blackberry?'. funny book i've been reading for yonks but can't find the time to do.

i already (embarassingly, it is really a chick lit kind of book) finished 'twillight' and 'it's sequel', started on the third one but got bored and abandoned it, almost finished s. levitt's 'freakonomics' (too scholarly, but okey) i've got a backlog of 'a few other light blue coloured non-fiction type penguin classics'

* light blue in penguin apparently means: 'big ideas'.

Friday, 29 May 2009



everybody knows that a toothache can be excruciatingly painful. i don't have much space to literally describe the two agonizing sleepless nights i had with the bugger. i woke up a few days back with a swollen left face and the harrowing realization after a de rigueur quick mirror check. that i look like a lopsided nasty version of a fugu puffer you'd find on a fish platter in a sushi restaurant from hell.


i would like to thank the sincere concern of my senior coleague at work and the advice to take antibiotics when i phoned in sick sunday morning. and the shock horror of the mere mention of herbal medicine. and the warning not to poke my gums with a sharp object. critical care nurses don't take hippy flower-power therapy. seriously. i am resolute to give it a try. i heard that clove oil really works well with toothaches. not a lot of people probably know this, but clove oil is used as an anaesthetic and in concentrated doses, euthanizing fish. the dead fish imagery is actually quite attractive after a few sleep deprived nights. i may add that samurais use it to clean their hattori hanzo swords. the ones they used to 'kill bill'. more important though, especially in this day and age of economic shambles: i managed to save a few pennies if not a few bucks and a few torturous hours on a dentist's chair subjected to the most vile cheesy saxophone muzak.


glad i'm so finished with management month. now i can appreciate the enormity of hard work it actually entails to run intensive care. not so much with the clinical aspect of the job but the politics behind the smooth operation of the unit which at times feel like directing aircraft traffic movement in and out of the world's busiest airstrip. warning the wards that you are discharging a patient to them: giving them time to prepare a little bit makes it easier to apply the pressure later. talking to the family that you are 'transferring' (the word dishcharge at this point can be a little bit politically incorrect) a relative to the wards. not necessarily a well patient but the fittest in the bunch. obviously not attached to a life support machine.


it helps to mention that the ward is the next step to going home. a bit like a departure lounge of the airport. works all the time. behind the cloudiest skies the sun is still shining. then you get a phone call from accident and emergency. a much busier aerodrome. they mostly handle unexpected events, emergencies and unscheduled traffic. at this point you call the ward sister and ever so lavishly elegant, refined and poised, you say: 'i want a bed now'. if you are nice you are always guaranteed a comfortable ride.

wino billboard. saw this at whitecross street when i went to london a few months ago. i thought that duffy cycling with one hand chugging a can of coke is pretty road safety irresponsible. who's duffer now? lol!


yey. i'm on holiday for a week.and no more toothache. i'm planning to cook biryani or any indian type food one of these days.i went to sainsbury's yesterday to pick up some cardamom, turmeric, and cinnamon stick. and definitely, a little bag of cloves for good measure. also picked up a 3 quid dvd of danny boyle's 'sunshine'. i've seen the movie before, but danny's not too bad. what with 'slumdog' and all this year. goes well with the indian theme. and i've got 'trainspotting' already. what a nice way to start a collection. 3 quid is just equivalent to one piece of your supermarket variety frozen seabass. or a packet of 6 x first class royal mail stamps. good value for money.


for such a beautifully shot film, the story of 'sunshine' is actually quite dark. set just around 50 years in the future, humans will be faced by the imminent death of the sun. not exactly good news, except maybe for skin cancer. and tanning salons? bad news for coppertone and other pedllers of spf lotion. or rayban's. good news for night clubs and club kids. whatever. anyway, like most stuff that 'alex garland' has written, it has a filipino connection. one of the astronauts on a mission to save the ailing star is a filipina named corazon. she could be seen planting herbs in a neat little space capsule. apparently, 'the beach' his first novel, also made into a movie by danny which i also happen to have is loosely based on the philippine islands where alex spent his teenage years backpacking. alex wrote his second novel called 'the tesseract' about ganglife and some weird metaphysics stuff in the philippines. you see, a bit of culture and hyper science work for me. i love the book. but if it is ever going to be made into a proper movie, i want quentin tarantino to direct it. i say proper, because apparently there is already a movie about it. albeit, a rubbish one.


thank you mothernature for clove oil. "see number 2". now i couldn't underestimate the power of herbal medicine. ever. the spicy mixture you would normally associate with a friday night indian saffron rice takeaway could be your escape bridge from the torments of toothache purgatory into the light. fact. behind the seemingly cloudy pseudoscientific world of alternative therapy is a ray of sunshine. apparently, there is also compelling evidence that it is quite handy in treating premature ejaculation. but let's not go there. i'm more worried that (having applied ample drops and swallowed substantially) it can actually stop me breathing. funny how a few drops too many can tip the balance of the life-death continuum.