Thursday, 28 January 2010

hiiiiiiighway to hellllll (sing it with me)

the road paved with good intentions,
is dusty and weather-worn;
its lanes are grown with malice-weed,
bias-shrubs that thorn.
the highway built upon success,
can testify with chagrin;
his brother is in need of care,
from gold-en-lies and dollar-sin.

for those who prefer the speedy route,
to wealth and social status;
(and there are many who would, mind you),
as power is no weak impetus.
in fact the latter may be defined sometimes,
as former times distance, by time;
and indeed, these things are what one loses,
when taking the road-less-prime.

i wish i could say that i had chosen,
to travel the hardened one;
instead of taking the speedway, though,
it's more of a tolled autobahn.
nay, i admit, such choices were indeed,
cryptic and hard to be made;
especially when signs are frightfully close,
to the exits made with fake-jade.

instead i boldly closed my eyes,
and swerved to left, to right,
and thought it random, spontaneous,
(though to god i prayed with great might).
that maybe i should pick the one,
which is easiest upon the soul,
and he picked for me instead (what i think),
would vomit me out whole.
again i reiterate, with passionate dismay,
the choice which was to be made;
but now i think of it, really,
why was i so, readily, afraid?

to which of the choices that i had made,
i cannot easily tell, otherwise;
for, you see, i had already passed juncture,
by far, once i opened my eyes!
and the scenery, oh, the scenery,
that is of no consequence;
because, i reckon, they both do so,
look the same as from thence.

but as an academic question,
a matter of pure hypothetical rue,
which does one chose, in the face of death?
amongst the lesser two?
the hardships, and wanton disregard,
the false-might and misleading bends?
or treachery-laden-tarmac, and bitter-bitumen,
which leads to different (same) ends?

oh, never you mind, your little mind,
this questions is pure 'let's say',
in fact, having a choice, indeed,
this is unadulterated heresay!

and when you go to sleep tonight, and dream of all the ends, remember each road and those;
who've crashed and burned - for they were once your friends.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

obvious, md. episode 2

previously on obvious...
[insert montage with catchy, upbeat soundtrack]

dr.o: so, will anyone care to explain to me, as to why our patient had come down with a horrible fever?
int1: he was eating dinner, when a fishbone got stuck in his throat. left on waldeyer's ring, slightly superior to the left adenoid.
dr.o: fishbone.
int1: yes. about 7cm, with a curvature bounding maybe a 30 degree angle.
dr.o: what did i say about all these si units and being american?
int1: [rolls eyes] anyway, it was embedded pretty deep in the soft tissue, about 3 cm of the bone was sub-cut and it took four attempts with a pair of forceps to dislodge it...
dr.o: either the bone really was that deep, or your attending was supremely incompetent.
int2: you removed the bone, yourself, sir.
dr.o: obviously the bone was no mere pierce, and the doctor must have been that much more awesome to only need four tries.
int1: clearly.
dr.o: so that's it? infection from fishbone puncture?
int3: [read with corny aussie accent] crikey, o. alternatively we coulda have had him exposed to radiation coming form a night-light, in conjunction with some rare strain of ebola, which somehow got into his house's ventilation system.
dr.o: how possible is that?
int1: less likely than the fishbone theory.
int2: also, he was scratched by his cousins' cat on the same day.
dr.o: cats and fishbones - is that all you've got for my dramatic case entry?
int2: we could write it up as 'the patient was mauled by an abominably large house-cat with history of violence'?
dr.o: sounds good. do that. early lunch break for everyone.

the suspense! the drama! the action! tune in next episode, kids - same sickly time, same sickly channel.

Monday, 25 January 2010

good job, doctor obvious

as gregory obvious, md is basking in the faint sunlight of his office, in rush his two interns, reporting a curious and unsolvable case. one filled with mystery and drama. the following dialogue ensues. some content may be graphic and disturbing; viewer discretion is advised:

dr.o: so what's got all your panties' in a bunch?
int1: dr.o, there's a patient you might want to see. his name is...
dr.o: rabble, rabble rabble. you don't need to know his name to find a diagnosis. just give me the patient's history file before i swashbuckle you with my cane.

and intern 1 complies sheepishly as the two interns glance at each other, and roll their eyes.

dr.o: so. to the basics.

and he begins to read off the history, while writing on a whiteboard with some black and green whiteboard markers.

dr.o: patient is nauseous. complains of headache and persistent pain at the base of his skull. also, an apparent pain at the 'posterior of his eyeballs'. who the hell says that anyway? are we still living in 17th century britain, where everyone is unknowingly a poet with some medical education?
int1: well, he is british, and he does...
dr.o: yap yap yap. photophobia. significant hearing impairment and joint pain...

at this point, dr.o has written the following list on his whiteboard:
joint pain

int2: what about his hearing loss?
dr.o: obviously a side effect of you two and your inability to pipe down while thinking.

scribbles hearing loss under the current list.

dr.o: so. what's not in the patient's history that you can tell me.
int1: well, his urine smells like penicillin.
dr.o: hmm. this is interesting. go on...
int2: 24 hour spiking fever reaching 39 degrees celcius.
dr.o: celcius? celcius? when did america become part of the eu? get a calculator and convert it to farenheit. or should i find another intern to do that for me?
int2: i'll get right on that. [whispers to intern 1, 'good luck,' as she leaves the room]
int1: hasn't had anything to eat since the onset of symptoms and is now refusing fluids.
dr.o: start an iv drip. and while you're at it, collect more insignificant details which you can't handle with your meager medical training. come now, more intriguing details, less jibber-jabber.
int1: umm. that's all we've got, really. everything else is in the history.
dr.o: what real doctor reads the history. now, diagnoses. we've got a huge base to cover. could be vascular. inflammatory. trauma. toxicity. autoimmune. metabolic. infective. neoplastic. congenital. drug-induced. idiopathic...
int1: but, o.
dr.o: what have i told you about interjecting thoughts and remaining silent?
int1: he just has a fever and we need your signature here to discharge him.

riveting stuff!
etc has had an acute fever and has been in bed, sleeping for roughly 24 hours straight. we all wish him the best.

Saturday, 23 January 2010

bad jokes are bad

here's a pretty cool rap for the physicists, the large hadron rap. i'm sure uncle random will like it.

and for the biochemists, i heard this pretty awesome pick up line:

'hey baby, if i were an enzyme, i would be helicase. because i'd totally unzip your genes.'

get it? oh man, that's so hillarious.

on a related topic of pick up lines, here's some from the local radio station ad:

'hey girl, are you a summons ticket? because you've got fine written all over you'.
'i don't think you should be allowed on your flight. because you're the bomb'.

there's a few more that i can't remember, but i'll be sure to add them to the list when i hear the ad again.

Monday, 18 January 2010

the word of god

actually, on the word god itself. again, my disclaimer that i'm not a big person on these kinds of issues. but some things just stand out like a horrible, festering wound on a sore thumb. with leprosy.

as you might have guessed, the current topic that's all the rage is the use and abuse of terminologies on godliness in a certain south-east asian country. barring the specifics, to save myself from any future repercussions, i apologetically incline you to use google and search up some resources and references for yourself.

the crux of the matter, though, is fairly simple. as far as i can chronologically put together, here's what happened:

christian church uses the word Allah in reference to god, specifically meaning the holy trinity (this is open to debate, but let's go with it for now). 'muslims' (which in accordance to my interpretation, actually means, said country's muslims, and of specific race), are outraged. lawsuit ensues to make the word Allah specific and privileged for said religion/race/nationality combo. lawsuit fails. retalliation, which results is burnings of churches, schools and various other organisations.

now, my two cents on the whole issue.

first cent: no. just effing no. no matter what the reason you had to start off with. no matter what justification you put forward. nothing gives you the right to burn down churches or schools. or anything else, for that matter. holy war? religious obligation? self-proclaimed crusade? vigilante justice in the name of god? just no.

f*ck. that. sh*t.

if you're going around doing this in an attempt to glorify your god / diety / absence thereof etc., then you're just doing it wrong. unless your religion or ideology promotes such violence, then we're open to some debate. but as it stands, islam is a religion of peace. so get it right.

second cent: who can use the word Allah? ok so this is something more interesting to discuss, as compared to burning bridges. let's go back to what islam has to say on the issue to begin with: apparently (as i am no authority on the matter, but i have friends who are), the usage of the word Allah by non-muslims is allowed, as long as they're not causing ambiguity or slander to the concept of a one, true (islamic) god. this is fair enough.

as for the church's use of the term, well they weren't referring to the Allah as per the quran, and so i can see if someone argues that this constitutes said ambiguity. furthermore, there is (somewhat unsourced) doubt cast upon their motifs of doing so in the first place, and accusations fly that there may be misleading of islamic youth to be converted by certain missionaries. ok, i can buy that. if that's indeed the case, than by all means, these churches have been something i'd consider underhanded. borderline unethical, but i guess any type of preaching has its variations of such.

so, to bar them from continuing this, i can see the appeal in denying non-muslims the use of the word Allah. if it were in false or misleading reference.

this is very touchy and definitely open to debate. as a cousin of mine aptly put into question, what about all the indonesians who have been using the term in reference to any god, such as christianity does in indonesian bibles? touchy issue. it's all about cultural and social acceptances and standards. i disagree with the practice of mashing up religions to the extent of making them blend together, creating a new one, such as the case in many parts of indonesia. not because i'm against the blending of people, but i think there has to be a stand where people can tell the difference between this and that, and it's no longer too ambiguous for children and third parties to make a snap assessment of who and what someone is (as respects to religion and practices). well, let's not complicate things, that's for another day. the point here is, certain customs already accept the (mis)use of Allah or Yahweh or Jesus whatever have you, and it is okay for them. is it okay for malaysians? this is something for the populace to decide, but my stand is that, no, don't complicate things especially for people who aren't in the knowhow.

my beef, though is with the 'populace', which in this case is the malay/muslim/malaysian community (or as i refer to them, tripleMs, sometimes quradrupleMs, if they're also male). 3Ms are the majority. stop abusing it. there's so many examples i can pick of said abuse, that it's not even funny anymore. what gives you the right to decide what's 'in the interest of your people' without consulting the other races / religions that constitute 'the people' beforehand? what level of ego and arrogance has become of you, such that you find it not only permissible, but your right to trademark a word (Allah) to your religion? and even worse, not just your religion, but to your race, apparently, as it seems that in said country, if you're not malay and muslim, you might as well not be either. for posterity, the word Allah is itself not an 'islamic' word. not in origin, not in use, not in specificity.

the arabs never laid claim to the word, and to an extent encouraged the use of the word to refer to any monotheistic god, such that (in my romanticised interpretation) religions could come together in better understanding. true, this necessitates a certain level of assumed knowledge, but this is not the point of discussion. what is the point, and better yet, beside the point, is the fact that some 3Ms are fighting for the privileged use of the word, and to what ends?... as i discussed with many people, it may have stemmed from the fear of ambiguity and misleading, but the fight has taken on a hydalisk zombie jesus head of its own and is now just a horrible bastardisation of the cause. with possibly no substantial ends being fought for. and this distresses me gravely.

at the end of the day, i guess, it's up to the muslims, be them 3Ms, 4Ms or otherwise, to decide, beside what's legal, what is socially and culturally acceptable in said country (i refuse to say religiously, as to me, it is beyond any doubt what the islamic stance on the issue is). to deny such a simple, benign gesture, though - is this really in line with a 'one malaysia' concept? where people can't use the terminologies in rerefence to god, that another might have? what's next, colour coded shoes by race, religion, and gender?

Monday, 11 January 2010

and obvious

my previous post is somewhat cryptic and left hanging. unlike how i would normally like to claim, this is not intended, and is resultant from me suddenly having to rush off and send my dad to the airport. which in turn, stems from the event that is the cab driver's wife prematurely giving birth (which, as i follow up, was uneventful and he is now the proud father of a... something).

in any case, i am a big believer of writing (or any type of expression) in the moment, and thus have lost the initial gusto and inspiration of the prior post. however, there is a story attached to it, which i will detail below, but not before soothing the critics with my philosophy on expression, in which, would include the aforementioned writing in the flair of the moment, but that is not to say that one should rush in without head or tail of what is to be written (or, again, more generally, expressed). everyone has their own middle ground which they should rarely compromise, and it is my communal duty to remind everyone to keep to your sweet spot. rabble rabble, on with the related story.

so, it may come to some readers' unsurprising attention that the pillsbury dough boy has gotten married. although i have a pseudonym for the wifey, which has been instilled and propagated since high school (both dough boy and wife are my friends from way, way, way back when; although this is not to say that they are highschool sweethearts), i shall refrain from mentioning it here.

in any case, it is at his wedding reception, yesterday, that i meet a friend whom i have not met in about 6 months. fully knowing that he is somewhat eccentric (which is a very good adjective to use in this situation, considering the options i may have used if writing back in highschool), i made the fallacy of keeping him company throughout most of the reception. however, he did not really know many people there, and i felt it somewhat inappropriate to just leave him to his doings - nobody should be left hanging at such a joyous occasion. and it is during my talking with him that i come to emphasise to myself that indeed, our thoughts are never really in conformation, or even in parallel with another's.

i'm the kind of annoying person who finishes other persons' sentences should they seem to stall or look lost, and on the majority of occasions, i can safely say that i get the gist of what they're saying because i actually follow the thought process during a conversation. however, as proven by this person, nobody really knows another that well (and i never have claimed to be of such quality, but yes, let's just use this flow for example's purpose). this does not help that he has a somewhat 'jumpy' chain of thoughts (which, for the medics who read, is a nice example of schizophrenic dissociation of thought. i'm not sure if i got that correct, because i haven't done psychology in a really long time, so please correct me if i've got it wrong).


you can never really tell what someone is thinking. even your best friend, or significant other, or twin sister. you can never really put yourself in his or her situation and state of mind such that you can comprehend every single thing that is going on in that person's life and come up with the same thought processes. not to mention the prior experiences and conditionings that result in one's logic (or lack thereof). the point is, you can never really come to the same conclusions and objectifications that you may think you do when you say 'yeah man, i totally get what you mean'.

now, this is not to say that you can never have the same ideals or philosophies or ideas as that person, just that it can never (or at least very very unlikely) be the same as the other's. but this does not entirely matter in the bulk of situations, because as long as you're in the same ballpark, you've every right to say that you can empathise, or relate, or even propose any further constructions upon the idea.

it does matter, however, when you are considering something that a person considers entirely personal, maybe even a novel feeling that to many of us, when we encounter it, the ephemeral feeling is that of something nobody else in the world has ever or ever will reproduce. and in these situations, sometimes it is counterproductive to say that 'yeah man, i totally get that'. instead, you might be more expected to just remain silent and nod.

Saturday, 9 January 2010

the seeds we sow

the seeds we sow never grow to bear fruit.
the seeds we sow never live past the frigid winter.
the seeds we sow never resist the locust of time, the pestilence of hatred, the disease of -isms, or the blight of animosity.
the seeds we sow never want, but never give.
the seeds we sow are never enough, and for everything else, there's the seeds of others.
a tribute to the lost dreams of an innocent child, and a criticism of the blatant disregard of an adult's folly.

Sunday, 3 January 2010

curiosity frightened the cat

as i was mowing the grass earlier today, i notice that our cat is keenly observing me. quite possibly perplexed by the loud noise and blatant destruction of his favourite stalking spot, harry humors my attempt to experiment with his sense of curiosity - as i flick the machine on, his ears perk up and he is standing at ready, in the feline 'attack' position, eyes glaringly full of apprehension and poise. and when i flick it off, he goes back to cruise control, sitting on all fours, perhaps licking his paws to say 'carry on, mortal'. again, repeating the manipulative variable results in unerring response.

now, this may seem uneventful, but as i have said earlier, this is his favourite stalking spot, where he routinely lays in wait for unsuspecting squirrels, birds, frogs and the occasional wallaby. and as such, harry has a fondness for the patch which is revealed as i proceed to cut down the foilage - constant hissing and baring of fangs, which i (foolishly) ignore, as i am focusing on the back pain the ordeal is causing. additionally, as per an earlier post elaborates, one does not mess with the intellect of cats.

as i breeze through the grass, childishly pretending i am godzilla, laying waste to whatever-it-is city in japan, there is a faint smell of ... something. i cannot put my thumb on what it is, thankfully, and continue ravaging the japanese citizens. i mean, cutting the grass, and watch the moths, bugs, slugs and spiders flit / crawl / crawl / skitter away. then, BAM. something explodes in the midst of weeds, and unfortunately, it is not the miniature buildings i conjure to be there, in my mind. again, BAM, another explosion, and now it hits me square in the face. the smell is no longer obscure as i make it out to be cat shit. yeap, shitsplosions is pretty good revenge, for an uncanny cat. i gaze in harry's direction to find him smiling, at me, obviously aware that his trap has been triggered to great effect.

f*cking cat