Monday, November 24, 2014

Death in His Family

Just like everything else, growing up has its advantages - and also its disadvantages.

A significant - though desperately unwanted - milestone for any adult would be attending a funeral of someone he knows, whether a friend, a relative or someone close to them. In the past few years, I've had several of those dark moments under my belt as I've had two of my uncles pass away suddenly; even been there for some of my closest friends who have lost their parents.

In my line of work, we deal with death almost on a daily basis - part and parcel of the intensive care life - and we know exactly the right dose of compassion and sympathy to dole out to the grieving relatives at their time of bereavement. Though it has become almost painfully mechanical the way we pat them consolingly three times on the shoulders while muttering our sorely inadequate condolences, there's always throbbing ache in our heart no matter how clinically detached we try to be. 

Could we have done more? Could we have done things differently? Could we have saved the patient? Chances are there's usually not much we could have done. That acute feeling of painful inadequacy providentially fades away just in time for the next incoming patient.

And the next. And the next. Till we learn quickly how to tamp down that niggling emotion the moment it tries to surface - giving rise to the callously brusque doctor stereotype. 

Though sometimes there are times when we just can't.

The funeral 

When a distressed Charming Calvin called to tell me that his brother had suddenly passed away, I was quite appalled. The horrible spectre of cancer had struck tragically fast - and this time it had delivered a final killing blow. Since his brother hadn't been stationed close by, I didn't really know him well enough to summon up any available feelings of remorse. However just giving Calvin the usual prescribed treatment for grief didn't seem entirely sufficient. 

And when I heard the unshed tears in his voice, I knew it would never be. Though he claimed that he was doing alright, all I knew was that I wanted to be with him through this dark period in his life. Never have I packed that quickly for a flight that fast. Half the time I imagined that I might have purchased the wrong return ticket since I barely skimmed through the details.

The unforeseen death in his family had left its mark with Calvin looking almost shellshocked at the funeral. Faced with his seemingly inconsolable anguish, I couldn't seem to find the words to soothe and comfort him. All I could do was hold him as he wept.  

Death is a terrible event but it reminds us to always hold those we love close and dearly as long we possibly can. 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Third Date

Why buy a cow when you can get the milk for free? 

Remember that horrid adage repeated to the red-faced sophomores on their first dates by their domineering mothers? After all these years of making a pained face when I hear that oft-repeated line, I'm finally starting to see there might be some truth in it.

Coming from a lusty horndog like me who'd prefer to grind on first sight, that's really saying something.

Boy : Hi, wanna fuck?
Jamie : Seriously, that's your pick up line?

Boy : Is it working?
Jamie : It kinda is.  

Especially when everyone these days seem far too eager to give away their milk. Literally. And if you're just a prick teaser, well there are dozens of guys in a one mile radius ready to be ... well, milked.

Unfortunately with the ready availability of horny homosocial apps around - and an even easier supply of randy headless torsos, you can imagine eligible gay bachelors these days are spoiled for choice. Say farewell to the halcyon era of the wit and flirt. These days it's far easier to find out if someone's neatly circumcised than to figure out their favourite colour. An inappropriately graphic penis picture is the new hello apparently.

Jamie : It's hard to find a relationship these days. 
Paul : How so? 
Jamie : I wish guys are more into dating.
Paul : What do you mean? Haven't you been on quite a few? 
Jamie : Well... not exactly. We don't really talk that much.  
Paul : So you're having sex on the first date. 
Jamie : Umm yeah. 
Paul : And it's not working?
Jamie : Well...
Paul : You know two fucks and no dinner just means NSA fun. It's not a date. 
Jamie : Well I like sex too!
Paul : But now he probably thinks you only want him for sex. 
Jamie : You think?
Paul : Maybe wait a little while? 
Jamie : Till when!
Paul : Three date rule maybe? 

Couldn't believe myself either. Gosh, now I am sounding like a prudish Victorian.

But really. Speaking from experience - and possibly that of quite a few guys, the last thing I wanna do after I'm done with the dirty deed is to share meaningful life experiences. I saw, I conquered, I came - there's no need to enjoy the bucolic view after. And obviously little reason to get to know each other which defeats entirely the principles of dating.

You can't call it a date if you spent it frantically swapping spit ( or other bodily fluids ) rather than carefully edited biographies. Maybe keep the hands away from his belt and exchange funny interludes over dinner first?

Monday, November 17, 2014

'Twas the Month before Christmas

Been a pretty hectic week here for me! Hardly any time to settle my brain for a long winter's nap.

Not only has the dreadful work been piling up for a few days, I only have two short weeks to prepare for the annual Christmas fete which is coming up soon enough. Entrusting some of the tedious work of preparation to my fellow tenants in Netherfield would certainly help to lighten the load - but with my intensely finicky micromanaging approach, I doubt I'd be able to leave them to their own devices.

At least not without breathing down their necks barking out strict specific instructions. Simply can't trust the kids to have the stockings hung by the chimney with care!

Wow, that bracelet would look great on my sister-in-law. Wonder where she got it. 

Which is why every year the task of taking down - and placing up the Christmas tree falls to me. Though I do sometimes - reluctantly - relinquish the simpler assignments of placing the odd bauble to Charming Calvin and my niece, I'll admit I tend to reorganize every single bauble on the tree to my utmost satisfaction much, much later at night when the children are nestled all snug in their beds while visions of sugar plums danced in their heads. Monstrous. I know.

With the future demesne of Hartfield looming not too far in the horizon, I realized it was time to furnish the home with a tree far more generous in size - certainly wouldn't do to have the judgmental neighbours find us lacking - which of course called for the crucial purchase of several dozen more baubles of different shapes and sizes. Candelabras are taking the stage this year as ornaments around the house - and even as the tree topper.

Though it's a month before Christmas, my gift list is being filled up as I write. Board game for Fabulous Felix. Toys for my nephew and niece. Shorter list this year as I'll be spending Christmas away with family but still quite a lengthy proposition nonetheless. Caterers have been handed our orders of puddings and pies.

Which only leaves me with my own Christmas list this year full of odds and ends as usual. Let's hope that right jolly old elf with that broad face and a little round belly, that shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly, would see fit to fill up my stocking.

Well him and his eight tinny reindeer.

Christmas List
  • Ted Baker leather satchel
  • Lego Santa's Workshop
  • Gramophone Music Station
  • Jo Malone Wood Sage & Sea Salt perfume
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Bluray
  • The Chef Bluray
  • One Hundred Foot Journey Bluray
  • Faking It Season One
  • Penny Dreadful Season One
  • Marvel's Agents of Shield Season One
  • Funko Legacy Action Figure - Book of Life Manolo
  • Gianfranco Ken Doll
  • Earphones
  • Push up bars
Of course I'm sure I'll end up with the unexpected shirt or two. Along with some knick knacks that I'd wonder about for weeks to come. It's all good though - it's the sweet wonderful anticipation that counts.

Still my favourite Christmas ad ever. If only we all looked that wildly glamorous trying to get everything spick and span for the holidays.

Friday, November 07, 2014

How To Get Away With Murder

So what would you do if you killed someone?

Which is exactly the premise of How To Get Away With Murder, the latest hit television thriller by the astonishingly prolific Shonda Rhimes. Though judging by the increasingly unhinged reactions of the hapless law students involved with said corpse, they would probably find it very hard to get away with anything much less than petty thievery.

Even with the subsequent bonfire, burial and beyond. But who could blame the unfortunate foursome? Especially when the details are yet to be revealed in this thrilling drama.

After all when we find ourselves figuratively buried under relentless pressure, each of us individually emerge with surprisingly different reactions. With a dead body and a possible murder investigation held over their heads, the law students provide a decent tableau of predictable human reactions to shockingly extenuating circumstances! One pathetically crawls back into a weeping catatonic shell, one understandably freaks out into a full-blown hysterical panic attack, one forcibly takes over the entire fraught situation - and the last one remains almost preternaturally calm in thought examining her moves.

It could be renamed How We React To Stress.

And yes, there is a sexy, smart and scheming stud reputed to be able to do things to a man's ass that would make his eyes water. 

Faced with similar circumstances, don't know what I would do myself but I hope that I would be able to handle the situation calmly. After all it wouldn't be my first time handling dead corpses - nor facing them in the eye.

Reminds me of a certain simulation course we once attended where we were all put into untenable situations under the watchful supervision of our consultants behind a camera. Initially presenting with quite simple everyday problems at work - portrayed by our devious peers, the case progressively deteriorates into nightmarish scenarios straight out of some devil's medical textbook. Everything that could, goes wrong basically. Truly worthy of a television medical drama - just short of the prerequisite manmade / natural disaster which probably would have cropped up if our supervisors had known how to successfully reenact those.

And we get to watch that all - and our subsequent panic attacks - on television after the taping. It was quite the harrowing experience.

Back then, I did manage to remain super calm. Watching myself on camera, it was like an outer-body experience where I seemed almost like an unflappable android coolly handing out orders as chaos reigned around me. Of course I knew deep inside I was practically overwrought wanting to tear my hair out in frustration.

Just like the law students when faced with a corpse.

Makes me wonder how my friends would fare. Somehow I find that my friends would all be placed under the morally good category - despite the fact that I'm .... a tad ambiguous when it comes to certain issues. Come to think about it - though I really hope he doesn't, I have a funny inkling Charming Calvin might sink rapidly into a meltdown.

Paul : Let's go for a drive. 
Calvin : At this hour? Where? 
Paul : Just around.
Calvin : What is that thing behind wrapped up in a carpet?
Paul : Some dead body. 
Calvin : OMG. I think I'm about to throw up. 

Monday, November 03, 2014

The Wrath of a Woman Scorned

With that seemingly controversial title, you might think I'd be talking about the recent almost-ascension of a prominent political wife to the role of chief minister - and the endless squabbles over her supposed qualifications or lack thereof. Unfortunately impotent rage over the misogynistic prejudgements brought up would only render me near speechless, if not stupefied, were I to speak on that particular political issue.

So I'm talking about someone closer to home, specifically Cotton Candy who transferred here with her boyfriend. Much like the unpredictable title character in Sex and the City, my version of Carrie remains quite as carelessly carefree, wonderfully wild and more than likely to be that senselessly spontaneous as well.

Which probably prompted her sudden impromptu relocation across the Big Puddle to be with her fledgling paramour! Like any budding romance, there's bound to be some initial complications when precipitous proximity occurs. Even more so when - unsurprisingly - the callow boy hasn't quite gotten his act together yet. You would think he would have learned his lesson heartily after the suitcase incident barely a month back.

Paul : It couldn't have happened again. 
Candy : He was flirting with her! I can tell!
Paul : He was talking to her I assume.
Candy : Yes, and in a very suspicious manner. 
Paul : No hanky panky?
Candy : Don't think so.
Paul : And?
Candy : Obviously he denied everything.
Paul : Which could be true. 
Candy : So I am not speaking to him this week.

Ah, ye olde tried-and-true freeze-him-out method. Don't know if that would work that well but I assume the boy ( and boy he shall be till he grows up ) had better return with the customary chocolates-and-roses apology if he wants to be allowed back in after the treasonous act of criminal conversation.

Yes, I hear you Candy but I somehow can't empathize eventhough I'm trying...

Tried my very best to sympathize I swear but I don't think I succeeded well enough. Emphatically shoved myself into Candy's high heels but I couldn't work up a similar measure of rage! At the most I only had a frisson of mild irritation over the boy's seeming ineptitude.

Perhaps I am growing more mellow with age. Or maybe just plain flirting doesn't irritate me as much. Am I just not as uncommonly possessive when it comes to a relationship? It would certainly take more than just a simple conversation to rile me up.