Sunday, December 25, 2011

Happy Holidays!

Photo taken at Limegrove Luxury Mall, Barbados.

Happy Holidays Everyone!

To those who celebrate Christmas...I wish you and your loved ones all the wonderful joys and blessings that come with the day. Always remember what this day is truly about!
"He came as a little baby, but He represented all authority in heaven and earth..." ~ Joel & Victoria Osteen

I hope that whatever you're doing today, you have yourselves a super great day. Enjoy the season!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Patients Make This Profession Worthwhile

I'm exhausted beyond my mind, starving because I haven't eaten anything solid since 9:30 Saturday (yesterday) morning, aching everywhere from standing and running around the labour ward all day, cold from the air conditioning temperatures of labour ward and, at the moment, happier than words could imply. Why? Because I just got a reminder of why all the incredibly hard work and sacrifices make this profession absolutely worth it: the patients.

Patients are of all types: mean, upset, frustrating, aggravating, kind, funny, moody. On my current clerkship, Obstetrics & Gynaecology, I have a set quota of deliveries to perform. Tonight (technically yesterday night since it's about 1:30 AM Sunday) I delivered my final baby and it was, by far, the most memorable in more ways than one.

This morning I arrived on labour ward and saw this surprisingly sweet and cheerful young lady and I thought to myself, "I'd like to see her through to her delivery." And so, I did. She became an entirely different person, as most women do, with the progression of labour...more intense and frequent contractions. I have to say though, she was still exceptionally wonderful during labour (I've seen many women screaming down the place!) and her husband (quite a young couple) was so very kind and supportive.

As evening approached, she slowly progressed to full dilation and we wheeled her off to the delivery room. Here, I spent exactly 2 hours delivering a beautiful baby boy. Due to the baby's head position, it was difficult for the mummy to push, resulting in a two-hour wait before we saw anything more than the top of the baby's head. In case you weren't sure, any delivery should take no longer than an hour...and even then, an hour is quite a long time. Here's a little play by play of the experience:

30 minutes in...mummy was exhausted from all the pushing...and we realised why it was so difficult to push...but daddy was there to give her much love and support.

45 minutes in...daddy had to leave as nursing shifts changed and would return later on. I was left alone with mummy who was told to push only when she felt the urge to do so...and not with every contraction as usual.

1 hour in...I started to feel this urge to cry. I felt discouraged and felt like I wanted to just give up and leave the delivery room and go home. My back ached. My stomach rumbled. I was beginning to grow impatient.

1 hour 45 minutes in...a midwife finally returns to aid me and the poor exhausted mummy who I was trying to keep encouraging so that she could keep going. Honestly, I was surprised she still had any energy to push.

2 hours in...a wonderful baby boy was born, gorgeous as can be. And me? I stayed with her to the end...not because it was my final delivery but because I knew she needed support.

I came to realise that my urge to cry, discouragement, feeling to give up and impatience weren't my feelings...but hers. Quite often one person's strong feelings mingle with my own and, if I'm not careful, I would mistake them for my own. Whenever I felt those negative things, I would pray to God for guidance and continue to encourage young mummy and they would eventually pass.

Once the baby, named Amari, was all cleaned up and returned to his parents, mummy told me the most uplifting words a person in my position could've possibly heard. She thanked me and continued with "I could not have done this without you. Every time I felt like I was ready to give up, you were there telling me that I'm doing well and the baby is almost here and that I can do this. Every time I felt like I was too tired to press on, you were there reminding me to breathe deeply and regain my energy between pushes. You were so patient with me the whole time and I could not have asked for more. You were so amazing with me." And she ended her sentiments with "You are the sweetest person. I believe you're in the right profession because you have a perfect personality for it. You're so sweet and caring and patient. Thank you so much for everything!" Her sentiments touched me deeply and all of a sudden my exhaustion, aches and pains were gone, replaced by a renewed vigour...a reminder of why I chose to be a doctor: to help people through their greatest trials. I, personally, felt as if I was of little use to anyone in that room except for human company. Knowing that I was able to help her get through such an extraordinarily difficult time period, made me realise that even when I can't help very much physically (I'm not exactly an experienced midwife, after all), I can help in other ways...provide a strong support...and that's what I want to do for people...give them the support they need.

I could not have taken in all her praise without uttering my own praises for her. She was an amazing girl who pulled through the most painful experience of her experience many women only know less than 30 minutes of. She endured 2 hours of pushing and contractions. If it were me, I would've been too tired to push after 10 minutes. She was strong...she handled herself well, handled the pain well and had a wonderful husband backing her up. I continue to marvel at her endurance and admire her strength because...labour? It's not exactly a walk in the park. I will remember her for many years to come.

By the way, I believe that if you're concerned about a teenage girl getting pregnant, be sure to let her volunteer on the labour ward for a little while. I think it would serve decently as a relatively good contraception method. Jus' sayin'. :)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Welcome To December

Another year is soon coming to a close...I can't believe how quickly 2011 has whizzed by quickly 2012 approaches, bringing many things, wonderful and not, expected and unexpected, that lay just on the brink of the horizon.

To this day, my mind relives the night of The Music Factory. It truly was too awesome for words.
It's been only a week since I last posted...and I have to admit, my post about The Music Factory was quite brief...but many things have occurred and it has felt like at least 2 weeks have just passed me by. That previous post was hurriedly typed up whilst still under sleepy-mode from the awesomeness of The Music Factory. I like when I create well-written posts that show that even the slightest bit of thought was properly placed into it...which doesn't happen quite often. I'd like to keep it up and keep it thorough and super interesting but it really doesn't always happen. In fact, it's kind of a miracle that I'm finding the time to do this one now...I've been wanting to make a new blog post for the past 3 days.

My 2-week Christmas break is coming up in just a week and half and it doesn't at all feel that way...not with all the stress and annoyances and work occurring on this rotation. I'm currently in my second week of Obstetrics & Gynaecology (commonly known as OBGYN). This rotation in the penultimate year of medical school has high focus on obstetrics, labour and deliveries. I'll be doing it again in my final year which has the broad focus on both obstetrics and gynaecology. As such, my time is often spent on the labour ward of the hospital...taking care of the pregnant ladies who come in labour and seeing them through to their deliveries. After observing a set quota, we, the students, must actually perform a set quota of deliveries in order to pass the clerkship.

Just as travelling has it's peak seasons, so do births. December is within the "baby-boom" season which brought me to my first performed delivery merely 6 days after commencing the clerkship. Wow. It was crazy. Observing and performing a delivery, like many other actions, are two different things. My first was a baby second, the following day, was a beautiful baby boy. Here in Barbados (I'm not sure how it is overseas) the midwives and nurses run the labour ward so deliveries are performed by a midwife and not a doctor, except in the event of a private patient (since it is a public hospital). I have three more deliveries to see and once I've completed my quota, I don't intend to do these things again. Ever.

Many (not all) of the midwives are the most miserable and moody people one could ever meet in the same room. Too much oestrogen in one room is never a good thing, I've always believed that. The labour ward displays this well. As such, I've come very much to dislike this rotation...a lot...and cannot wait till it comes to an January. Once I have all of my deliveries though, I won't even have to wait so long. :)

Irrespective of the menopausal midwives, I love seeing the joy and relief on a mother's (and father's) face when she sees her baby. If there's anything beautiful about a birth, that is it. Otherwise, it's pretty dirty and anything but gorgeous. Hahaha.

I've been hoping for awhile to make a new's been quite a few months since my last but I didn't realise just how time consuming this clerkship would prove to be. I'm full of nothing but exhaustion and impatience, not to mention frustrations, thanks to this rotation.

So, in reality, the majority of the 'many things' that have happened in the past week have been related to Obstetrics & Gynaecology and how I feel my life being sucked away. Apart from that, Christmas is soon here! My little fibre-optic trees are back up for the occasion.

And for those bracing and enduring the examination period...I wish you all the best of luck! Study hard!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Music Factory

One of the best, if not the best, nights of my life!

The Music Factory...Barbados' first pop, dance and house festival went down with absolute success last night.

I'm so glad I decided to go to this. So glad. I had such an AWEsome time. There are no words to describe just how epic an event it was.

I really wanted to stay till the very end but I had to be home by a certain time (I stayed out longer than I should've anyway though!) so I missed out on the last two hours. Things just got better and better as the night went on and I just found myself never wanting to leave until the music stopped playing! Even now, I can hear the music still playing in my head.

It rained...a lot...but that didn't dampen the mood at all! I went home sweaty and covered in rain water and muddy feet but it all made for an excellent night, regardless.

After an absolutely stress-filled rotation in Pathology which came to an end last Friday, I really really really was in need of some fun and I got what I needed and more last night.

I want another one! Again! Again! Again! *fist pumps*

Photo by moi ;)

On another note, Happy Independence Day Barbados! :)

Friday, November 18, 2011


I'm not one to get stressed out very often...especially as someone in medical school. I've had very few meltdowns and, to this day, I've never considered any other career options (apparently, I'm the only one who hasn't thought about it this far into the degree!).

Meltdown = rant, rave and cry.

I've done this probably once over the past 3 years. I almost had another one this morning. I think, if I had been at home and not at the hospital, I would've actually had a full on meltdown but it didn't quite happen. I don't often show people that I'm suffering when I am, I guess.

Sometimes, the frustrations just build up. People and their negative energies don't help either. I'm surrounded by it and it feeds my own frustrations. Medical school was never meant to be easy. To this moment, I still have no regrets about my decision to do medicine. I like it and I don't see that ever changing...not if it hasn't changed now that I'm half way through my fourth year of medical school.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

To be a pathologist...

It takes a certain type of person to be a pathologist. Cutting organs, exploring dead's all fun and a pathologist.

Autopsy Room
Today, I witnessed my first autopsy. It was the first time I've ever been to the mortuary. When you think about a place like the morgue, people generally have an idea of a dark, cold, dingy room deep below the hospital with bad lighting and drawers filled with dead bodies. It's actually nothing like that...well, it was a bit dingy and smelt pretty bad but there was quite a bit of lighting and it wasn't very cold at all. Yes, there were those drawers but if you never knew what they held in them, it wasn't so bad.

The autopsy itself was pretty...I dunno. I've heard stories about how terrible it can be and then there's what you see on television but I thought it wasn't too bad...maybe because I built myself up to expect the worst of the worst.

Regardless, pathology is a career I could never ever ever possibly in life ever consider as an option. I'm not the kind of person who could live with body explorations in that sense. I like interacting in patients.

After seeing a spider in her office, one of the pathologists once said "I don't like the idea of anything being alive in my office...except me and guests to my office."

Upon asking another pathologist why she chose this specialty in medicine, she said "It's exciting, don't you think?"

Yeah, no, it's not exciting. Not one bit. Can't wait for this rotation to come to an end!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


I write about how time flies so quickly so often that people must get tired of reading it. "Okay! I get it already! You think time is just flying right on by!" is probably what you're thinking, right? Right.

Now that I've said that for the hundredth time, I'm quite happy to see the time passing me so quickly. The bad days of medical school just sail on without a glance back at me. And that's wonderful. But at the same time, that means that the harder study days are coming up. The days which will be tougher and more torturous are coming at me faster than I can prepare for and the prospect scares me.

I feel more than ready to graduate but I'm most certainly not equipped to handle my final and toughest year of medical school! I'm more than ready to complete my internship and go overseas to study what my heart feels truly connected to but I'm far from equipped to tackle those 12-months. It's a contradiction. I want the time to continue zooming forward but at the same time, I feel like I need more time to prepare myself for the difficult times I know I have coming up.

"The best way to predict the future is to invent it." ~ Alan Kay

I'm the kind of person who plans their future in advance. I like to know what I should prepare myself for and the future I dream of, I can't wait to obtain. Allopathic medicine is by far the last thing I want to be practicing and I'm frequently frustrated by the thinking of many (but not all) conventional doctors. I think it contributes to my wanting to finish medical school quickly. I'm just so frustrated with it all. I chose to do allopathic medicine because I wanted insight into what these practitioners think like...I wanted to understand why they think the way they think...why so many of them can be so closed minded to alternative or complementary therapies. And I've slowly come to understand it in my time in medical school. Doctors teach students and pass on their beliefs and knowledge about their practices. The same goes for their beliefs about alternative practices. And it's something that can't be helped. But that stubborn sort of thinking cannot work for much longer, not when populations of people are becoming more aware of the advantages offered elsewhere. It is good to have knowledge of both sides of the table because you need to be able to advise a patient about interactions that could be fatal. And that's where integrative medicine comes in. An adequate mixture of allopathic and naturopathic medicine.

Today, one of my lecturers who is a general practitioner in one of our public polyclinics told us a number of stories of patients he has seen in practice recently. Patients who have had live microscopy where they're told that the practitioner says there's all sorts of bacteria and fungi. In allopathic medicine, this is a sign of serious blood infection. This is a story of concepts not understand by doctors. There was a story of a patient who went to an iridologist and was told she had fibroids after he looked at her iris so she went to this GP and he sent her for an ultrasound which showed a perfectly normal uterus. No matter the story, the opinion left on conventional doctors is that of disbelief. It's no wonder these negative opinions are made when patients present to them with problems and stories from alternative medicine practitioners. But, naturally, persons with successful stories don't normally end up in a GP's office. And so, such terrible reputations are built against alternative medicine, reinforcing the lack of belief.

All that to say, integrative medicine is what I truly want to do. I truly want to go into natural medicine. I want to study and understand it more. I want to practice integrative medicine. It's the ideal practice of medicine, in my opinion, as it offers the best options for patients. It's the middle ground between the two extremes with good understanding either way. Most certainly, not a contradiction.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Graduating Photography

Yesterday was a big day for all the U.W.I. Cave Hill graduates. They're all officially released from the confines of school work and assignments and have been thrown into the real world. Two of my closest friends graduated yesterday. I'm so proud and happy for them. One of them, I've known for 10 years now. It's like he's all grown up now.

My graduation is still a ways away. I'm only halfway through my fourth year with my fifth year yet to come. Time flies so quickly, I'll probably be graduating before I even realise. But until then, I'll be watching each of my friends obtain their bachelor degrees before I can grasp mine.

One of my graduating friends asked me to take some pics for his graduation. Me! I'm pretty surprised since I'm not actually a photographer or anything. I got to make use of his Nikon Coolpix L110...a very nice camera. I'm not a photographer but I certainly do have an interest in photography. So, place a good camera in my hands and I'll go crazy on the shutter button. Which, of course, is what happened.

I have to say, though, I was surprised to be asked of such a favour: to be entrusted with a camera to take good photos for memories of a graduation. And I was asked because, among my circle of friends, I'm always the one just snapping away with my little camera. Haha. I certainly felt quite honoured.

My friend is a difficult subject to work with when it comes to giving off a natural smile or general facial expression but I did the best I could with my extremely amateur skills. I think I got some nice photos though. I also captured a photo that I'm very much in love with at the moment. I'm not familiar with plant names and species but this little potted plant had beautiful flowers which certainly caught my attention. This was the result of my admiration:

I like photography because it captures moments that can be shared with everyone. It can capture an object from a different perspective so that its beauty can be shared with others who would not otherwise see it. And I really like taking photos of nature. Something about it is just amazingly beautiful. The world needs to be seen for the beauty it holds.

Congratulations to all the 2011 graduates around the world, regardless of when you graduated. I pray you all have the successes you deserve and that you thrive in the hardships of employment!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Parents are people, too

As we grow older, we see our parents differently with each stage we pass through until we eventually reach a point where we realise that our parents...they're people too. It's something that I've been thinking about for awhile now. With every passing year, I learnt something more about my Mom and with every step closer to adulthood, I feel more and more like I'm coming onto more equal ground with her.

She tells me stories about her youth...what things were like in her day living in Hong Kong and even little bits of what my grandparents (her parents) were like. My grandfather died long before I was even born and my grandmother doesn't speak any English, and since I don't speak any Cantonese, I can't learn anything about her from her directly. It's kind of sad and it's one of my biggest reasons for wanting to learn the language, if only I had the time and resources. Over time I've come to realise that she, like any other person, has had dreams and goals which she once aspired to. I've learnt about the numerous hardships she's had to endure, particularly after her move to an English-speaking country when she knew no English at all. Today, she has become a very successful woman and, for a lesser educated Chinese person, she has extremely well-spoken English.

Trailing back to my childhood...
I don't remember very much but what I do recall from my childhood was all very memorable. My Mom was the scariest person alive to me. Her punishments were mean and cruel and I was afraid to do anything drastic for fear of possible repercussions. But she was also very nice sometimes. She may not have known the answers to everything but she'd help me with my homework and let me sleep with her when I was afraid of something. She'd let me play with my friends and gave me toys and dress me up to look pretty. She let me go away with her and let me see all sorts of wonderful sights and sounds. She took me to Disneyland and Universal Studios. She threw me birthday parties. At the end of the day she was a wonderful, albeit scary, Mom.

Re-thinking my teenage years...
I wasn't allowed to have a boyfriend. I wasn't allowed to go out at night. I wasn't allowed to do very much at all. She dictated my life and didn't let me have any fun at all! Or, at least, that's what I used to think. In retrospect, I can now say that I'm quite happy with the way I was raised as a teenager. Had I been allowed to party at night, I would be an entirely different person today. And I absolutely love the person I am now. I can understand her reasoning for not allowing the things she did not want me to have or do. But, as teenagers, we're so caught up with what we want and what's going on with our peers that we think, "My parents don't understand me at all! It's like they forgot what it was like to be young!". In reality, they understand the teenage years better than we did, after all, they lived through those years themselves. It's not that they forgot, they just have a habit of not wanting us to make the same mistakes as they did. They're trying to enforce what they believe to be the better way of growing up during those hormonally-driven years. It's not that they don't understand us, it's US who don't understand THEM. And many of us don't even try to understand them. I always used to say, "When I grow up, I'll never be like my mother!"

Discovering the truth...
As the years flew by and life became less dramatic, I came out of my self-obsessed hormonally-driven state. I never knew how difficult a time she had, moving to Barbados, living in Barbados, learning English, raising a child. Many stories delivered to me over a number of years have opened my eyes as I finally took a good look at the amazing woman who raised me. She's a person. Just another person, like everyone else. Like everyone else who has had a dream career for which there was no opportunity to pursue...because life had different plans in store. Like everyone else who has had interests and love and true hardships.

Dreaming their dreams...
We live in a time that's laden with blessings and we don't even realise. We've grown up in what one could call a spoilt generation. Many of people know the pains of war and hardship but many of us don't. We haven't lived through terrors. We wake up each morning without a second thought about how grateful we should be to be alive. I've been told many stories about the wars of China and the things my Mom's family have had to live through. It's no wonder why Chinese people are as formidable as they are and it makes me proud to have family who survived those times. They are strong people. But they never got to live their dreams.

It wasn't easy surviving those days. It wasn't easy giving up on dreams which were out of reach. It wasn't easy raising us. The least we could do is dream for them as we dream our dreams. They want only for us to have what they could not: the joys of seeing our dreams come to fruition. They deserve that much, don't they?

I've come to realise recently, that I'm very much like my Mom. A decade ago, I didn't want to be anything like my Mom. Today, I love the person who I was raised into. And I look up to, respect and love the person who raised me like no other.

I recently saw a video that portrays what I've said really well, actually. Something nice that I thought I'd share. "The Six Ways You'll See Your Dad" by CollegeHumor.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Three Years & Still Posting

Today marks the three-year anniversary of Symplicity Me, the first blog I've managed to keep going.

Happy bloggerversary Symplicity Me!

I had completely forgotten about it last year...and the year before, I remembered the day after. To be honest, I nearly forgot this year too. It's only by an urge of feeling the need for change that I realised. So, to celebrate the big day, I decided that a slight makeover was in order. (Well, I was really going to do one anyway but realised it was the bloggerversary. So let's just say it's for that. Haha.)
The Old Look
The New Look
I decided to a go for a simpler, lighter look this time around. Nothing fancy and colourful yet not something too plain. In the end, I came around to what you see now. There are still some similarities to what I had before but something about this one feels a little neater. I didn't bother to change the header photo because it's still as meaningful to me today as it was the day I made it and just as applicable to my life, if not more so. I think it blends in nicer with the new background anyway. :)  

What do you think of the new look?

This blog has become pretty special to me over the past three years. I've said in posts before that I have a problem with keeping up with things and, even though I don't post as often as I'd like (I'll blame that on medical school), I'm still going at it.

May we still have more years of posting to come, yeah? :)

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Getting To Know NY A Little

I often tell people that I'm not a big fan of New York. I know many people whoa re just in love with the city and all it has to offer but I can't say I stand on the same ground. Maybe it's that I've never really experience the city in its entirety. Usually my trips are very short and I never see much apart from the places I specifically go to, to do what needs to be done and I'm normally driven to these places.

This trip was slightly different. Actually, it was different in many ways. I had no car to move about in so I utilised the yellow cab, subway and my feet, discovering a part of New York that I never got a chance to learn about. For once, I got the chance to see and experience New York beyond the windows of the car. This time I travelled alone and, for the first time, flew on jetBlue Airways. This trip has had quite a few firsts for me, making it drastically different from all the rest.

I had the luxury of walking through the streets and properly experiencing the sights and scents of the city. I had the opportunity to walk through a little street fair on my way to the hairdresser. I walked among the large masses that crowd the sidewalks trying to remain aware of myself. It's not the first time that I've had to walk along the sidewalk with so many people but I was never particularly bothered by it in Hong Kong like I was here in New York. Somehow, crowds seem more organised in Hong Kong, or maybe it's just my imagination. I think, though, the crazy crowds along with all the strange scents and dirt of the city was what bothered me. In comparison, Hong Kong is a lot cleaner and not filled with so many different scents to tickle my nostrils so walking among the crowd never was much of a bother. Not to mention, that sense of belonging I have when I'm in Hong Kong, no matter how many people surround me, makes me comfortable.

If there's anything I like doing, it's people-watching. No matter where I am, it will always be remotely entertaining to watch people go about their business. I got a good chance for that while on the subway to and from the house. I saw a couple who were each on their phones while still remaining in a cuddled position; a man wearing a white T-shirt, bright yellow shorts, sneakers and a backpack (it was about 14°C outside); a woman reading a magazine and her neighbour taking a peek at the pages; a man in a pink shirt holding only his phone and a notebook and pen...fiddling with the pages of his notebook; a guy listening to music while falling asleep; a man playing the accordion while his wife and young daughter walked about the train car for tips (it was the last thing I expected but at least it sounded nice). The list goes on and on.

I saw so many different people with so many distinct personalities and I thought to myself, I could neither stand out nor blend in with a city like this. This city filled with so many cultures and personalities somehow manages to give me this feeling of suppression. As such, all I've said before about how I don't really like New York still stands. I'm rather uncomfortable here and, honestly, without even a small sense of belonging (which this city is completely void of, even after years of visiting), I could never feel any satisfaction about living here if I had to. In fact, I'd be sure to avoid it at all costs.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

My Greatest Flaw

By law of nature, nobody is perfect. We all have flaws and there's nothing wrong with aiming for perfection as long as we remember that perfection can never be attained. It makes sense to have the desire to learn and improve your flaw, whatever they may be. I think that makes up part of the fun of life...learning about ourselves. I've been doing it for years now, focussing on myself and trying to be a better me in any way I can. But my greatest flaw is my biggest weakness.

I completely lack self-discipline. Honestly, I can't keep up with something for more than a few weeks...a few months if I'm really determined. My determination to keep up a routine or regimen or anything that requires some amount of discipline is always short-lived and I don't understand why. Take this blog, for example. My posts are very irregular and I do wish to post more often than I do. In fact, oftentimes I have stuff to share but just, for some reason, never get to it. This post too! I've been meaning to type this since yesterday and I'm finally doing it because the thought came back to me again and again, "you didn't do it last time so at least make this post." Or something like that.

There are many, more major, things that require self-discipline in my life. From maintaining an exercise routine to stay fit to maintaining the organisation of certain things to studying. All of those things are equally important in my life but, at the moment, I would say that my lack of studying is my most daunting problem, especially in my fourth year of medical school. Sometimes I wonder how I even made it this far. I feel unknowledgeable and that needs to change, desperately.

One would think, start small and work your way up. But if I can't even take my daily supplements as I should twice a day and not once or even make regular blog posts as I want to, then how do I tackle the bigger fishies? For some reason, if I think I want to do something, I can never find the motivation or determination to actually get up and do it. Instead I let myself get caught up in a world where time just passes me and by the end of the unproductive day, I can't say that I know what I've done. It's ridiculous really.

Regardless, I'll continue working on improving myself. I hope you do too!
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Friday, July 8, 2011

Transformers 3 in 3D!

If you haven't come to realised that 3D is the new in-thing with the movie industry, you've clearly been living under the ocean. Just about a week ago, our more popular movie theatre finally invested in 3D. The first official movie to show in that theatre: Transformers 3.

Firstly, what happened to Megan Fox? Secondly, even if she's gone, what need does this boy, Sam, have with having a pretty face by his side running through the dangers with him? Thirdly, I get excited when I hear Leonard Nimoy's voiceover in a sci-fi film, I have no idea why...he's just...groovy. Ha.

The movie itself was pretty decent but it's not something that I'll turn around and watch again anytime soon. I guess I liked the first two better but it's difficult to say when I can't really recall them in much detail. At 155 minutes, it's a fairly long movie but enjoyable enough to not feel the length. I have to admit, I got a little emotional in one scene >.<

Oh yes, most importantly, this is the first time I've ever watched a full movie in 3D. My only other exposures were 4D at Disneyland and Universal Studios. It wasn't too bad really. All I hear from half the people I know is that 3D is overrated. And that's fine and dandy but I think the quality of the dimensions is dependent on a number of factors, particularly the directing and special effects editing for the movie. It hardly matters to me though.

It's highly upsetting how selfish Barbadians are with the startup of the 3D phenomena here. People are arriving at 10 AM (box office opens at 10:30)  to purchase tickets for their friends at 10 PM that night. This morning, I went to see the 11 AM showing and, arriving there at 10:20, I had to join a lengthy queue. Not to mention, by the time I reached the counter, the 10 PM show had already been sold out. Crazy much? People don't have a chance at all! But the fact that people are actually allowed to buy 20 or more tickets is unfathomable. How is that something that's so easily looked over? Like, really? No, seriously? There should be a limit to how many tickets an individual can purchase. People need to have a chance! Geez.

I know this frenzy is going to be a couple notches worse when Harry Potter starts showing here on July 20th. All hell will break loose as people can't get tickets and I hear all sorts of madness like people purchasing 20 tickets for the movie the day before instead. If the Olympus Theatres continues to allow persons to purchase >5 tickets at once, I'll be sorely disappointed in the way they handle their service. SO many people have been complaining about this problem.

Well, regardless, since people work and sleep at 11 AM, I smartly chose to watch the movie at that time (despite having to wait in such a ridiculous line) and enjoyed myself.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Watching My Own Videos...

You know how actors may be asked in an interview what they thought of their movie? And then they respond with "Oh, I haven't seen it. I hate watching myself." Yeah, I'm like that too.

Sure, I may not have a big movie to be shown on the big screen, but I actually really really really really don't like watching my own videos on YouTube. I can record, edit and then watch it in full before I upload to YouTube and feel okay about it, yet, it irks me to watch the video on YouTube! I have no idea what it is that's so different...maybe because I know that other people are watching it and judging it and judging me and I don't want to add to that...somehow. I'm really not sure. It's just one of those mind-boggling things that no one will be able to give me an answer for.

I just don't like watching myself.

But on that note, I'll leave you with my latest upload...the first in 6 months! I got henna (for the first time) so I thought I'd share it with you guys. It was quite beautifully done by Faheema Patel at Junoon Designs.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Waiting Game

Monday morning I opened up my email and saw what I was waiting 4-5 days to see: Package Delivered & Signed for by ___. Score!

Do you know what this means?? It means my package was delivered, of course. What package, you ask? Oh, well, it's just my application to do my fourth year elective in Anaesthesia & Intensive Care at The Chinese University of Hong Kong next big deal. =)

Now, I'm just sitting around waiting for them to process my application and give me a response: accept | decline. I vote they tell me the former. But I'm so excited about my application arriving there quickly and safely because I made it just in time for my deadline! It could've been there much much sooner if the ridiculously slow-working university I attend didn't take 3 months to release my grades to update my transcripts which, by some miracle, I obtained in a week (apparently, the norm is about 4 weeks for a few sheets of paper).

Regardless, everything so far has worked out in my favour. All I need is an acceptance and I'll be booking a ticket for 4 weeks in Hong Kong. That's right. Four weeks. Four. 4. Four weeks. A whole month. In Hong Kong. My favourite place in the whole wide world. Doing something that I know I'll enjoy: Anaesthesia & Intensive Care. I'm actually still relatively surprised that I like it so much.

Ohhhhhhh...I hope they get in touch soon!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Kon - Day Two

Described in one word: epic. I'm posting this a bit late because I've been so exhausted from the epicness of the weekend that it took time to recover.

The events held on Sunday were certainly more interesting than those of Saturday! I noticed that a few people complained about this on Saturday when they saw the events list for Sunday. I thought it was a strategic move to get people to come out on Sunday. For some reason, the culture here in Barbados is to stay home, kick back and relax on Sundays. And, while that's all nice and well, it shouldn't be the thing that keeps you home from a really cool event. Regardless, due to this fact of Barbadian life, Sunday's numbers, good as they were, didn't seem to be as large as Saturday's. Regardless, Sunday was indeed an excellent day!

There were fewer movies shown and more panel discussions/workshops held with featured speakers like Marshall Candland, a technical director at Industrial Light & Magic who worked on movies like Pirates of the Caribbean, Transformers, Iron Man and Aliens and Cowboys, as well as some guys from DC Comics! Marshall showed a short presentation of how they created the effects in movies like Transformers and Pirates of the Caribbean. I missed out on the panel discussions/workshops with DC unfortunately but I heard they showed some previews of upcoming works. Very cool stuff.

The Kosplay Kompetition was a hit this year! Last year it didn't come off for whatever reason and I was sorely disappointed but this year it happened! I kinda wish I had entered the competition now...but anyway! The winner was a guy cosplaying Cloud, second place went to Lara Croft and third went to Tifa. The only big problem I had with AnimeKon this year was the judging for the cosplay competition! There was a girl who portrayed L from Death Note extremely well and did not get into the top three. As they were using crowd cheers to judge the top 3 and then again for the placement of the top 3, L received louder cheers than Tifa far! Maybe if the competition is to be judged by crowd reaction and cheers, a decibel reader should be's the most fair and accurate way to judge, don't you think?

Then the night ended with a BANG! with an outstanding performance by Standing Penance, a local band who blew the roof off that night! It was a massively high-energy performance that completely blew me away. Loved it. It was what AnimeKon needed to end the entire event...with an EPIC performance.

Huge Thank You's to Melissa and Omar at AnimeKon! You guys really outdid yourselves this year with an impressive comeback from last year's disappointments. All the hard work throughout the past year was certainly not in vain. Of course, there's always room for improvement and so I look forward to next year being bigger and better than this! (No pressure!) But don't worry, after this year, there'll be lots of buzz and hype when next year rolls around.

I've had some amazing times this year but this was, by far, the best weekend of 2011!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

The Kon - Day One

Described in one word: impressive. And I use the word impressive because I'm impressed with the degree of improvements I saw this year!
  • larger floor space with adequate room between booths. Last year, all the booths were packed into one room. This year, they've expanded the area and nice placed people apart, with artists in one section and gamers and anime lovers in another section.
  • more anime and even some manga!
    • AnimeSpot was there showcasing some manga, 
    • The theatre showed all anime films like Spirited Away, Appleseed and Akira
    •  Anime music video displays by local editors like the amazing soulvws and JMRE09
    • I even got to watch a random episode of Bleach. Lovely! I'm not sure if other random episodes from other series showed since I moved around a lot. 
  • more events spanning 2 days. Yay! I've seen a lot more fun stuff this year compared to last year.
  • amazing green screen room to live out your wildest anime fantasies. Except, it didn't seem like a lot of people utilized it unfortunately. It looks like such an amazing concept...I haven't done it myself lol but I might on Day Two!

I cosplayed as Osaki Nana from NANA this first real attempt at cosplay. Turns out that I did pretty seemed to have been a hit with people. I got a lot of stares and lots of requests for pictures either of or with me. I was feeling quite like a celebrity! I even had a little photoshoot and all (compliments soulvws). Apparently I looked epic. Many people suggested I do it again for day two...I wasn't planning to but I started reconsidering and after telling my mom about my outfit's success, she insisted in a repeat for day 2. And so it will be (because now I have no choice haha).

I met a lot of people (thanks to my eye-catching look) and I got to be very social and friendly. Not something I'm used the mass attention I got. But it was nice being different. I'm not used to getting anyone's attention but it's grown on me and, admittedly, I started to like it. I saw a few others dressed up, though not as impressively if I do say so myself. I was also told that I'm one of the few who looks awesome (talk about ego booster). Ah, my self esteem shot up like a rocket. Oh! I saw a girl cosplay Chun Li. It was nice and it made me decide that I should probably l go for that if I cosplay again. :) We'll see how that goes because I'm not so sure I'll be able to make it to AnimeKon next year and definitely not the year after...or maybe. Medical school is gonna get tougher and I'll be working 7-days a week but who knows!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

AK 2011 Excitement!

The AnimeKon 2011 weekend is just four days away! I'm excited! Last year, I tried not to go with high expectations and I guess it was a good thing because I wasn't entirely pleased. The organisers managed to score some hit points with me after responding to my critical blog post about my disappointments and, as this is the second year coming, I've raised the bars of my expectations.

The organisers of AnimeKon have been so kind to seriously take on my few opinions over the past year as they vigorously planned for this year's 2-day events. I know they've done their best to improve things a whole lot so I'll be looking forward to those.

I have all intentions of getting my Canon VIXIA back out of its bag and kick up the old vlogging. It must've been building up some dust over the past 6 months! I've been meaning to do one or two over the past months but never really get to it, for some reason. I've actually somehow reached 101 subscribers! I know it's not much compared to other popular YouTube folks, but it's a big deal to me. =] I'm quite happy to have your subscription and will certainly make greater efforts to create new videos for those who are interested.

So, who's going to AnimeKon 2011 this year? Are you as excited as I am? I'll be there both days this weekend so if you stop by, do say hi!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Olympic Day 2011

Today was Olympic Day 2011 with the theme "Move. Learn. Discover." It's an event in which the sports clubs/federations in Barbados come together and showcase themselves to the general public and encourage participation in the sports of their choosing.

As a past member of the World Taekwondo Federation and the Barbados Fencing Club, I get the lovely choice of who I want to join...not that it really matters. For some reason, the fencing club doesn't have as many members as it deserves because fencing is a pretty great sport...I guess it's just not popular enough here so we tend to represent them at Olympic Day to help build their numbers.

Once upon a time, I used to be involved in various sporting activities like swimming, badminton, taekwondo and fencing. At one point, I was even doing the former three at the same time! That was a time when I was lovely and young and, as you can imagine, fit. I've certainly lost all my fitness and the youthful finesse that comes with it. Of course, being 21, I'm as youthful as an adult can be ;). But this loss came along with my starting of medical school...I gave up each sport one by one...first badminton (because I played for the secondary school I went to moreso than with a club), then taekwondo, swimming and, lastly, fencing. I love all those sports though! As I lack the aggression, fencing and taekwondo weren't exactly my forte but I had good form and got great workouts from them both. I was perfectly average in all these sports...not particularly amazing at any...probably because I lack speed. Hmm...I wonder how much more awesome I could've been if I had the speed to go with my form?

Well, regardless, today I got pretty active. I joined the fencing team for an Orienteering race of some sort. Apparently, that's a sport. Did you know that? It's something like a treasure hunt. It involved a whole lot of walking and running around that tired me out! Sports enough for me. Haha. I also got to play a little badminton again! Oh, how I missed it. It's been 5 years since I last played...I think.

All in all, I had a pretty great day with my friends. Honestly, I meant to get my phone out and film for a vlog know...for some reason...that didn't quite happen. Sigh. I need to make a far greater effort at making a vlog this coming weekend's a full weekend of AnimeKon 2011!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Phlebotomist in the making

Well...I'm not really a phlebotomist (person who takes blood) in the making. Today in Barbados, we had HIV Regional Testing Day at various locations around the island to encourage the population to know their HIV status as it is a disease that has relatively high prevalence in our country.

This is something that happens every year and the organisers at the Ministry of Health usually request the help of the medical students for blood taking. This is what I spent my entire day doing.
I probably took blood from about 50 people or so...maybe a little more. At the location I was stationed, we had about 165 people participate. I very willingly volunteered to be phlebotomist because I really wanted the practice of taking's something that will be required of me in the years to come and I wanna be able to be agile about it...quick and and out...and hopefully with as little pain and as few sticks as possible. I certainly haven't mastered it yet but I'm definitely a whole lot better and somewhat more confident about doing it. Yay!

On another note, I watched the Life In A Day documentary that I was talking about before. To someone without much interest in it, I guess it would be pretty boring because I watched it with my Mom and she fell asleep 20 minutes in. I thought it was a pretty interesting film. It was definitely a really nice thing to see how people spend their days around the world...a very culturally diverse film, for sure. It astounded me that a Korean man was determined to travel around the world by bicycle and has not even been the slightest bit deterred from it because of the 5 accidents and 4 surgeries he's had. All he said was "there are a lot of careless drivers"...he visited 190 countries! He's gotta be fit. Haha. If you're interested in that kind of thing, you should give it a's an hour and 34 minutes, I believe.

And weekend!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Life In A Day

Almost a year ago, I created a video to participate in the Life In A Day YouTube collaboration movie, a documentary of what July 24 2010 was like all around the world, directed by Kevin Macdonald.

I received an email later in the year to inform me that my video was in the top 100 videos chosen for the movie. Unfortunately, my Mom wasn't too keen on me being a part of it and so I never signed the release forms =( I wasn't too pleased about it but I've moved on. But, to think, there could've been a little piece of me in this movie! Aw well.

I think this'll be a fun watch. I haven't seen it yet but when I do (hopefully sometime this week if I find the time), I'll let you guys know what I think of it. I hope you'll watch it too and let me know what you think as well!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Anaesthesia & Intensive Care

I started my Anaesthesia & Intensive Care clerkship on Monday. So far it's been a pretty intense compared to the clerkship I was doing before. I spend virtually all my hours of the day in the operating theatre learning about this, that and the other. Too much information than I could possibly digest (which I later attempt to read up on) + topics I'm to go home to read up on to talk about the next day. It usually doesn't work out since I fall asleep as soon as I get home. The days have been long and they've been exhausting on my mind, my back and my feet. I get home late, eat, shower, struggle to read something, fall asleep on the book I'm attempting to read and sleep till the A.M. I really need to readjust to the long days once more...just like when I did my Junior Surgery Clerkship.

The doctor in charge of this clerkship was telling us that we should do at least 2 emergency calls. That means 2 full over night calls. That means 2 calls that will last up to 36 hours. Oh!

So, as I have very little free time on my hands, I think it's safe to say that I won't be able to fulfill that month-long challenge that I wanted to do. Maybe on my next clerkship next month?

Friday, May 13, 2011

Farewell, Smallville

Ah boy, it's been a long run.

10 seasons. 10 years. 2001-2011. Until I Googled it, I hadn't realised that I started watching Smallville when I was just 11 years old. I could've sworn it's only been 5 years. Haha. Smallville was a series I used to absolutely love! It was so appealing because, at the time, I loved watching "The New Adventures of Lois & Clark' and the idea of a story of the background life of Clark Kent was interesting. I don't remember seasons (and clearly not even years) but when things started changing up more than I expected, I felt a bit iffy about the show...I came to accept things and the direction of the plot but then things started changing a bit too much. As a result, I stopped watching it.

Years later, Smallville came to its series finale, tonight. I started the show, of course, I had to see it to its finish. And so I did. The 2 hour finale felt a bit slow and drawn out to me, I have to admit. After 10 years, it's great to see that the flight and suit came in just 10-15 minutes before the conclusion of the show. Like they just, ya know, slipped it in there at the end.

I haven't been watching Smallville for a couple of years. If it happened to cross my mind or if I had time or if I was utterly bored, I would turn to the CW on a Friday night and watch a random episode of Smallville...not sure about what's happening or why it's happening but just to see what's going on. It's a good thing I did that because the finale left me feeling very confused when it came to a lot of things...nothing at all would've made sense to me had I not seen those random episodes. So, here are a few things that confused me: (Spoiler alert!)
  • I thought Lionel Luthor died a good few seasons ago. Why was he there and why was he known for his thirst for genetic research?
  • What in the world was that white mist from which a dark hideous creature spurred forth and, not only ripped the man's heart from his chest to give to Lex, but said "I'll do it in exchange for your soul." ??
  • And what was that about how Lionel had all the perfect parts from all of Lex's clones? Wasn't that lab burnt or set on fire or blown up or something with all those clones to die except for the little boy?
  • I thought Jimmy died! Good ole Jimmy! So, how come he was there at the end in all the hustle and bustle being the Jimmy we knew him to be?
I have to say, I always did love the character that was Alexander Luthor...up until he became super corrupted, made Lana walking kryptonite and died anyway. Speaking of which, I was hoping to see Lana make an appearance in tonight's episode. Practically everyone else did. But back to Lex. I'm sorry Tess had to die (though I never had a chance to watch and get to know her) but at least she did a good deed. I'm so glad Lex forgot everything, became the good man he was deep down inside and was able to have his dream fulfilled. Mr. President in his nice all-white suit.

Regardless of it all, I'm happy with the ending of the series and I'm so glad that it's finally concluded! I'm pretty satisfied, though I don't understand why it took 7 years for Lois and Clark to finally have a proper wedding ceremony.

But, let's be honest now. Tom Welling ain't got nothing on Dean Cain when it came to ripping off his shirt to expose his suit underneath. ;)

A Challenge To Myself

I'm sure I've been saying this too often lately but I don't blog as much as I'd like to. It's not because I don't have anything to say. My days are often eventful (they've been particularly so over the past 4 weeks) and there are things to say and, even though I have the time, I don't sit down to write a post.

I've just completed my first 4th year clerkship: social and preventative medicine. I really played around with that one...procrastinating on quite a lot till the end and wasn't even able to find time to study with all the rushing I had to do to finish my two presentations and evidence-based medicine project.

On completion of this clerkship, I move on to my next one starting on Monday: Anaesthesia and Intensive Care. It's bound to be a pretty interesting one. I'm back in the operating theatres again...but this time, not for the surgeries. As soon as I discover what my scheduling is like for this next clerkship, I'll decide for sure on challenging myself: posting on my blog at least 3 times a week for 1 month!

That's my self-challenge. You think I can do it? 

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Slaughter House

Today, as part of my rotation, I had to make site visits to an abattoir and poultry processing plant. As such, I had the glorious opportunity to watch a number of pigs, chickens and a cow be slaughtered for food consumption.

It was, by far, the most disturbing and terrifying thing I've ever had the honour to witness.

And now I know how inhumanely animals are killed for the benefit of the stomachs of men.

First, I saw a cow get shot in a head (apparently it just stuns it), listened to the health inspector talk about what they do when they kill cows, and saw and heard blood gush from the neck of a hanging (upside-down) cow like a waterfall. The most interesting thing I saw was how huge its stomach is with its internally divided 4 stomachs. I don't eat beef and steak and I didn't see most of the process so I wasn't as bothered as with the pigs.

Then, I saw them stun pigs with thousands of volts to the head, slit their throats and hang them upside down before scalding off their hairs and sawing it apart. I found this to be the most disturbing thing because just before they stunned one of the pigs it looked me in the eye with so much fear. I nearly cried when it got killed. It all happened so quickly. ='( Safe to say, I turned my back to that after that but it's incredibly difficult to drown out their screams. I don't ever want to eat ham again. Not that I ate it often anyway.

Chickens don't really see to be that aware of what's coming for them. Though, hanging them upside down and passing them through machines is as bad as it gets.

This clerkship is driving me crazy! I'm tired of all the smelly, dirty, disturbing places!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Trouble Keeping Up

I haven't been up-keeping this blog as much as I'd like to and every time I look at it, I have all good intentions of changing that but it doesn't quite seem to happen. Just gotta keep the hope burning that, at some point, I'll pick up this blog and post as often as I mean to!

I've started my glorious 4th year, I'm officially a clinical medicine student! Basic medical sciences have been a breeze compared to what I have ahead of me. The challenges are of a different scope and I've got my fingers and toes crossed that I'll continue forward successfully. Currently, I'm on my Social & Preventative Medicine clerkship something that I find to be impeccably boring. There are a lot of published studies and journal articles that I'm supposed to be reading and, if you've ever had to read one then you know, it puts you to sleep. I'm two weeks into it now and so far it hasn't been terrible but it's not good. It's a very slow way to start my clinical years but I think I'd prefer this than to be thrown into the deep end and be expected to know everything just like that! The greatest thing about this rotation is that the hospital doesn't exist in this's all about public health so I'm in polyclinics and, for the most part, visiting sites for health inspection and the such.

As a fourth year student, I no longer have the privilege of saying "I'm not sure. I'm only a third year." As such, at this level, I'm expected to know quite a bit. Honestly, I don't know very much at all. It's horrible but it's something that will eventually be remedied, I'm sure.

There isn't a whole lot to be updated on except...I recently turned 21! Oh, look at that. The big two-one. As everyone likes to put it: I'm legal everywhere around the world. Joy!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Hello, Vacation!

My third year has come to a close with the biggest, hardest exam I've had to do so far in life. An Incremental Clinical Exam (I.C.E.) which is like a miniature OSCE-type exam in which my clinical, hands-on, patient interaction skills are tested. That came along with 2 written exams in Surgery and Child Health all in the same week. That was one crazy week.

But I've come away with successful results in my I.C.E. I wish I knew what my exact mark was but seeing the word 'PASS' was relief enough! I've passed all my exams for my courses but I'm still not sure what everything adds up to for my course work because I've had procedure cards, case books and reports to hand in for each specialty clerkship I did over the past three months and they account for quite a handful of my grade. I'll find out on Monday how everything goes but I'm sure I've passed all three 9-credit courses and will successfully move onto my fourth year of medical school.

Fourth year marks the beginning of a new phase of medical school: Phase II of my M.B.B.S. programme. From here, everything I do is clinically more time on the university campus anymore. It's almost depressing since I hadn't particularly liked all the time I've had to spend in the hospital over the past 3's a little saddening that I have another 3 years to bear with but I'm sure I'll come away with all my successes in hand. I'll miss the days when I had time to do a certain extent but I'll enjoy the busy buzz of hospital a certain extent. I try to comfort myself by believing that the hospital life is an...acquired taste. But only time will tell. Fourth year starts in just over a week's time so I sure hope I'll know what our group allocations are and what rotations I'll have over the next year by next week!

Phase I was an experience of it's own. I'm quite happy with the people I met and the lecturers I've had...they've all taught me something different...good or bad. I'm pretty sure Phase II will be faced with hardships that cannot be compared to those of Phase I and I'll make it through as I always do. It's funny, I can look back on the past 3 years and think that all the stuff we went through before was really not as hard as they seemed at the time. I'm sure 4th and 5th year will be the same. Honestly, I can't even believe 3 years have come and gone so quickly. I can still recall my orientation into medical school. Oh, how time flies.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Gotta Keep Up To Date

I'm hardly aware of what's going on in the anime/manga community these days. I feel like I'm just drifting further and further away from my place of rest and relaxation. For the past few years, I've been a proofreader for a few different scanlation groups...this was my attempt to remain grounded in the manga community as I began medical school and realised that it sort of took over my social life. I tend to spend a lot of time on my computer and I have no other skills to offer so I figured...I'll help proofread and give back to the wonderful manga community! As for anime...I could live without it and if I wanted, I'll do what I can to make provisions to watch the great series people will constantly badger me about.

I'm still a proofreader for manga/manhwa/manhua translations...I almost retired from it but decided I'd stick with it despite the drastic decrease in free time. I'm really continuing for one particular series which I managed to grow particularly fond of and, for some reason, just don't really want to detach myself from. =) I help out with random chapters of other series but, for now, that's what's keeping me rooted to the community. Since I'm doing a poorer job of keeping up to date, I was checking out Wordpress for some cool anime bloggers and found these great reads so far:

Sure, I could always stay up-to-date with AnimeNewsNetwork but I like to read blogs and see what people think of things...see what's popular these days.

For super quick anime/manga news, there's Twitter! I get a lot of good stuff in my Twitter stream since I started following @BreakingAnime.

What about you? Any recommended blogs or websites?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Manga Artists Cheer Japan On!

A few days ago, Takehiko Inoue (creator of Vagabond and Slam Dunk) showed his support for the rescue efforts of the recent magnitude 8.9 earthquake in Japan. These were inspirational sketches to cheer up the people who suffered great losses and cheer on the efforts made for each prefecture to recover. These images were drawn for inspiration and encouragement with an iPad/iPhone app called Zen Brush. 
These are some of the prefectures that have been hit the hardest by the earthquake and tsunami (the shirt names are the prefecture names).
A semi-annual art exhibition held in Japan was postponed due to the recent disasters but the chairman of the exhibition suggested that artists post some art in support of the hardships Japan is now facing. If you search for the hashtag #newday_GEISAI, you'll these submissions on Twitter.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Japan In My Prayers

 "But when you hear of wars and commotions, do not be terrified; for these things must come to pass first but the end will not come immediately.” Then He said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be great earthquakes in various places, and famine and pestilences; and there will be fearful sights and great signs from heaven." ~ Luke 21:9-11 NKJV ~

Many things are happening in the world these days. More and more chaos breaks out among the people of various countries and the earth itself is becoming a bit chaotic. Things within the atmosphere and beneath the surface have been going a bit crazy since last year...snow in Miami...increasing heat globally...earthquakes over magnitude 9...earthquakes creating monstrous tsunamis...

Everything that's happening in Japan is heartbreaking. I've been watching the footage online and on the news and it's all so incredibly devastating! People are doing their part in donating and helping out in whatever way they can for those suffering the most.
Here are some places you can donate to: 
People are so great to show their support in whatever way they can, whether it be by music...

Or by honking a car horn...

Those are some of my favourite videos from people I'm subscribed to. If you have any great heartwarming ones to share, please do so in the comments! =]

Japan and its people are in my heart and prayers. I wish the country a speedy recovery and hopefully no radiation exposure.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

I'm In Control

I'm sick! I think I caught one of those little viruses floating around the hospital. No big deal though. It'll be gone by tomorrow because I'm just healthy like that. I'm not one to get sick very's a bit of a rare event to occur. I'd like to think that I should congratulate myself on taking such great care of the health of my body...or at least the immune system. I've got a butt-kicking immune system. No denying that. =]

People often say that you can't help getting sick sometimes but that's such fobey. I take all the supplements I need and I'm as healthy as a pickle. I'm totally in control of my health. And you are too. Always remember that! You're in control of your health and your life. Never think differently =) I must be using strange words and phrases because I'm sick. My head feels funny. Well, I'll have a lovely cup of herbal tea today with my lunch which I'll be eating at Novel Teas!

Speaking of which, I took a visit to Novel Teas for the first time yesterday. I've been curious to know what it's like in there and it turns out...I love it! It's a new addition to my short list of places I love in Barbados. It's got a great atmosphere that I find relaxing. I felt like I wasn't really in Barbados's got that sort of environment...that's the kind of environment that I like...places at home that don't really feel like home. Strange, I know.

The people there are so friendly and nice and the owner was quite talkative. He was pleasant. =) It's a great place to go to when you want a change of environment and a choice of what seems like almost a hundred different types of teas...herbal and normal from all over the world. Today, I think I'll have an herbal tea from China. Yum. I'm so happy to have found a healthier place to have some lunch now.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

AnimeKon: What are you looking forward to seeing?

AnimeKon Logo

If you were there last year, you may have been a tad disappointed with how AnimeKon turned out. I'm sure some people were happy and satisfied but it just wasn't good enough for me. It's easy to have high standards for big events that you aren't planning yourself. If there's anything I've learnt from being on the Medical Students' Association over the past year, it's that. 

So, here's what we've got to look forward to:

~ TWO days of anime, comics, games goodness ~

~ TWO days of movie goodness in the larger, all-anime theatre ~

~ TWO days of competition goodness ~

~ TWO days of cosplay goodness ~

~ TWO days ~

Did I mention that things are happening over a period of two days? This sort of information is very important for busy folks like myself who felt cheated because they arrived in the evening and missed out on all of the day's events last year. It's two days this year. Two days = A whole weekend.

July 2 + 3 Mark those calendars! I've marked all of mine.

I said in my previous post that I'm pretty much volunteering myself to help out however I can in the success of AnimeKon this year. Omar and Melissa are the great people that I've been chatting with over the past months and they highly value the wants and needs of the anime community. They'd love to hear your thoughts about:

  • What movies would you like to see in the bigger all-anime theatre? Last year there were 5 movies...this year, there'll be more!
  • What are some really good series that you'd suggest be shown on the AnimeKon screens? The really good stuff that you've been watching recently and want people to see...popular or not.
  • Who would you like to see be cosplayed? Whether it be a character from Marvel or anime, who would you like to see? And are you going to cosplay too?
  • What is it that you would like to see most at AnimeKon? It might not be too late to get in a suggestion! If it is though, I'm sure it'll be saved for the planning of the 3rd AnimeKon Expo!

Comment on this post with your thoughts and opinions about what's in store for AnimeKon 2011! There's a lot of other super awesome, super top secret stuff happening this year that you'll just have to find out about when July comes! ;)

You can also contact the organisers personally here.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Remembering The Anime Fangirl In Me

A few things have been running through my mind lately.
  1. I haven't made a video in 2 months! That needs to be remedied.
  2. I'm months behind on my favourite ongoing manga series. *cry*
  3. AnimeKon is gonna be here in a matter of's practically right around the corner!
I will indeed try to fix this problem with my lack of vlogging...2 months gone already? Wow. It was just Christmas! As a matter of fact, I need to fix this problem with fun. Period. I don't have very much pleasures in life anymore. No more anime, no more manga, no more video editing. Sigh. I think the last thing I watched was...Kanon (2006). That was good.

My last frustrated-about-life-and-school post in which I said little tidbits about my recent lifestyle changes didn't include my fun life. My fun life is almost virtually nil. The hospital is a fun-sucker. Fun. Sucker. Psh. I want back my fun.

Remember this video from June last year?
Oh, yeah. Those were the days. The days of fun. I'm such a critic when I want to be (though I'm usually not).

This year, I'm very very very much looking forward to what the organisers at AnimeKon have in store! Thanks to that very honestly opinionated video I made almost a year ago, those lovely folks contacted me. That's not sarcasm...they're actually very awesome people. And I chose to help them out in whatever way I can...blogging and vlogging (maybe).

So, somewhere around 7 months ago, I made this video... which I got very poor response. =[ Only two people really cared enough to answer one of my questions and they both wanted the same thing: amv contests. What would your answers be? (P.S. Important people at the high end of the AnimeKon hierarchy might just read up on your comments! Your opinions are everything =])

It's now a new year with a great new AnimeKon coming up beyond the horizon. Are you as excited as I am? If you aren't yet, you will be!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Year of the Rabbit

Okay...I know this is 2 weeks late but...

Happy Lunar New Year!

It's time to say good bye to the fierce trouble-causing year of the Tiger and welcome the more peaceful year of the Rabbit.

Wishing you all the best for this year!

Halfway Point

Two weeks ago, my Surgery Clerkship came to an end. Finally. To be honest, 4 weeks of that was quite enough for me. Now I'm on Internal Medicine and I'll admittedly say that 4 weeks isn't possibly enough. 

In surgery, we stayed with one firm throughout the clerkship. Medicine isn't the same. We change firms weekly along with having a number of tutorial and clinical skills sessions to attend. Frankly, you don't really get to know people on your team (except maybe the interns, maybe) and you certainly don't get to know the patients on each firm. Medicine has quite a lot of patients with so many different problems and, as we move from one firm to the next, I find it difficult to clerk patients and follow up on them as we're expected for our case books to be handed in at the end of the rotation. 

I have my qualms about each of the two clerkships so far. Surgery was wonderful in that it was structured and you knew what would be happening every day but it wasn't so great in the hours and amount of work involved. Medicine is wonderful in that it has shorter hours and much more free time, the atmosphere is more relaxed but it somehow feels to have much less structure to it because I feel like I'm being rushed to learn things in my clinical skills sessions. In fact, I quite hate the clinical skills sessions because the person in charge of them (who's also in charge of the entire clerkship) is so iffy and strange. You'd think he's just being particular but he's so obsessive-compulsive over the things only he knows and ends up focussing on only those things. Hypertensive drugs aren't all there is to life and medicine!

Too often I feel frustrated about the knowledge (more specifically, the lack of it) that I'm receiving. That's not to say that nobody's teaching me things but so many things are being taught that it's not possible to remember it all, so you write them down to go home and read up but when you read, you don't remember. That's how I am. For some reason, the things I manage to study, I cannot manage to recall when I need to. It causes me to become anxious about a lot of things. Sometimes I feel like I can't really be bothered to keep up with the environment I'm now forced to work in due to my anxiety. It's difficult to shave off my fears when I can't answer a question because I can't recall what I read the night before. So now, I have difficulty even getting myself psyched to study at all. This further adds to my frustration and the fact that I don't like my team much doesn't help either.

I've reached the great halfway point of this semester. Another 6 weeks and I'll be facing my first clinical OSCE-type examination. At this point, I've been feeling a lot of negative emotions...lots of upsetting things have happened and many things continue to frustrate me but I'm going to do what I always do: continue working through my difficulties until I come out on top. I'm sure soon enough I can bid these fears good riddance. My lifestyle has changed so much and it's become so unhealthy. Working at the hospital has changed my eating habits entirely. Breakfast is at 6:30 AM (6:10 AM on surgery) and it's only cereal. On call nights (twice a week) leave me eating dinner when I get home after 10:30 PM. On surgery, lunch was any time between 12 and 5 PM but now on medicine its usually around 12 PM. Dinner is whenever I get home so that I can eat home-cooked food at least once a day. Lunch is food I purchase from the hospital cafeteria (which is terrible food that I ate for 4 weeks straight on surgery) or from any of the food places near the hospital (which I can only do now because I have the time on medicine and is better than that hospital cafeteria any day). I don't even get to drink as much water as I need anymore and I've become dehydrated.

All in all, there are a lot of intense adjustments that I need to work myself around. I don't like the hospital life or the hospital environment (though I'm not sure if that's a general feeling or just how I feel about this one). Add all that to my never-ending feeling of wanting to leave Barbados and I'd be a tortured soul. The only thing that saves me from the despair is daydreaming about learning more interesting things at Bastyr University and thinking about where I'd like to go for my electives during my next couple of years of medical school.