Archive for the ‘Random Catatonic Fun’ Category

vanity crap

My little project began during senior year in college and, although it never persisted for more than a few months at a time, it still took up a big chunk of every single year since then. Let’s call it “The Vanity and Bare Essentials Challenge.” Captain Obvious, double-check title please.  This has something to do with female vanity and existing without the stuff women think are essential to them such as facial wash, moisturizer, lipstick, conditioner, body lotion, daily panty-liners, foundation, and many, many more – you get the drift. Open any girl’s bag and you’ll find very few who do not carry a beauty kit. Ask any girl for a tissue and she’s bound to pull out a pull-up.

This project took root during an out-of-town trip with some girls, when we’d ended up staying overnight somewhere remote, and one of them freaking out because she forgot to bring her vanilla-scented hand lotion, insert epistaxis here. The wanderlust in my veins spurred me into thinking that, since I am bound to get stuck somewhere unexpected and remote time and again in the future, I had to start training myself emotionally and mentally to survive with the barest of essentials without freaking out just because I forgot to bring moisturizer. What if you’re backpacking across Southeast Asia and could not find any store that sells your particular brand of lip balm? Freaking out over these things sounds very nonsensical.

It is a fact that female vanity is innate in all women but, if millions of other women who cannot afford beauty products can survive without them for most (if not all) of their lives, why would I be any different? As such, this project was more than just a I’m-so-kickass-‘cause-I-don’t-need-no-conditioner project. It was a way of impressing onto one’s brain that, despite the blessings one has been receiving from family and other benefactors that has led to a relatively easier way of living, at the end of the day, all women – all people – are the same. It just so happens that, for other women, Lady Luck has been very kind in this lifetime.  Being grateful instead of being ignorant or indifferent about it is the point.

On the other hand though, there is nothing wrong with being the kind of woman who wants to maintain herself, especially if she can afford it. To each his own. It was, after all, Coco Chanel, who said, “It is imperative that a woman fixes herself up even if only for the sake of politeness,” or something to that effect. Personally, it was only when I started facing patients that I truly understood what she meant because, these days, one has to always keep in mind that, when a patient looks at his/her doctor, he/she should already feel confident and hopeful that you can treat him/her. A disheveled countenance does not exactly inspire confidence, does it?

There was a time when my project was at its peak that I went for three days without taking a bath. Of course, I barely left the dorm at that time but, then again, if I had, I wouldn’t have known if I looked like complete and utter crap because I’d given my mirror away too. Over the years though, the rules of the project became more lenient.  Ergo, I have become just like most girls. But I can also survive on a mountaintop for two days with less than a liter of water to use for hygienic purposes. Disgusting? I think so too but we, bare-essentials people, are kick-ass like that… or so I’d like to think, haha.

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Newborn child, seconds after birth. The umbili...

I keep having these weird dreams, dreams that take me places I’ve never been to.  I was swimming in a deep, blue ocean, submerging once in awhile to see fish swim around me underwater and I particularly remember thinking, “Thank God this is a dream for, in real life, cowardly me would not swim deeper than what my legs could reach.” I was thankful I was alone in that ocean… until a saw a baby swim right past me.

Yes, that was not a typo.  I saw a baby – a freaking infant of about eight months old – swiftly swim right past me towards shore.  What is this, lamaze?!  In that dream, I actually almost drowned in shock at the sight but, thankfully, I was able to wake up.  So weird to die in a nightmare of seeing an eight month old baby singlehandedly swim in a deep blue ocean… and him/her not even bothering to help drowning adult moi.  I have no idea where that baby came from… hopefully not from me!

Now, one would say that was probably my biological clock tapping me on the shoulder but I sincerely believe there is not yet that burning desire at the pit of my stomach to bear a child and hold him/her in my hands at this age.  In fact, both the miracle but indignity of childbirth (and breastfeeding!) is scary.  I was telling my mother the other week I was going to be a surgeon and she went, “You’ll be too old to marry and bear children when you’re done,” to which I said I’d adopt on my own and she quipped, “You’re never sure if their genetics have looneys in the family,” or something to that effect.  Very supportive, my mother.

Got me thinking though, that maybe, babies who were born spontaneously from vaginas and breastfed probably have an advantage over those who were not.  I mean, my granddad was your regular tough man from the block in his heyday with all the vices the world could provide at his hands.  He used to smoke like a chimney and could finish two cases of beer in one sitting.  He was born to a poor family of eight kids in the 1920’s, delivered vaginally with no complications and breastfed because there was no money for formula milk.  He’s now 89 years old and, ignore the catheter dangling from his leg, he’s still spry.  He has the most unbelievable immune system… although I’m not saying you should leave your kid/s with their vices, gosh no.  Your brand of parenthood is uniquely your own.

Moral of the story?  Embrace the natural course of motherhood.  Vaginally deliver your baby and breastfeed.  It’s good for him/her and for you.  Although… I honestly wish I could practice what I preach when it’s my turn, insert dreading-it icon here.

Grey's Anatomy (season 7)

House MD is great. It’s hard-core medicine. It’s irreverent. It’s sarcastic and I love sarcastic humor.  However, this series? It’s kind of dark.  Sometimes I feel the doctor lacks respect for life.  So, screw the hard-core medicine because hell would freeze over before I would allow myself to turn into the kind of doctor – maybe even the kind of person – that House is in that series. He’s a great a doctor but I’m just gonna go hit my books and hit them hard to be a good doctor.

On the other hand, Grey’s Anatomy is full of drama. It’s exhausting – the drama and the complications and the personal lives spiraling out of control and people dying and getting cancer.  So messy (which is why I have no personal life whatsoever).  However, the one thing that makes me like Grey’s Anatomy a lot is how it presents the human condition.

Okay, I just made Grey’s Anatomy sound philosophical when it’s basically all about sex.  I’m kidding, haha.  For me, Grey’s Anatomy shows what life is like as a person practicing medicine but is also completely immersed in an uncontrollable world. Ergo, it shows me that doctors still have a life and it’s as messy as anyone else’s.

You see, what I’m trying to understand and look forward to is the life with the medicine. I’m already expecting the life of a workaholic. The hospital is a really small place and, as a clerk or an intern or a resident, that is going to be our world.  What a small, constricting, suffocating world.  It excites me.

The thought of waking up at 3 in the morning to go to the hospital while everybody else is asleep and be good at what I do excites me. The thought of myself in an O.R. with a scalpel in my hand just standing for eight straight hours fixing a stranger up excites me because that’s just so hardcore. The thought of travelling to other countries and treating people by the millions excites me.  Yes, it’s exciting to think about the medicine but I want to understand not just the medicine but the life that we are to live while practicing medicine.

I want an exciting life but I don’t want a messy one.  Constantly thinking about people you care about who are dying on you – well, it’s exhausting and that’s inevitable. People gravitate towards drama because we feel. We get hurt. We want to hurt others. We get angry. I just want to do my job well. People make it so hard to do just that because, honestly, it’s not the work, no matter how heavy or how seemingly unending the load is, that makes everything exhausting. It’s the people.

Which means that I do like watching Grey’s Anatomy and the series and the messiness it depicts never fails to entertain me.  In essence though, I don’t want to be House but I want to learn way he handles his life as a doctor practicing medicine because he finds ways to make life less messy.  How ironic is that?  Does that even make sense right now?

Maybe I’m better off in Pathology. Dead people can’t be that exhausting to be around.  Or maybe this is exactly the reason why I want Surgery. People can’t talk in my O.R.  The person on the table sure as hell couldn’t when he’s heavily sedated and I’ve my hands full squeezing his heart, his kidneys and his bowels. Now, that’s exciting.

“So, once again, the day is saved.  Thanks to the Powerpuff girls!”

Perhaps the Powerpuff Girls is one of those really few cartoon shows, just like Dexter’s Laboratory, that has survived the test of time.  I’d even call it a classic, even though it still feels modern to me.  It still inspires a feeling of currentness, doesn’t it, simply because the producers have made it a point to still come up with new storylines ten years after the show was first aired in Cartoon Network.

I remember watching the Powerpuff Girls fight crime and monsters in Townsville when I was in high school and that was a long time ago.  It somewhat irks me that these girls never seem to age.  As in, they still look as cute as ever, don’t they?  Why has Professor Utonium never thought of having new dresses made for the girls or has never considered bringing the girls to the salon for a haircut?  Blossom, I’m talking to you, kid, your hair’s too damn long already.  And they have had no progress in school whatsoever.  I mean, heller, when will girls be promoted from kindergarten, Ms. Keane?  Come on now.

Kidding aside, I think the most powerful message that the Powerpuff Girls, as a show, has been sending out to their predominantly young audience (I’m saying predominantly as I am not exactly “young” but I still watch it whenever I can) is that girls can do things at whatever age.  It is cartoon show fraught with ideas on feminism and female empowerment.  However, it also stays true to the fact that these are extremely young girls who have been burdened with so much at such a young age because of superpowers they had never asked for to begin with.  But they cope with the obligations that come with the territory with such candor, childllike ease and generally no complaints.  Does it not make you wish, as an adult, that you could face your own monsters and beat them without becoming depressed?

If we truly want to categorize the girls, perhaps we can say that Blossom represents brains and control(-freakness), Buttercup represents brawn and aggressiveness and Bubbles represents breeding and daintiness.  All of those B’s and their associated characteristics are traits that we relate to the quintessential woman, although I have no idea how the quintessential woman can be both aggressive and dainty at the same time but she works it out.

As a 12-year-old, I had wanted to be Buttercup because she was such a kick-ass girl.  If these girls ever grow up, I bet Buttercup would be like Angelina Jolie.  But, as I grew older, I started admiring Blossom’s leadership and tactical skills.  Have I mentioned I’ve always been fascinated with the idea of becoming a redhead?  She could probably give both Condoleezza Rice and Hilary Clinton a run for their money.  Although I’ve always liked Bubbles, I’ve never wanted to be her.  I don’t like the fact she’s always crying and, sometimes, her little voice annoys me.  But she makes me want to take care of her.  She’s such a cutie.

I truly hope that my friends’ kids still get to meet the Powerpuff Girls.  Me?  I bet I’d still be watching the show when I’m already in my 30’s.  Child at heart and all that.  Childhood deep inside never sleeps!