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India and the Conundrum Digest of Philippine Genre Stories Cozy Reads Publishing Dormant Muses Microhorror Layout Credit The Fulcrum
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Apr. 25th, 2009 @ 05:48 pm First Rotation: Anesthesiology (Or, How To Correctly Put People To Sleep)
Current Mood: rejuvenatedresting
So apparently our first rotation wasn't as hectic as I feared it would be, because we were assigned this time to the elective departments. And that's good, because at least I won't be too humiliated by the residents and the consultants just yet.

Of course, there have already been a few "Oh, duh!" and "Oh sh*t I should know this why do I not know this?" moments, but thus far, I enjoyed the first elective I took, which was Anesthesiology. It helped, too, that the residents were very nice and willing to teach (even if we were just mostly in their way during the surgeries), and that the subject itself was very interesting, since it's the kind of specialty which connects just about everything.

I also really like the exposure to the operating room. I was able to observe surgeries that I had only read about before, like a mastectomy, a transurethral resection of the prostate, a laparoscopic cholecystectomy, and what was probably about ten herniorrhaphies (we had what, two per day? @_@).

I might even like going into this specialty later, if I was just a little bit more competent. But no.

Musings on Anesthesiology and Medicine in generalCollapse )

Next rotation: Radiology. Also a pretty stress-free department, hehe. :)

Before I go, a couple of anime, TV, and book reviews because I missed being fangirly:

Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Pumpkin Scissors, American Idol, CSI, How I Met Your Mother, The Pinhoe Egg and Castle In The Air by Diana Wynne Jones. There might be spoilers.Collapse )

That's it for this week!
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Apr. 8th, 2009 @ 11:51 pm A Very Short Summer (Vacation)
Current Mood: chipperchipper
Current Music: "Poker Face", Lady GaGa (get out of my head, darn it)
I'm sorry, my dear LJ, for I've neglected you for so long...I could blame Plurk and Facebook and my strange addiction to the quizzes there and my hectic schedule, but oh, I apologize still. T_T

...LOL. XD Anyway, a lot of stuff has actually happened since I last posted here, but I was either too busy/lazy to post about them, and also post the pictures I have of those events. ^^; But now I finally have the time! :D We're only given a very short break though, as we go back to the hospital (!) on the 16th.

Yes, I am now officially a medical clerk.

*gulp* It's both a scary and exciting prospect at the same time. I don't know how many interns/residents/consultants/nurses will end up shouting at me because of the (inevitable) stupid mistakes I'll be making, and how many patients' lives I'd be ultimately responsible for, but I'll get through this, somehow. I hope.

So, a run down of the significant events that have passed:

Philippine Speculative Fiction Volume IV Launch

This happened last February 28, in the U-View Theater at the Fully Booked High Street branch. I was...terrified, actually, because I always am when faced with the prospect of meeting other people, and before the program started, I was actually hiding out in the Sci-Fi/Fantasy section (well, I was helping my father look for the Second Foundation spin-off series of books too...). ^^;;

But the program was starting soon, so we finally went inside.

'I have to speak in front? Really? O__o'Collapse )

Actually, I think I like writing genre/speculative fiction mostly because of my parents' own reading preferences: my father was the one who introduced me to science fiction (especially Asimov) and fantasy (Tolkien), and my mother loves horror and crime fiction (...and romance, but forbid me to read her books because she said I was too young :P). They really were a big influence on my own reading tastes, and they never stopped me from writing even when everyone else told me that Medicine would never, ever let me write, so I really do owe a lot to them.

What I did forget to say that day though was that I also owed that particular story to some of the teachers I had both in high school and college...for all their boring lectures, because if they had been so interesting, my mind probably wouldn't have drifted off and thought up all those ideas for that story. LOL.

Anyway, I hope you do buy the book (and you can order through me!), since it would make all the authors (especially me) very happy. :) I haven't finished reading the book yet, but I'll go put up a short review after I do.

Manila Ocean Park Trip

So after that, my life had been pretty much a repetition of exams and reports and medical histories and exams again, until our very last day of school. And then, finally, vacation! My friend Liz and I were planning a grander pre-clerkship outing (overnight/two nights in Baguio), but everyone kept backing out the last minute (and we kept having to change our plans because of them, changing our original plan to a trip to Subic, then Tagaytay, then Bulacan), then in the end only five of us went to Manila Ocean Park on April 4.

But surprisingly enough, we really, really enjoyed ourselves. I'm glad there was a promo that included the Fish Spa (where nibble fish chew on your feet and rid it of dead skin cells; it felt a little bit like...er...kittens were nibbling on my feet ^^;; Weird comparison, I know) and the Glass Bottom Boat ride, because the trip turned out to be quite an experience because of it. ^_^ I knew I'd be happy anyway, actually, since even though I'm terrified of the sea, I love looking at and studying marine species.

The park was a bit smaller than Singapore's Underwater World, but it also had the underwater tunnel, and the fish tanks, but with the local species, which proved to be very interesting. My particular favorite was the lipstick tang, with its (Angelina Jolie-esque?) thick "lips". Hehe.

After touring the park, we went off to Mall of Asia, and watched the sunset over Manila Bay, while just talking to each other, bonding, gossiping--

That sounded like an ending to a movie, haha.

Puerto Galera Trip

Then right after that, safranin, Jerc, cea_chan and I headed to Puerto Galera, Mindoro, and stayed there for four days and three nights (April 3-6). It was, as Jerc put it, a "very well-paced vacation". It wasn't too hectic, but at the same time, we did get to accomplish quite a lot.

It was fun swimming (despite my fear of the open water and the fact that I kept hitting rocks and sand kept entering my suit), snorkelling (and actually being able to swim with the fish that I only saw in tanks inside Manila Ocean Park), cooking (with Karen as our chef and Rhea and I being sous-chefs and Jerc being our coal-boy ^^;) dancing, and catching up. ^_^

And yes, we did find Nemo.

(The clownfish were really cute! And I love feeding the fishes. There was only one particular kind of fish that did not seem to shy away from humans though, which was a bit disappointing, because I wanted to see the electric blue fish up close. I still don't know what type of fish they are exactly.)

I have a whole new set of corny jokes now (which I should tell this particular friend of mine :P), and a tan, to boot. I also learned how to play Bridge, but I don't think I'll be playing that game again soon. Because I was horrible at it. Just horrible. I also loved how we just stayed at the beach one night and went stargazing, and after cea_chan taught Jerc how to roll, Judo-style, then we went and etched large drawings in the sand (which people kept avoiding walking over and earned us a lot of strange looks)...in short, just plain hanging out.

And that was very nice. ^_^

And now I'm back home, spending time with my family. I really did miss just relaxing and doing, well, next to nothing, but I know this vacation would be a very short one, so I'll be going back to work again soon. And I do have to start writing again.

That's all for now, then, until the more fangirly posts later, hehe.

To close the post again, a meme from ekmisao!

Association Meme: Comment to this post and I will give you 5 subjects/things I associate you with. Then post this in your LJ and elaborate on the subjects given. Also, give me 5 topics you associate me with, to make this more fun, hehe. :D

5 topics from ekmisaoCollapse )
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Feb. 1st, 2009 @ 09:04 pm Paying It Forward (Meme)
Current Mood: bouncybouncy
And I'm back, with a meme! :D

From lilacfield and magicnoire:

The first five people to respond to this post will get something made by me!

My choice. For you.

This offer does have some restrictions and limitations:

* I make no guarantees that you will like what I make!
* What I create will be with you in mind.
* It'll be done sometime this year (2009).
* You have no clue what it's going to be. It may be something written, some physical thing made, could be anything at all, but I will make it myself. It's entirely my choice what it is. No quibbles, no refunds.
* I reserve the right to do something extremely strange.

The catch?

Oh, the catch is that you put this in your journal as well. If you don't, you don't get anything.

So, go! :D

In other news, I completely slacked off this weekend and totally did not get any studying done. ^^; I was able to watch Underworld: Rise of the Lycans, though, which made me happy for the most part, because I've always loved Lucian, ehehe.
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Jan. 23rd, 2009 @ 07:23 pm Starting The Year Right By Being Happy
Current Mood: ecstaticecstatic
Current Music: "Sober", Pink
...and being shameless! XD

I wasn't able to write about this before because at the time we were so busy with schoolwork, but one of my stories, "Sky Blue" was published here:

free press

Heehee. The story appeared in the November 1, 2008 issue of the Philippines Free Press, and I was very happy (and very shocked too, actually) that they published the story. ^^; Thank you again, Mr. Sarge Lacuesta! ^_^

"Sky Blue" is mainly a story about what the Philippines might become fifty years from now, and deals with surrogate mothers for hire and genetics. I think the bookstores here no longer carry stocks of the Free Press issue though, wah (I actually was also looking for an extra copy since safranin asked me to buy a copy for her), but then, to my surprise again, just a few weeks ago, Mr. Alfar e-mailed to say that this will be launched in February:


Philippine Speculative Fiction Volume IV, edited by Dean Alfar and Nikki Alfar! :D "Sky Blue" also appears in the volume too (which I'm really grateful for), with 23 other stories:

Philippine Speculative Fiction IV TOCCollapse )

(ekmisao has a story there too btw, and it's from the Jumper Cable universe, whee. Hooray for Haya! XD)

The launch will be on February 28, 2009, and the book will be available in Fully Booked, I think. (And maybe Powerbooks too?) And again, I can order the book for you, too. :D Just comment on the post, and let's see how I can give the book to you, if ever. (It'll be a good reason to meet again, too, hehe.)

Do buy the book, hehe! XD

Now that's done, it's back to slacking off. XD (It's a Friday, so I deserve a break from studying! Um...*guiltguiltguilt*)

And to close the post, a meme! (From meganbmoore.)

1) Comment with one of my fandoms.
2) I'll answer with one or a few of my unpopular opinions about/within that fandom.

(I was talking with a friend of mine about this actually, and I realized I do have a lot of unpopular opinions (erm*coughTwilightcough*), all the time...and I don't do that on purpose, honest. T_T)
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Jan. 1st, 2009 @ 05:33 pm A New Start On Old Habits
Current Mood: busybusy
"Many people look forward to the new year for a new start on old habits." ~Author Unknown

Happy New Year to all of you!

I meant to write a post before the year ended, since I wasn't able to post for both my birthday and Christmas (boohoo), because I had a lot of things that I had to catch up on. Our vacation ends in four days, actually (wah), and I still haven't done all of the things I wanted to do. *sigh*

Anyway, looking back, 2008 was a really, really awesome year, in many ways. In ways I never expected, too (and up to now, a part of me still can't believe they ever did happen, haha). There was that dream I've always wanted to achieve (world domination comes next XD), another publication in a magazine, the new/old friends I managed to make and got to know better, and my friends' birthday surprise this year, which was everything I could have wished for.

But there were also the mishaps (Pediatrics practical exam boo-boos, for one--suprapubic tap is not the same as lumbar tap, moron) and the flunking (when no one else did and even after studying countless hours), and the disappointments.

There were less (writing) rejections this year, which isn't exactly a good thing, since it only means that I didn't write as much as I did last year. -_-

But still, all in all, it was a good year. :)

I didn't reach all the goals I set at the start of the year, though.

A look back at the year 2008: goalsCollapse )

And now I'm really scared because the New Year means only one thing: medical clerkship. And *gasp* the oral (and written) revalida. I'm more scared of the orals, because I tend to lose my head when I'm nervous. (I think I might have an anxiety disorder of sorts. Ack, stop diagnosing yourself, you hypochondriac.)

But I hope everything somehow still turns out all right. So again, Happy New Year, everyone!

Goals for 2009Collapse )

And to close the post, the yearly meme!

Year-End MemeCollapse )
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Dec. 7th, 2008 @ 11:52 pm My Idea of A Perfect Christmas
Current Mood: excitedexcited
...is spending it with you~

*coughs* Because one of my Med friends kept hinting to me to post a wishlist before the 10th, I decided to post early. Besides, the next few days would probably be even more hectic, what with professors scrambling to give us as much work as possible before the vacation starts again.

So here you go!

We wish you a Merry Christmas, and...Collapse )

For item#1 in the wish list, by the way, if you would like to receive a card too (but probably after Christmas already, sorry), leave a comment on this post with your name and address. (All comments will be screened. So don't worry. ^_^)

And also, what do you want? Do tell me too. ^_^

That's all for now! I have some memes I owe to other people, but I promise I'll do them on the next post. :)
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Dean smile
Dec. 1st, 2008 @ 02:55 pm Book Review: Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
Current Mood: anxiousanxious
Current Music: "Disturbia", Rihanna (corny Twilight joke, sorry)
So, the last review for the challenge. ^^;

I wasn't really supposed to read this book yet. I meant to watch the movie first, because I knew I wouldn't be able to finish reading it in time, and because I didn't really feel compelled to pick the book up yet, what with all the things I've read about it (I've seen both sides of the fandom, and I was honestly a bit scared. ^^;)

But I was talking with a clasmate about the series, and I mentioned that probably in the end, despite how wary I am about it, my curiosity will probably get the better of me eventually and I would have to read it. And she said, "Oh, don't buy the book. You might regret it. I'll just lend it to you."

And a week after, she really did bring the book to school. So here I am. ^^;

Anyway, in the end, she was right. I, er, wasn't very happy with the book. I have some issues with the writing style itself, actually, although that might be nitpicking already (but if you think about it, that nitpicking should have been done by Stephenie Meyer's editor), so I could probably ignore that one. I guess it isn't really my type of book anyway, since Twilight is, first and foremost, a romance. But no, I do like a good romance every now and then...it's just that the particular kind of romance in the book isn't of the type that I can usually like. I mentioned before that I have this thing for love/hate relationships, and Edward/Bella, despite their (sometimes feeble) attempts at banter, doesn't fit that category. Or any other category of a romantic pair that I can like, for that matter.

Or maybe I'd have liked them together better if I actually liked them as characters, but unfortunately, I just...couldn't. It doesn't help that Bella is like that. And unlike what most people think of him, Edward Cullen really is, strangely enough, as far from my own idea of an ideal boyfriend as anyone could get.

Lengthier and possibly spoiler-filled rants here.Collapse )

I know I had other things to say, but I kind of forgot them. Maybe later? ^^; (I'm worrying about a history I have to submit tomorrow, ehehe.)

But really, that's just me. ^^; Just because I wasn't too happy with the book doesn't mean that you won't like it, because Twilight seems to be the kind of book that you can either really, really love or really, really hate. (This reminds me of the whole David Cook vs. David Archuleta thing, hehe!) As I said, to each his own.
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Dec. 1st, 2008 @ 07:39 am Book Review: Wicked by Gregory Maguire
Current Mood: workingworking
Current Music: "O Come All Ye Faithful"
(Yay, only one more review to go to complete the challenge. ^^;)

I'm actually very fond of retellings of tales I've known since childhood, so when I heard of this book, I was, in fact, really interested in reading it. (I also happened to read his short story, Scarecrow, which I liked.) Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West is a revision of L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, but set in a wholly different Oz, and this time, the Wicked Witch of the West is the good guy--er, woman.

Elphaba is born to an unhappy couple, a minister and his wife. From the beginning she is shunned as a freak: she has green skin, razor-sharp teeth, and she is also strangely averse to water. Even her own parents are afraid of her, loving instead her siblings: her armless sister Nessarose (who would also be later known as the Wicked Witch of the East) and her thankfully normal brother Shell.

Years later, we see her as a student in the Shiz University, where she meets a few very familiar characters: Boq the Munchkinlander, Glinda the Good Witch (of the North/South, depending on whatever version you're going with), and of course, the Wizard of Oz. She is also exposed to the discrimination of the Animals, intelligent animals who can talk, write, and most importantly, probably, think. It is this discrimination, along with other similar stories of cruelty, that eventually pushes her to oppose the rule of the Wizard.

We all know how this ends, of course. Despite all the new twists on the original story, the book is faithful to that, at least. And I felt bad about it, because really, I like Elphaba. She's an outcast and yet instead of wallowing in self-pity, she goes ahead and does something about what she thinks is wrong with things. I like the other characters too, actually. Glinda reminds me of some of the people I've known, who, despite appearing to be shallow, are actually good people once you finally manage to bring out their better traits. Boq is nice and sincere, and Elphaba's old Nanny actually seems to care for her, despite everything.

The political themes of the book I liked, and I enjoyed the writing in general, too, since Gregory Maguire has this inherently...sarcastic style of writing, I think. The dialogue tends to be a bit stiff in some parts, though (I mean, does anyone really talk like that? It feels textbookish, even).

And I'm not particularly happy with the ending.

Spoilers here! Beware.Collapse )
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Nov. 30th, 2008 @ 12:04 pm Book Review: The Grey King by Susan Cooper
Current Mood: workingcramming
Current Music: "Kumukutikutitap" (Christmas!)
I mentioned before that I joined heyheyrenay's challenge, and being the crammer that I am, only remembered to write reviews for the books I read for the challenge now. ^^;

Anyway, on to the review.

The Grey King by Susan Cooper is the fourth book in The Dark Is Rising series. It's basically a stand-alone, although I think it might be better appreciated if read in sequence, since there are details in the book referencing events in the previous installments.

Basically, the book is about Will (who was the main character of the second book, The Dark Is Rising), and like most fantasy protagonists, though he seems to be a normal eleven-year-old boy, he is the last and youngest of the Old Ones, immortals on a mission to protect the world from the advances of the forces of evil, (appropriately named, for obvious reasons) the Dark. In the previous books, Will and the other Old Ones had already gotten hold of the prophecy that foretells of the final battle between the Light and the Dark, and it is up to him to continue preparing for it. Unfortunately, after being stricken by a particularly nasty case of hepatitis, Will has forgotten the lines of the prophecy he was tasked to keep, and what his next quest should be.

So he is sent to Wales by his human family to recuperate from his illness, and of course, as you might expect, this is where things get interesting.

There he meets Bran, an albino boy his own age, who, though not an Old One, seems to be tied to the mission of the Light. With Bran's help Will remembers his task: to wake the six Sleepers, ancient knights who once served King Arthur, to aid in the final battle. But the Grey King, a lord of the Dark, is determined to stop them...

I liked the book best among the other books in the series, because I really do prefer the books that are mostly about Will rather than the Drew children; but mostly I love the book because of Bran.

As a main character I like Will a lot: he's not whiny at all, and he does what he has to, even when he's not sure if he could do it. He's very mature, on account of being an Old One, but I love the moments where he actually seems like a normal little boy.

But for me, Bran is still the more interesting character, mostly because he has more issues than Will, what with all the children hating him because of the color of his skin and eyes, and with his mother having abandoned him and his father before. He's rather arrogant and standoffish because of it, and despite my inherent dislike for angsty woobies like this, I really love Bran, because he's an example of how a character like that can be done well. Despite his issues (which are all valid anyway), he still remained true to his and Will's mission, and on occasion, can even be very friendly.

Aside from the likeable main characters, the plot is pretty engaging, although Susan Cooper's rather heavy writing style was a bit hard to get into at first. I'm usually wary about Arthurian fantasy stories by now, since I've seen so many, but the take on the legends here are still much more original than the others, I think. The book is pretty lacking in humor and banter, though, except for attempts at sarcasm here and there, and I pretty much predicted the plot twists early on.

More comments here, but beware of spoilers.Collapse )

Overall, I enjoyed the book, and although I don't love it as much as the other fantasy series I liked, I still recommend it. :)
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Hiro Geeks win
Nov. 1st, 2008 @ 10:31 am And They Wonder Why I'm Scared of Elevators
Current Mood: scaredcreeped out
Current Music: a disturbing kind of silence
Tags: ,
First off:

(Belated) Happy Halloween, everyone!

And to celebrate, I give you (as I did last year)...ghost stories! ^_^ Celebrating Halloween isn't exactly a tradition followed in the Philippines, at least not as much as in, say, the US, but telling ghost stories is a very popular, even well-loved pastime. It's something that inevitably comes up in a conversation between friends here, actually, and amazingly enough, everyone has a ghost story to tell, whether it be something that they experienced themselves, or something that happened to their friend or their friend's friend's cousin (and so on). ^^; I am a person very much easily scared by the stories I hear, but like most people, I love to torture myself anyway and listen to them.

Because of all the stories I've heard, I already find certain places creepy. I find hospitals creepy in the evenings (and woe for me, clerkship starts next year), and empty classrooms (because all schools here supposedly harbor ghosts of priests and nuns who were killed in the war), bathrooms...

And especially, elevators.

Apart from the fact that I keep imagining that the elevator would malfunction and--gulp--something really terrible would happen to me while I'm inside it, I always think that if ever I do see a ghost inside it, I would have nowhere to run. @_@ (Which is why I find that scene in the elevator in The Grudge particularly scary.)

And so many ghosts do appear in elevators.

So on to the ghost stories! (Cut, again, for riisha's sake.)


I. Overload, Overload
II. Going Down?
III. Going Up!

Look, behind you, I see a ghost...Collapse )

That's all for now. After this I'll be breathing down riisha's neck over our collab (wish us luck, we need lots of it T_T), and then a scary movie marathon with my sister. So far we had watched half of The Strangers, which is a bit slower than how I like my horror movies to be; and Into The Mirror (the Korean version), which was actually pretty cool, plot-wise, and creepy enough. Later we'll be watching The Gravedancers. Any other recommendations?

To close the post:

How Long Would You Survive In A Horror Film?Collapse )

Lucky Chan's Halloween Party! What Were Her LJ Friends Wearing?Collapse )
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