“Hung down with the freaks and the ghouls”

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Threesome chat with the freaks and ghouls

Halloween, at least this side of the world, is done and dusted, and as everyone else here, dressed up in their favorite fictional character, mythical character, animal, etc., there are some of us, that are probably not into mainstream activities and are just feeling to old for this, and those latter two might just be me.

As it turns out, like the undead sprouting out of the ground, my best friend of 10 years, my fellow B.S. Biology major in AUF, and my classmate in medschool also in AUF, and fellow physician, Lee, who is now undergoing mandatory military training in South Korea, has not only returned to social media, but here in the Philippines.

Albeit, he will only stay here for a week or so, and a hangout is inevitable, I can’t help but ask him and our other good friend from medschool and fellow physician, Aris, to join in a three way voice chat reminiscent of our days in medschool. We aren’t complete though, we still lack our other friends from medschool, Kokoy, Lou, and Flanz, but seeing as they are busy lately, we decided to still push through with the three way voice chat, or what I rather call a threesome voice chat.

We talked about anything… and the fact we haven’t seen or talked to Lee for over a year other than very seldom PM’s in FB, it felt natural. It felt as if we all never left that room in AUF during medschool. It is as if we can be just who we really are and don’t care since we know eachother well enough to be that way.

I have been friends with Lee, like I said, for 10 years since Biology days, and I guess we know eachother better than anyone else in our medicine class back in the day; he knows my family quite well, and I know his. Covering eachother’s backs when our respective families call us and wonders where the other one is or went. Covering tracks so to speak, and it comes in as a natural reflex for us and need not ask the other to do so if they call. It is instinctual and that is something that can only happen when you know one another too well that you can easily finish one another’s sentences. That’s brotherhood.

That is not to say I am not brothers with the dudes in medschool or my other classmates when I was still in Biology, but with Lee, it is different.

I’ve known Aris, Kokoy, Lou, and Flanz, for 6 years, and that is still a lot, and as the saying goes, if a friendship lasts more than 7 years, it will last a lifetime, we may be one year shy of the 7 years, but we are confident that this friendship will last a lifetime the moment we sat down in class.

And while we are the subject of friendships in class, my groupmates since 1st year in medicine is just as special; also knowing them for 6 years, Joed, Vyel, Melody, Elaine, Danica, and Paul, remain my go to people when the going gets tough. We were groupmates from 1st year to the penultimate clerkship, and our bonds were strengthened and tried by all the challenges clerkship entails. I still hang out with some of them from time to time.

Having chatted with Lee and Aris, made me excited for the day we are all done with our training and then we can all have a reunion in class, along with our good friends and classmates from Nepal, and we will be eating out all together and reintroduce ourselves, this time with our specialization at the end of our names: I can’t wait to stand up in that reunion and say “Hi, I’m Dr. Christian Udarbe, Adult Neurologist… I missed you guys…”.

And I mean it… I miss my medschool classmates. Even if they are somewhat of freaks and ghouls.

Til then! PEACE!

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Midweek Project: Legend of Zelda Key Hanger

I have a tendency of forgetting where I place my keys, forgetting to bring my USB FDD to work or when I go out, and a number of other similar things like that. I stumbled into a key hanger that is a wooden slab with one of the most memorable Legend of Zelda scenes ever. Thus, I thought, hey, I can make this myself, not exactly, but still similar in theme and function. And so… I did. For it is dangerous to go out alone.

 

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From Etsy user/creator (idk) Deeply Dapper; Follow link to original page if you rather get this (and this is better quality than my DIY project). CLICK HERE!

 

First, I dropped off the local mall to get some hooks and a frame. The other item in the photo was just a RCA female to female connector since my older connector is bugging out and the audio in my PC is cutting off due to that.

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Next, I already had the other items that can aid me in this project in my room. I used a ruler to try and valiantly make the hooks straight, a pencil to mark where I am supposed to place the hooks, a push pin (along with a hammer) to create pilot holes, and a 3M tape of the gawds (outdoor mounting tape).

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So I only spent for the frame (around 5 bucks) and for the hooks (which are like less than a dollar).

Now that I got all materials ready so to speak, I then had to find a perfect Legend of Zelda “It’s dangerous to go out alone! Take this.” image and make it fit in an A4 sized photo paper as the frame I got was A4. Why did I get A4? It was the only size that is available in the bookstore, and I had no intention of staying in the mall looking for another frame.

After which, I started marking as best I can for the hooks. Now the hooks I bought is a set of 8 hooks; I first thought it was a set of 10, so it will look a lot better, but alas, it is 8, and I just placed them 1 inch apart from each other.

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Placing the hooks, I first had to use a pushpin and slightly hammer it down to make pilot hole, the next thing is as expected and easy, just screw in the hooks. But take note, do it slowly to avoid cracking the frame.

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Placing all the hooks, I then simply placed the printed Legend of Zelda scene, and then added the 3M mounting tape. Finally, simply place it at my door (though, make sure you wipe your door or any area you plan to place this before mounting it. This ensures no dust will interfere with the tape while trying to adhere).

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Immediately placed my keys, USB FDD, employee ID, etc., just to test it out, and yes, I am very happy with this simple project. It is very simple, yet it is very functional, and for a gamer like me, and a huge fan of the Legend of Zelda series, this is also a bit of nerdgasm for me (Don’t sue me Barnacules for using the word Nerdgasm).

TAKE THIS!
Click the photo to go to my photostream in Flickr!

The photo I shared from Etsy is the most ideal key hanger for this theme; usually in the game, you get one or three items to select in the various caves/shops, so the hooks are placed perfectly since it is basically a particle board. I chose a frame because I don’t want to undergo the difficulty of finding someone that can make a plaque similar to those particle boards/wooden boards with the scene printed on it. And I have a lot more things than three items, so having more hooks is better.

With that, I will be very surprised if I still forget where my keys are or such.

Til next time! PEACE!

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Decisions… Decisions…

I thought being a 27 year old and not having to train yet in my chosen residency program, I would just enjoy my life as a general physician, being a mentor in my former review center for medical students, being a guest lecturer in school here and there, and a (motivational) speaker in several institutions. Sure, that alone sounds like I am juggling quite a number of tasks, however, I am very happy with my work load and more importantly, I am not directly involved with the administration of any of the institutions I work in.

I just have to be  a physician in the clinics I work in and not care about the inner workings of the school/clinic/diagnostic center; I can just teach as a guest lecturer and need not worry about the syllabus, grades, and everything else – being a guest lecturer, I am simply given a topic and I teach it; I can just give a talk to people, either to motivate them or guide them in a phase in their life, and not worry about organizing these talks.

And more importantly, I still have, surprisingly, enough time for my own leisure activities.

Looking at my current writeup of my resume/curriculum vitae, one would say it is a pretty handsome paper for a 27 year old. And it will only get better from here.

I was content with the content (wow… I need a thesaurus) of my resume and plan to just add more weight to it as I get older, as I train, as I try to add more letters at the end of my name. But recently, I have been given more opportunities that most individuals in my age group would never have. I am not trying to be a show off here or anything, but I am both surprised and happy that I am given such job titles and opportunities at this stage of my life where most of my friends I know aren’t in this position or never had this opportunity.

Let us run down what I am doing for now, take note, this is not me being a show boat: I am a general physician at a university and a diagnostic clinic, I am a mentor for medical students in my old review center, I am a moonlighter in several institutions, I am a guest lecturer for the department of biochemistry, anatomy and possible physiology in the school of medicine in my Alma mater, I am a guest lecturer in the department of biology also in my Alma mater, I am proctor/preceptor in the hospitals for medical students, and I am a guest speaker for a number of topics in a number of institutions. And that is to name a few. I have a lot more ventures and these are things that not many in my age group are doing or has done.

So another opportunity came knocking at my door, and as a 27 year old, I find it a tad bit bonkers that they even considered me. The university I am working as a general physician is asking me to become the overall director of the university health services that was previously held by my mentor and good friend. He left the university last summer for other opportunities, but he held it for 5 years prior and he had a lot more experience in the medical field and admin way before he was given the title as director.

Here I am, a fresh new doctor in the world of medicine, a young start up at the age of 27, with little experience handling administrative work. Sure, I was a constant student leader, a president in many organizations, both as a student and not, held positions in the hospital as a senior medical intern, etc. but I always had a superior to eventually fall back on when the going gets tough. Now if I do accept the position as director, it is all on me. Any decisions I make, I will receive reprimands or praises. I will be in board meetings where there is a high chance that I am the youngest one (heck I am the youngest person in the university clinic right now). Persuading the higher ups at a young age may be difficult. Having being bombarded with administrative work may make me lose my mind especially when I am still inexperienced with these.

Though I am very flattered by their consideration. Like I said, not that many friends of mine are given this kind of opportunity at this age, so I didn’t expect them to consider giving me the position of director. And to think I just a fresh face in the world of medicine having recently passed my board exams (with one take, mind you) and just started working 3 months ago.

Most people, even those older than me, may jump at the opportunity, but I have grown enough (figuratively) to ask when is the deadline for my decision as I don’t want to simply jump at the idea. They gave me until the end of this semester to think it thru and that is a little over a month left.

I am 50-50 with the idea, mostly due to my age and my inexperience; I feel like I might just let them down, and as a team player, I hate bringing people down. The other thing is, I will have to readjust my schedule, possibly quit some my other ventures, and recalculate my earnings as I am contented with my current workload and salary.

Let us be clear, I am not really too big into the money idea, but let us be honest, I have a certain set of skills that takes you to hone and a license that one can’t simply buy, so I also want to be properly compensated for my services that I am sure not that many people can provide.

 Once I can justify the increase number of hours I will gain, the proper compensation that equals the workload or at least equal what I am earning now with lesser hours, being able to fix my schedule all over again and possibly quit some of my other ventures, and the fact that I will gain confidence in my abilities to be a good director, then there is a good chance that I will accept the position.

I will use the grace period given to me to really think this through and seek out advice from my professors that never failed to help me out in these difficult decisions.

But one thing is for sure, whatever I decide, I will stick by it with no regrets and use it to my advantage to grow more mature and hone my skills.

Til then! PEACE!

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Tables are Turned

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View from the other side… Feels funny now that I am their examiner when it wasn’t long ago I was in their shoes.

It wasn’t that long ago when I donned the medical school proper uniform or even that of a 4th year medical clerk uniform. All the pain and suffering while studying on going on duties as a clerk is still quite fresh in my mind, and I do have some literal scars that are still oozing with blood from it all.

So when I was asked to help out in my Alma Mater for the current medical students’ exams, I was more than happy to help out and be their proctor/examiner for some subjects.

I wanted to give back to the university and the department that made my dreams into reality and never stopped believing that all my goals in life will be in fruition. Thus, simple acts like this can still go a long way in their eyes and then some. Plus, I am starting to acclimatize myself once again with the school policies as I am a guest lecturer in the Department of Biochemistry also in the School of Medicine in my Alma Mater and plan to help out in the lectures/reports/exams in the second semester. Helping out now will help get in tune with the medicine office and the people once again.

This is actually my first time being a proctor in an examination but still having the memories of being a student taking the exams quite fresh, I still remember the usual things my proctors would say before, during, or after the examinations, so I was easily able to adapt quickly and thankfully the students were very behaved so I had no problems during my first proctoring of an exam.

I will be proctoring other exams for the rest of the week and I am actually looking forward to it as it is quite therapeutic doing this. I hardly have to answer tough questions as I would have when I am lecturing, I don’t have to make hard decisions such as those times when I am in the clinic, and I don’t have to correct anything in the test paper as I am not the one that made it, I simply relay any questions.

And I need something therapeutic as the past couple of days up to weeks, I have not been my jolly self in the clinics I work in. Gone is the funny doctor that does his best to make you smile before leaving the clinic, now we have a doctor that seems to just wait til quitting time. The latter is something I don’t want to be remembered as; I have always pride myself as being a workaholic, a guy that gets the job done in spite of the toxicity, a guy that never shies away from a task as it gets tougher, a guy that is cool when it comes to emergencies, and a guy that will never tire even if overtime is a real thing.

I need something therapeutic so I can be that kind of guy again. Not sure what has happened to me in the past few days up to weeks. I probably took life a wee bit too seriously that I have lost track of how to have fun at work. There is a number of things that I can point my finger on as to why I am not my usual jolly self, but I can’t really pin point the exact moment where I felt the dread.

Thus I try to do new things, go places, and just try to relax – and being a proctor… simply a proctor, may help me. Here’s hoping it will.

So as the tables are now turned as I am no longer the medical student/medical clerk/medical intern, twiddling my thumb while having what seems to be a restless leg syndrome as I toil away at the exams, I am now the proctor and examiner looking at younger medical students that are now having the mannerisms I had during exams. It is a perfect circle. And pretty soon, they will also become proctors or examiners for future medical doctors… and thus, the cycle continues.

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Tables are turned!

Til then! PEACE!

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Random

There was once a meme about how a child’s punishments such as being home early, getting into bed early, etc, are now actually an adult’s idea of rewards, and I simply scoffed at it. Thinking I will still find those more of punishments, but as I gotten older, in turns out, that meme is true; I know find having to sleep early, staying at home for the weekends, etc, more satisfying.

However, for those rare occasions where I do go out and invite some buddies to hang out with me as well, I find myself longing to be back home as fast as I can to either be in front of my PC to play games, read some ebooks, or simply tune in YouTube and lay on my bed as the sandman visits me and I end up waking up to a PC still running and I am right back where I left off the day prior – that is browsing the net or playing games.

I used to think it would be much more fun just being out and about elsewhere other than home, and at a health standpoint, I guess it is; I get to walk and have a bit of an exercise here and there. But as I gotten older, I find it more of a chore. Have I become so sheltered that I will only go out if I need some school supplies, have to go to work, have to go to he bank, or the like. Heck, even if I know I need to buy something, I prefer looking at online shops where I have little to no interaction with other people as I shop.

I know it is strange that I am becoming more sheltered than I ever was especially that my career begs me to be very sociable; don’t get me wrong, I am very sociable kind of guy. I can easily make friends and such. But given the choice, I am still an introvert appreciating my own company more than anything else. I like being alone with my thoughts more, but I still have an open mind enough to accept other’s opinions if forced to be hanging with others.

I guess this is also in tune to when I was younger and my preference to playing by myself. This may explain as to why I am more satisfied being at home in my room alone with my thoughts and creativity. Why I prefer playing single player games to avoid the complexity of socializing. Maybe why I rather shop online than have a face to face conversation/transaction.

This isn’t healthy so to speak, I should be more outgoing, but as for now, I will stay as an introvert as much as I can cos I am more comfortable that way. I will interact and be sociable only if need be. But until then, when I feel more outgoing, my walls that surround me in my room will keep my secrets.

Okay, I won’t even read this over again to edit or try to make so much sense into this post, I will just post it and well… it is a random post with sort of a random theme. I was just typing as I think. Take this with a grain of salt.

Til next time! PEACE!

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Rollercoaster Weekend and a Megaman E Tank Mug to Top It Off

It has been a trying weekend to say the least; had to go to work in what should be my days off on the weekend, started to develop body malaise and chills, then got a call last night to help my mom go to a hospital as she was having chest pain.

The latter with my mom, for me, as a physician myself, looked like a regular GERD, but I still wanted her to have an ECG as well as cardiac markers just to be sure and we all decided to have her admitted to have a repeat ECG and cardiac markers after 10-12 hours. My sister, a physician as well, who happens to be on duty in the hospital last night made it easy for me to leave my mom at her care in the hospital last night.

I didn’t go back to my work (I was supposed to be 24 hours duty) so I went back home to nurse myself as I was coming down with something bad. I was really having chills, body malaise, and severe headaches. No amount of my usual pain killers can relieve my headache. I was this close in getting admitted myself.

Waking up to the same bad headache and chills as I went to sleep with, I decided to have a CBC with platelet count as I was visiting my mom in the hospital anyway. It was weird making a request for myself and not for my patients.

As all that was happening, I was supposed to hang out with one of my best friends who decided to visit the Philippines after years of not being around here. Sadly, work, my current condition, my mom being admitted, didn’t really help us hang out. However, he did visit me at work once and he even dropped by my mom’s hospital room to visit her as well. I was happy enough to see my best friend I haven’t seen in years, but he dropped a bomb on me. In a good way.

We were once talking about geeky stuff and I mentioned that I saw something at the Fan Gamer site: it was a Megaman E Tank Mug, and I thought it would be cool to have it as I would most likely be the only one here in the Philippines to have it. This makes it easier for me at work to know if the mug is really mine or not. And to stop people from trying to use it without my permission.

I was wondering why he was so hellbent on giving me my “pasalubong”; as he kept on trying to give it to me days prior to today, I was starting to presume that maybe, just maybe, he got me the mug that we were once talking about.

Lo and behold, he appears with a USPS box with a 2 day priority mail label on it. I started to lean towards my hypothesis that he did in fact get me the mug. After he left my mom’s room, I was looking at the box more intently and saw it was from Fan Gamer! And the item inside was in fact the E Tank Mug!

Having gone home as my CBC was normal and my mom was discharged (her tests are normal, too) I was eager to open up my care package.

E Tank Mug!
A USPS care package!? From Fan Gamer!? And look at the bottom, it says “EMug”!? COULD IT BE!?
E Tank Mug!
I like opening packages from the bottom, and this greeted me.
E Tank Mug!
OKAY! It is the E Tank Mug!!
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The E Mug is protected very well and I got a free random rubberized coaster; this coaster is inspired by the classic Megaman/Rockman Password screen!
E Tank Mug!
And here she is! Much like how the E tank fills up Megaman’s health/energy, with this E Mug my energy will be filled by way of coffee!

Having my CBC test normal, my mom being discharged, and getting this, all those combined made my otherwise bad weekend into a good weekend.

Can’t wait to clean this up and start using it. I love coffee, I love video games, and I love the classic Megaman series. This was the perfect gift someone like me can ever have. And to get it as a surprise from my best friend, made it all the while better (even if I already had a small idea what it was since he kept bugging me to get my pasalubong and the box had all the clues).

It is the little things that make you smile.

 

E Tank Mug!
Yes I pretending to drink from E Mug… It wasn’t clean yet lol. And yes, my favorite color is blue.

 

Til next time! PEACE!

P.S.

For those interested in getting this, click here! It will lead you right to the E Mug in Fan Gamer’s site!

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Getting Older and More Thrifty

As youngster I would often tell myself that once I get a job, I would lavish myself with items fitting my vast array of hobbies. These hobbies include and not limited to PC in general and PC gaming, action figure collecting, guitar collecting, and photography. I would often get lost in the idea of me earning salary just to spend it on those items.

But as it often does, reality bites, and now that I am here, finally earning my keep, I feel more compelled to save my money rather to squander about. It must be that feeling that you worked hard for that salary and you don’t feel obligated to simply spend it even on your hobbies, for which you know would bring joy to yourself.

I’ve had a bank account way back when, but only recently had it closed and joined another banking firm that I feel more at ease with. Now feeling more at ease, I was able to sample a lot of their promotions and functions; I get to more easily track my statement of account thru an app on my phone making it a breeze for me to calculate my earnings for the month and my possible expenditures (or even the allowable expenses for the month). This way I can make sure I save a penny.

It is quite a novel feeling; I know the value of money and hard work, but as mentioned earlier, as a youngster, I’d often dream of purchasing a multitude of anything that fit the bill for my hobbies, and yet now, that I am earning, albeit, not a lot, but earning nonetheless, it shatters my heart piece by piece if I have to spend on something.

Before, I’d have several days to contemplate whether or not I can justify a purchase, whereas recently, it can take weeks or even months before I can fully justify purchasing an item. This is apart from those devious impulse buys; that I have no control of at all.

This is all part of growing up (figuratively) I guess, and at least I am not that trigger happy person when it comes to spending (much like my sisters and my mom), I am more of my dad who tends to spend only when he feels he has to, and I appreciate getting that aspect from my dad. Now the things I got from him like his short temper and being short in general, I don’t appreciate, but ah well, life is unfair.

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So in a nutshell, as I gotten older I became I wiser spender and more of a person that loves to save his money. I still buy things for my numerous hobbies, but within reason. I don’t pull the trigger as much as I thought I would and it says a lot of how I have matured… even if I’m immature in other aspects in life.

Til next time! PEACE!

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