Posts tagged ‘UnfortunateEvents’

Memories of Paris: Strikes!

OK, we never got to see any actual demonstrating, and were out of the country by the time the strikes escalated (thank you, God) but we were victims twice over nonetheless.

(In the interest of witness protection, all identifying data has been removed from the following pictures.) 

#1: when we wanted to climb the Notre Dame towers


#2: when we wanted to visit the Musee d’Orsay


We really, really, really need to go back there one day.


December 2, 2010 at 12:54 2 comments

Whine time (but it’s my blog and I’ll say what I like, so there, hmph)

At home alone with a bad cold (I’d smack the so-and-so who gave it to me, but it seems to be sniffly season and there are just too many suspects). Pill count over the past twelve hours: one Fedac, two Zyrtecs, three Piritons, four paracetamol. I swear, when Mucus Inc is bullish, it doesn’t matter how much medication you take; it’s not going to make you sleepy.

Thank goodness for hot toddies, which make you sweat out the fever and lubricate the throat. Crucial components comprise honey, hot water and a nice healthy shot of whisky. I don’t go much for strict measurements, but here’s what left of the 50ml Highland Park I opened to make said hot toddy (Photoshopped because I can never leave well enough alone):

Lemon and cloves optional.

October 23, 2010 at 13:33 Leave a comment

eBay eDiot

I just started poking about on eBay a couple of days ago (yes, bags again, I admit it). It took me so long to actually start using eBay because I am, on general principle, wary of sticking my neck out and opening my wallet to a large faceless public arena.

Today I have even more reason for caution. I emailed a few sellers about their bags, and received prompt and helpful replies from most. However, I got one, from the other side of the planet, that said:

“Hello, Yes the stripes go all the way around. But I see you are from Sinapore and you have 0 feedback. Your address can not be confirmed we can not ship to unconfirmed address.”

Excuse me? What do you mean by “can not be confirmed”? You do not propose any attempt to obtain confirmation. Mailing proof is easily arranged, if you ask for it. I cannot confirm your address offhand either, yes? And I suppose you had tons of gushing feedback flooding your account the day you started using it. And either you took creative license with the spelling of my country in your implied derogation, or you simply couldn’t be bothered. But perhaps you think that, coming from an Asian country, I must be some retarded leper in an unwashed samfoo, squatting in front of a stolen laptop and gurgling joyfully in anticipation of cheating you.

I replied:

“Yes, I am from Singapore and I have zero feedback because I just started actively using eBay. It is perfectly all right if you do not wish me to buy from you. Thank you for your prompt reply.”

By which, of course, I really mean: go to hell, you effing bigot, and stick it where the sun don’t shine, which, in your case, must already be pretty full from both ends.

February 2, 2010 at 22:53 4 comments

Metal staples ain’t for eating, boys n’ girls

Now that I’m back to civilization, here’s a few pictures that I took while waiting for my op.
My room, with the magic touch-screen terminal. It lets you surf the Internet, watch TV, listen to the radio and talk to your nurse who’s five metres outside your door. The wonders of modern technology.
My first time in hospital PJs. You do not get to see my face because it looked terrible.
The robe I was gonna wear to go for the op. Yes, the kind that is open at the back. No, there are no pictures of me in it.
My very first intravenous plug. It is a TERRIBLE thing. The back of my left hand is still green.

And what was it that was causing all the hoo-ha? It was indeed a metal staple-like thing, black and two centimetres long. Observe:

My souvenir of the day. It makes a tinkly sound when you shake the bottle.

Evidently I need to chew my food better.

The process of getting the awful thing out remains a mystery to me, because I had to go under general anesthesia (i.e. sleep) to do a rigid scope to locate and remove it. I’d never been under GA before, but now I can tell you that it feels like this: one moment you’re blinking up at the OT lights; the next, instantaneous fast forward by some two hours.

And then I realized that while I was sans staple-like thing, I was also sans tip of right upper canine.


So I spent most of Friday still hanging around the hospital, waiting to see the dentist. He filled in the chipped-off portion nicely, but told me that because the canine is a load-bearing tooth, and the filling was basically clinging to the tooth like the tip of an icicle, there was a good chance that it would fall off one day.

Big sigh. So much crap just because of one small staple-like thing.

In other news, Mr. Manx’s vehicle, in a remarkable display of empathic camaraderie, picked up a nail in its left front tire yesterday. It, too, required a procedure to extract the offending metal prong.

December 16, 2009 at 22:59 4 comments

Patient for the day

I can hardly believe that this has happened, but I have managed to land myself in hospital today. As a patient.

It started like any other day. I got up, went to work, did the ward round, terrorized my medical student, scolded a particularly blur nurse. Then I went out for lunch with my friends, and that was when the problem started. I ordered rice with curried pork and was just getting done with it, when I felt something hard and thin in the mouthful of rice I was swallowing. The next thing I know, the object was definitely going down the absolute wrong way, and very very painfully. I took a gulp of my iced lemon tea. No help. I took another mouthful of rice to try to shove it down. Much worse. I started to gag and tear, and yelped to my friends, “Argh! Bone! Bone!”

Very quickly, my good friend Cornetto drove me down to the emergency department at Changi General Hospital. Both of us are spatially challenged in the extreme, but we got there after just a couple of wrong turns, and he dropped me off at the A&E.

Again quite quickly, they did a neck X-ray in preparation for my medical consult. After it was done, the X-ray technicians stopped me with an odd expression and said, “Excuse me, miss, but were you wearing a necklace or maybe earrings when you did the X-ray?”

I was not. I rarely wear jewellery and I don’t even have pierced ears. I asked why they said that.

“Because there’s something in your throat and it looks like a metal staple.”


I KNEW that sliced pork doesn’t usually come with sharp edges.

The doc I saw after that happened to be my classmate from medical school and he quickly referred me to the ENT clinic upstairs. The registrar there did a nasal scope (a yucky experience) and pronounced the staple-like object too deep for immediate extraction. I thought, “F.”

He said, “We need to get you to do a rigid scope for a better look. Under GA. Which means you need to be admitted now.”

I thought, “FFFFFFFF.”

I should not have worn my red underwear today. Red underwear is unlucky.

So here I am in my A-class room, where, to my delight, exists a computer terminal with Internet access. It’s quite fancy, really. I’d plug in a picture here, but I don’t know how.

My little op will take place at about seven tonight. It’s now a little past five. The wait is necessary because I need to digest the lunch that caused all this trouble in the first place. It would be great to have this damn staple out because it hurts like a bitch right now.

December 10, 2009 at 17:14 10 comments

Real-life bitching, or, pro-life-preserving usage of email

Excerpt from Katie’s Basics Of Bitchery For The Clueless:

“If you, in the role of bitcher, start an email trail with one or more fellow bitchers to bitch about the idiots you have to put up with at work (henceforth referred to as bitchees), it is unwise practice to then add one of the bitchees to the cc list.

“There are, of course, exceptions to this piece of advice. If you (i.e. the bitcher) think that the said bitchee is mentally dull enough to not know how to read or scroll through the email (which begs the question of why you cc’ed them in the first place), then you may freely proceed. Alternatively, you may be exceptionally thick-skinned, or simply not very much accustomed to using your brain; these, too, are acceptable exemptions.”

November 20, 2009 at 22:36 5 comments

The Boiler Room? No thanks!

I went to St. James Power Station for the first time on Saturday (yeah, yeah, where have I been?) and left with a very bad taste in my mouth. Corona wanted to go to The Boiler Room because of their live band, so there we went.

The best thing about it was the 50% off drinks till nine. No quibbles about that. I liked having my Absolut Vanilla and Don Julio, both on the rocks (which is how I prefer my poison, in case anyone’s buying), at single-digit prices.

It wasn’t the obvious inexperience of the bartenders, who “had to check with the manager” that the advertised happy-hour rates did indeed apply at eight-forty-five pm. The experience-gaining process usually involves much floundering in embarrassment.

No, it was the blatant meanness of the night’s live act that did it for me. The mean bit was preceded by five bum-shaking guys and gals taking turns to sing ballads from the past two decades. They did it moderately well.

And then one of the bum-shaking guys stepped up to become the emcee. He received a request from a hen party to invite the bride-to-be onstage for what I assumed to be a spot of good-natured ribbing. My assumption was wrong. The ribbing was not at all good-natured.

Let me give you an example.

Bride-to-be – let’s dub her Penny – goes onstage. She left home in T-shirt, jeans and sandals, but has acquired a veil and an electric-blue boa, thanks, presumably, to the hen party. Poor girl.

Emcee: Oh wow, look at you!

Emcee’s partner: (trying to be helpful) Isn’t she beautiful?

Emcee: (snorts loudly) Come awwwwnn! Pretty – OK. But beautiful? BULLSHIT!!!

Drummer executes drum roll to cue laughter.

Excuse me?

I tried not to listen as it plodded on painfully. But the next bit got my attention.

Emcee: Penny, tell us – ARE YOU A VIRGIN?

Penny: Uh. Yes.

Emcee: I don’t believe you! I’m gonna test! (Sucks his finger slowly, removes it from his mouth, and sticks it up in the air) If this finger doesn’t go in, you’re telling the truth. If it goes in uninterrupted, you’re lying. And if this can go in (makes a fist)… THEN YOU’RE A SLUT!!!

Drummer executes drum roll to cue laughter.

Right there and then I decided that I had missed absolutely nothing in not coming here before, and that I was never coming back to this sick and sorry place. 

The emcee never seemed to think for a moment that he was anything other than witty and magnetic. He never apologized to Penny for the horrible trash he spewed, and never checked to see if she was happy with how she was being treated. In fact, these were his parting words as she finally left the stage.

Emcee: Oh, and I luuurve your sandals. But next time, girl, make sure that you paint your toenails first, OK?

I fail to understand what my two friends see in this dump. It only made me angry, and possibly slightly deaf. I should have just gone and spent my evening reading my new Terry Pratchett. There ain’t gonna be a next time.

November 16, 2009 at 11:53 5 comments

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Welcome to my blog!

My blog-name is Katie but I will not respond if you call me that in real life because it's not my real name. Yes, I do practise virtual-world paranoia. No, I do not enjoy stalkers. But I do enjoy writing and having folks reading said writing, so welcome to my world. It's nice to meet you.

Playing in my head over and over again argh

I'll Have To Say I Love You In A Song (Jim Croce)

Book(s) of the moment

Hogfather (Terry Pratchett)

Books read in 2010 and 2011

Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows (JK Rowling) - 'cos the movie's coming out!
Frankenstein: Lost Souls (Dean Koontz) - ah, bugger, it's part of a series! Now I hafta find all the books...
Dismantled (Jennifer McMahon) - oh, good one
Tigerlily's Orchids (Ruth Rendell)
Shutter Island (Dennis LeHane) - reminds me too much of work
Holy Fools (Joanne Harris) - it's official: I prefer her scary books
A Series of Unfortunate Events; The Unauthorized Autobiography; The Beatrice Letters (Lemony Snicket)
The Little Friend (Donna Tartt)
The main books - 11 so far - of the Southern Vampire series; the Aurora Teagarden series except for A Fool & His Honey - that makes it 7; Sweet & Deadly (Charlaine Harris)
The Woman in Black (Susan Hill)
Full Dark, No Stars (Stephen King)
Room: A Novel (Emma Donaghue)
Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children (Ransom Riggs)
The Bachman Books (Stephen King)
Men At Arms (Terry Pratchett)
Carpe Jugulum (Terry Pratchett)
The Fifth Elephant (Terry Pratchett)
Beauty (Robin McKinley)
The Sandman, Vol 1 (Neil Gaiman)
The Burden (Agatha Christie) - her crime novels are waaay better
Snuff (Terry Pratchett)

Visit my photoblog!

I started my first photoblog on 3 May, 2009. Each post features one picture, with a little story of how it came about. Do take a look by clicking on: Manx Pictures
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Don’t say I didn’t say this…

Disclaimers: 1) I cannot help but bitch about work sometimes, but everything here comes under the realm of personal remarks, and nothing here is said in my professional capacity. Nor does anything here reflect the opinion of the institutions that employ me. This is just me shooting off. 2) Most identities have been anonymized, particularly those of folks I know on a personal basis. Same goes for my workplaces. However, commercial and public places and figures remain named. Otherwise some things just wouldn't make sense. 3) Links and sources have been provided where appropriate and possible. They are not meant to challenge anyone's ownership. If this causes any discomfort or offence, please let me know.


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