Here we go again.

Remember the first installment? Well it turns out that nothing much remotely related to cleaning/tidying/clearing has been done since then…and to begin with, the task was never accomplished back then too.

*raises her right hand* Yes, I am guilty of extreme procrastination and laziness.

I thought, since I’m about to undertake this unpleasant task again (it’s unpleasant cause of my own laziness, I admit to that whole heartedly) it would also be a good opportunity to savour my surroundings before it gets spring-cleaned.

My table as usual is cluttered with a huge variety of stuffs and what-not. I have so many partners in crime here, so let’s do a round-up and a roll call shall we?

1. A huge stack of papers. Needless to say, they’ve been there since the beginning of time (haha!). Most contain my scribblings and scrawlings during sudden moments of inspirations in the middle of ward work. I have to be honest…I’m pretty impressed with the frequency of the surges of inspiration but then again, on the other hand it reflects how often i tune out while I am at work.

2. My Galileo thermometer! I was walking past this gift shop a few years back and I noticed this fascinating looking item. Here’s how one looks like:-

Can you see the lil’ colourful goblets floating within the main cylinder? Each of them are actually filled with a different coloured liquid to differentiate between them).

At the bottom of each goblet, there is a small disc or tag attached to it with a specific temperature reading inscribed on it. They come in intervals of 2 degrees Celsius (e.g. 20, 22, 24, and so on). I’m not particularly sure what’s the liquid encased within the cylinder itself, but it is yet another kind of fluid by itself.

How it works: – The thermometer is read in accordance with the tag on the lowest floating goblet. Should there be an increase in the ambient temperature, this would heat up the main fluid within the cylinder first (heat exchange till thermal equilibrium) and the fluid will thus expand in its volume. Given that the mass of the fluid is constant, and expansion of its volume (due to the heat) would then bring a decrease to its density. Now that there is a relative decrease in the main fluid’s density, the globes would tend to fall (as they have a greater density) and vice versa if the temperature gets colder. The tags functions as counterweights; each differ slightly from the rest in terms of weight hence determining the rise and fall of each globe in response to the change in the temperature.

The thermometer is calibrated so that each reduction/increase in the ambient temperature by 2 degrees would bring a change in the number of floating globes.

I thought it’s a really cool novelty item (and great looking too) so I got one. It’s been sitting on my desk ever since then. Nice.

3. A letter addressed to my faculty. I groaned when I saw it. The faculty mailed us this feedback form in the name of course evaluation and I believe it’s due for reply about 3 months ago. Oops. Thankfully, these kind of feedbacks are normally replied anonymously so…you know.

4. An opened packet of peanut snacks. Oh man, this is nice *proceeds to stuff her face*. I need to get more of these.

5. A mini wooden puzzle ball. Have you seen those 3D jigsaw puzzles with the pieces made out of wood? This is one of them. Once dismantled, you’re left with 6 pieces various angular shaped blocks of which you’re meant to fit them together to get a football-lookalike. This one’s a bit loose fitting already due to all that wear and tear after years of fumbling with it.

6. My stack of DVDs. It’s been sitting right next to my mouse pad and sometimes functions as a stand for my webcam. They’re mainly light-hearted stuffs ranging from a season of 3rd Rock from the Sun (which comes with a funky 3D viewer specs) to the classic Pink Panther cartoons. It’s a pity they don’t sell those really old cartoons such as Merry Melodies or Silly Symphonies. I miss Speedy Gonzales and Road Runner..man.

Wow turns out that it’s that huge stack of papers and the packet of peanut snacks that had been taking up so much space on my desk. A cheer for a partially tidied desk and a lot of groans for the rest of my room.

*takes a good look around her room* You know…people always say you can tell a lot about a person by the looks of their room. I think that’s true.

The treasure chest : the loot under my bed

7. A container of chocolate wafers. This, my friends, is the evidence of my one-time addiction for wafer wraps. I used to purchase them by the bucketful and polish them over the next several days. Pig.

8. A mini-mound of magazines. I am a huge fan of bedtime reading, and usually I’d just dump them next to my bed before i snooze off. Over time, this has resulted in a not-so-organised looking stack of reading material right next to the edge of my bed. And with me occasionally rummaging through the stack to find something relatively “new” to read before bed, this adds to the disorderliness.

9. My collection of Pokemon cards. I was starting out on the card game not too long ago and spent a bit on accumulating my collection. But you see, I’m not an amazingly huge fan of Pokemon so I think that’s why I lack the ‘oh my precious’ approach when it comes to stashing my cards. They’re currently separated to several stacks (each about 6-7cm tall) and bound together by some elastic bands. At one time, I was pretty serious on customising my own deck so I bound them together in their own categories (e.g. leaf/fire+water/ex).

It was pretty organised till one fine day I woke up late for work (ah that’s me!) and I tripped over the stacks of cards; promptly sent them scattered all over my floor as the band gave way. I switched to the lazy-ass mode and put them back together with no care in the world on their order…which brings me to the topic on why I didn’t organise them properly again since then. It’s a pain, owing entirely to my own laziness.

10. Empty boxes/packaging previously bearing IT stuffs. Why oh why did I still keep them?!? I could fish out the boxes for my webcam, speakers, PDA, etc. I think the reason why I kept them after the purchase was “in case something goes wrong and I need a refund so I better keep the box too”. Well lil’ whirlwind, it’s been a few years already and I’m pretty sure whatever warranty it was given has already come and gone.

11. A pack of some yoghurt/muesli bars. I remember buying this a few weeks back to bring along to snack on in between work. They tasted very bad. I thought it would be a good idea to carry some light food to munch on to keep hunger at bay and these bars did the trick. They tasted so bad that I’m no longer hunting for food after the first few bites. My appetite got a fright and left me.

12. Anatomy charts. Ah…this explains why my knowledge on the human antomy is failing me, cause I didn’t put this up on my wall that’s why! *laughs* Well I bought them when I was in first year; those days when we were all still so green and eager to pursue knowledge in all its brilliance *grins*. I’ve got two; one for the muscle groups and the other for the bones. Both ended up nowhere near the wall.

I remember back in high school we had this complete human skeleton in the Biology lab. We named him Charlie. Wonder how’s he now? *ponders*

13. The Analyst Game box. This is a psychological game which you’d need at least 4 people to play (the more the better of course). Before the start of each round, one person would be nominated as the Analyst where he/she would then walk out of the room momentarily; leaving the remaining players to draw cards amongst themselves to determine their roles. Out of all the cards being drawn, one would be the Subject card while the rest would just be the usual player cards (labelled as trainee).

The person who draws the Subject card would of course be the Subject for that round. He/she would have to make themselves known as the subject to the rest of the players (except the analyst). The analyst is then called back in and the game begins.

The aim of each round is for the Analyst to deduce who the Subject is. A topic card is drawn randomly in each round; each containing a scenario based on a particular angle of psychology (e.g. the psychology of love/anger/justice/etc) of which the Analyst would read out. The remaining players would have to take turns to answer what their next course of action would be assuming they are speaking from behind the eyes of the subject himself (including the subject as well). Of course, gender neutral terms are used and physical descriptive terms are banned – only insightful commentaries are allowed.

Any player caught giving obvious answers pin-pointing the subject would lose immediately (providing the analyst gets the subject correctly; if not then the analyst loses for jumping the gun).  If at the end of the round the analyst fails to reveal the subject correctly, marks are lost from the analyst and a new round begins with yet another topic card being drawn.

The interesting bit about this game is that everyone has a chance to discover how others think he/she works. Pretty insightful and funny sometimes to hear other players guessing how you’d react in a certain situation (by their answers to the scenario)…some are very close to home, others are way way off.

On the box itself, it read : – The Analyst: It’s like reading your friend’s diary

Not for the faint-hearted *winks*. Okie I was kidding, but it’s definitely a game where you’d have to participate with an open mind so I don’t think it’d go down well with a neurotic person. That’s my disclaimer folks.

.  .  .

Ah…after a few hours I’m really proud to say that I have indeed cleared up most of my room. Did the dusting and vacuuming whilst blaring some music so it’d brighten up the enthusiasm a lil bit (I did became a bit deaf with the vacuum and music turned on at the same time).

I hope I can maintain this nice and tidy state for quite some time. Should there be a third installment to this, I would be so ashamed.

Or would I? 😀

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Down Came The Rain

July 16, 2007

This composition is dedicated in memory of our fellow friend D. J., whom was finally laid to rest today.

Down Came The Rain

There you were,
At rest within the mahogany
There we were,
Where you left us so silently

A circle we all took,
As our final meeting took place,
But neither you nor I spoke,
Though none was the unfamiliar face

Serene and finally at peace,
We prayed as you slept
The day your bright spirit cease,
Came the day we dearly wept

Cruel as life can often be
When fate decides one’s pain,
A dream chained and no longer free
As down came the rain

So swift life dealt the card,
And sorrow followed your absence
Though your soul may have depart;
Your eternal spirit remains in remembrance

May you Rest In Peace.

-by lil’ whirlwind

In memory of a friend

July 11, 2007

I couldn’t believe my eyes yesterday. I woke up, headed over to my desk as usual to check my emails and notices from the faculty. Instead of the usual, came a sombre announcement informing us all of the passing of our coursemate; a friend.

I haven’t seen him in half a year since the after-exams celebration last year. He was being his usual hilarious self – cracking jokes about the then exams with quick wit and humourous banter. Chirpy as usual, but physically different. It appeared to me as if he has lost some weight, but we’ve never really gotten round to the reason or cause behind the weight loss. Nevertheless, I remember we were all exchanging funny anecdotes about our experience with exams whilst enjoying a nice meal together as a group at a Chinese restaurant.

One day; half a year later, he was gone.

He suffered from a gastrointestinal ailment not too long ago and it necessitated surgical intervention. The procedure went not all that smooth and there appeared to be post-surgery complications. All of these were unknown to many of us until yesterday when we received news that he passed away overnight.

The news shed light on what has befallen him, but then came the darkness.

The news came as a shock to many. One day, he was just seated right with us chatting and entertaining – next thing you know, he’s no longer among us.

*says a prayer and takes a deep bow*

Rest In Peace, D. J.

A walk in the fridge

July 7, 2007

I’m currently having a head cold as I am writing this entry. It’s really cold out here as it’s winter…I just reached home from dinner and for a moment I couldn’t feel my fingers.

I really miss the warm weather back home. Some may argue that it is more bearable being in the extreme cold as opposed to extreme heat buuuuut I still say give me the warm weather back home anytime, man.

The few things which I don’t really like about being in the middle of winter:-

Being an obligate marshmallow. Unless I would like to come down with hypothermia under 5 minutes, I usually would need to keep myself nice and warm and it takes no less than at least 3 layers of thick clothing. Well they don’t all need to be thick but I dare say at least one of it is horrendously thick and heavy. But then again, rather look like a life-sized pastry than to turn blue in less than ten paces out of the house.

As a marshmallow, you can’t really do cartwheels. It’s not that easy to move under all that layers of clothing. Suddenly you’re reduced to being this inflexible person with limited range of movement. And the rustling the windbreaker/jumper/cardigan makes when you move, it could sound like you’ve stuffed plastic bags down every corner or seam of your attire.

Things get lost amongst the marshmallow. Assuming for each piece of clothing that I put on, they each have 2 pockets. Since I usually wear about 3 layers…so we say 6 pockets at least? (not counting the jeans/pants pockets). Being a pretty disorganised person, I’d usually stuff my items down any pocket that I could reach first when I’m in a hurry. The pain comes when I’d have to search for them in the middle of the cold outdoors. Suddenly the phone rings and I’d have to rummage every single pocket to look for it. Usually by the time I’ve found it, it’s already diverted to my voicemail…not to mention the time it took me to finally retrieve my phone would also be the same amount of time where everyone within 10 feet of me to have heard my Genbare Goemon (a Nintendo ninja game) music looping. Hahaha.

You start to sound like chipmunk on steroids. My teeth would chatter and it’d feel like they’re gonna fall off. Sometimes it’s almost like your entire jaw gets possessed out in the cold; your voice is not coming out properly cause you’re shivering your socks off and you start talking rapidly through your chattering teeth. It may sound funny but honestly, it’s not if you’re the one doing the talking. Your face freezes up and my facial expression when talking resembles some horrendously constipated person trying to converse in between attempts.

The agonising head cold. Imagine you’re travelling in between areas, so you’d be alternating between indoors and outdoors. This is usually where a head cold would just suddenly hit you out of the blue. The alternating sudden change in ambient temperature is enough to make the blood vessels in our heads go bonkers. They dilate when it’s warm; constrict when it’s cold. Put this two phenomenon on a repetitive loop in quick succession and voila you’ve got your head cold. It’s this tight feeling across your forehead that you can’t seem to shake it off. Almost like when the fabled Monkey King got his head all wound up by the golden headband as a punishment for bad behaviour.

Oversleeping season. The best thing to do on a winter’s day is to hide under the blanket and enjoy the warmth. That’s the ideal but of course, there is this thing known as work. I’d snooze for almost an hour (my very bad habit) before I actually feel any urgency to wake up, which is of course very disastrous as not every time I could safely say that one hour is the maximum amount of time when I’d snooze for (hehe!). So what did I do? I’d set my alarm one hour earlier so it seemed as if I “stole” an hour snoozing before I pop my bum outta bed. Funny stuff, I know.

Lack of sunlight. There are less daylight hours during the winter, and it could get pretty gloomy. Imagine I wake up real early in the morning to leave for the hospital, and often I don’t finish my day till the evening about 5pm. It’s dark when I start my day, and it’s dark too when I’m done. Oh man. It almost feels as though I’m doing some kinda night shift job. Not fun.

Having said all that, I don’t think I would have appreciated the warm weather back home this much if not for my exposure to the cold. Often we would not realise how much of the value we placed in something until it is taken away from us. Funny how we have to jump over the fence to start missing the side we all begin with. But hey, at least we know. It’s either this, or we may just keep taking our side for granted.

I’m missing my bermudas already.