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liguified's laptop

I woke up one February morning to find my laptop missing a single key.

What? The missing part was the period key.
Where? I found the key under a chair after hours of searching.
How? How it came off the board still remains a mystery.
Why? Beats me. Perhaps somebody has a hidden obsession for period keys.
Who? Nobody’s confessing the crime. Must be the cat.

The nurse led me through a vanilla colored hall where several examination rooms are connected. She opened a door on the left and gestured me to enter.

The room has pink walls and I mentally noted that who ever designed the room has a good background on color theory. Pink is said to could calm a person.

Another door mirrors the door which I entered. I briefly wondered where it leads to. A pink bed rests at the center of the room and beside it is the now familiar sonogram. The accordion door on the right side of the room opens to a changing room.

***

The changing room is well lit and even has a wide mirror (no grappling with my clothes in the dark – check!). A pile of clean-smelling pink gowns on the wooden shelf (check!). Laundry basket awaits for used used gowns (check!). Ample space for my things on the shelf (check!). Satisfied, I grabbed one clean gown and changed. Hahaha! The one-size-fits-all, duster-look-alike gown did not fit me at all. It could perfectly hold a person twice my size!

***

I went back to the main room wearing the gown – I have no other option. I lay down on the bed. The nurse fussed around a bit, politely told me to wait for the doctor and then she left.

Me. Room. Alone.

Good.

***

I was glad to have that solitary time, even if it was only for a minute. It is a moment to take a deep breath and gather courage. To focus. To pray.

Pray that it wont be too cold this time.

What I really dread every time is the algid coldness of the gel. As it is smeared on my skin, I get goosebumps and my heart starts to beat faster. I really hate it. It was as if an unknown fear has gotten hold of me.

The pink walls, pink gown and pink bed did not help to calm me.

***

It has long been a challenge among designers to make hospitals homey and friendly for a couple of reasons. Many proposed patterned wall prints, certain colors, indoor plants, more windows, framed pictures and paintings, etcetera.

As I dumped my gown in the laundry basket after the examination, I realized one thing. Perhaps doctors and designers may have missed one thing. I have heard of stories of people remembering certain cold things in hospitals — the cold table, the cold knife, the cold clamp, etc. Perhaps something could be done about these things.

In my case, the cold gel. Perhaps, I just needed a warm gel to make me comfortable during examinations. Perhaps.

I will be going home to Iligan City next week. Since I will be spending most of the time there these coming months, I have decided to give up my space near the university to save money.

Moving back to my hometown also means moving my THINGS from Davao to Iligan. Yup, things of a packrat. Imagine, I still have those class notes and all the fru-frus from college (more than 10 years ago) somewhere in my room. Add that to these: I went through an Imeldefic stage a couple of years ago, I have this crazy love affair with books and magazines, and my wardrobe has a serious personality disorder. Ahhh, thank God I did not buy furniture sets!

* * * *

My father will definitely go ballistic if I ship ALL my things back home. I guess, I really have to go through my things and decide which goes to the garbage can and which to pack. Ugh, I foresee a long, grave battle between sentiment and pragmatism ahead.

I’m taking a break from work and study. I’m going home to wallow in my mother’s TLC. Here are some of the things I plan to do:
1) meet the specialists (to detoxify and gain weight)
2) bake, bake and bake (because it relaxes me)
2) study cake decorating (instead of … welding?)
3) dabble in visual art (because I miss my 10 year old self)
4) bond with my younger sis (we have tons of wedding preps to tackle)
5) visit my orthodontist every 3 weeks (I want my dental braces off by march)
6) start up a small business for my mother (i love the adrenaline rush in business planning)

OF course, the b-a-c-k-l-o-g-s.

the late afternoon shadow cast in our kitchen wall tells me that summer break is almost over. i will be meeting new, fresh-faced students as well as good old ones again. another set of lectures and exams to prepare, plates and papers to check. that daily habal-habal ride and lunch at marichu’s. i will be doing my thesis and many other things. but before all that, i have to spring-clean my carrel, prepare syllabi, check my advisees’ grades and attend the annual teacher’s orientation. and yes, hurdle this i must, the dreaded lecture on test construction (again).

summer vacation is just around the corner. perhaps this is the reason why i feel happy despite the hellish things that seem to creep up regularly around me these days.

talkshow host: masaya ka ba na lumipat ka sa (-isang TV station-)? wala kang pagsisisi?

naku! ano ba tong tanong na to. sino ba namang artista na sasagot ng “hindi ako masaya at nagsisisi ako.” sino bang gustong matsugi sa trabaho? kainis! bakit tinatanong pa ang mga ito.

yesterday was my birthday and for the first time in 31 years, only one person was able to personally greet me a “happy birthday“. Nobody’s fault but mine. you see last friday, my cellphone took a dive in some watery pot and drowned :p with it, six years worth of accumulated contact numbers and messages i couldn’t bear to delete. huhuhuhu!

to all those who really tried to contact me yesterday, salamat salamat jud. pasensya na. hehehe.

si claire the cat ang bumati sa akin nung sunday. dumaan kasi sa door namin at nakita ako. 

It is very hard for me to do something productive lately. My June-July arty-fartsy project remains unfinished, tucked beside my moldy bags inside the cabinet. Exams, papers and plates are starting to pile up in my already messy carrel. And the dust bunnies, well, they seem to be all over the apartment.

Youth in the Philippines as those who are 15-30 years old. Meaning, two months from now I will be officially counted as an adult by the National Statistics Office.Two months from now I will be turning 31. Pramis.

When I was in high school, 30 seems sooo old and ancient. But now that I’m 30 (and rapidly approaching 31) I don’t feel ‘old’ what-ever-that-is. Age, after all is in the mind. And for statistics.

Just don’t remind my parents that I will be turning 31. Pleeeeaaaaase…

Ughhh! Today is the ‘unofficial’ start of classes and, unfortunately for me, I still have a slight vacation hangover. Going to school felt like this:

I panicked when my right eyelid twitched again early this morning. I thought that this twitching which started yesterday morning, will just resolve spontaneously after a restful night sleep. But it did not. The eyelid twitched immediately after I first opened my eyes, even before my soggy brain recalled that I had a rather unproductive day yesterday because of the twitching.

So, I opened my computer (before breakfast) and searched in the web for the cause and treatment of this highly irritating muscular spasm. And as expected, I found several enlightening information about eye twitching.

According to one article, eyelid twitch is common and is of no concern (ok, no cause for panic). Minor eyelid twitches require no treatment as they usually resolve spontaneously (but it started twitching yesterday). Reducing stress, using warm soaks, or correction of any refractive error may help. Some ophthalmologists recommend reducing caffeine usage (this is easy because I rarely drink coffee).

Another article states that the most common cause of eyelid twitch is fatigue:

And fatigue goes hand in hand with stress. When the muscles that surround your eyes twitch and flutter, chances are very good that you are fatigued and stressed. So the remedy for a twitching eye is rest and relaxation. Not muscle relaxants, not pain killers, not chiropractic adjustments.Rest and relaxation. Period.

Cause: Stress. Treatment: R&R. Ok, noted. But this quite weird because this twitching happened now… now when I’m still on my summer vacation (today may be the last day but it is still a vacation). This never happened during the hell month of March! Come to think of it, I have a month-long R&R.

Yikes! How much more R&R do I need to stop this fasciculation?

****

TRIVIA: The medical term for eyelid twitch is myokymia. The eyelid muscle that is now in the limelight is called orbicularis oculi muscle. This muscle will twitch or flutter if the temporal branch of the facial nerve becomes fatigued. Twitching eye muscles are referred to as fasciculations.

****

I also stumbled upon an article regarding prolonged myokymia a.k.a eyelid twitch:

It (eyelid twitch) is often caused by tiredness and lack of sleep and goes away as mysteriously as it comes. However, sometimes it can be abnormally persistent and extremely rarely it may be associated with more serious nervous conditions such as multiple sclerosis, although I would emphasise this is highly unusual.

Since you have had your twitching eye for months, you might like to know that botulinum toxin is often very successful in treating this condition. This is the same botulinum toxin that is used cosmetically to remove frown lines in people who have developed furrows in their forehead over the years.

Lack of sleep? I bet my housemates will find this funny. But what in the world is multiple sclerosis? This sounds serious. (I have to check this out later.)

Botulinum toxin is also known as BOTOX. It is administered to the nerve that supplies the eye muscle to prevent the muscle from contracting. I hope that this twitch will just go away because I don’t like needles. Having one of my bicuspids removed by the dentist was scary enough. Ughh… Botox injections can be painful, expensive and offers only temporary relief.

***

I found another Q&A site about eyelid twitch.

Q. Your eye test and recommendations do not seem to take into account the use of a lap top. If I follow your advice for distance from my screen and height of the screen using the keyboard would be very uncomfortable. Are there any special recommendations for laptop and notebook users?
A. You have identified a shortcoming of laptops. There is no way to have both the screen and the keyboard optimally located. I do not recommend a laptop for extended work. If you intend to use it as such, I recommend obtaining a separate monitor for work at your desk.

I have been spending considerable time in front of the computer these days. With this article, I guess I have to turn off my laptop for now and allow my eyes to rest; eat breakfast, pop a Vitamin B complex tablet, soak some teabags and use them as hot packs. Relax. And perhaps some catnaps.

****

I will just set aside my class preps for next week (and blogging!). Que sera sera. For now, my orbicularis oculi muscle and facial nerves need all my sympathy and TLC.

The great plan, swimming with the whale sharks, was scrapped because my partners in this venture were (and still are!) very busy with their summer teaching assignments. So I just went home to spend time with my family.

And I just love my family!… they let me reign over the most coveted part of the world that is our living room. My domain spreads from the comfy sofa all the way to the TV, speakers and dvd player. I ruled there for two weeks wielding my scepter, the almighty remote control.

Yeah, I was the official summer coach potato. In two weeks, I finished:

Seasons 1-3 of CSI Las Vegas (archie is cute!)
Hana Yori Dango (parts 1 and 2)
Gokusen 2
Cooking Master Boy
Heroes (again)
Charlotte’s Web (a heartwarming movie!)

I have looked for a decent copy of Azumi 1, 2 and 3 among the ‘pirates’ but I just couldn’t find one. Too bad, I have been looking forward to watching these Japanese films this summer.

***

Now, im back again in Davao as a commoner/part-time slave. Back to inhaling whiteboard marker solvents and facing the earthly gods and goddesses.

I have been feeling extremely ‘artsy’ last week. Nangangati ang mga kamay ko… I felt I MUST paint even though (1) my watercolor tubes were already at least 4 years old (medyo naging granular ang pigments); (2) I have only 2 serviceable brushes left (#18 round brush and 1/4″ flat brush) and; (3) the watercolor pad was 2 years old (I bought this in case i’ll have an ‘art attack’). Super tindi ang atake, my creative ‘juices’ just couldn’t wait for a 45-minute trip to the art supplies store.

Anyways, I finished my first painting last Thursday…the first in many, many years (meaning 12 years or so). Feeling triumphant and giddy, I did another two last Friday and Saturday. Hay life… sana ganito na lang trabaho ko sa buhay… magpinta at magpinta.

Good thing I had this ‘art attack’, kasi kung wala, ewan ko na lang… magkakaroon na naman ako ng matinding separation anxiety. Dalawa kasi sa mga kaibigan ko aalis ng Pinas. Yung isa, mag-aaral sa Australia. Yung pangalawa naman, magtatrabaho sa Middle East. Eto… ako, iwan na naman sa Pinas.

pic_0334.jpg

Solis vs. Pacquiao Blaze of Glory.

Woooohoooooo! Manny Pacquiao won! Mabuhay si Pacman, ang pambansang kamao! Hanep si idol pinatumba nya si Solis nang tatlong beses.

Buti na lang nanalo si Pacman at lumamig ang ulo ko. Bigla kasing uminit ang ulo ko nang narinig ko ang Geneva Version ng national anthem natin. Haaay, di ba sila makahanap ng taong magaling kumanta ng official version ng Lupang Hinirang? Kung sa bagay, mas malalala yung kumanta ng national anthem ng USA. Heler! Saan kaya sya napulot?

photo courtesy of World Boxing Council portal

Note: This is the second time I watched Pacman’s fight (actually, any boxing match). The first was between Morales and Pacman. And it was a very interesting fight; Pacman finished Morales in just three rounds. The match between Solis and Pacman was a bit huhhummm… until Solis gave Manny a bloody punch in the sixth round. Manny, like a shark who smelled blood (his own blood in this case), immediately finished Morales off in the next round. Pacman won by KO. Bwahahaha!

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