Saturday, December 30, 2006


Photo Theme. Join the blogroll. Visit participants.

This is probably one of my all-time favourite pictures ever. Conveniently, there is something very NEW in it.... how much newer can you get than a newborn, minutes out of the womb? It was taken on my last night of duty in the OB-GYN service during internship, and he is the last baby I ever delivered. Incidentally, this will be my last post of the year. So here's to endings, and new beginnings and endeavours in 2007, and beyond.... (even the photohunt banner is new)

Cheers Photohunters, wishing you a Prosperous and very Happy New Year!

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Thursday, December 28, 2006

Thursday Thirteen Ed. #3

Thirteen things I ate over the holiday festivities so far:
  1. Chocolate, in many different forms.
  2. Roasted lamb.
  3. Smoked salmon.
  4. Baked brie with cranberries.... I thought it was a weird combination at first, but it was goo-ud.
  5. Ice cream cake....mmmmm....
  6. Spring rolls.
  7. Baked dumplings.
  8. Some weird hor d'oeuvre thing that looked like popcorn chicken.
  9. Shrimp!...gotta get my cholesterol checked.
  10. This marshmallow thing that was shaped in letters that spelled SANTA... from Santa himself.
  11. Birthday cake.... my brother was a Boxing Day baby.
  12. Noodles, again in several forms; panist, chow mein, shanghai.... so my brother will have a long life.
  13. Turkey.
...festivities resume on the 31st, lotsa left-overs in the meantime. Happy Thursday and Happy Holidays Thirteeners!

Thursday Thirteen Participants:
Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!
The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

I love Aruba I love Greenland I love Lesotho I love Burundi

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Monday, December 25, 2006

et verbum caro factum est

.... et habitavit in nobis....
John 1:14

(and the word was made flesh and dwelt among us...)
may the Word be made flesh in your hearts and in your lives today, and every day.... Merry Christmas!

the Carnival of Christmas II is up here!


Saturday, December 23, 2006

A Happy Festivus For the Rest of Us!

My family doesn't believe in celebrating Festivus, but we do believe in Seinfeld! This year I decided to start some Festivus traditions of our own. So here is our Festivus pole:Thank you to my sweetie Tu Anh for lending me a pole from her store. If you're not a Seinfeld devotee, Festivus is a holiday started by Frank Constanza, George's dad. It was meant to be a non-denominational holiday, to fly in the face of the commercialism that has overtaken Christmas. Here is an excerpt from the episode "The Strike" that aired in 1997, which explains how Festivus began (a reading from the book of Seinology):

JERRY: Happy Festivus!

KRAMER: What's Festivus?

JERRY: When George was growing up..

GEORGE: (Interrupting) No!

JERRY: His father..

GEORGE: Stop it! It's nothing. It's a stupid holiday my father invented. It doesn't exist!

(Elaine enters while George is exiting)

ELAINE: Happy Festivus, Georgie.

(George leaves yelling out "God!")

KRAMER: Frank invented a holiday? He's so prolific!

later that day in the H&H Bagel Shop......

FRANK: Kramer, I got your message. I haven't celebrated Festivus in years! What is your interest?

KRAMER: Well, just tell me everything, huh?

FRANK: Many Christmases ago, I went to buy a doll for my son. I reached for the last one they had, but so did another man. As I rained blows upon him, I realized there had to be another way.

KRAMER: What happened to the doll?

FRANK: It was destroyed. But out of that a new holiday was born … a Festivus for the rest of us!

KRAMER: That must've been some kind of doll.

FRANK: She was.
LOL!!!!! Awesome show!

According to Festivus tradition, aside from the Festivus pole, the evening should include the following rituals: Airing of Greivances and the Feats of Strength. (another reading from the book of Seinology):
FRANK: And at the Festivus dinner, you gather your family around, and you tell them all the ways they have disappointed you over the past year.

KRAMER: Is there a tree?

FRANK: No. Instead, there's a pole. It requires not decoration. I find tinsel distracting.

KRAMER: Frank, this new holiday of yours is scratching me right where I itch.

FRANK: Let's do it then! Festivus is back! I'll get the pole out of the crawl space.
later at Festivus dinner.....
FRANK: Welcome, new comers. The tradition of Festivus begins with the airing of grievances. I got a lot of problems with you people! And now you're gonna hear about it! You, Kruger. My son tells me your company stinks!

GEORGE: Oh, God.

FRANK: (To George) Quiet, you'll get yours in a minute. Kruger, you couldn't smooth a silk sheet if you had a hot date with a babe.. I lost my train of thought.
and later still.....
FRANK: And now as Festivus rolls on, we come to the feats of strength.

GEORGE: Not the feats of strength..

FRANK: This year, the honor goes to Mr. Kramer.

KRAMER: Uh-oh. Oh, gee, Frank, I'm sorry. I gotta go. I have to work a double shift at H&H.

JERRY: I thought you were on strike?

KRAMER: Well, I caved. I mean, I really had to use their bathroom. Frank, no offence, but this holiday is a little (makes a series of noises) out there.

GEORGE: Kramer! You can't go! Who's gonna do the feats of strength?

(Exit Kramer)

KRUGER: (Sipping liquor from a flask) How about George?

FRANK: Good thinking, Kruger. Until you pin me, George, Festivus is not over!

GEORGE: Oh, please, somebody, stop this!

FRANK: (Taking off his sweater) Let's rumble!

(Cuts to an outside view of the Costanza's house)

ESTELLE: I think you can take him, Georgie!

GEORGE: Oh, come on! Be sensible.

FRANK: Stop crying, and fight your father!

GEORGE: Ow! .. Ow! I give, I give! Uncle!

FRANK: This is the best Festivus ever!
I don't think my mother would appreciate it if we pulled this at Christmas dinner :)

Happy Festivus Everybody!!



You would think, from looking at this picture, that I took a can of spray paint and made some LINES so I could take a picture for today's Photohunt theme. But I assure you, this is a natural formation. I took this at the Cheltenham Badlands last October. I probably blog about this place far too much, but I can't help it. I'm so smitten by the place and it's only 20 mins from home, so I visit a lot. About a hundred years ago, farmers cleared this land, but when they realized the earth was not arable, they abandoned it. Over the years, the elements have formed the undulating pattern we see today. The earth of the Cheltenham Badlands is rich in iron, hence the red colour. And now, to the lines.... they represent what is believed to have been circulating groundwater. The water of these streams reacted with the iron in the soil to form oxidized iron, which is grayish in colour.

I've contemplated this land formation many times, and it has made me think of how Humankind has been plowing lines into the face of the Earth for centuries, sometimes in harmony with creation, but most of the time not..... The badlands also remind me of the many times when I've realized that I've made mistakes drawing lines in my own life, and when faithfully abandoning them to the Creator's hands, my mistakes are transformed into a thing of beauty.....
Happy Photohunting Folks and a very Merry Christmas!

TECHNORATI TAGS: cheltenham badlands, , , ,

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Thursday Thirteen Edition 2

Thirteen medical conditions I have, had, thought I had, or think I have or will have:
  1. Perennial Allergic Rhinitis (have) - my nasal passages get inflammed and almost close up, it feels like I'm drowning when it gets really bad!
  2. Acne Vulgaris (had) - I guess we've all had a pimple here and there during puberty....why does it have to be called Acne? It's such an ugly word...ACNE, ACNE... it's like a curse word if you ask me.... can't we just call it pimplitis or something other than ACNE....
  3. Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (have) - just a mild case, need to lay off the caffeine and chocolates.
  4. Myopia (have) - a.k.a. nearsightedness, I love my glasses, even working in a LASIK clinic didn't convince me to abandon my glasses.
  5. Cholelithiasis (thought I had) - a.k.a. gallbladder stones. I had an ultrasound of my gallbladder and I'm clear!
  6. Ankylosing Spondylitis (think I have) - a joint disease that affects mainly the spine, I have a positive family history.
  7. Hypertension (will have) - strong family history and already have it to some degree, too much coffee and stress.
  8. Diabetes Mellitus (will have) - strong family history.
  9. Osteoarthritis (think I have) - you don't have to be that old to have it...
  10. Plantar Fascitis (have off and on)- foot and heel pain. I got it from running and standing for long periods of time (in the O.R.)
  11. TMJ (had) - got my wisdom teeth out, and it cleared up.
  12. Hyperthyroidism (thought I had) - turns out it was just really hot in the Philippines, and I was drinking too much coffee....
  13. Hypochondriasis (for sure I have) - you must have seen this coming, and trust me, there's more than just 13.... Luckily (for the doctor), I hate going to the doctor.....
Happy Thirteening TTers! Bon Sante!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!
The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!


Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Wordless Wednesday III

Disclaimer: no animals were harmed or intoxicated in the taking of this picture.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Double Tagged!

I just got tagged by Roman, and Cat.

Here goes for Roman's tag. Sorry, I've been studying, so please pardon the content:

"This is what occurs during exercise. As skeletal muscle vessels dilate, the increase in cardiac output prevents a drop in blood pressure. If cardiac output rises more than the decrease in TPR, blood pressure will actually rise."

"Kaplan USMLE Step 1 Review - Physiology"
Robert B. Dunn et al.

Here are the rules/requirements -
1. Grab the book closest to you.
2. Open to page 123, go down to the 4th sentence.
3. Post the text of the following 3 sentences on your blog.
4. Name of the book and the author.
5. Tag three people of your own.... I'd like to tag Ghee, Sasha, and Toe (sorry ladies, but I thought this was a pretty fun tag, please don't feel obliged to play :D )

And for Cat's Tag:

  1. I'm lactose intolerant.
  2. I like to run.
  3. I want to live near water.
  4. I don't swim very well.
  5. I've SCUBAed with sharks.
And the rules:
1. It needs only be 5 things not many people know about you,
2. which you post and tag 5 other...

Sorry but I don't have 5 more people to tag hehe!


Sunday, December 17, 2006

Gaudete Sunday

I just thought that I would share this: I went to mass by myself tonight.... I decided to attend the youth service because I'm always amazed and inspired by the enthusiasm of the young people at my church. They infuse a millennia's old tradition with modern Christian rock, and it adds a different kind of depth that speaks to someone of my generation. From the mouths of babes came the words of a song that spoke to me tonight, I'd like to share it in case anyone needs to hear it as I needed to hear it:

Who am I?
That the Lord of all the earth,
Would care to know my name,
Would care to feel my hurt.
Who am I?
That the bright and morning star,
Would choose to light the way,
For my ever wandering heart.

Not because of who I am,
But because of what you've done.
Not because of what I've done,
But because of who you are.

I am a flower quickly fading,
Here today and gone tomorrow,
A wave tossed in the ocean,
A vapor in the wind.
Still you hear me when I'm calling,
Lord, you catch me when I'm falling,
And you've told me who I am.
I am yours.
I am yours.

Who am I?
That the eyes that see my sin
Would look on me with love
And watch me rise again.
Who am I?
That the voice that calmed the sea,
Would call out through the rain,
And calm the storm in me.
I am yours.
I am yours.

Whom shall I fear?
Whom shall I fear?
'Cause I am yours.
I am yours.
(Mark Hall of Casting Crowns)
Click here to listen

It's a song I've heard before, but tonight it cut through me like a punch in the stomach. I could feel the overwhelming sensation of my insides being yanked back to a place from which I did not realize I had wandered. A place of peace and indescribable joy, and I heard that voice which I have heard so many times before telling me to be still because it is a place of safety.

It's the third week of Advent, gaudete is Latin for rejoice. We light the pink candle as a sign of joyful excitement that Christ's mass is drawing ever nearer. I've felt that joy tonight and if I can share it with just one other person, this post will not be in vain.....

Saturday, December 16, 2006



I found this week's theme a bit of a challenge. I finally found a pic that is "ANNOYING" on several different levels. It is a picture of Nermal's daily morning "annoy the human so that he'll wake up and feed me" ritual. It begins, as can be seen in the picture, with him lightly petting the human's face. He will then sit back and observe the human's reaction. He will continue to do this until the human either awakens, or turns their face away. If the human turns away, Nermal will proceed to pet the human's head, then push on the human's head. If the pushing is not sufficient to awaken the human, he will delicately dig a single claw into the human's scalp. This usually results in a yell from the human, he know's to try this only once. Nermal's final recourse is to continually lick the human's scalp. This usually does the trick, unless it is the weekend and the human needs to sleep which case, the human buries their head under the covers or a pillow. Nermal understands this and will go back to sleep for another hour or so, after which the whole ritual is repeated again. The ritual ends with the human demanding that Nermal give him 5 or a high 5 before said human gets up. Nermal does not hesitate to comply.

My hair in this picture is also annoyingly too long, and it also annoys me that someone would take this picture while I was sleeping.

Happy Photohunting Folks!


Thursday, December 14, 2006

Thirteen Things About Meme?

Shoshana invited me to play Thursday Thirteen, so here I am. I guess it would be appropriate for me to do my introductory TT on Thirteen Things about Me?
  1. My name is Angelo de los Angeles
  2. My first name is actually Mario, but I don't ever use that name... at least I try not to as much as possible, regardless of what my birth certificate says.
  3. Yes my last name is "de los Angeles" and it's spelled that way, don't ask me why.
  4. My name means "angel of the angels" in Spanish, but don't let that fool you.... I'm not really an angel, hehe.... like they say, don't judge a book by its title..... errrr, cover....
  5. I live in Mississauga, Ontario.... a suburb of Toronto.
  6. I was born in Manila.
  7. My family moved to Toronto when I was 4 years old.
  8. I'm a dog person, but I ended up with a cat because I found a cat who's practically a dog without any of the housebreaking requirements.
  9. Not married, almost got married in 2003, but let's not get into that.
  10. I'm the eldest of 3 boys.
  11. I am the shortest of my siblings.
  12. I don't smoke and I drink socially.
  13. When I'm not on my blog, I'm trying to study for the USMLE....
Well, with the introductions out of the way, Happy Thirteening TTers!
Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!
The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!


Tuesday, December 12, 2006

"The Joy of Knowing"

I was in Sig Sam; the science and medicine library at U of T the other day. Studying again.... can't wait to be done with this!.... my friend Caloy dela Reyna never said "good luck" before an exam, but always "God bless".... I need that good stuff right now. Anyways, like I was saying, I was in Sig Sam Library. As I was walking through the book stacks, I happened to glance at a book title which grabbed my attention.... "La Joie de Connaitre, Souvenirs d'un Geologue".... is that a medical book? I was intrigued, so I opened it up and was fascinated by the dedication:

"a la memoire de mes deux fils Joseph et Pierre rappeles par Dieu l'un a treize ans, l'autre a vinght huit. Avant qu'ils eussent accompli de grandes Taches. Enfants bien-aimes que je pleure chaque jour, mais que j'espere fermment revoir dan la patrie inimaginable ou il n'y a plus que de la joie." ~Pierre Termier, 1928

It made me think that in the entire library system at the university, there must be millions of books, and that behind the stories written on their pages, was the million or so untold stories of their authors. For a moment, this book made me think of two young men from France who lived a century ago, taken at too early an age, and "taken before they could accomplish their great tasks". A father who loved them deeply, mourned their loss daily, and "firmly hoped" to see them again in eternal life "where there is only joy". This book is a father's memorial to his sons. As long as it exists, and has not disintegrated into dust, someone perhaps a century from now, will pick it up as I did, and remember all three of them again. In the age of electronic information, there is something romantically eternal about a book. Je me souviens Joseph, Pierre et M. Termier..... et je suis heureux de connaitre un petit peu leur histoire.... I am happy to know a little bit about their story....

Perhaps one day, in the very distant future, someone will come upon this blog entry, and be as equally fascinated.... but probably not....


Saturday, December 09, 2006



In keeping with the infectious Christmas spirit from last week's photohunt, I decided to post a picture of the tree at the front of the house. It is, appropriately enough, decorated in RED lights. Happy holidays, and Merry Photohunting everyone!


Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Sunday, December 03, 2006


Surfing through the Saturday photohunt put me more into the holiday mood with all the pictures of Christmas trees and lights, so I decided to share some of my own..... (12/06/06 Addendum: I came across the Holiday Decorations Parade c/o Wystful1, in my WW surfing, so I decided to add this post there...)

On Friday night, went out on the traditional search for the perfect Christmas tree for the family. A family friend visiting from the Philippines came along.... it was her first time and it was perfect tree hunting weather complete with snow to put you in the Christmas mood.....
This one looks good.....and the finished product c/o mom and tita.....but hey, I did the hard parts like sawing off the end, straightening it, and checking all those lights to find that single defective bulb that made the whole string not work! Wish I could capture the smell of it too and post it.... it's awesome!

Other traditions:
Waiting for baby Jesus.....He stays on the Christmas tree with the Angel until Christmas eve.....Parols! (Philippine Christmas lanterns) new and modern....

old and traditional.... (I made this in high school and Canadianized it by making it out of hangers and garbage bags - i.e. glad kitchen catchers, in lieu of rice paper and bamboo.... it needs to withstand a Canadian winter!)

The Advent wreath.....The three wise men....visit the new born king....Ornamotion.... tree ornaments that move.
Peace on Earth:


Elves decorating a Christmas tree:

Santa in his sleigh:

Chocolate advent calendars..... Just 21 chocolates 'till Christmas. My mother still insists on buying this for my brothers and I. These days we usually end up eating them all on the same day. Incidentally, Santa still stuffs our stockings whether or not we're home for Christmas, or whether or not we've been good.... she.... I mean HE doesn't have a clue anymore.... we just indulge her.

Passing on the traditions:

Aiden gets his own tree this year.....Well, the halls have been decked and 'tis the season to be jolly. Outwardly speaking we're all set for the big day (well not the shopping part for me that is).... time to look beyond the external tinsel and lights, and look within. With a single lit candle, the Advent wreath reminds us that the season of Advent has begun. Advent from the Latin Adventus=coming, the church's season of expectant waiting and preparation for the birthday of the Lord. A time to re-examine ourselves, recognize where we are lacking, and reconcile ourselves so as to be ready for His arrival. In essence though, every day of our lives should be an advent.....
parate viam Domini rectas facite semitas eius
Matt. 3:3
"Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths"....


Saturday, December 02, 2006


But soft! What LIGHT through yonder window breaks.....


First off, I'd like to thank Leah for inspiring me to join Saturday's Photo Scavenger Hunt. Thank you also to Ghee for getting me to do memes, and a honourable mention to Frances, on whose blog I first saw this meme. And of course, to the head honcho TNChick, muchos kudos! Now to the picture....

This is a picture of the speaker's chair in the Debates Room in Hart House, at the University of Toronto. My study group used to meet there this past October (to study, not to debate). During a formal debate, the guest speaker makes a speech to shed light on the issues being debated. This is usually the highlight of the evening. Former speakers include the Rt. Hon. William Lyon Mackenzie King, then senator JFK, the Rt. Hon. John Diefenbaker, etc. Incidentally, the pursuit of knowledge and academic enlightenment, is often represented by a lighted lamp.


Friday, November 24, 2006

Moving On

For the past few of weeks, I've been spending most of my free time working on a backyard project that's been going on and off for some time now. It's getting pretty cold lately, so I'm here blogging instead. I usually work on it after a major exam, or when I'm fighting with Tu Anh.... you would think I'd be done by now hehe.... Digging in the dirt gives me an opportunity to relax my mind from the myriad of drugs, treatments, physiological and pathophysiological mechanisms, biochemical reactions, physical examination techniques, arrgghhhh etc...that I need to know. I have been able to contemplate less pressing issues lately, and it feels great. The effect of such contemplation is that I have something to blog about.....
photo © NC Wildlife Resources Commission
While working outside, I saw many Canada geese fly overhead in their characteristic migrating V pattern. I haven't seen any of them lately, so I suppose winter is very near when the geese have already moved on. But seeing them made me think of another winged creature that migrates south for the winter..... The monarch butterfly, Danaus plexippus. These little things are amazing. Like the geese, they've already moved on to warmer climes, but I recalled flocks of them over the summer. I used to see some gliding by the window from as high up as the 4th floor.

On a recent study break with my study group, we decided to go for a walk in a nearby park. It reminded me of ecological surveys during my undergraduate days, and re-kindled my love of biodiversity, so lets take a brief look at this interesting species..... About one month ago the first monarchs were sited in their wintering grounds in Mexico. There, millions of monarchs will stay, surviving on the energy reserves they built up over the summer until around March. Then they will make the journey north in search of Asclepias plants (wilkweed or butterfly weed). A single female will begin her journey with about 400 eggs. She would have been born in Southern Ontario last August and will only have several weeks to lay her eggs before she dies. Her offspring will be born in Texas or another southern state, and they will continue their mother's journey north. The first monarchs are sighted in Southern Ontario by May. They will search for wilkweed and lay their eggs. The grandchildren of our matriarch will probably complete their grandmother's journey back to Mexico in the fall; 3000 miles away, to a place they have never seen before, guided by instinct alone.

(last 2 pics taken from:

The sex-life of the monarch is no less interesting. When a male spots a female he will dive at her to direct her flight downward to the vegetation. He may even hold on to her body and glide down with her. When she has landed, he will join his abdomen to hers and they will proceed to do the nasty. Still connected in a frenzy of copulatory lust the two may fly up together to as high up as 75 feet. With the female suspended beneath the male, he may fly them up a tree where they will remain joined for as long as an hour. Whew.... kinky....

Pondering the lepidoptera made me think of a charming Native North American legend that I learned of in, of all places, the Philippines. It goes something like this: when the Great Spirit created the butterfly He gave them all the colours of the rainbow but no voice. If you catch a butterfly, tell it your wish and release it. It will keep your wish secret and take it to the Great Spirit, who alone will hear it. I learned of this because, as I've mentioned before, I almost got married in what seems like an eternity ago. Butterfly release during weddings was quite popular then. When I realized that I needed to move on from that relationship, I sent her a box of live butterflies to release on her own. A symbolic "I release you" but "I wish you well". Remembering this reminded me of how lucky I was in not getting married, like the geese and monarchs, I too have moved on and know that I am exactly where I need to be. I was reminded however, of my friends who were there for me during that painful episode, and having been blogging about nostalgia, it made me miss them. So here's to....

Kim (who's catching butterflies with me here)...


Joy and Steve (and Bambi)....

and Neil....

Cheers guys!

I think I've finally decided to move on from my Friendster blog, so if there are no objections..... I didn't think so...... this will be the last time I post there.