Thursday, January 26, 2006

Scenes from the Subway

Two Chinese men yelling their conversation across the subway car while the rest of us pretend not to notice or be disturbed.....

A Filipino girl sprawls herself out over three seats, bitchin' aloud to her girlfriend about her boyfriend problems....she probably thinks I don't understand, she probably thinks I'm Chinese....

A Brazilian? girl with the most intriguing way of articulating her speech....I am fascinated as I watch her lips move in the tangential reflection on the window....if you want to stare at someone on the subway, that's the way to do it without being noticed......

Okay, this scene is from the Kipling station washroom, not the actual train, but noteworthy I am doing my business at the urinal, a stocky black guy yells into the mirror by the sink "Get the fuck off my face!"...."Don't you know how much these people hate you?!"...." They hate you like poison!".....I walk out bypassing the sinks, not washing my hands!.....

The rush hour crowds pack the train like reminds me of rush hour in Japan, but not as bad...people smile politely at each other as they try to keep their balance whenever the train screeches to a Japan you don't have to worry about toppling your neighbours over if you loose your balance, because the sheer human density makes it physically impossible.....

A couple "speak" to each other in sign language beneath a sign for the Spanish Language Center.....poetic.....I wonder how Spanish sign language looks like......

A slightly portly gentleman pulls out two McDonald's cheeseburgers....I realize that it's Thursday, double cheeseburger day.....I think back and miss the Tuesday BigMac days with Val, Hamid, Char, Mare and Mabes....Margaret would get my fries.....

A white lady in a long puffy-jacket sits in the seat located anterior and perpendicular to mine. I can't help but notice her disheveled appearance, she constantly searches in her pocket pulling out various items. As she does so, she stares straight ahead with her mouth ajar. I can't help but to stare, because as she fidgets in her pocket, she keeps hitting my knee. One item she pulls out of her pocket is a bottle of diazepam which she places in her lap as she continues to fidget.............

A huge fity-cent looking guy in army fatigue pants raps aloud acapella.....or does he have earphones on?.....oh well, I'm not gonna stare at him to find out......

.......I've learned not to find myself riding on the subway alone without some kind of reading gotta be staring somewhere and you can only spend so much time reading the ads on the walls and ceiling.....In an attempt to mind my own business amidst all the subway chaos, I've been losing myself in my books....when I can't take any more medicine, I turn to poetry.....I re-discovered a poem that I remember as a child, framed on a wall in my aunt's apartment....I guess a child can't really appreciate the words, but the title stuck with me for some reason....I appreciate the words now:

Max Ehrmann

'Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time. Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love, for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is as perennial as the grass. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.'

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Osteoglossum bicirrhosum

Here's my fish story:

My family gave me a silver arowana this Christmas. I named him Mushu No. 5, following in the great tradition of naming all my awowana's "Mushu". It was fitting, as Mushu No. 5 is the 5th arowana I've owned, and plus he was given to me in '05.....I have some strange fascination with finding symbolic significance in numbers.....there are, incidently, 5 members of my immediate family........ coincidence? ........ ya probably.

What happened to the other Mushus is an interesting tale. Mushu (the first) was given to me one Christmas by my good buddy and roomate in med school, Neil (Vernor Gregory "Totoy" "The Hunk" Veloso). Unfortunately as I was home for the holidays, Mushu commited suicide by jumping out of his tank. Neil saved his carcass to show me when I got back. He actually contemplated buying a replacement before I got back and noticed the tragic holiday incident, and so I wouldn't be disappointed. What a nice guy eh?

Anyways, shortly after, Neil and I went back to Carti-Mart, and I bought Mushu No. 2. He grew up to a healthy 15". He could hardly turn around in his 20 gallon tank, so I bought him a 75er and prepared it for the great move. Unfortunately, on the morning of the great move, I woke up to find Mushu No. 2 floating upside down in his 20 gallon tank. My Ate Linda told me that he sensed the imminent move, and didn't want to leave his old home, so he just died?

Well, I had a huge and empty fish tank in my apartment, so back to Carti-Mart to buy Mushu No. 3. Mushu301 The third time is a charm. And 3 is my lucky number. Mushu No. 3 grew up to about 25". He had a voracious appetite for live feeder fish. Mushu302 Mushu303 He survived for several years, and even survived an earthquake that half emptied his tank (we lived on the 18th floor, so u can imagine the swaying that went on in there during earthquakes). Unfortuanately Mushu No. 3 didn't survive "the revenge of the feeder fish". I was very busy at the time going on duty every 3 days in the hospital, so I just dumped a whole bunch of feeders in his tank so he wouldn't go hungry. Some of the feeders died and clouded up the water. Mushu No. 3 didn't like those conditions, and soon he wasn't able to fight off the remaining feeders who started biting him. They eventually killed him :(

I didn't know Mushu No. 4 for very long. Shortly after getting him, I went home to Canada for the holidays. During that time, the maids cleaned out his tank. Apparently, he jumped into the toilet and swam away to freedom.

So that brings us to Mushu No. 5. Mushuno5 He is currently 6.5" long and lives in a 20 gallon tank. His diet consists of live minows, but he also likes dried pellets. I've placed him in a central room in the house, on the eastern side.....for good feng shui. Arowanas are lucky (especially if they're given to you as per Neil) because they look like smaller incarnations of the lucky dragon....hence the name Dragon Fish....they actually come to us from the Jurassic age, changing little since that time, thus giving us a glimpse into prehistoric aquatic fauna....I'll keep you posted on his progress.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

For Tu Anh

Sonnet XLIII

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday's
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints,—I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life!—and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

Angelo de los Angeles ~ Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Auld Lang Syne

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne?
For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet
For auld lang syne.


Should old acquaintances be forgotten
And never be remembered?
Should old acquaintances be forgotten
and days long ago.
For days long ago, my dear,
For days long ago
We'll drink a cup of kindness yet
For days long ago!

Wow time flies when you're having fun....For me, 2005 was a year of new beginnings, new friends, new endevours, a new nephew....i re-discovered friendster....and discovered blogging....I finally met my soulmate....she inspired me to write my very first blog which spoke of my journey to find her....she thinks blogs are gay......I think they're therapeutic and mildly entertainng....providing symptomatic relief of my frequent episodes of insomnia....and providing a conduit for my closeted exhibitionist tendencies and voyeuristic leanings.....anyways, aside from Char, and maybe Maricel, I don't think anybody really reads what I write in this thing! I must apoloize for those annoying "Angelo has updated his blog" can turn off that friendster feature you anyways, to my 2 readers I would like to wish you a:

God Bless