rewritethepast: (sad)
[personal profile] rewritethepast
Today, I got robbed.

You know what I lost? Not my cellphone (which is admittedly old but still is a cameraphone), not my wallet (which is admittedly ugly and old), nor my room keys (eh?).

Let me retell the story so that I will laugh at it when I'm old and my straight hair is pure gray. (Hopefully LJ won't crash or anything by then.)

I was in Robinson's Place Mall, walking towards National Bookstore with Joan's handouts (a Math and a Hum one - the Hum one being a short story) in my hand (since I needed to xerox them), when suddenly this tall dark-skinned guy holding a yellow sotanghon cup (with chocolately substance inside, oddly, not sotanghon), bumps into me hard and walks off at a fast pace. (My hip still hurts from it.) I feel something tugging at the papers (the handouts) held by my thumb at that brief instant, but I don't realize what happened exactly. When I come to, I enter National Bookstore and look for the photocopying machine. I find it, and I notice that the Kom handout is missing and it's only the Math handout in my hand.

Now, I didn't think of the guy automatically. I backtracked all my steps and found no Hum short story. Yes, I even asked Customer Service. Gaaah.

I dazedly go back home and check my things. Yes, the Hum short story is missing. My cellphone is still alive and well. My wallet is still intact with the correct amount of money inside. My keys are still present. My handbag isn't slashed. The Math handout is still alive and well (but unxeroxed).

I'm not sure exactly if it's Sotanghon Cup guy who stole the handout but I guess someone did at that moment. (Because I think I had the handout before I reached that side of the mall.) There's no other reasoning behind it, unless I just imagined the tugging at the papers or the handout vanished into thin air.

And thus is my first erm, experience of being robbed actively (I did get some of my stuff stolen in Pisay, but they were stolen while I wasn't around).

Waaaaaaah. I have a feeling my family will laugh at me this weekend. My sister told me that one is lucky if one survives a year without getting robbed in Manila. And now I have been robbed. Of Joan's short story.

I swear, my life is definitely odd, stupid, laughable if it weren't my life, or an indeterminate combination of the three.

And I needed to read that short story for tomorrow! :( It was the unedited version with the sex scene we must analyze! (I only have the edited copy in my Hum book, the one with the cut sex scene.)

Good evening 2007, this is definitely an odd year.

***

It's been a week and two days since you first texted. It's been four days since I gave you my final answer.

In three days, I'll make my final move. Don't say I didn't warn you, because it's been a long time coming.

Not that I think you read my blog or anything, but our mutual friend deserves an explanation. And I don't trust anything coming out of your mouth or thought of by your mind.

***


This is the second day I ate dinner with a skinned frog as my tablemate. The skinned frog in question has extremely well-defined muscles (except the back muscles) and some of the muscles are cut. It is stuck in a jar filled with an unknown mixture of formalin and water, and next to it is my sister's dissection kit (which I inherited from her).

I'd post a picture, but well...

Anyway, on Tuesday we studied the frog muscular system. Let me say this now and I know some of Intarmed will agree with me: studying the frog's muscular system stinks. There are so many muscles and they're all piled on top of one another so you have to cut them one by one to find the others and of course their names are all confusingly long and blech. Terrible.

A preserved frog's muscles are grayish-red, with emphasis on the gray. They were more reddish before we dumped the frog in formalin. They're stiff to the touch now (because the frog is dead), yet they still give one a weird feeling when you touch them.

Moving on. Since the muscles of a frog are piled up on top of one another, we had to cut the muscles of our frogs to see them all. And force open the frog's mouth. And stuff.

Do you know something about formalin? Other than it has an odd smell, it's colorless, it preserves complex organisms - or at least slows their decomposition by a lot, and if it gets on your hands they itch?

It kills your eyes. Trust me, it does. Since we had immersed our frogs in formalin per our teacher's instructions after the skinning session last Tuesday, bringing them out...

Well, it was a bad day for those with contacts. Or glasses. Or eyes in general.

I don't know how to describe the pain formalin brings to one's eyes. (Rather, prolonged exposure to formalin in vast amounts.) It's like a stinging sensation that sometimes goes away after a while but comes back a few minutes later ten times worse. And eventually the pain is so much and your eyes fill with tears in a futile effort to dull the pain.

Ma'am noticed our general suffering and told us to go out of the lab for a while if our eyes hurt so much that tears filled them up. We did. We used a roll of tissue on the table there (Joanne's?). We went back in after a while. And the cycle of eye torture starts again.

It would be ok if the topic was easy. But it wasn't. Muscles are hard to study. Especially frog muscles.

Let me recall some of what we did (paraphrased because my lab manual is with Ma'am). First, examine chin of frog. The muscle seen is the mylohyoid. Cut mylohyoid at middle and see the muscle fibers below. That muscle is the Geniohyoid. Cut the Geniohyoid in the middle. The muscle below it is the Hypoglossus. (I do not claim one hundred percent accuracy for the muscle names.)

It was worse with the legs. And the abdominal area. And everything else.

You know the hardest thing about studying a frog that was killed for educational purposes?

Apparently, they don't die alike. Rather, their muscles don't freeze in the same way. Our Bio lab group had three frogs at our disposal and they all looked different. I don't know, but it was hard to look for the muscles I could identify in our frog in my classmates' frogs because ours looked different (for one thing, ours died with its rib cage contracted, its mouth closed, its back rather stiff, and its legs frozen in mid-jump - it looked like it was ready to jump away, thus some of its muscles were extremely well-defined while some... well, they were hard to find).

And so we cut the muscles and searched for all of them, trying to ignore our burning eyes and sensitive noses (thankfully there were gloves that could be bought). Ma'am cut our frog's Sartorius (into half) and pointed out all the little muscles hidden underneath it (Sartorius is located on the frog's legs). I've had my muscles cut before in surgery (which explains why my right leg muscles are much thicker than my left leg muscles), but seeing our frog's muscles get cut made me feel like a scalpel was cutting into my quadriceps all over again.

Then Ma'am gave us all permission to take our frog home again. Since Joan took it last time, now the frog is on my dinner table in all its formalin-submerged skinless cut-muscle glory. I eat dinner with it on the table, and I look at it, and I can continue eating with no problem at all.

As I said earlier, there's a psychological thing here but I'm missing it by a mile.

[Note: Gaah. Spelling mistakes.]

[Note 2: Gaah. Spelling mistakes and grammatical errors.]


***

I attended my grandmother's party at a hotel in Manila on Sunday. Since my father is the fourth of fifteen children (fourteen living), this was a relatively large party. Thus, we reserved a private room for it in the hotel's famous restaurant. We have had the party at the same hotel and even the same private room for at least two to three years now, if my memory doesn't fail me.

Now, the thing with Chinese parties is that they like meals with many courses. I mean, there's the cold cuts course, the Peking Duck courses, the noodles course, etc. One of the most awaited ones is the Peking Duck courses because Peking Duck is pretty expensive (and apparently yummy - it's not a particular favorite of mine). We eat both the innards and the skin at these things, with lettuce to wrap them in.

So we ate. Noodles, Cold Cuts, Abalone, Peking duck skin, Creamy shrimp... then we get crabs and the Peking duck innards (served with lettuce leaves).

Since I was sick, my appetite was still very little. So I decided to skip the Peking duck innards and just enjoy slowly eating the crab claw meat. So the people at my table ate the innards with lettuce leaves and some leftover noodles from the other table (who had people with less appetite than the ones at my table). After a few minutes, someone at my table screamed and looked sick. We looked at her and she pointed to her plate, saying "May uod!" Our eyes widened and we saw something wriggle in between the noodles, the lettuce, and the Peking duck innards. It then fell to the ground, and we called the waiters and manager to look at it.

Sure enough, it was an earthworm on the rug. A live earthworm.

Note that this is a five-star hotel and a very respectable restaurant.

Of course, after that everyone pretty much lost their appetite. The rest of the evening was devoted to fighting with the manager, thinking about where the earthworm came from exactly (lettuce leaves, noodles, or innards), and taking pictures in the midst of chaos and upset stomachs. Being rather weird, I remembered Andok-san's STR project in 4th year and their denaturing/killing earthworms by putting them in hot water. I'm sure the Peking Duck was erm, cooked in some way, so how would an earthworm survive? (Of course, finding a dead earthworm would not help the situation any. It might make things worse.) I suspect the lettuce leaves.

Sheesh. This year is turning out to be one full of weird incidents.

By the way, since it was my grandmother's 88th birthday (reference: Chinese calendar), a special cake was commissioned. Goldilocks made it.

You know how much it cost? 4500 pesos.

It's even more expensive than my sister's cake at her debut, or my parents' wedding cake (with inflation taken into consideration).

I'm sure it was a nice cake, definitely a large cake (it had a width of 20 inches), but 4500 pesos is a tad too much.

***

The memories of all the fires I watched from the Pisay oval last school year came back to me in a flash when there was a fire at the Supreme Court on Monday. I didn't actually see the fire but I did see five fire trucks whiz past the Robinson's Place Mall heading in the Supreme Court's general direction. Apparently its Session Hall was the one with the fire, and faulty wiring might have caused it.

I don't know if this is a freak accident or if it was intentional because apparently some cases which are to be heard by the Supreme Court will be postponed because of said fire. I just know that when I passed the Supreme Court at around 9:40 pm later, the Supreme Court building looked very very wet. >_<

***

When Cybill, Joan, and I passed our College (College of Medicine Building otherwise known as Calderon Hall), there were a lot of media present - you know, reporters, microphones, cameramen, the works. We three wondered what had happened. We tried to observe for a while, but we saw nothing in particular.

Article taken from here.

Forensic experts conduct 2nd autopsy on Leviste aide
01/17/2007 | 01:35 PM

The body of Rafael de las Alas, the slain aide of former Batangas Gov. Jose Antonio Leviste, was brought to the University of the Philippines (UP) College of Medicine campus in Manila for a second autopsy.

Radio station dzBB reported that the body was brought to the UP campus from the Funeraria Paz parlor Wednesday afternoon, where forensic pathologist Dr. Raquel Fortun led the autopsy.

Lawyer Joven Lorenzo, who represents the De las Alas' family, was also present at the autopsy, which was expected to end 3 p.m.

Fortun had earlier undertaken forensic examinations on "Nicole," the 23-year-old victim in the celebrated Subic rape case.

Earlier, Lorenzo told dzBB radio an initial autopsy report showed De las Alas sustained a gunshot wound at the back of the head indicating treachery, which could upgrade the homicide charges against Leviste to murder.

Leviste, who surrenderd to Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay after the shooting incident last Jan. 12, claimed he shot De las Alas in self-defense. - GMANews.TV

When I decided to go to school here, I didn't think that there would be so many newsworthy things of this nature... I mean, there are protests here all the time (especially since we're near the Department of Justice, the Court of Appeals, the Supreme Court) and there are always TV crews and all but these are weird things. And I guess these things don't happen in other places.

Hmmm. Going to school here is definitely not boring.

***

I think I better stop now before my head hurts again. I wanted to write more, but I think I described enough med-related stuff for today.

Last thing: I miss Jman's entries. :(

Date: 2007-01-17 05:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] polayn-jap.livejournal.com
hehe...naaalala ko tuloy yung kwento ni mama...

nung nasa med school pa siya...may point na kumakain na siya ng lunch sa tabi ng isang cadabre (tama ba spelling? :P)...tapos nag uuwi din sila ng bones to study...so you know, freaky siya for some people pero once nakasanayan mo na, it feels normal na :P

tungkol sa robbery...buti nga papers lang ang nawala sayo...at hindi ka naman masyadong nasaktan...not bad for being robbed for the first time :D

hehe...jman...hindi na kasi masyadong nag-oonline...kung nag oonline man nag wiwiki lang yun... :P

Date: 2007-01-18 08:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rewritethepast.livejournal.com
Hi Pauline-san :)

Cadaver :) That's sort of creepy, eating next to a formalin-drenched exposed person. But I must get used to it. :) At least the cadaver:med student ratio is not 1:1 or 1:2, so I'll have someone to eat next to the cadaver with :)

Hee, we were told by our History 5 teacher that eventually when we get to med proper we'll each get a complete skeleton set (who will be our "buddy"). Sanayan nga siguro. :)

Oo nga, buti naman ganyan lang. May kaklase akong nanakawan ng PSP. :( Hee, Joan and I think the guy was confused or is a short story fanatic. Lol.

Ahh, ok. I was getting worried about him. I miss his entries, they inspired my writing style a lot. :) Nakakaaddict ang Wikipedia nga, naalala ko isang beses may limang oras ako nagbabasa ng mga ewang mga paksa tapos ineedit ko yung mga mali. =P

Hee, I forgot. I think I didn't get to comment on your post with the two dresses :( Maganda silang dalawa pero mas daring talaga yung isa - at alam ko ikaw ay isa sa ilan lamang na kaya dalhin iyon :)

Date: 2007-01-18 02:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rewritethepast.livejournal.com
Hee, hi Bea-san :) Haven't heard from you in a long time.

Date: 2007-01-19 12:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] http://users.livejournal.com/bea__/
oh yes! ;) im sure you miss me!:D
do you stil play?:P
or are you too busy studying! hehe kidding!

Date: 2007-01-19 12:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rewritethepast.livejournal.com
Yes, I miss you - there isn't anyone quite like you here =P

Not that much anymore, sadly. Evil studying :( Tapos nasira pa yung DSL...

Date: 2007-01-18 01:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] twisted-rebel06.livejournal.com
oh well. that is common-being robbed at any cost. no question asked. reminder: always bring a small bag or folder and cling to it like it was your wallet. =P that is what i do everytime i go to robinson's alone. =P

then yeah jman seems to be pre-occupied with some other stuff. =P

UP Manila is DEFINITELY NOT BORING. =P

Date: 2007-01-18 02:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rewritethepast.livejournal.com
Ah well. I've learned my lesson. Apparently money/cellphone are not the only desirable things to a would-be robber in Manila.

then yeah jman seems to be pre-occupied with some other stuff. =P

Ahh, as long as he's ok :)

UP Manila is DEFINITELY NOT BORING. =P

Yes, it isn't. Definitely. :)

Date: 2007-01-19 12:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] keedowshkee.livejournal.com
Yes, I miss jman's entries too :/

Uh...part ng cuisine yung worm ;]

Date: 2007-01-19 02:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rewritethepast.livejournal.com
Meep :) Hi Kido-san, I hope you're doing well over there :)

That's creepy. I know us Chinese have recipes for most any animal part (shark fin, bird's nest) but I don't think there's a recipe using earthworms =P

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