Wednesday, June 15, 2011

My Take


Someone I know is currently in the process of applying for Filipino citizenship. Yes, you read right the first time around. Somebody still actually wants to become one of us. That's what happens when, say, you're from China and you have been in the country for the better part of your life, long enough to finish medical school here, and now you're stuck with taking the Philippine Medical Licensure Examinations, one requirement of which is a Filipino citizenship.

He was in a bind because he had to have "show money" in the bank, let's say, half a million pesos, and processing, paperwork, fees, and a host of other red tape amounting to another half a million pesos.

I was shocked that if you wanted to become a Filipino these days, you'd have to shell out a million pesos for what? Poor healthcare coverage, a government system that's shot, a corrupt military that can't even defend itself, become part of the jaded, crabmentalized brown race?

Then again, we have to control the population somewhat, so I'm sure levying stupendous and exorbitant fees for immigrants is the way to go.


Well, it's been disappointing so far.

The sequels are there:

Kung Fu Panda 2  - It isn't going to sneak up on you on how cool a panda looks performing Ip Man/Bruce Lee moves like how it did during the first movie. Sure the Jack Black one-liners are there and some scenes merit a few guffaws and snickers, but you get the feeling that the awesomeness is being stretched more than it should have. Maybe the 1st movie was perfect the way it ended, but then again, a buck is a buck in Hollywood.

Pirates of the Carribean Umpteenth Time - Milking the series for what its worth. And more probably coming. Honestly, I haven't seen it yet and I will, eventually, on a bootleg copy most likely. After the first few movies, you can honestly get excited to see Captain Jack Sparrow prance around for only a couple of more times before he gets annoying.

Thor - I was honestly excited to see how the Hollywood bigwigs would portray the superhero but, disappointing again. Maybe I was expecting too much? Some people I know liked it but it was dry to me. Lacking in personality and engaging conflicts, I walked out of the movie a bit dejected. I think it should be retitled Mjolnir. It was pretty much the hammer doing all the damage.

Super 8 - Well, it was okay. A homage by JJ Abrams to Steven Spielberg and it showed. The evident references to ET and Batteries Not Included and Cocoon was there. Perhaps, a more heartwarming touch would have done it, but otherwise the best storytelling of the summer so far. Great kid performers and Elle Fanning is legit.

Priest - I didn't expect to be entertained by this unheralded movie, but I was pleasantly surprised. It won't win any filmmaking awards but it engaged me from the start. Paul Bettany will always be a favorite of mine and the idea of the priests of the Roman Catholic Church as vampire-killing zen, kung fu master machines wielding weapons is a pretty fun thought.

There is still hope for summer -- I'm going to get myself a copy of Hangover 2, but it's hard to get excited about a bunch of guys getting dead drunk and forgetting what they did when I go out with my friends to do that. I end up remembering everything but they don't. There's of course, Green Lantern, Larry Crowne, Transformers, and Harry Potter.

I may rant and rave all I want, but I'm still going to watch them. In the end, Hollywood works. Hehe


I have been a Detroit Piston Fan all my life. And always will be.

But these NBA Finals have been the best in a while. The best since the Detroit Pistons shocked the Los Angeles Lakers in a 5-game sweep in 2004.

It was the talents of South Beach versus the boys from Dallas.

After what Lebron and Chris Bosh did this offseason, everybody outside of Florida hated the Miami Heat. Nobody in earnest could cheer for them save for those who were used to cheering for winners and bandwagon basketball fans. With their trio, they were going to win games and anything less than a championship would be failure.

Fail they did.

And oh the joy.

You see, I am one of those who despised James for doing what he did (leaving Cleveland, the team that will forever be associated with him since the Heat will forever be Dwyane Wade's team) and how he did it (playing around with teams, and announcing his decision on "The Decision" all over prime time TV).

I could go on and  on about how the Heat classlessly handled themselves in this Finals like how they made fun of Dirk Diggler's wheezing, fever and sinus infection and foolishly enough did it on camera, Dwyane Wade's dig at Dirk after the 2006 championships, and celebrating like they won it all after game 1, but I won't.

Instead, let's dwell on the things that will make us smile:
1. The veterans finally get rings: Jason Kidd (after 17 years, and 2 tries with the Nets - I didn't like him then cause they went through the Pistons to get to 2 Finals but lost), Dirk Nowitzki (one of the truly great shooters to play the game), Peja Stojakovic, Shawn Marion, Brian Cardinal.
2. Rick Carlisle: He was once Pistons red, white, and blue. Congratulations to him for finally getting over the hump.
3. Mark Cuban: After trying so hard, he finally shut up and actually let his players play their games. Dallas is probably the only team in the NBA where the players tell the owner to shut up, and that's actually a nice problem to have.

And the best reason to be happy about these Finals?

The catchphrases, jokes, and gimmicks! Cavs for Mavs shirts are fast sellers in Ohio, the Loss of the Rings is pretty catchy, the Heatles versus the Last Roundup, you name it.

All in all, it was one of the best Finals in recent years. Let's hope that lockout doesn't happen, because I'm up for the NBA Draft and getting ready for next season.

Now....back to work!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Room Clutter

The pharmaceutical and medical fields are inseparable.

Which is why, I find it hard to not smile in return at a medical representative despite my heavy ward workload or even when I'm in a hurry to get off work and go home, and a rep stands in front of my car to get my signature.

But what to do with all the room clutter that's left when all the dust settles, is kind of becoming a problem. All these giveaways -- large bags with their brand name logos plastered all over the front and back, large paper bags, folders with product endorsements and prices, cotton containers, soap, boxes of tissue paper both dry and wet wipes, pens, bookmarks, prescription and lab pads, clocks, you name it -- are taking up a chunk of space in our small, err, cozy room.

I love freebies as much as the next MD, but I don't go out of my way to collect them. Because more often than not, these thingamajigs all become room clutter -- space occupying lesions if you will.

Well if they're still giving them for free, I'm just gonna smile and bear it. After all, these are free. And freeloaders can't really be choosers (I wouldn't go so far as to say beggars, but let's not seem all too eager to line up sometimes?). But I wish I had space to put them where I'd actually keep our room immaculately clean.

But then again, that just wouldn't be our room, won't it?

So I'll still take the bags and give them to my mom and wife, give away the pens as nurse bribes to carry out my orders first (we get weak-a$$ pens anyway, and I have this thing about using my own pens that can actually spit out a thick black line of ink instead of gray), the prescription pads go to whoever wants them, the folders and envelopes to the office, and the sample meds to my charity patients.

All's well that ends well. The dust settles, the clutter is gone.

That is, until the next coverage day.