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Archive for August, 2012

What are the worst lines you can hear from a doctor when you are partially anesthetized in the surgery room?

“Oh oh…”

“What is that?”

“Quick, quick, pass me the XXX (some precision surgical tools)!”

“I can’t see…”

“Can you call Doctor XXX in?  Tell him it’s urgent.”

“Where the hell is my cigarette?”

“Where is the electricity?”

“Houston, we have a problem.”

I went for my first dental implants yesterday with a dental surgeon from a referral.  As part of my obsessive character that’s known as a control freak,  I had done plenty of research over the past few days about all there is to dental implants.  At the clinic, I still went through the details of the solution, procedures and all the questions I had gathered from my research, with the surgeon, extensively.  All of a sudden I felt like I was doing a feature interview on TV news, and I constructed my questions logically, using analogies to provoke interests.  It didn’t take a surgeon to figure that I was nervous.  Very nervous.

I’m sure I’m not the only one.  The moment you feel you are completely helpless and at the mercy of someone you barely know is a daunting reality.  It’s not my first time having surgery, but last time there was no time for me to do any thinking.  It was an emergency operation, and the doctors unanimously told me there was only one solution.  One route, one way, and it had to be there and then, right away.  In about 3 hours, I was wheeled into the surgery room.  I didn’t even have time to panic or feel anything.  The first things I did were to call my family, my insurance agent, text my office and cancelled my travel bookings.  With these as my last words, I woke up a few hours later with a status report available for me.

This time, though much less complicated or life threatening, there could be multiple routes toward a destination.  There could be risks, complications, what-if scenarios, and a bunch of uncertainties, even after I have done all the research and all the detailed explanations provided by my surgeon prior to the procedure.

Worst yet, is the partial anesthesia part.  You don’t feel pain (thank goodness), but you are wildly aware of what’s going on around you.  I couldn’t see anything because my face and eyes are covered, but I could hear every sentence, instruction and finding of the surgeon along with his helpful assistants.

“Huh… Where are the tooth roots?”

What’s happening?  I don’t like questions.  Questions mean uncertainty, and uncertainty means this highly trained surgeon doesn’t know what to do.  That’s not good.

“There isn’t even bone graft.  Get me bone graft!”  Then the assistant repeated the request through what I imagined to be an intercom system.

Bone graft.  I think I remember reading about it.  The surgeon didn’t prepare me for this in our pre-surgery discussion.  Wait, my research tells me that replacement bone graft is generally taken from the patient’s other body parts!  Is he going to saw into my jawbone or somewhere for such?  Help!

What kills your spirit is always the fear, agony, pain, late nights tossing and turning, financial burden etc., much more so than the illness or physical conditions you are actually facing.  And I’m known to be a paranoid in areas that are out of my personal control.  Hearing such questions or orders sure doesn’t help in my immobilized but conscious state.

Luckily, the operation was over in less than 40 minutes, with the surgeon reporting that the procedure was completed successfully with no complications, and subsequent steps to be continued in the next few months.  He also told me he implanted cow’s bone graft on one of my implants.  Don’t be fooled by thinking it’s something you use to make delicious beef soup.  This bone graft is one pricey item that is life-saving.  I have never been a big fan of beef or steaks, and maybe that’s how they thank me.

On top of all the other wonders in life, I now have a new respect for cows.  “Moo…..”

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Comfort food is a fabulous term.  It is broad enough to let each of us define what it is according to our personal tastes and experiences, while at the same time graphic enough to depict the cause as well as the result, i.e., a desire of comfortness.

It’s the choice where you keep returning to even if you have the luxury to consume the most exquisite and exotic cuisines of the world.  It’s one of those nights when you just don’t want to dress up for fancy restaurants and pretentious table manners after a long hard week of work and traveling.  It’s not only the food itself, but also the state of mind that you have attached to the pursuit and consumption of such.  It’s a beautiful and satisfying craving, along with soothing emotional thoughts.

It’s highly individualized, though one can generally find some consensus choices in each culture.  Evidently, a lot of these choices involve sugar, candies, desserts, foods that are deep-fried and filling, or generally anything with strong salt and flavoring that tickles our taste buds.   And why is that?  It’s the kind of food which we craved for when we were young, often prohibited by our parents, and at the time when healthy eating wasn’t the tiniest bit of our concerns.

Eating is one of our most primary sensory forms aside from the obvious need to stay alive.  Aside from the taste and texture of what we put into our mouths, the state of mind around us at the time is a compelling memory.  The steamy soothing bowl of noodles at 4am in my dormitory room has created a lasting impression on – you know what – instant noodles.  I remember my days abroad in a cold lonely night with my books and the tiniest black and white TV, and an empty stomach resulted from unheard of supper times of 5pm.  That remains to be my comfort food until today.  It’s actually my “friend” then.  It’s where I was, what I was doing, and how I was feeling at the time of consumption that makes it my personal choice.

Comfort food is like music.  You love certain oldies because it reminds you of whom you were loving and accompanying at the time.  The scene immediately pops into your head.  You feel the heartache, the tears, the joy, and the simpler times.  We love our mothers’ cooking because it’s familiar, it’s warm, and its unconditional love even though we know it may not be the most delicious or sophisticated cooking we have tried.  Regardless, we still engulf our moms’ cooking, with tiny tears in our eyes and like there is no tomorrow, because it comforts us.

That’s the reason why despite the tens of thousands of exotic and sophisticated eateries in the city, there are still smaller players that continue to provide simpler and fulfilling comfort foods to those in need.  Selling comfort food is like selling warmth and memories.  If there is a place where I can visit and recapture my youthful experiences and dreams, they have secured my wallet.

For now, that place is called home.  My Mom’s home.

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For the first 100 pages, I was imagining I was Christian Grey.  I immediately changed my mind after that and starting from around page 300, I found myself losing patience and skimming toward the end.  If not without a few daily interruptions in the past week,  I would have finished this worldwide bestseller in less than 3 days.  And no, even though I already have them on my iPad, I don’t think I’m going to continue to parts 2 and 3.

Yes, I’m talking about the renowned Fifty Shades Trilogy that has recently taken the world by storm.  The first part is Fifty Shades of Grey, followed by Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed as the grand finale.  I first heard about it from the Today Show one morning, and recently encouraged by a friend to give it a go.  I was eager to join the 40 million (and fastly growing) readers in finding out what the fuss is all about with this literary sensation that has swept past the Harry Porter series in terms of sales and popularity.

I’m positive that the essence of erotica lies in the imagination.  Everyone got something different out of fictional characters, and there simply isn’t an absolute right or wrong of whether the novel works or not.  At least, it saves you from a world of stress and headaches and transports you into a heaven of fantasies, 500 pages or so.  With that, there is only one single story line which even an 8-year old would follow.  Although this is not exactly the kind of reading material you would share with an 8-year old.

There was some suspense when the NDA (Non Disclosure Agreement) was out, and believe me I will never look at the NDA in the same way, at work, from now on. (Oh and don’t forget my “soft and hard limits”.  I will surely use them in my next negotiation at work.)  What is this dreamy, rich, handsome, charismatic, tasteful, young, hunky, “cocky”, self-made CEO with a heart to save the world from hunger is hiding from Anastasia?  Well once you find out Fifty Shades of Grey is actually 50 Ways to Play, the hype is quickly over.

I believe the fascination lies on the unthinkable, or a side which not many of us have crossed.  Like what some have mentioned, little did I know that I have been living such a vanilla life.  I seriously think sales at hardware stores around town would surge, and I can certainly see product placements appearing in the rumored movie version of the trilogy.  Yet that hype (and high) passes quickly as you read on, and soon you will be faced with 300 more pages of a highly repetitious story line of “should I?” and “should I not?” revelations.

Indeed.  The book has 79 “Oh My…!”, 82 “Jeez…” and 101 “Crap!”.  I thought Ana could only bite her lip and Christian cocks his head from side to side at all times.  Because the attraction is almost purely sexual in nature, there isn’t any emotional element to draw me to the end, undisturbed.  Yes I know you wouldn’t expect a literary masterpiece from erotica, but it certainly can be more varied and sophisticated in terms of the writing.  I know the following 2 parts will continue to unveil the 50 shades of Mr. Grey in probably a psychological manner, sadly I don’t care anymore as the main characters look a bit silly and stupid to me.

If you ask me the writing has pretty much taken away the excitement, or kinkiness, away from the book.  Nevertheless, the fact that the trilogy has captivated so many women around the world proves that there are so many of us who are dissatisfied with our sex lives, or to put it a bit mildly, way too vanilla.  It certainly is a topic worth studying.  I recently have the same sentiment when I witness the thousands of ecstatic women and men screaming at the 60 hunky, chiseled, 6-packed, jaw-dropping handsome, 6-feet-2 shirtless models staging outside the new Abercrombie & Fitch store in Central.  Yes, we all need a piece of fantasy every now and then.  And yes, sex always sells.

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