Thursday, January 28, 2010

TGI so not Friday

What is it about today? It's a Thursday, but it feels so like Friday; which shouldn't be unusual because for someone with my sense of time, messing up my days of the week is par for the course.

What's strange is that I am not alone in this mistaken sensation. Independently, different people have casually mentioned to me how today feels like Friday and they're a little worried that they might not show up for work tomorrow thinking that's it's Saturday instead of Friday like it should be.

And even more oddly enough, there are yet another few people on FB who have independently updated their status claiming something similar.

Coincidence? Could we be all so heavily worked this week that we can't wait for the weekend? Or have we so little work that it already feels like we're winding down for the weekend? Am I even asking the right questions?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A very civil (defence) afternoon

Time for the college to have its civil defence competency recertified. Part of that exercise involves having us attend a recourse in basic emergency procedures conducted by Civil Defence personnel themselves.

Such young boys they are, and having to give us hard-bitten, jaded, seen-it-all-before Education Officers an afternoon of going back over things-we-already-know can't have been their favourite assignment on the day's roster. I bet they'd much rather be fighting an actual four-alarm fire, risking life and limb and the prospect of a horrible crispy death than face being slowly and painfully flayed alive and torn to shreds by, um, us.

Nevertheless, they kept their composure, put up a brave front and on the whole did a reasonably good job of entertaining us with good, old-fashioned schoolboy humour -- and still got through to us on some new developments in the emergency rescue industry. Like, we got some hands-on with the Automated External Defibrillator (AED) that has recently been installed in many shopping malls and has since been the object of desire for anyone with fantasies of playing doctor in a public place. The device actually produces vocalized instructions (in English) to prompt the user on the correct sequence for its use. Still, it requires the user to have had some training in its use. The prompts are simply reminders, not instructions to land a plane by.

The other training modules were refreshers: CPR, basic fire-fighting, emergency evac and the mummification of live but injured subjects.

The boys showed courage in spending a whole afternoon us, a truly fearsome audience bent on making their lives memorably miserable for their pains. And they survived us well enough that I'm sure they'll show the same level of courage through hell and high-water to rescue me should I ever require their assistance.

Nice job, boys!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Home, Heart, Horizon

Home. Home is where I live. Home is where I have invested most of my resources so that I have a place to crash, to be secure in, to have a context outside of the rest of the world. It's a place that I can define in my own terms, where I can indulge at least the illusion that within a limited space, I am in control of my environment, and my influence holds sway.

Heart. Heart is life, the promise of continuity and the promise that life is worth continuing. Heart is courage, the confidence to keep struggling on when times are tough, even if it means adapting temporarily or changing permanently behaviours and routines one has grown accustomed to. Heart is love because we aren't alone to fend for ourselves; it's comforting to know that others can't do without us either.

Horizon. Looking ahead to the future. The continuity that stems from from the heart needs a direction and a destination -- somewhere to go in a roughly forward direction 'cos we really hate it when we discover we've been walking in circles all along.

Having said that, I'm not all that clear what PM means by "the mountain has moved; we are waiting for the mouse to come out," with reference to making babies. I have no qualms about moving mountains, and my mouse is always ready to come out, "mouse" being a rather modest euphemism compared to "mountains". Guess he's being a conservative Asian gentleman speaking about such things.

As for the babies... well, Jojo's been regaling us with tales of her weekend spent with half-a-dozen of them. They wrecked her Home, they quailed her Heart and they gave her second and third thoughts about getting Horizontal ever again, lest she unwittingly contracts one for herself. Jojo is not alone in this sentiment.

PM has his work cut out for him. You could say he has his hands full, moving mountains: "Home, Heart, Horizon"

Sunday, January 24, 2010

A wedding and five near funerals

Picked up an invite to Jamie's wedding on the auspices of being the spouse of her close friend at work. I also had the privilege of transporting a few of these lovely ladies to the dinner. More on them later.

It was good to hook up with Cammy again. Haven't seen him since he helped us entertain Madoka-san a couple of years ago. Also good to discover he'll be joining our industry when he finishes his PGDE. Anyone need a tutor in linguistics sometime in the near future? Let me know, 'k?

Our table, which sort of aggregated former staff of June's workplace, apart from June herself and Cindy... and the odd spouse.

Ah, about our passengers in M2. After dinner, as I was driving out from the parking lot, I overshot the gantry and had to reverse so I could slot in my complementary parking coupon. When the bar raised, I stepped on the accelerator a little harder than usual to compensate for the speed bump in front. But M2 was still in reverse gear, so we shot backwards instead.

I could see a BMW approaching in my rear-view mirror, and since backwards was not the accustomed way people drive their cars, I stepped down hard on the brake to stop and change direction. But it wasn't the brake. My foot found the accelerator again and now there was a little grey car hurtling backwards even faster towards imminent disaster.

From the backseat three terrified women were clutching each other, harmonizing in a collective "Ahhhh!!!" My exact thought was, "OMG, we're all gonna die!" Not very glam, but very common last words to go out with.

But for some unknown reason, the BMW had halted quite a distance away, and having disengaged from my brain, my foot finally found its way to the brake and brought us to an abrupt full stop. One quick gear change later, we were on our way home again, in shock but thankfully unscathed.

I bet the security camera caught everything on tape. I wouldn't be surprised to see it up on YouTube tomorrow entitled "Idiot driver charges ass first into trouble" And maybe, just maybe, the camera might have caught footage of my guardian angel working overtime to pull my butt out of the fire... again.