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Thursday, November 28, 2002

Word of the day: "scaphism". (*Unbelievably* cool word I came across while browsing through a biography of Saladin.)

Today I don't feel like blogging much, because my bipolar mood orbit is at its perigee - ie. closest to gravitational center. As *grounded* as I ever get.

Had a flurry of work today; not the intense, unrelenting focus on one huge task as it was the last few days, but multiple strands and stages of different projects happened to intersect at various points; resulting in a massive splintering of consciousness from one little challenge to another, every minute. Amidst this chaos, however, as I moved orthogonally within the complex world of tenure limits and parametric VaRs and counterparty lines of credit and PDS sector reclassifications and vol calc. backtests and BIS regulations and liquidity management, as more shrill emails flooded in from my boss and other colleagues demanding information, action, and reports.. amidst all this, I came to a startling conclusion - I was enjoying myself.

I've never actually believed it was possible to enjoy wage drudgery; I was holding on to the belief that it was a good trianing ground, good wages, something to do as a career foundation, a stepping stone to "greater things". But now, I realise, I *like* my job, on the whole. I enjoy what I do. I enjoy the challenge of being good at my job; I enjoy the learning opportunities it provides - and I enjoy the people I work with. I mean, there's always the sian bits; the dull bits, the irritating, flooded-by-work-what-the-fuck-am-I-doing-here-being-a-wage-serf feelings, of course - but by and large, I like my work, and I've just realised that I'm not consoling myself or biding my time or swallowing it down.

It's.. strange. When this kind of pure, limpid, *normal* happiness happens, and you take so damn long to recognize it because you don't remember what it feels like anymore.

Of course, it will fade, and wither, and the despair, as intimate as any lover, will return. It always does. But give me this moment, please?

And today, the conversation was about the ethics of cloning, cryonics, and Mogwai placentas. I mean, how cool is it to work in a place where you can spend half an hour chatting to colleagues about Mogwai placenta?

"See, there's this place in South America, where you have these things that look those.. erm.. those movie buggers. Mogthings that become monsters if you dip them in water -"


" - you mean Gremlins? Mogwai?"

"Yup. Gremlins. Now, anyway, they were showing on National Geographic or one of those documentaries how these Mogwais were banging; and then it showed a female Mogwai giving birth in the trees, and right after a bunch of baby Mogwai popped out, the placenta just oooozed out! And apparently these Amazon people collect it, and it helps keem them young. They say the PM injects some extract of Mogwai placenta everyday to keep himself healthy. A friend of mine also said that in Czechoslovakia, they use a similar extract from some other source that costs about RM25K a jab, but apparently makes you feel 20 years younger..."

"Do these guys look like gremlins or mogwai leh?"

"Hard to tell - they're furry, like Mogwai, but they're bad-tempered vicious little bastards."

"Something like my son lah."
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